Vol.XIV No.V Pg.8
July 1977

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Figurative language "hangs loose" and useless in the mouth of fools. A parable, or proverb, is "as a thorn that goeth up into the hand of a drunkard" (Prov. 26:7,9). He doesn't feel a thing. Its beauty is unappreciated, its lesson is missed. But if you will read carefully, and use your head, Proverbs are profitable (1:1-f).

There are plays on words, and many Hebrew colloquial expressions; but human nature has not changed beyond recognition. Example: "A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike" (27:15). Drip, drip, drip, nag, nag — yes dear, that is enough explanation. "He that would restrain her restraineth the wind; and his right hand encountereth oil" (v.16). Not all "olden time" women were downtrodden and subdued.

"It is bad, it is bad, saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth" (20:14). "That swaybacked, hamstrung, sore mouthed mule (when you're buying) becomes a noble hard-laboring animal (when you are selling him to someone else).

The lazy dead-beat, called a "sluggard," says, "there is a lion in the way." He can't go to work because of great obstacles — which he imagines, or other men go around. He "turneth upon his bed" as a door upon hinges — never leaving the pivot spot. He is too lazy to lift his hand from the common dish of food which Hebrews placed upon the table; but when you try to reason with him, he is "wiser in his own conceit than seven men who can render a reason" (26:13-16).

"A tranquil heart is the life of the flesh; but envy is the rottenness of the bones" (14:30). We sometimes stew in our own juice, and punish our selves by our attitude toward others.

Did you ever see a beautiful person, with many wonderful attributes, act so ugly that the beauty seemed out of place? "As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman that is without discretion" (11:22).

"Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk upon hot coals, and his feet not be scorched? So he that goeth in to his neighbor's wife..." (6:27-29).

"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise..." (17:28). Good reason to limit our comments and let you study Proverbs for yourself.