Archive | Proverbs

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Casting lots

Casting lots. Though quarrels were often settled by a judge’s decision, sometimes there was not enough evidence to reach a verdict. In such cases, the parties involved might cast lots, trusting that the Lord himself would decide the result (18:18). Lots were like the dice used in various games today.

Bribe

A bribe is anything that is given with the intent of persuading someone to act in a person’s favor. Bribes were forbidden in Ex. 23:8. The poor often lost their cases in court because they could not afford to bribe the judge (Prov. 17:23).

Fountains

The fountains of ancient Israel (16:22) were not the decorative kind seen today. A fountain was a natural spring-fed pool and was considered a treasure in the arid climate. Cities were often built around such water sources.

Thorns

Thorns grew abundantly in the lands of the Bible (15:19). In both the OT and NT, thorns were used as instruments of torture and punishment. During the crucifixion, Roman soldiers mocked Jesus by placing a crown made from thorns on his head (Matt. 27:29).

Tents

Tents were the most common type of housing in biblical times, as is the case in some parts of the world today. The simple structure and sparse furnishings made them easy to move from place to place. Tents were made by setting poles in the ground, then stretching animal skin or cloth over the poles. Curtains […]

What does it mean to be prudent?

What does it mean to be prudent? The “prudent” person (13:16) is one who uses good sense. A prudent person carefully thinks through situations and their possible consequences and acts accordingly. Prudence also involves carefully managing resources so that one has what is needed in the future.

What is an “abomination”?

What is an “abomination”? When the Bible refers to something as an “abomination” (12:22), it means that it is repulsive or detestable to the Lord. Things that are an abomination are contrary to the will of God and his commandments.

A different kind of security

A different kind of security. In biblical times, if a person was unable to pay his debt, the consequences could be serious. The whole family could be sold into slavery. If someone put up “security” for another person, he promised to pay that person’s debt if he was unable to do so himself. Proverbs teaches that putting up […]

Vinegar

Vinegar (10:26) is wine that has soured. Though generally made from grapes, vinegar can be made with many different fruits. It was often used for seasoning food and bread (Ruth 2:14).