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Proverbs 6 - Corps - January 6 -1982 

Format: mp3,pdf
Publication Date: January 6, 1982 

Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962. 

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.

He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International  and served as assistant to the president. 

January 6, 1982 
Proverbs 6
Rev. Cummins
Okay, we’re going to Proverbs now, chapter 1. I brought along a book tonight by Robert Maynard Hutchins, called higher… The Higher Learning in America. Robert Hutchins is one of the well-known philosophers of education. He was the President of the University of Chicago for a while and if I’ve got my stories right, I believe this is the one that used to take a walk every morning, or sometime during the day (I believe it was every morning), at the University of Chicago across the campus, and Dr. Wierwille would many times go out and join him on the walk. If this is the one I’m thinking…you know, I sometimes get my stories mixed around but I think this is the one. But anyway, he’s a well-known philosopher of education. And he’s responsible for “The Great Books”. Some of you are acquainted with those. We have a set in our library. They’re very common. They deal with a lot of the old writings, the philosophers, the classics. Similar to the Harvard Classics. But in here he talks about the problems of higher education. He says, “If then the problem is to clarify the higher learning, let us examine the causes of its confusion. The first of them is very vulgar. It is the love of money. It is sad but true that when an institution determines to do something in order to get money it must lose its soul and frequently does not get the money. Money comes to education in three ways: from students, donors and from legislature. To frame a policy in order to appeal to anyone of the three is fatal and as I have suggested often futile as well”.
Now, it’s unusual to hear an educator speak out like that as far as education because most of them are so concerned especially with the legislative acts that have been passed in order to get the proper amount of money and funding from the Federal Government. So, you’ve got to salaam to their desires and you lose your soul as far as an educational institution. And he points out some other problems, causes of the confusion in education...but the love of money, (it sounds just like the Word doesn’t it?) is one of the basic causes. Then, he starts to discuss what education is and what it’s all about. And he refers back to some of the classics. Because like I said, he’s one of them that helped develop the…(What do you call it?) “The Great Books” and so he puts a lot of emphasis on what the classics had to say. “The ancients distinguish five intellectual virtues. The three specula…speculative virtues which were intuitive knowledge and scientific knowledge.” That’s the first two. Intuitive knowledge is the habit of induction whereas scientific knowledge is the habit of demonstration. Almost like a mental and practical side of it. “Then you put the two of them together, and you have the third virtue which is philosophical wisdom.” Now that philosophical wisdom is the scientific knowledge combined with intuitive reason and that gives you the highest type of virtue there is, which is philosophical wisdom. And it treats, or deals with first principles and first causes. In other words, what caused this to be? The things that are now. Why is this plant here? Why is this microphone here? What’s behind our reasoning? The first principles and first causes.
Now the reason I like this, is because it means that you’ve got to have something upon which you base what you believe and in which you draw conclusions, as far as what goes on in the natural, as well as the mental, physical, spiritual realms. Like the Word. The Word is built on first principles and first causes. God is the first principle; He’s the first cause. Remember in the Book of Proverbs, we read, what’s the beginning of wisdom? The fear of the LORD; the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. That’s the first principle. See it? And so this philosophical wisdom he talks about is the highest. It deals with first principles and first causes. Now there’s three of them: scientific knowledge, intuitive knowledge and combined, giving you philosophical wisdom. Then to these you add two more: one is art and the other is prudence. Art is the capacity to make, according to a true course of reasoning. Art is the ability to make things, according to the true course of reasoning. And prudence or good sense, that’s right reason with respect to action. Just using good sense in what you do. Prudence. Sound similar to Proverbs? Some of the things we’ve worked on? I think it does. Alright!
Our errone…“Our erroneous notion of progress has thrown the classics and the liberal arts out of the curriculum, over-emphasized the empirical sciences and made education the servant of any contemporary movements in society no matter how superficial. Today education is not built upon the first principles, first causes. Today, education is built upon anything anybody wants to put in the curriculum.” In other words, if you want to put a course in the curriculum on “How Fleas Have Intercourse”, why, you could do that. That’s the way our curriculum is built today. Whatever fleeting idea anybody has on fleas. Here is another neat line he has in here. “Education implies teaching. Teaching implies knowledge. Knowledge is truth. The truth is everywhere the same. Hence, education should be everywhere the same”. He’s talking about higher education now. “...should be…the same, if truth is the same.” Now of course you know you’ve got some knowledge that is made up of facts that are erroneous. But the knowledge he’s talking about is knowledge that is built on first principles, first causes, truth. See? Let me go to another one.
