PROVERBS IS FULL OF SURPRISES. There’s stuff in there you don’t want the kids to read just yet.
And there’s stuff in there you might wish someone would read out loud to the president. Or to your governor. Or to the relative who talked you into co-signing a loan (several proverbs warn against co-signing).
As I work my way through paraphrasing Proverbs for the Casual English Bible, I’ve plucked a few first-draft proverbs for your edification, entertainment, and dismay.
Keep in mind that Proverbs often reads like a collection of advice that dads gave their sons in Old Testament patriarchal times, when men were men and women were the lesser half, and less than half.
I’ll put them in order, with one exception.
I’m pulling to the front of the line one for use during this international pandemic.
People who love to learn embrace correction when they’re wrong.
People who hate correction get to stay stupid. (12:1)
Here’s where wisdom starts: get some of it. (4:7)
Son, why should you get drunk in lust with someone else’s unfaithful wife,
And grab hold of those strange [- – – – – – -]? (5:20)
How long are you going to lay around, you lazy bum?
When are you going to drag your sorry self out of bed?
Sleep a little. Nap a little.
Sit a little and play with your fingers. (6:9-10)
My child, listen to your dad’s rules and do what he says.
And don’t forget what your mom taught you.
Keep the rules and teachings close to your heart.
Tie them around your neck if it helps. (6:20-21)
If you build a fire in your pants,
what makes you think you won’t get burned? (6:27)
A jealous husband will explode in rage…
Don’t offer him any money. You can’t buy him off.
Don’t give him any gifts. It’s not his birthday. (6:34-35)
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)
“Lady Stupid lives it loud.
But she’s naïve, and knows a lot of nothing…
She yells out to people passing by…
“Hey, anyone out there who’s stupid, come on in.” (9:13, 15-16)
Hatred exacerbates trouble.
Love evaporates it. (10:12)
When good people succeed, everyone celebrates.
When bad people die, everyone celebrates. (11:10)
A gold ring in a pig’s nose
Is a gorgeous woman with no sense. (11:22)
Not everything in the Bible is going to show up in a sermon, at a wedding, or at a bar mitzvah.
But it could possibly show up here.