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The Wise And The Fool According To Proverbs

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The Holy Bible is historical book and yet contains tonss of fables where people can deduce worlds of life. It is a book of books written by work forces of God. who lived in different times and yet had ever been consistent as to what it teaches work forces of all ages ; from all walks of life at whatever clip they lived. Of these books. the book of Proverbs is merely one of the books of the Bible which contains instructions aimed at directing the religious life of work forces utilizing state of affairss from man’s mundane life.

Indeed. Proverbs is a book of world ( Crenshaw. James L. 1981. p. 28 ) .

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Proverbs is a signifier of literature non alone to the Hebrews since Egyptian. Akkadian and Babylonian groundss of these signifiers have been discovered and which have besides similarities with those of the Proverbs of Solomon ( McKane. William 1970. p. 168 ) . In the Hebrew context. the word “proverb” (mashalin their linguistic communication ) means “to be like” ( Crenshaw.

p. 34 ) . In the instance of the Proverbs of Solomon. it serves as a “medium of moral instruction” ( as in Proverbs 10:26 ) or a “short didactic essay orsermonette” ( as in Proverbs. 1:10-19 ; 31:10-31 ) ( Scott. R. B. Y. 1981. p. 11 ) .

One writer extracted several general instructions that the Book of Proverbs is seeking to indicate out. First. Proverbs is concerned with the development of godly character as in the facets of parenting ( Proverbs 22:6 ) . of taking one’s spouse ( Proverbs 29:24 and of friendly relationship ( 17:9 ) ( Scott. p. 18 ) . Second. Proverbs teaches is to spot what is good and what is right in the facets of money ( 11:4. 11:28. 18:11 ) . justness ( 17:23 ) and friendly relationship ( 19:7 ) ( McKane. p. 173 ) . Proverbs 1:5 says. “A wise adult male will hear and increase in larning. and a adult male of understanding will get wise advocate. ” From this poetry. we can deduce that Proverbs aimed at learning people how to seek counsel from the Lord. And eventually. Proverbs teaches us how to go wise by posing both the wise and the sap and these are what we are concerned in this paper.

Both the wise and the sap are personified as adult females in Proverbs. Writers frequently refer to these two adult females as learning the two ways or walks of life-of being wise and of being sap. This paper would wish to follow the personification used by one writer: Dame Wisdom as the wise adult female and Madam Folly as the sap ( Crenshaw. p. 72 ) . It is singular that most books have more extended account or treatment of the features of Madam Folly than that of Dame Wisdom although Proverbs was frequently referred to as the book of Wisdom.

In this book. Dame Wisdom is a adult female who is shouting out in the market place to learn people the manner of deriving wisdom. In poetries 20 and 21 of the first chapter we read.“Wisdom crieth without ; she uttereth her voice in the streets: she crieth in the main topographic point of multitude. in the gaps of the Gatess: in the metropolis she uttereth her words…”( The Holy Bible. KJV ) .

Although there have been diverse aspects of wisdom. as differentiated from human intelligence or cognition. Proverbs is more concerned with the religious wisdom that every adult male can use in all facets of his life on Earth. The first chapter of Proverbs points out to wisdom as Dame Wisdom’s ability to cognize. In verse two. it says.“to know wisdom and direction ; to comprehend the words of understanding. ”In poetries two to four. wisdom is the ability to larn while verse six describes Dame Wisdom’s ability to understand.

Chapter three of Proverbs has likely the most celebrated personification of Dame Wisdom. In here. wisdom is like a virgin adult female whom every wise adult male should prosecute. Verses 13 to 17. the writer placed an obvious high respect and regard to a virgin adult female that he said. “happy is the adult male that findeth wisdom. and the adult male that getteth apprehension: for the ware of it is better than the ware of Ag. and the addition thereof than all right gold” ( verses 13-14 ) .

Equally far as we know the value of Ag and gold. we can safely pull out the thought of the writer that a virgin adult female could hold been so dearly-won that merely few can afford to hold her. Notice that the poetries stressed that she is better than Ag and gold and hence wisdom. being more than the value of these touchable wealths of life. could hold been truly deserving puting. Dame Wisdom is even more valuable than rubies ; on her custodies are “the length of yearss. wealths and award” that walks in the way of pleasantness and peace.