“The modern university may be compared with an encyclopedia.” The reason for that, is the encyclopedia has everything in it. And that’s the way modern universities are set up. They have everything in them. And the only unifying factor they have, like the encyclopedia…the only unifying factor it has is that it is alphabetically arranged. Right? You look up one word in the front, it has no connection with the word in the back, or in the middle. Just the alphabetical arrangement. So in the university, you have the same thing. Departments running from Art to Zoology. “But neither the students nor the professors know what is the relation of one departmental truth to another. Or what the relation of departmental truths to those in the domain of another department may be. The medieval university...” Now, we’re going back to medieval ages. “...had a principle of unity. It was theology. The medieval theologians had worked out an elaborate statement in due proportion and emphasis of the truths relating to man and God, man and man and man and nature.” In other words, a relationship between God and man, between man and other men, between man and nature. “As it was an orderly progression from truth to
truth built on first principles and first causes. First principles order all truths in the speculative order. So last ends order all means and actions in the practical order.”
Listen to this, “God is the first truth and the last end. The medieval university was rationally ordered and for its time was practically ordered too. But these are other times and we are trying to discover a rational and practical order for the higher learning of today. Could you build it on theology? Most universities, no. Because theology is banned by law from some universities. It might as well be from the rest. Theology is based on revealed truth and on articles of faith. We are a faithless generation and take no stock in revelation. Theology implies orthodoxy, and an orthodox church.We have neither….To look to theology to unify the modern university is futile and vain. If we omit from theology, faith and revelation, we are substantially in the position of the Greeks who are thus, oddly enough, closer to us than are the middle ages. Now Greek thought was unified, as opposed to modern thought. It was unified by the study of first principles. Plato had a dialectic which was a method of exploring first principles. Aristotle made the knowledge of them into the science of metaphysics. Among the Greeks then, metaphysics rather than theology, is the ordering and proportioning discipline. It is the light of metaphysics that the social sciences, dealing with man and man and the physical sciences dealing with man and nature take shape and illuminate one another. In metaphysics we are seeking the causes of the things that are.”
Now, you see the relationship between metaphysics and the Word, as opposed to the way modern universities are set up. “Metaphysics deals with first principles, first causes. Seeking the causes of things that are. You’ve got to study the relationship between man and man. Those are called the social sciences. Then you also study the relationship between man and nature. Those are called the natural sciences.” You see the difference? “And by studying those two, then you come up with the philosophical wisdom that deals with first principles, first causes.” You see a problem with evolution? Evolution deals with natural science alone and really never gets back to...it’s incapable of getting back to first principles, first causes…so called evolution; it’s not even natural science. “In the highest science, the first science and as first, universal, it considers being as being, both what is and the attributes which belong to it as being.” Okay. What’s the aim of education? Action.Well he says, “The aim of higher education is wisdom.” Now, that’s not bad. Because what is wisdom? Knowledge applied. Is that action? It certainly is. But wisdom is…he also says, at least to the Greeks, it dealt with the knowledge of principles and causes. And that’s not too far removed from the wisdom of the Word, because God is still the first cause. God is the first principle: the fear of the LORD. Right? See, there’s a similarity. And yet he’s trying to deal with it in terms of metaphysics rather than with the Word, which is wrong, but still the principle’s there. “Therefore metaphysics is the highest wisdom. So much is this the case that Aristotle feels called on to refer to the suggestion that this knowledge...”, the knowledge of metaphysics, the highest wisdom, the knowledge of first principles, first causes, “...must be confined to God.” Aristotle said that! Quote from Aristotle, “But the divine power cannot be jealous nor should any other science be thought more
honorable than one of this sort. For the most divine science is also most honorable and this science alone must be in two ways most divine. For the science which it would be most meet for God to have is a divine science. And so is any science that deals with divine objects. And this science alone has both of these qualities, for number one, God is thought to be among the causes of all things and to be a first principle.” I’m quoting from Aristotle okay. “And number two, such a science either God alone can have or God above all others...”,...could have this science or wisdom. Metaphysics then…that’s the end of Aristotle.
