Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 6 - Prov. 6

"my son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching."  Prov. 6:20

I'm not sure if you noticed, but in a book that mostly does not follow themes, this is the second chapter with a large chunk of scripture dedicated to one topic: adultery. (But wait, there's more! - Spoiler alert - the next chapter continues the theme.)

Coupled with the fact that this section begins with an appeal to keep his father's commands and not to forsake his mother's teaching, one has to wonder if Solomon had a chip on his shoulder.

But the truth is that he did have a personal interest in speaking about the issue. He was the second son of an adulterous relationship, and his father was the one who did not heed wisdom (II Sam. chapters 11 and 12). His family had a history of sibling incest, and suffered division, distrust and murder as a result (II Sam. chapters 13-18). Solomon himself used marriage as a political tool of power and influence (I Kings chapter 11), and did not heed his own advice to remember the wife of his youth.

It is generally accepted that the compilation of the Proverbs took place during the later stages of Solomon's life, hoping to leave a legacy that his sons would follow. The sayings of wisdom, especially as they contrast a righteous and a wayward life, beg the reader to make a choice, but the sad truth is that Solomon's sons did not listen to their father, and suffered for it.

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