IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED by inappropriate words and phrases, please skip this short feature. For your sake and mine.
That way you won’t have to file your complaint in a comment box or an email. And I won’t have to read it and reply.
There are some proverbs that are funny-funny or funny-odd or funny-uncomfortable in mixed company.
I’ll post a few of them in this feature.
Keep in mind that Proverbs is a collection of snippets of advice from the father and grandfather generations of men to the up and coming generation of young men.
Not all the advice sounds like it came with God’s stamp of approval. In fact, some shows up almost verbatim from older collections in Egypt.
Not all the history and sayings preserved in the Bible have to reflect God’s preferences. Some of it reflects human preferences and prejudices and ignorance—preserved for us to read 3,000 years later.
So, these sayings were getting passed along like sayings we pass along today: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
We might prefer that the entire Bible read like the masterful and inspired Sermon on the Mount or the poetry of Psalms. But some of it reads like this—and I’ll try to ease you into the more unusual matter.
“A gold ring in a pig’s nose
Is a gorgeous woman with no sense.” (Proverbs 11:22)
“If you don’t have oxen, at least your barn is clean.” (14:4)
“Don’t talk to idiots.
They’ll hate you because you sound smart.” (23:9)
“Here’s where wisdom starts: get some of it.” (4:7)
“A dog returns to its vomit
Like a fool gets a do-over wrong again.” (26:11)
“Bad people trip over their own lying lips.
Good people don’t have a lip problem.” (12:13)
“It’s better to eat veggies in a house filled with love
Than to eat steak served by someone who hates your guts.” (15:17)
“Even a fool looks smart when his mouth is shut.
If he doesn’t say anything, he could actually look intelligent.” (17:28)
“‘What a terrible deal!’ people say when they’re negotiating to buy something.
Then they go home and brag about what a great deal they got.” (20:14)
“Don’t retaliate and say, ‘I’m going to even the score.’
Wait for the LORD. He packs a bigger punch.” (20:22)
“You’re better off living in the corner of an attic
Than downstairs, in the house of a cranky woman you can never please.” (21:9)
“Here’s a plan. Feed your enemies if they’re hungry.
Give them a drink if they’re thirsty.
That’s a great way to make them feel miserable about themselves.
The LORD will reward you for it.” (25:21-22)
“A horse needs a whip and donkey needs a bridle,
But a jackass needs a kick in the butt.” (26:3)
“Endless drip, drip, dripping of a rainy day
Is the sound of a bickering wife who can’t call it quits.” (27:15)
“But a woman who loves God is a woman worth praising.
Give her everything she has worked so hard for.
And tell everyone how lucky it is that a bum like you won a prize like her.” (31:30-31)
“The lips of someone else’s woman drip with honey.
She’s smooth. When she talks, her words flow like olive oil.
But when it’s over, she’s bitter enough to sour a drink.” (5:3-4)
“Stay the dickens away from her [someone else’s wife].
Don’t go anywhere near the door to her house.
If you do go, kiss your reputation goodbye,
And say hello to her husband.” (5:8-9)
“Your wife is a lovely deer, a sweet doe.
She’s got breasts. Make good use of them. Enjoy.
Stay drunk in love with her day and night.
Son, why should you get drunk in lust with someone else’s unfaithful wife,
And grab hold of those strange boobs?” (5:19-20)
“Come, let’s belly up to the bar and drink love all night.
Let’s enjoy all the delights of caressing each other.
Full disclosure. I’m married, but he’s not home.” (7:18-19)
An upbeat ending
Those are pretty unusual and nearly impossible to preach sober. But there are a lot of helpful proverbs in the collection, too. Let’s end with one.
“The life of a good soul shines like the sun.
The further into the day, the brighter the light.” (4:18)
Go, rise and shine.