This is back to Hutchins: “Metaphysics then,…” is the highest science ordered…“…as the highest science ordered the thought of the Greek world as theology ordered that of the middle ages. One or the other...”, either metaphysics or theology, “...must be called upon to order the thought of modern times. If we cannot appeal to theology, we must turn to metaphysics. Without theology or metaphysics a unified university cannot exist.” And that’s why today in every university, you’ve got this department doing his thing, that college doing his, another one over here doing something else and nobody…there’s no unity in the university. “Both are almost totally missing today. Theology and metaphysics. And with them has gone any intelligible basis for the study of man in his relations with other men. The truths of ethics, for example, are now merely common sense teachings about how to get along in the world.” Do you remember the difference between common sense and good sense? Common sense is that which is common to a particular culture but it may not necessarily be good sense. Not based on the Word. Okay? It’s merely common sense teaching about how to get along in the world. That’s morality today, or ethics. Listen to this one. “Morals degenerate into the mores unless they have a higher meaning imparted to them by theology or metaphysics.” Now mores are the…whatever fits into that particular culture. If it helps that culture, if it feels good for that society, then that’s moral to them. But it’s not moral built on first principles and first causes, like the Word. That’s why today homosexuality is being accepted in cultures, in our country, and other countries. Homosexuality is not built on first principles or first causes. But it’s the mores, got it? It’s that which seems to be accepted among the culture. After all 10% of the population is homo, so therefore we have to accept it as a part of life. Now that’s not moral, that’s mores. That’s accepting what is agreed upon by the group no matter what the first principles or what the first causes are.
A republic is built on first principles and first causes. A democracy is just the majority, whatever they agree upon. But a republic has to be built on first principles, first causes. See the difference in government? Our government was set up as a republic, built upon first principles. The bill of rights, inalienable rights, things of that nature. But when you get away from first principles, either through metaphysics or through theology, which to us means the study of the Word...if you get away from that, then you don’t go by what’s moral anymore. Your ethics degenerate, and you come up with what is just accepted by the group, what fits into that particular society. Now you see the problem with today as compared to the cultures that had first principles as their basis, whether or not they knew the Word. A similar degeneration overtakes
natural science. I mentioned evolution: no real first principles, no first causes there, just a matter of...well, here’s this, here’s that, we just study science, we don’t worry about the causes or things behind it. And every science treats its…its…its own thing. “If the world has no meaning, if it presents itself to us as a mass of equivalent data, then the pursuit of truth for its own sake consists of the indiscriminate accumulation of data. We cannot understand it. There is no need to try. Whether we can understand the world or not, however, we can seek to master it.” That’s the opinion of today. That’s a useful and popular thing to do. “But its educational and scientific consequences are not truth. Its vocationalism, empiricism, and disorder. And its moral consequences are an immoral morality.” Because it’s not built on first principles, first causes. It’s built on what seems appropriate at the time.
So we study geology, we study astronomy, we study other natural sciences, we don’t try to fit the whole thing together. There is no such things as first causes, first principles. There’s no absolutes, there’s no truth. It’s just whatever works out today. That’s why universities today are more concerned with helping an individual to get a job in life than they are with true higher education, which has to deal with the intellect, the development of the mind, to understand what’s behind the things that go on. The first principles, first causes. And either you build it upon the Word, or you build it upon metaphysics or something else. And of course if you believe there is a God and God did leave us His Word, then we’ve got the highest wisdom there is, that he mentioned in here, to build something on. He quotes a contemporary who said: “In order to reign as a demiurge over nature, man in his intelligence and in his life must in reality subordinate himself to inhuman and technical necessities and to the energies of the natural world which, originally placed in operation by him, are now invading the human mind. Whatever the acquired gains may be, from other points of view, the conditions of life of the human being are thus becoming more and more inhuman. Behold man, the center of the world, a world all the parts of which are inhuman and press against him in such a morality, not man nor human life as such, but agents, exterior to man, material forces, instruments of human life are subjected to reason. This morality does not liberate man, but on the contrary weakens him, dispossesses him and makes him slave to all the atoms of the universe and above all to his own misery and egoism. What remains of man? A consumer crowned with science. That is the last gift, the twentieth century gift of Cartesian reformation.” Cartesian reformation.
So, either you build it on just whatever is appropriate in the society and just let everything work out itself, or you build it on first principles. That’s where I think Proverbs started us out this last fall in chapter 1.
Proverbs 1:1 and 2a: 1 The proverbs of Solomon the son a David, king of Israel; 2 To know [what?] wisdom and [the corresponding moral discipline];…
Remember that? We worked this section out. To know wisdom and moral discipline. To have the wisdom which is the…would deal with the principle of first causes, first principles. God is first. God is before everything. Without God, you wouldn’t have anything. And the accompanying moral discipline that goes along with it. Without first principles of the Word, what type of a moral society would you have? An immoral society.
Proverbs 1:2b:
...to perceive [or discern; the sayings of discernment];
Only Hutchins of course would have put a lot upon the Classics: Plato, Aristotle and other writers, the Classics. We go to the Word, God’s Word, as stating the first principles over all. Now, we study these other things too, but the Word is still our only primary center of reference for truth outside of the individual seeking, Foundational Class. “To discern the sayings of discernment from the Word.”
