Light (Eccl 11:7-11:8)

“Light is sweet.

It is pleasant for the eyes

To see the sun.

Even those who live many years,

Should rejoice in them all.

Yet let them remember

That the days of darkness

Will be many.

All that comes is vanity.”

Light is sweet as it provides your eyes with the pleasant sight of the sun. Even those who get to live a happy long life should remember that there will be plenty of long dark days to come. Your long light filled life is mere vanity or useless, because it will come to an end.

The good wife provides food (Prov 31:13-31:15)

Dalet

“She seeks wool.

She seeks flax.

She works with willing hands.

He

She is like the ships of the merchant.

She brings her food from afar.

Vav

She rises while it is still night.

She provides food for her household.

She gives tasks to her servant girls.”

The good wife seeks wool and flax to work with her willing hands. She provides and gets food for the household like a ship at sea. She gets up early in the morning so that she can provide food for her household. She prepares tasks for her female servants. Obviously, this good wife is a well to do female with her servants.

Laziness (Prov 6:6-6:11)

“Go to the ant!

You lazybones!

Consider its ways!

Be wise!

Without having

Any chief,

Any officer,

Any ruler,

It prepares its food in summer.

It gathers its sustenance in harvest.

How long will you be there?

O lazybones!

When will you rise from your sleep?

A little sleep,

A little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to rest,

Poverty will come upon you

Like a robber.

Want will come upon you

Like an armed warrior.”

This admonition is very clear. Do not be lazy, a lazybones person. He took the example of an ant. It has no chiefs, officers, or rulers, yet it provides for itself. The ants prepared the food in summer and gathered in the fall. So then he turned to the lazy one. He asked how long he was going to be resting. He either was sleeping, dosing, or folding his hands resting. If he did not get a move on, he would soon be poor. Poverty would come upon him like a robber or armed warrior. This is an idea that will be repeated.

Hymn of praise to gracious Yahweh (Ps 111:4-111:10)

Het                                                                         

“Yahweh is gracious and merciful.

Tet      

He provides food for those who fear him.

Yod     

He is ever mindful of his covenant.

Kaph  

He has shown his people the power of his works.

Lamed

He gave them the heritage of the nations.

Mem   

The works of his hands are truth and justice.

Nun    

All his precepts are trustworthy.

Samek

They are established forever and ever.

Ain     

They are to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

Phe     

He sent redemption to his people.

Cade   

He has commanded his covenant forever.

Qoph  

Holy and awesome is his name!

Resh   

The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.

Shin   

All those who practice it have a good understanding.

Tav     

His praise endures forever!”

This short psalm ends by telling Yahweh that he is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him.  He is ever mindful of his covenant with Israel. He has shown them the power of his works as they are his heritage. His works are true and just. All his precepts are trustworthy as they last forever. They are to be followed with faithfulness and uprightness. He has saved or rescued his people. He has commanded them to follow his covenant forever because he is holy and awesome. This fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, which is a key element of wisdom literature. Those who follow him will understand this. His praise will last forever.