Proverbs 23&24: Saying of the Wise
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Proverbs 23&24: Saying of the Wise

Original Publication Date
July 21, 2017
Updated
Aug 13, 2023 12:17 AM
Tags
ProverbsChapter StudyWisdomAdulteryLying
Bible References

Proverbs 23-24

Status
Done
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Table of Contents
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This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on July 21, 2016 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.

Introduction

I haven't included everything Solomon says in Proverbs 23 and 24, but I am touching 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.

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

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 24:16 echoes this principle. Everyone sins and everyone falls, but people who trust 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 Women

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.

Endorsements

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

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

References and Footnotes

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

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