Proverbs 1:3a: To receive the [moral discipline] of [good sense, prudence],…
Remember one of the five things he mentioned in here was good sense, prudence.
Proverbs 1:3b:
…[righteousness],…[justice], and equity;
Where you’re able to make righteous decisions. Where you’re able to do justice and it’s equal and fair. Equality, equity.
Proverbs 1:4a: To give subtilty…
Which was art or craft, or shrewdness (I believe was one of the words I gave you, wasn’t it? Shrewdness?) but it also ties into the art that he mentioned, which is the ability or capacity to make. Here, it’s the ability, it gives him that shrewdness to do things. It gives him that art that he needs to make.
Proverbs 1:4b: …to the simple [the one who still needs the wisdom], to the young man knowledge and discretion.
Or perception and an inventiveness. Where he doesn’t just…have a lot of smarts up here, but he’s able to utilize it, to be inventive.
Proverbs 1:5:
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
In order to understand a proverb and its meaning, its significance. To do that you’ve got to build it upon first principles, the Word. Then he starts out: the words of the wise; the words of the wise.
Proverbs 1:6:
…[wisdom] the words of the wise, and their dark sayings [their hidden meanings].
What’s the first principle? The fear of what? the LORD is the first principle, the beginning of knowledge. Hutchins would build it upon the Classics; we would build it upon God’s Word. In the medieval ages, they built it upon theology rather than the Word itself. It was close, you know, but miles apart. It’s a figure, what do you call it? Oxymoron.
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge [the first principle]: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
So, what we’re building, not only in the study of the Book of Proverbs, but in the study of the rest of God’s Word, we’re building upon first principles, first causes because God is first of all, He’s behind it all and then it’s His Word that you build everything else in life on. And if you don’t have that, then your morals are simply mores, there’s no unifying factor in what you do. That’s why they talk about unity, ecumenical work today, unification of the churches. But how can they unless it’s built on first causes, first principles, namely the Word. You can’t even have unity in a university, let alone unity among all the churches throughout the world. That’s right. In the first place most of the churches aren’t even built on Biblical based theology, let alone the Bible itself. You understand that? In other words with all the…you know, there is such a variety among [quote, unquote] “Christianity” not to speak of all the other “isms”, that there’s nothing that could unify them. And most people today follow the thinking that…the paper…oh shoot…the paper that deals with The Origin of Modern Spiritualism…Ken Petty, yes right. Ken Petty wrote it…shows how all of this started basically in 1848. That was the kick off. There were things preceding and a lot of things following with Marxism, Darwinism, you know, so many other things…with the…what’s her name with the spiritualist movement? The sisters, the Foxes, right. And then so many other things that developed out of that (psychology, parapsychology) that today everything is not built on first principles, first causes but it’s on this other system that Hutchins writes against. Unless we come back to the Word, there’s no answers for today’s problem. You’re going to have homosexuality, you’re going to have all these other things being accepted as moral. But when you build it upon first principles, and especially the
Word, you get rid of immoral morality. That’s right. You clean up the society. Here are the words of the wise. And the reason they’re wise words is not because some men thought them up because he looked at a fossil and said, “Ah ha! This is where the universe started or where man came from this fish fossil,” but he got it from God, like Luke, anothen, from above. It’s God-breathed, holy men of God spake as they were moved. God put his spirit upon man and those men spoke and wrote God’s Word. And so, we have these words of the wise. Men like Joseph who were filled with the spirit and that made them so smart, so wise. “There’s none so wise and discrete as you are Joseph,” that’s what Pharaoh told him. What made him so wise? Because he had looked at so many fossils sitting in jail? NO! Because God was with him. He had the spirit of God upon him, first principles, first causes. See? Well, because he looked at all the homos in the other cells? NO! Because the spirit of God was where? On him.
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD, the beginning of knowledge: but fools despised wisdom and [knowledge].
Now, there are three categories of people in the Book of Proverbs that you’ll see come up again and again. And I’m talking about three categories who have blown it, who are not on the Word. One of them is fools, the second one are the wicked and the third category are the lazy. You have the fools, the wicked and the lazy. In contrast to that you also have the wise, the righteous and the diligent. The wise, the righteous and the diligent. Now God doesn’t want you to be a fool or to be wicked or to be lazy. He wants you to be a wise person, a righteous person and a diligent person.