The importance of geting wisdom has been stressed by the writer by showing how a wise adult male should seek and take a adult female to whom he will be with for the remainder of his life. Harmonizing to Crenshaw. geting wisdom is like seeking for a wholesome yet intimate relationship ( Crenshaw. p. 88 ) . As the wise man’s bride. Dame Wisdom is so cherished that “all the things that thou canst desire are non to be compared unto her” ( 3:15 ) . This could hold been perchance the ground why the writer has systematically reminded work forces to get wisdom for his ain benefit. The male parent in Chapter four had been so peculiar with wisdom that he stressed out to his boy non to abandon it but instead love it ; exalt and honor wisdom for it will convey him pride. award and glorification ( 4: 6-9 ) .

Dame Wisdom warns work forces of the devastation and decease into which all who continue on the way of folly will fall ( 1:24 ) . Destruction and decease here refers to the religious life of all work forces. Although the Proverbs has moral and practical deductions that are besides good to be applied in our day-to-day lives on Earth. Proverbs are peculiarly concerned with the religious position of the individual.

God does non desire anyone’s psyche to be destroyed and so we are earnestly reminded and warned. Remember that Dame Wisdom is more than merely one’s trusted friend. She makes certain she is making her occupation to direct the life of each adult male to the way that they need to tract irrespective of how painful would that be. She does non state work forces what theyprivationto hear. but what theydemandto hear if they are to be delivered from decease.

Dame Wisdom is straightforward. speech production of baronial things ( 8:6-8 ) . The Proverbs has given us the confidence that Dame Wisdom besides offers that which will convey first-class things to those who wanted to encompass her. She tells her purpose with all honestness and ne’er wil have any vacillation to talk the truth for the benefit of man’s psyche. Unlike Madam Folly. Dame Wisdom ne’er uses her lips to deliberately ache anyone but to rectify one’s wicked manner. She offers her instruction and commandments ( 7:1-2 ) .

Like a male parent to his darling boy. Madam Folly besides desire the best things for her kids and she knows that the lone manner to fix them is to maintain her words. to get sound wisdom and advocate ( 8:14 ) . Like a arm of war. Dame Wisdom promises security ( 1:33 ) . peace. long life. wealths and award ( 3:16-17 ) . and. most of all. life. “She is a tree of life to them that ballad hold upon her: and happy is the 1 that retaineth her” ( 3:18 ) .

In another aspect. Dame Wisdom in Chapter seven was compared to a adult female “who calls Forth to work forces to fear the Lord. hatred immorality. and diligently seek her. This has been implied in poetries four and five which say. “Say unto wisdom thou art my sister ; and name understanding thy kinswoman: that they may maintain thee from the unusual adult female. from the alien which flattereth with her words”( 7:4-5 ) . We can deduce from these poetries that Dame Wisdom serves as the strong and sure company of anyone who seeks wisdom against the menace of folly. In other words. Dame Wisdom is the defender of the individual seeking wisdom against the unusual adult female whose chief mission is to devour work forces by blandishing with her words.

In Chapter Fourteen. Proverbs still uses the personification of wisdom as a adult female. but this clip. as person who is proactive like a married woman and a female parent in a household. Like one writer stressed. “a good married woman is a great approval to a family” ( Matthew. Henry ) . The inquiry therefore is this: what makes a adult female a good married woman? Matthew has conservative yet nonsubjective reply. A good married woman is one that is prudent. pious. hardworking and considerate with whom the whole household feels comfy and safe under her attention while maintaining in head that it is her hubby that bears regulation.

Proverbs nevertheless has a simpler yet more meaningful reply to the inquiry: “A wise adult female buildeth her house” ( 14:1 ) . Although this may look indirectly connected with wisdom. we can state that the features of the good married woman as mentioned above are demands for the adult female to assist construct her house and maintain her household together. In the same manner. a adult female who builds her house is wise. as the Proverbs say. Dame Wisdom here is personified as good married woman and a female parent. In the same context. wisdom is required in order to maintain a household intact.

