Tag Archives: Proverbs

“Fear of the LORD” and Its Role in the Hebrew Wisdom Literature


The Hebrew wisdom literature is about the art of success, and Proverbs is a guidebook for successful living (Lasor, 460). The Old Testament also emphasizes the laws of love (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5). God’s people were required to submit to God with total obedience. This they called “the fear of the Lord”. Thus the fear of the Lord in the Hebrew wisdom literature does not mean a servile attitude of submission but one conjoined with hope, love, gratitude and commitment to do God’s will in all circumstances. We see the use of the phrase “fear of the Lord” throughout the book of Proverbs to contrast the wise and the foolish:

Ways of those who Fear the LORD Ways of the foolish
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge Fools despise wisdom and instruction. 
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate.
Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

As mentioned above, the Hebrew wisdom is the art of success. In the book of Proverbs we see the teaching that a life that is lived in fear of the Lord is a successful life. Those who are wise fear the Lord, and those who are foolish do not and live a despiteful life. Yet again, we have to note that the Hebrews also emphasized the laws of love. They feared the Lord not in dreadful manner but in filial reverence. To fear the Lord was to be in awe of God, honor him, and give him what he deserves because God is good and just.

 

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Sexuality in the Book of Proverbs


Sexuality in the book of Proverbs

Solomon, being a wise king and the author cum collector of the proverbs from the ancient world of Near East reveals the lasciviousness and filthy trail of fornication of human heart and counteracts the evil and the sensual passion in the book of Proverbs. In this didactical teaching along with admonition, father has to say something about sexual immorality which is grafted into human heart because of sinfulness. His presentation is fairly heightened with the references of the retributive punishment for the sensual passion and lust.

Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
For your ways are in full view of the LORD,
and he examines all your paths. (Proverbs 5:15-21 TNIV). Continue reading Sexuality in the Book of Proverbs