Now what is a fool? For most of us, I think this is a word that we’ve just...you know, anything that disagrees with us is a fool. Right? A fool is a simple person who lacks wisdom; simple meaning stupid. He’s careless in his walk, and the reason he’s careless is because he hasn’t learned the wisdom for walking correctly or he refuses to learn the wisom…wisdom for walking upright. That’s a fool. You’ll see in the Book of Proverbs when you read sections about fools, that they are proud. They’re proud fools. Well, you know they stand…there’s a lot of fools today. I’m not just calling people names, I’m just using a Biblical term here. There are fools, a lot of fools today. There are people who have not really gotten into wisdom and the principles of first causes and that thing. They haven’t looked at the source of all things. They haven’t looked at the Word, the handbook of life. But they think they’re wise. And boy, they can argue about anything. The vast majority of people today...and I don’t care if they’ve graduated from high school, or four years of college and sometimes even more...they still lack wisdom. They’ve been trained in a lot of facts, but they cannot put life together. They cannot look and see first causes, they cannot see first principles. There are no first principles, there are no absolutes, there is no truth. That’s why the vast majority of people have fallen in this category of fools. They’re proud though. And they really know what they’re talking about, if you talk to them. They can talk about politics, religion, and whatever else comes in between.
And they are classified as scorners because they will scorn you for what you believe. They don’t know what they’re talking about but boy they will sure down you. They have a problem called “run of the mouth” that Proverbs talks about. They have a big problem with that. They never know when to shut up. They’re always running the mouth. They’re easily angered; they get angry very quickly. And with that pride then they start their scorning bit. They hate to learn. And above all, they hate reproof. Maybe you can remember some of those scriptures about: It’s a waste of time to try to reprove a fool, it talks about in the Proverbs. Now, those are fools.
The second category are the wicked. Now these have a well-developed knowledge of the world. And their walk is as direct antagonist to true wisdom. They are much more cruel than the fools. They not only refuse to learn wisdom but they work to destroy it, to deceive, to cause division, to harm and to cause confusion. Their intent is evil. They lie, cheat, steal, kill, destroy to achieve their ends. These are those that wink with the eyes, that talk with their feet. Remember that in chapter 6? Perhaps the wicked are the brains and the fools are the puppets. You understand what I mean? The wicked are those that have evil intent as their purpose to destroy wisdom. The fools are simply the puppets. They don’t know anything, so they just have the running of the mouth, and they know everything about nothing.
Now the lazy are another category. These are called the slothful, the sluggards. Now they don’t deliberately do evil like the wicked ones do. And they don’t walk foolishly without wisdom like the fools do. As a matter of fact, they don’t do much of anything [laughter], except blame everybody else for their poverty, their discomfort and other problems which they bring upon themselves. Simply because they’re lazy. Afraid to work, afraid to do anything. And yet, they like to complain. So when you’re reading the Book of Proverbs, you’ll see these three talked about either one or the other or a couple or all three throughout the Book of Proverbs. And they’re contrasted with the wise, the righteous and the diligent. You see in verse 7 of chapter 1, it starts out.
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but [what?] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
It starts right out with the fools. See? And as you work it, you start reading, you see in verse 10:
Proverbs 1:10: My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
The sinners essentially are the wicked, although he uses a more general term here. They’re the ones that have something in mind. They could be the fools as well. Certainly they wouldn’t be the lazy ones. But many times it’s spelled out exactly who they are. In chapter 6,
this is one of the chapters we’ve worked before, you see all three of these groups. Remember, this was divided into three sections. These first 19 verses, verses 1-5.
Proverbs 6:1 and 2: 1 …if [you are] surety for [a] friend,…[you’ve] stricken [hands] with a stranger, 2 …[you’re] snared with the words of [your] mouth,…taken with the words of [your] mouth.
That tells you how to deliver yourself. Why would you get into such trouble, because you lack what? {Wisdom}, like the fool. This is the category of the fool and he is saying “grow up, get out of that category, get wisdom.” The whole purpose of Proverbs is to get wisdom. Then the second area:
Proverbs 6:6: Go to the ant, [verse 6] thou sluggard;…
All the way through verse 11 deals with the lazy man. He’s saying, don’t be lazy. Get up and out of that, be a diligent man. Then verses 12-19, that’s where you have a naughty person, a wicked man. This is the wicked, what does he do?