In contrast. Proverbs is really much specific with avoiding the ways of folly and therefore of acquiring off from the sap by authorising oneself of adequate wisdom. It is singular in many commentaries on the book of Proverbs that the analysis of the personification of the sap is more extended in comparing with that of wisdom. Here the sap is personified by Madam Folly whose character is good described in the book. While wisdom has been personified in many aspects. Proverbs besides presented the different grades of folly that Madam Folly may demo.

Some writers discussed merely four types or grades of Madam Folly’s personality but we would discourse five since there are besides writers that see five sorts of saps in the book which differences were clearly indicated. The first type of sap is the simple sap. It is of import that we be able to understand the difference between simpleness. in the context of the Proverbs and how we perceive simpleness.

Since the Old Testament of the Holy Bible was originally written in Hebrew. it is but proper that we understand the context of simpleness in the Hebrew context in order for us to come up with the accurate reading of the word. In the same manner. there is a difference of the Bible’s context of a “fool” than how we perceive it in our present civilization. In Hebrew. simple and sap is used in the same context. Simple ( sap ) came from the Hebrew wordpethiy. which root word is pathah. implies utmost exposure. literally intending “to be opened up1. ”

McKane stressed that simpleness is a phase in the development of a individual that every adult male must travel through it. However he besides stressed that simpleness is a unsafe phase in one’s life because it is at this phase that adult male is vulnerable and fleeceable particularly to the traps of wickedness ( McKane. p. 182 ) . What is more unsafe is that “being simple is one short measure from being a fool” ( Crenshaw. p. 102 ) .

These analyses hence coincide with that of the Hebrew context of simple and hence. the context within which the Proverbs should be interpreted. Simple sap. as described in Proverbs 22:3. is the 1 who lacks understanding. Bing at the early phase of life. a kid can be safely considered a sap because of his deficiency of wisdom to discern things but this should non remain as one grows old. This is the ground why the writer advises people to get wisdom. Verses six and seven of chapter seven personified a sap as a simple and immature adult male that is null of understanding ( Kaiser. Walter C. . Jr. 1995 ) .

The following type of sap is the cockamamie sap as described in Proverbs as the “evil” . The Hebrew word’eviylagencies “to be perverse. silly” (Goldberg. Louis 1990 ) .Proverbs 10:14 said that “the oral cavity of the foolish is close devastation” and that “every sap will be tampering” harmonizing to Proverbs 20:3. The cockamamie sap is besides described in 12:15 as the 1 who sees his ain manner as right. The cockamamie sap besides is likened to person to rejects direction ( 1:7. 10:21 ) and those who prefer to be humiliated before he decides to alter his ways ( 29:9. 7:22 ) .

The 3rd type of sap is the animal sap who is likened to person who makes proud of the things that he should be ashamed of ( 13:19-20 ) . In Hebrew. he is referred to as keciylwho is fat. silly or sap. He is the 1 who rejects the Wisdom of God and who frequently gets his oral cavity into problem ( 18:6-7 ) . Proverbs warns people that this type of sap should be avoided because of his elusive methods and motivations. These types of saps are slightly hardened that they require terrible penalty to be corrected ( 26:3. 19:29 ) .

A worse type of sap is called the scorning sap. who does non merely reject wisdom but besides embracings which is detestable to God ( 13:1. 14:6 ) . He does this by turning his deaf beloved in order to call on the carpet the Wisdom that God is offering. In Hebrew. scorning saps are luwts. a word which means to makemouth. to jeer1. Proverbs 19:25 recommends that a scorning sap be punished and is the same thought that Proverbs 21:11 and 22:10 suggest. The worst type of sap is the firm sap. which means “stupid or wicked” in the Hebrew word nabalor a despicable individual. He is self-assured and yet closed-minded. He is the most unsafe of all saps because his end is todraw as many others as possible into his evil ways. It is merely God who can admonish this type of sap.

What is likely more celebrated personification of a sap in Proverbs is that of an fornicatress as described in poetry 16 of chapter 2. Bing an fornicatress. Madam Folly. “forsaketh the usher of her young person. and forgetteth the compact of her God” ( 2:17 ) . Having done so. Madam Folly is a godless. in contrast with Dame Wisdom. Bing referred to as a unusual adult female. a sap is immoral ( Longman. Tremper 2002 ) .

