Are you sure that’s not in Proverbs?

Sunday’s Old Testament reading is from Proverbs.  Some people feel like Proverbs is the Bible-version of an advice blog or Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac, full of helpful hints and stuff like “God helps those that help themselves” (if that actually was in the Bible, and not something made up by Ben Franklin). 


While that view of Proverbs isn’t wrong, it’s not the whole picture.  The sayings in Proverbs are meant to be practical, and they are also meant to be understood on a deeper, allegorical level.  And Sunday’s reading is part of what lets us in on that deeper level. 

Sunday’s reading is part of set of “bookend” passages that frame the book of Proverbs.  The one that opens Proverbs personifies wisdom as mother and father.  Sunday’s reading comes from the closing one, and personifies wisdom as a worthy wife. 

With the way that Proverbs is written, it’s easy to get lost in the imagery, to see only the literal meaning.  But there is so much more there, if we look past the images to what they are trying to say.  More on this tomorrow.  


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