Proverbs 6:12-14, 16:
12 …[walks] with a froward mouth. 13 …[winks] with [the] eyes,…[speaks] with [the] feet,…[teaches] with [the] fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart,…mischief…;…[sows] discord. 16…six things…the LORD [hates]:…
Reiterates them, plus a seventh:
Proverbs 6:19: …false witness…
That’s the wicked, evil intent. See it? Spell it out? Those are the three categories. Chapter 10. We’ve gone through quite a few things in the first nine chapters. Remember the first nine were didactic narratives. Separate, I think, some fifteen different narratives, where they’re like short little stories or things that teach the principles, narratives that teach the principles. Whereas from chapter 10 through…(is it?) chapter 24, and then again from 25 to chapter 29, you have basically two-line parallelisms. It says one thing, then it says another thing. And they’re either equal or they’re opposite. It says the same thing in an equivalent way or it says the same thing in an opposite way. This first section is entitled the proverbs of Solomon and remember in chapter 25 it’s the proverbs of Solomon which Hezekiah’s men dug out. Okay?
But they’re all proverbs of Solomon. And these are the two-lines, parallel lines, either equal or opposite. As a matter of fact in chapter 10, everything is opposite except three verses. In verse 18 and 22 and 26. Look at verse 18, says:
Proverbs 10:18: He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is [a what?] a fool.
Who is this dealing with? Which category? The fool. Okay. But you have two things there: he that hideth hatred with his lips is a fool and he that uttereth a slander. Those are saying essentially the same thing, or they’re equivalent. They’re not opposite, okay? Saying both are fools. In verse 22:
Proverbs 10:22: The blessing of the LORD, it [makes] rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
It’s saying the same thing in different ways. If it were opposite, it would say: The blessing of the LORD maketh rich, but the cursing of the LORD adds sorrow. See that? That would be opposite. But here it’s equivalent. And then verse 26:
Proverbs 10:26: As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the [lazy man] to them that send him.
Vinegar to the teeth is essentially the same thing as smoke getting in your eyes. That’s what the sluggard is. But everything else in this chapter is opposite. Look at verse 1.
Proverbs 10:1: The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
See, it says the same thing in an opposite way. And he uses the word “but”. Here it’s treating who? Which category? The fool, the foolish son. See it? The fool is the heaviness of his mother. Verse 2: “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but...” (Is it what, equal or opposite? Opposite.) “…righteousness delivereth from death.” Now in the first one, it puts the positive first and the negative second. Here it puts the negative first and the positive second. Still opposite.
Proverbs 10:2: Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
What…if you have treasures you acquire by wickedness, what profit is it? Oh it seems like a lot today, but is it built on first principles? Nope. But righteousness delivereth from death and it gives you great wealth. Life is great wealth to begin with. See the opposite in it? Look at verse three.
Proverbs 10:3: The LORD will not [allow] the soul of the righteous to famish: but he [throws] away the substance of the wicked.
Will the righteous famish? No. We’re going to have plenty. But the wicked...everything you have, your substance is going to be thrown away. Look at verse 4: “He becometh poor that dealeth with…” Oh, oh, oh. By the way, verses 2 and 3; what category are they dealing with? The wicked and the righteous. See? The wicked man as contrasted to the righteous man. The first was the fool versus the wise. And then verses 2 and 3 dealed with…dealt with the wicked versus the right…the righteous. Now verse 4.
Proverbs 10:4: He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh [what?] {rich}.
What category do we have here? The lazy man versus the diligent man. And it’s opposite. See the “but”? He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand, that’s the lazy man. The lazy man is the poor man. See that? The lazy man is the poor man. You want to define terms according to the Word? Alright. Remember there’s only two ways to get poor? (I believe.) Either you’re lazy or the taxers or robbers steal it from you. Two ways to get poor. We worked that in Proverbs one night, didn’t we?When we worked that ant business. Alright, verse 5.
Proverbs 10:5: He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that [causes] shame.
Now, it ties…verses 4 and 5 really tie together because it’s dealing with sleeping (see it?) as opposed to being diligent, being lazy. So four and five are again dealing with the lazy man. Both of them are opposite. To gather in the summer, would you be lazy? No you’d be a diligent person. And to sleep in the harvest, you would be a what? A lazy man, see the opposite? Verse 6.
Proverbs 10:6: Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the [what?] wicked.
They’re opposite and it’s dealing with which category? The wicked. Verse 7.
Proverbs 10:7: The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
Think of some of the notorious men historically. But, if your name is written in the book of life, which is going to be remembered longer? The name that’s in the book of life. Right? See. The name of the wicked shall what? In contrast of the memory of the just is what? Blessed. Verse 8.
Proverbs 10:8: The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool…
Or a fool who likes to talk; you know, can’t hold his tongue.
Proverbs 10:8: …shall fall.