As have been mentioned earlier. Madam Folly is that type who is mindless and simple: “A foolish adult female is blatant: she is simple and knoweth nil” ( 9:13 ) . Bing an fornicatress and a unusual adult female. Madam Folly is shameless of her wickednesss ( 4:6 ) . She makes it certain that his legal hubby is non in the house when he gets her victim ( 7:19-20 ) . She devours her victim through her seductive garbs ( 7:10 ) and titillating lips ( 7:16-17 ) . “For the lips of an adulteress trickle honey. and smoother than oil is her address ; but in the terminal she is acrimonious as wormwood. crisp as a two-edged blade ( 5:3-4. 2:16. 7:5. 22:14 ) .

As an fornicatress. who can devour her victims through her seductive garbs and her sweet words. Madam Folly could hold been externally beautiful. Proverbs 6:25 says. “Lust non after her beauty in thine bosom ; neither allow her take thee with her palpebras.” However it is non her beauty which is her primary arm but instead her lingua ( House. H. Wayne and Durham. Kenneth M. 1992 ) . Likewise. adult male is easy fooled by Sweet and friendly words that person offers. Proverbs hence warns us that outward beauty and the sugariness of words should non come in our Black Marias and slope to them. As Proverbs 11:22 said. “As a gem of gold in a swine’s neb. so is a just adult female which is without discretion. ”

There are several cardinal features of a sap that we can deduce from our earlier descriptions utilizing the character of Madam Folly. First. Proverbs teaches us that the sap is unrighteous. In contrast with Dame Wisdom. she hates holy. righteous and good things instead she loves evil ( Voorwinde. Stephen ( 1981 ) . Bing a sap. Madam Folly is needfully unwise because of the fact that she does non hold and refused to get wisdom. Madam Folly besides is non capable of geting wisdom because “wisdom is excessively high for a fool…” ( 24:7 ) . She does non hold the desire to hold wisdom and in fact culls it for the ground that she does non fear the Lord. The sap is unrealistic since she thought of himself as person high and is proud and haughty.

Madam Folly is besides undisciplined. She takes pleasance of her money. hoarded wealth and other material resources. She besides comes short of her pique ( 12:16 ) and is unable to command her words. Being so. Madam Folly is undependable because of her dishonesty and evil workss ( 26:10 ) . She is a prevaricator. a cheat and a defamer ( 10:18 19:1 ) . Having a hard-boiled bosom. the sap is hence unteachable ( Lane. Eric 2000 ) . This is chiefly because she is irreverent and hence does non fear the Lord which is the cardinal to geting cognition.

The sap therefore is needfully unwanted. Proverbs 15:20 says. “a wise boy maketh a glad male parent: but a foolish adult male despiseth his female parent. ” A sap causes his parents to sorrow because he rejects wisdom which frequently parents offer to their kids. How suffering is the life of a any parent who does hold a foolish kid. “He that begetteth a sap doeth it to his sorrow: and the male parent of a fool hath no joy” ( 17:21 ) . Parents ne’er would wish to bear a foolish boy who makes them acrimonious and grieve. There is besides one awful thing about the life of a sap: “the oral cavity of the foolish is close destruction” ( 10:14 ) .

Like a plague. Madam Folly will unlikely be person who will be desired to be a friend or even merely a company of anyone. Being calumniatory and quarrelsome. Madam Folly makes people hate each other that it is better “to run into a bear which robbed off her pup instead than a sap in his folly” ( 17:12 ) . Proverbs does non merely depict the features of Madam Folly but besides teaches people how to acquire off from them. Besides of import is the fact that Proverbs besides teaches us how to get cognition in order that we may non go sap.

The warnings against Madam Folly are clear in the Proverbs which every adult male should truly take into serious consideration ( Decker. Barbara 1987 ) . We are advised to “cast out the scorner” so that “contention will travel out” and that “strife and upbraid shall cease” ( 22:10 ) . We should non hence be in anyhow deceived by the sap and God’s reminders should non be forgotten.

