Proverbs 23&24: Saying of the Wise

Proverbs 23 and 24 contain more wise sayings by Solomon. In this post we discuss a few of them and how they apply to life today.

Introduction

I haven't included everything Solomon says in Proverbs 23 and 24, but I touch on the Proverbs I had to think about. There's also a self-explanatory summary of some of the behaviors addressed by Solomon in these chapters.
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Literal or Metaphorical?

Proverbs 23:6 says that we should not take the bread of the wicked nor covet his meat. Which could be literal, especially considering the regulations in the dietary law. A person not following God is likely not following these restrictions and may feed us unclean food. Of course, bread and meat both represent substance; remember, Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35). We should not take their teachings and ideas or covet their way of life.

The verses following Proverbs 23:6 also suggest this could refer to the untrustworthiness of a person. Breaking bread is often seen as symbol of unity or alliance, however the wicked person can't be trusted to uphold his end of the deal.

We Fall Down, But We Get Up

Photocredit: Unsplash.com/Myles Tan
Do you know the song "We Fall Down" by Donnie McClurkin? The song talks about how God's people are those who get back up after they fall. Proverbs 24:? echoes this principle. Everyone sins and everyone falls, but people who trust in God rise above the obstacles while those who do not follow God, wallow.

Landmarks

Proverbs 23:10 says not remove the old landmarks; this is a repeat of Proverbs 22:28. Scholars believe that the landmark in question are the inheritances of the tribes. Many of the modern translations (e.g., NIV) use the word boundary instead of landmark.[1]

Strange Woman

Proverbs 23:27 discusses promiscuous and strange women. Both are compared to holes in the ground one can fall into. Essentially, Solomon is warning men not to get involved with these women. You're probably thinking that this is pretty odd coming from a guy who had 700 wives, many of whom were "strangers" to Israel.

This verse could have multiple meanings. Obviously there are dangers when becoming involved with people (male or female) that are promiscuous; this is how STDs are spread. Similarly, if we aren't familiar with the customs and culture of a person, or their culture conflicts from our own, problems can abound. However, this could also be a reference to spirituality. Harlot, whore, and adulterer are all used to describe worshipping another god. Solomon could have been warning us to steer clear of those whom have left the service of God. These interpretations are true regardless of gender.

Condemnations

  • Gluttony
  • Favoritism/Bias in judicial proceedings
  • False witness
  • Working for the purpose of becoming rich
  • Delight at someone stumbling or falling (not just literally, but figuratively, as well)
  • Drunkenness/wine

Endorsements

  • Knowledge is strength
  • The fatherless (orphans)
  • Two wrongs do not make a right

References

  1. "Proverbs 23:10 Commentary". BibleHub.com; visited July 2017

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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