Now, here it’s the fool. Okay. He lacks what? Wisdom. He just run…run of the mouth. The oppositeness in this, I want you to look at it. The wise in heart do what? Receive. What does the fool do? He’s always talking. See it? And he’s going to fall. But the wise is always taking in so he’ll receive the commandments, the Word. Whereas the fool, he’s always talking, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but he’s always talking. He’s going to fall over his words. See the opposite in it? Otherwise, you’d have to ask yourself, what does it mean? What’s…Where is the opposite? That’s one of the things, when a thing is a contrast, you have to see, well what is the contrast. They have to be similar, but not…they are saying the same thing in an opposite way. And then, when you see that contrast, it just makes it live that much more for you, see that? Isn’t that beautiful? Verse 9.
Proverbs 10:9: He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
If you walk uprightly... like Jesus Christ says, he who walks in the day, won’t stumble but if you walk at night, in other words, walk in darkness, you’re going to stumble. He walked in the light, walked in the day, see? If you walk uprightly, which is to walk in the light, if you walk surely, are you going to stumble? Suppose somebody is lying along the path, to trip you with a rope...I saw it on a movie, Steve McQueen, “The Great Escape”, remember? Alright. He pulled that rope up and he went flying, didn’t he? If I remember it correctly. Well anyway. If you’re walking surely, you’d see that rope and you’d step over it or under it or do something or cut it in two, shoot it with your six-shooter. But (in contrast to that), he that perverteth his ways
shall be what? {Known.} Now the knowing is that when somebody sees him they could trip him because he doesn’t know where he’s going. See the contrast? Now verse 10:
Proverbs 10:10: He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow [or trouble]:...
Who winks with the eye? Who? {The wicked.}The wicked. Remember that from chapter 6? The wicked one winks with his eye and he’s causing…he’s the cause of the trouble. But, in contrast to this wicked guy that causes trouble:
Proverbs 10:10: …a prating fool shall fall.
Now what’s the contrast? It sounds like the same thing. Doesn’t it? Essentially, rather than a contrast. Should be “and a prating fool shall fall”; it just doesn’t make any sense. I wanted to share and I’ll try to do this quickly here. But I brought these books along, I mentioned this to the group that’s here at Headquarters, some of the different things that I use when I’m studying Proverbs. Here we have a difficult verse. And that’s what I want to spend time with you on (in the future when we get a chance to work Proverbs) is verses like this that are difficult. This verse I would then go to, because it doesn’t make any sense. We really don’t have a contrast there. So I would go to...I told you the Interpreter’s Bible which I didn’t bring along with me tonight. I also go to the International Critical Commentary and the Anchor Bible, and see what they have to say. I mentioned to you that I also wanted to get a book called, The Old Testament Library. It just came in today. And this also has a lot of great things in it. I’ve seen one before, we ordered one through inter-library loan and we were impressed with it, so we decided to order at least this book. We didn’t get the Old Testament. Most of it’s…well, a lot of it is printed I know, and eventually we’ll want to get the other volumes. So at least, we’ve got Proverbs to begin with. Anyway, where do I start…let’s take the International Critical Commentary.
Here is what he says; he translates: “He who winks the eye makes trouble, but…” Now listen to this: “…he who he reproves makes peace.” Now would that be a contrast? It certainly would. Let’s listen to his argument. “On winking the eye as an expression for stirring up strife by malicious hints...”, see notes 6, 12…okay, that we got. The second clause reads in the Hebrew. Now this is what the Hebrew says, but this isn’t the way he translated it: “Any foolish talker shall fall.” Remember, I told you this up in verse 8, a fool who’s always talking, a foolish talker shall fall. But it doesn’t have any contrast here; it doesn’t make any sense. Apparently this was repeated from verse 8. In other words what he’s saying is that somebody when they were originally copying the manu…Hebrew, accidently copied the end of verse 8, down here at the end of verse 10, and then omitted what was originally at the end of verse 10. Now this is in the Massorah. The Hebrew Massorah. But I think I told you one day, the Hebrew Massorah did not develop until sometime A.D. prior to the tenth century. The oldest Massoretic text we have, I
think is ninth or tenth century (something like that). So it had to develop relatively late. But now we have the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament plus the Peshitta Aramaic of the Old Testament plus some of the Dead Sea scrolls that have been found in the Old Testament that could, in places, predate the Massoretic Hebrew text. And that’s why we have to look not only at the Massoretic Hebrew text but also at the Septuagint Greek and the Aramaic of the Old Testament. And that’s exactly what he did here. We expect…here…here it doesn’t offer any antithesis. “We expect the mention of something which causes the opposite of trouble.” Is that right? Isn’t that what our problem is? Okay! Greek has, now this is from the Septuagint: “He who winks deceitfully with his eyes causes sorrow to men; but he who reproves openly makes peace.” He who reproves openly makes peace—that’s what the Greek has. “This furnishes the desired contrast but in expanded form.” And he goes on and explains why some words could have been added to the Greek. “In any case, the suggestion is the frank reproof of wrong doing will pave the way to repentance and amity. For the word trouble…” then he tells you to see something else. Okay. So that’s what he says, and it comes from the Greek. Now, the Anchor Bible really doesn’t add much to it here. It translates it, “He who winks his eye makes trouble, but one who reproaches frankly makes peace.” I like the “reprove” better. Then he mentions the second line of the translation follows the Septuagint but the Massoretic Hebrew text repeats 8b. And that you’ve already heard from the International Critical…. In this particular book, he essentially says the same thing. He goes into a little longer discussion of it. This is The Old Testament Library. “The shifty individual who is incapable of candor and who employs language of secret signs over and above what he says either by winking or perhaps by opening and shutting his fingers in front of his eyes. Verse 10b is a repetition of verse 8b and does not furnish a suitable parallel to verse 10a. The Septuagint reads, ‘He who reproves candidly makes peace.’ And on this basis 8b suggests a certain Hebrew reading which means, ‘He who reproves to the face reconciles.’ This gives the antithesis. The one kind of activity makes for social brokenness, the other for social wholeness.”Well, that’s pretty good.