Through the Proverbs. we are given the agencies of arming ourselves with wisdom in order to acquire ourselves adequate strength to contend against her. Our triumph depends on how we will use all our arms of war but it is safe to state that the Proverbs has given the complete and accurate process of accomplishing our triumph. The dangers of Madam Folly are everyplace. “Scornful work forces conveying a metropolis into snare… . ” ( 29:10 ) . The simple reminder so is to mind and watch out really intently.

The method of learning employed in Proverbs is most like the instructional method of our Lord. In the Septuagint. the Grecian interlingual rendition of the Old Testament. the Grecian wordparabolewas systematically used to interpret the Hebrew wordmashal( adage ) ( Voorwinde. Stephen 1981 ) . Therefore Proverbs are chiefly intended to learn everyman the lessons of life in the ways that God wants it to be ( Thomas. David 1982 ) .

One would non instantly anticipate to read the Book of Proverbs in order to larn the will of God. but this is one of the intents of the book stated in Proverbs 1:5: “A wise adult male will hear and increase in larning ; and a adult male of understanding will get wise advocate. ” The look “wise counsel” is derived from the Hebrew root significance “rope” ( Mouser. William E. Jr. 1983 ) . This “rope” was connected to the rudder of a ship. thereby being the agencies of finding its class. By obtaining wisdom which Proverbs offers to learn us. we are enabled to do right determinations which will put a reverent class for our life.

It is eventually of import that for a adult male to get wisdom. he foremost have to hold a reverent fright ( Bridges. Charles 1980 ) . A adult male of wisdom has the ability to spot truth from mistake. good from evil. best from good. Wisdom consequences in righteousness. justness. and equity.

More significantly. Proverbs does non learn us to restrict wisdom acquisition to geting it but instead we are advised to obey and populate with it because cognizing good and making it consequences from cognizing God ( 22:17-21 ) . Thus wisdom is non merely a mental ability or a moral sensitiveness. but a practical ability to carry through a assortment of undertakings ( Falwell. Jerry 1984 ) . “I believe it is safe to state that this implies that finally wisdom is the individual of our Lord Jesus Christ. so that we can non possess wisdom without first bowing earlier Him as Savior and Lord” ( Crenshaw. p. 223 ) .


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Crenshaw James L. ( 1981 ) . Old Testament Wisdom. Atlanta: John Knox Press

Decker. Barbara ( 1987 ) . Proverbs for Parenting. Portland. OR: Lynn’s Bookshelf.

Falwell. Jerry ( 1984 ) . Wisdom for Living. Wheaton. IL: Victor Books.

Goldberg. Louis ( 1990 ) . The Practical Wisdom of Proverbs. Grand Rapids. Myocardial infarction: Kregel Publications.

House. H. Wayne and Durham. Kenneth M. ( 1992 ) . Populating Wisely in a Foolish World. Grand Rapids. Myocardial infarction: Kregel Publications.

Kaiser. Walter C. . Jr. ( 1995 ) . Proverbs – Wisdom for Everyday Life. Grand Rapids. Myocardial infarction: Zondervan.

Lane. Eric ( 2000 ) . Focus on the Bible – Proverbs – Everyday Wisdom for Everyone. Christian Focus Publications.

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McKane. McKane. Proverbs. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

Mouser. William E. Jr. ( 1983 ) . Walking in Wisdom – Analyzing the Proverbs of Solomon. Downers Grove. Illinois: Inter Varsity Press.

Olford. Stephen F. ( 2001 ) . Windows of Wisdom – Devotional Studies in Proverbs. Greenville. Scandium: Ambassador-Emerald International.

Scott. RBY ( 1981 ) . The Way of Wisdom in the Old Testament. New York: Macmillan Company.

Thomas. David ( 1982 ) . Book of Proverbs – Expository and Homiletical Commentary. Grand Rapids. Myocardial infarction: Kregel Publications.

Voorwinde. Stephen ( 1981 ) . Wisdom for Today’s Issues – A Topical Arrangement of the Proverbs. Phillipsburg. New jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.

Cite this The Wise And The Fool According To Proverbs

The Wise And The Fool According To Proverbs. (2016, Nov 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-wise-and-the-fool-according-to-proverbs-essay/

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