Skip to main content

3 or 4: Proverbs 30 for April 2014

Another month has gone by, and with it another read-through of Proverbs. I’ll squeeze Proverbs 31 in later today. Today, let’s look at Proverbs 30 as whole. Why?







While I think we do a disservice to the Proverbs by only reading them as individual short statements and not considering the whole book, this is highlighted as a problem in Proverbs 30. Too many of these verses are the completion of thoughts in the prior verses. It is necessary to read it in large groups to comprehend the point.







After all, we must not forget that the Bible was written word-by-word and line-by-line, but not verse-by-verse and chapter-by-chapter. Those divisions are later editorial aids for later readers. Read Scripture in thought units, like paragraphs, to better grasp the point.







In Proverbs 30 we see this illustrated in groups like these: Proverbs 30:1-4; Proverbs 30:11-14; Proverbs 30:21-23. With these examples, you should be able to notice the other groups of verses that represent full thought units in the chapter.







Let us take a look at Proverbs 30:21-23 for today. The first is a typical idiom that occurs elsewhere in Scripture (Amos, other places in Proverbs come to mind), where you start with a number and then increase it by one to set up a list. Here it’s a “under 3 things, even under 4,” though the same phrasing works with any other numbering. It’s a rhetorical device for emphasis. There is no cause to go hunting for the other 3 or to assume there should be 7 total here.







I am searching for any source which indicates that the fourth item should be regarded as more significant, and the UBS Handbook series in my Logos Bible Software acknowledges the possibility. If it is relevant, then we would see emphasis thrown onto the maidservant that supplants her mistress, which is a decent warning to a future king. Especially if Solomon is highlighting problems for his successors to avoid.







This would require seeing the Hebrew as showing a building of emphasis rather than the more typical parallel, but that is possible. Some translations see it as simply rhetorical.







Considering these four things, though, let’s look at them. They all involve the reversal of roles or the accession to power without process. That’s the big issue at stake: individuals who attain great power without passing through responsibility to get there.







Expand that as you look around you. While I am no fan of lifelong politicians, there is something to be said for people with a history of service arising to leadership over hacks who can draw voters with charismatic cluelessness. Likewise, we can see it in churches when we let people who have never served become leaders.







There is a need to test first, then allow people into power. Otherwise, trouble comes. Especially if power is attained through deception, like the last case in Proverbs 30:23, where lies were part of the equation.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…

Sermon Recap for July 29 (and 22)

Good Morning!Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!July 29 AM: (Audio)
July 29 PM: (Audio)
July 22 AM: (Audio)July 22 PM: (Audio)