Then, I pulled out Lamsa’s translation of the Aramaic. And it says, “He who winks with his eyes deceitfully causes sorrow, but he who reproves openly makes peace.” So the Aramaic and the Septuagint agree. See how you work that? Against the Massoretic text. But I still would not just openly accept the Aramaic or the Septuagint if the Hebrew fit better in the context. But I believe here that a contrast is wanting and I can see where a scribe would have accidently put a wrong line in here. Some of you have done it when you’re typing, I’m sure. I’ve even seen it in publications from time to time, where a line is repeated in a newspaper. And so originally this would have read, “He that winketh with the eye causes trouble, but...” And this is from both the Aramaic and the Greek Septuagint: but he who reproves makes peace. Or “…reproves openly makes peace.” Then, is there a contrast? And it’s real neat, because the next parallel is.
Proverbs 10:11: The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
It goes right into the mouth thing again which ties into verse 10 “winking with the eye”. He’s not speaking with his mouth, he’s speaking with signals which is dishonest. “...but he who reproves openly makes [what?] peace”, with his mouth. Then, “The mouth of a righteous man (one that reproves righteously) is a well of life: whereas violence covers the mouth of the wicked.” It covers it so that he doesn’t speak the truth, he doesn’t reprove, he gives eye signals, hand signals, feet signals. Isn’t’ that something? Then it fits in the context, flows and there is a definite contrast. Okay? Well, if you read through chapter 10…or you read can through the whole Book of Proverbs, you’ll constantly see fools, wicked and lazy men come up. We could go through the rest of this chapter and each verse is dealing with one or the other. Maybe you have two, three verses together. Sometimes you have whole sections together dealing with a fool or a wicked one or a lazy person. Those are the three main diseases being treated in the Book of Proverbs.
And then in contrast to that is the wise man, the diligent man and the righteous man or woman, either one. Well, we didn’t get to where I was planning to go tonight. Chapter 12, but that one verse I wanted you to see again how…which sources I use to work something here in the Old Testament which is a little different than I would do in the New Testament. Now if I didn’t find a satisfactory answer in here, I would go into a word study then of the words in that verse. Okay? But I felt here the Septuagint and the Aramaic together sort of supplied the correct answer so I didn’t need to take it further. But many times and a lot of times, I’ll do this with the team because some of those guys know Hebrew, they can work it a lot faster than I can with my (what do you call it?) Word Studies by William Wilson and my Young’s Concordance. So…but on the other hand, I’ve also worked some of them myself. I don’t mean for you to come to the research team with everything because you have to work some of these things for yourself on your research projects. Okay? But I wanted you to see how I do some of this in the Old Testament. But in chapter 12, there are at least four verses that don’t make a lot of sense in the Hebrew and consequently not too much sense in the English. And maybe before we meet the next time, you could read through chapter 12 and see if you can find those. And, you know, don’t make that a priority because your research project is priority right now; but if you get a chance to read through chapter 12 (which doesn’t take that long), work and see once if you can find those difficult verses. And that’s what we’re going to spend some time on the next time we go into the Book of Proverbs. Okay?
[Prayer] Well, Father, we sure thank you for this night and for your love and goodness to us. Thank you for the Word and how it reaches into our hearts and helps us to understand life and that we can build our lives and minds upon the greatness of that Word, and the first principles, first causes, because we know your Word. Thank you Father for this opportunity to be together with all the Corps again in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen! God bless you!