The effects of indispensable wisdom (Wis 8:10-8:15)

“Because of her

I shall have glory among the multitudes.

I shall have honor in the presence of the elders,

Even though I am young.

I shall be found keen in judgment.

In the sight of rulers

I shall be admired.

When I am silent,

They will wait for me.

When I speak,

They will give heed.

When I speak at greater length,

They will put their hands on their mouths.

Because of her

I shall have immortality.

I shall leave an everlasting remembrance

To those who come after me.

I shall govern peoples.

Nations will be subject to me.

Dread monarchs will be afraid of me

When they hear of me.

Among the people

I shall show myself capable.

I shall be courageous in war.”

The influence of wisdom on his life was remarkable. Because of wisdom living with him, he had glory among the multitudes and honor among the elders (παρὰ πρεσβυτέροις), even though he was young. His keen judgment was clear among the great rulers (δυναστῶν). When he was silent, they waited for him to speak. When he spoke, they listened and put their hands on their mouths. He now had immortality (ἀθανασίαν) with an everlasting remembrance (μνήμην αἰώνιον) for future generations. He would then govern people. Many nations would be subject to him. Even tyrants (τύραννοι) would be afraid of him. He would be capable and courageous in war.

Young stag (Song 2:16-2:17)

Female lover

“My beloved is mine.

I am his.

He pastures his flock among the lilies.

Until the day breathes,

Until the shadows flee,

Turn!

My beloved!

Be like a gazelle.

Be like a young stag

Upon the rugged clef mountains.”

This young female lover explains that her lover is hers and she is his. He is the shepherd among the lilies. Her beloved is once again, as earlier, a gazelle and a young stag in the rugged mountains. Is she the rugged mountains? Why did they have to wait until the day began or the shadows fled?

The old foolish king (Eccl 4:13-4:16)

“‘Better is a poor

But wise youth

Than an old

But foolish king,

Who will no longer take advice.’

One can indeed

Come out of prison

To reign,

Even though born poor

In the kingdom.

I saw all the living

That move about

Under the sun.

Follow that youth

Who replaced the king.

There was no end

To all those people

Whom he led.

Yet those who come later

Will not rejoice in him.

Surely this also is vanity.

This is chasing after wind.”

It is better to get rid of an old foolish king who will not take advice. A poor wise young person can be a king, even if he comes out of prison. Qoheleth has seen everything under the sun. He wants you to follow the new young king, who replaced the old king. People will follow him even though they might not rejoice later. After all, this is all vanity and futile. Finding the perfect king is like chasing after wind, never to be achieved.

Wise and clever (Prov 27:11-27:12)

“Be wise!

My child!

Make my heart glad!

Thus I may answer whoever reproaches me.

The clever see danger.

They hide.

But the simple go on.

They suffer for it.”

Young people should be wise so that the heart of a parent will be happy. Thus the parent may respond to those who reproach him. The clever and wise ones see danger and hide. However, the simpletons go out and suffer. This is a repetition of the same proverb in chapter 22.

The simple one (Prov 7:6-7:9)

“At the window of my house

I have looked out through my lattice.

I saw among the simple ones.

I observed among the youths.

There was a young man without sense.

He passed along the street near her corner.

He took the road to her house,

In the twilight,

In the evening,

At the time of night and darkness.”

Now we find out about the simple person who does not have wisdom. This wonderful father looked out his window. He then saw a simple young man without sense. What was he going to do? This simple one, in the twilight of the evening when night and darkness was coming, passed along the street near the corner that led to her house. Stay tuned for further adventures.

Introduction (Prov 1:2-1:6)

Let them learn about wisdom.

Let them learn about instruction.

Let them understand words of insight.

Let them gain instruction in wise dealing.

Let them gain instruction in righteousness.

Let them gain instruction in justice.

Let them gain instruction in equity.

Let them teach shrewdness to the simple.

Let them teach knowledge to the young.

Let them teach prudence to the youth.

Let the wise also hear.

Let them gain in learning.

Let the discerning acquire skill.

Let them understand a proverb.

Let them understand obscure figures.

Let them understand the words of the wise.

Le them understand their riddles.”

Just like the psalms, this book of proverbs has a poetic rather than prose format. Originally this section was one long Hebrew sentence. In order to become wise, they have to learn and understand words of insight, wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity. These proverbs will teach shrewdness, knowledge, and prudence to young people. Even the wise people can gain knowledge and acquire skills in understanding proverbs, obscure statements, and symbols. In fact, these proverbs will help you understand the wise men and their riddles. These obscure figures are more like metaphors, parables, or allegories, while the riddles use analogy.

People should praise Yahweh (Ps 148:11-148:14)

“Kings of the earth!

All peoples!

Princes!

All rulers of the earth!

Young men!

Women!

Old men!

Children!

Let them praise the name of Yahweh!

His name alone is exalted!

His glory is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people.

He wants praise for all his faithful.

The people of Israel are close to him.

Praise Yahweh!”

Every person should praise Yahweh. This included the kings, princes and all the rulers of the earth. Besides them, both the young and the old men as well as women and children should praise Yahweh. His name should be exalted above very other name. He has given to his people the horn of plenty. He also wants praise from the people of Israel who are near to him. This psalm ends with the appropriate phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Yahweh should devastate Babylon (Ps 137:7-137:9)

“Yahweh!

Remember against the Edomites.

Remember the day of Jerusalem’s fall.

How they said.

‘Tear it down!

Tear it down!

Tear it down to its foundations!’

O daughter Babylon!

You devastator!

Happy shall they be

Those who pay you back

What you have done to us!

Happy shall they be

Those who take your little ones.

They shall dash them against the rock.”

This psalm ends by asking for the destruction of Babylon and its young people. The psalmist wanted to recall the day that the Edomites attacked Jerusalem. They tore down the walls in Jerusalem to its foundations. Now they were wishing evil to the devastated daughters of Babylon, the Babylonian people. They would be happy people when they paid them back for what they had done. In fact, in one of the cruelest curses, this psalmist wanted them to take the Babylonian little children and dash their heads against the rocks. With that somber image, this captivity psalm ends.

The idol worship in Canaan (Ps 106:34-106:39)

“The Israelites did not destroy the peoples,

As Yahweh commanded them.

But they mingled with the nations.

They learned to do as they did.

They served their idols.

This became a snare to them.

They sacrificed their sons to the demons.

They sacrificed their daughters to the demons.

They poured out innocent blood,

The blood of their sons and daughters.

They sacrificed them to the idols of Canaan.

The land was polluted with blood.

Thus they became unclean by their acts.

They prostituted themselves in their doings.”

This section of this psalm is based on the description in Judges, chapter 2, when the Israelites worshipped Baal in their new home. Instead of destroying the people of Canaan as Yahweh had instructed, they mingled and intermarried with the local inhabitants. With that, they did what the locals were doing, worshiping the local gods of Baal as they served these local idol gods. Part of their rituals was the sacrificial offering up of sons and daughters. They sacrificed their children to the demons. In thus killing their own children the blood of the young children polluted the land. The psalmist here calls them prostitutes who became unclean by their own acts.

The home of Yahweh (Ps 84:3-84:4)

“Even the sparrow finds a home.

The swallow has a nest for itself.

There it may lay its young.

They are at your altars.

Yahweh of hosts!

My King!

My God!

Happy are those who live in your house!

They are ever singing your praise!”

Selah

In a special nod to the birds, it is mentioned that the sparrows and the swallows live in the Temple. In fact, they have nests there so that their young can be protected. They are at the altars of Yahweh, who is king and God. Happy are those who live in the house of God. They can sing praises to God all the time. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.