Category Archives: Bible Reflection

3/14 Reading (Proverbs 29-31; Matthew 9)

Proverbs 29: Here are the ones I like from this chapter:

1 One who stays stubborn after many corrections
   will be suddenly broken, beyond healing.
2 When the righteous become numerous, the people rejoice,
   but when the wicked dominate, the people moan.
7 The righteous know the rights of the poor,
   but the wicked don’t understand.
11 Fools show all their anger,
   but the wise hold it back.
17 Instruct your children; they will give you peace of mind
   and bring delight into your life.
20 Do you see people who are quick to speak?
   There is more hope for fools than for them.
22 Angry people stir up conflict;
   hotheads cause much offense.
23 Pride lays people low,
   but those of humble spirit gain honor.

Stubbornness, helping the less fortunate, wisdom and restraint, instruction, listening, humble

Proverbs 30: Here are the ones I like from this chapter:

7 Two things I ask of you;
   don’t keep them from me before I die:
8 Fraud and lies—
   keep far from me!
Don’t give me either poverty or wealth;
   give me just the food I need.
9  Or I’ll be full and deny you,
   and say, “Who is the Lord?”
   Or I’ll be poor and steal,
   and dishonor my God’s name.
32 If you’ve been foolish and arrogant,
   if you’ve been scheming,
   put your hand to your mouth,
33   because churning milk makes curds,
       squeezing the nose brings blood,
       and stirring up anger produces strife.

Honesty, arrogance, listening, hard work

Proverbs 31: This last chapter of proverbs is just a few verses of something a queen told her son when he became king and a description of the competent wife. This last bit focuses on the importance of any and all readers to seek out and embrace wisdom.

Matthew 9: Jesus arrives in Capernaum and does some ministry here. Jesus heals a man who was paralyzed. He initially tells the man that his sins are forgiven, which matches the prevailing thought at the time that a person’s illness or injury were because they sinned against God. Some of the “experts” at the time questioned Jesus and said he was insulting God because God was the only one who could forgive people of their sins. His response to them is intriguing (9:4-8):

4 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you fill your minds with evil things? 5  Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6  But so you will know that the Human One[a] has authority on the earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“Get up, take your cot, and go home.” 7 The man got up and went home. 8 When the crowds saw what had happened, they were afraid and praised God, who had given such authority to human beings.

That must’ve scared the crap out of people (if it really happened).

Jesus then sits with several tax collectors, including one named Matthew. This raised flags for the Pharisees because tax collectors weren’t thought of very favorably during this time. This is followed by a strange explanation about fasting that I don’t really get and don’t have the energy to explore any further.

More miracles: Jesus heals a woman who was bleeding for 12 years (actually she heals herself because she touched the hem of his clothes), he brings a ruler’s daughter back to life, gives sight back to two blind men (he warns them not to tell anyone but they don’t listen), and heals a man who was unable to speak (thought was that he was demon-possessed). The chapter ends with general reference to Jesus healing people as he traveled about.


3/9 Reading (Proverbs 16-19; Matthew 6)

Some additional notes on this next section of proverbs (16:1-22:16): “The second section of the second collection of sayings from Solomon shifts from wisdom sayings that contrast the wise and the foolish and the wicked and the righteous to those contrasting God’s wisdom and the limited wisdom of human rulers” (p. 1028 OT-1029 OT)

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3/7 Reading (Proverbs 10-12; Matthew 4)

Looking in the notes revealed some really interesting aspects of the proverbs attributed to Solomon (Proverbs 10:1-22:16). First, the first half of Solomon’s proverbs (10:1-15:33) are contrasting statements (antithetic parallelism), in which the second line restates the first line in an opposite way and the second half are synthetic statements, in which the second line repeats or extends the message of the first line. Pretty cool. Second, there are many common themes in Solomon’s proverbs: “Along with the more generic wise/foolish and righteous/wicked themes, note the frequency of themes such as wealth/poverty, work/sloth, speech (truth/lying, etc.), relationships (neighbors, family, king), and attitudes (anger, love/hatred, etc.)” (from How to Read the Bible Book by Book).

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