Listen to this blog post which will, at a future date, be added to The Explanation Podcast
Bible Proverbs are the world’s compass to living physically and mentally healthy lives in our contemporary world.
Why Bible Proverbs and not Deuteronomy? The latter gave the basis for national law as Israel entered a new country. There were national or civil laws to cover all aspects of life; judges to administer laws of the land, crime, commerce, property, and relationships. There was a whole tribe and Priesthood to administer worship and education. In a national setting with UNconverted citizens, these glorious, righteous laws are the best recipe for peace and prosperity for all the population.
(Mind-Body Problem Solved, Chapter 39 – Table of Contents)
On the other hand, Proverbs addresses morality given from a father to his son. These are rules (call them whatever you want) each person can take to heart to govern their own life. These principles apply the Ten Commandments on a personal level in the 21st Century. Here’s a national law in Deuteronomy that sounds immoral; however, if you consider this son as a thug terrorizing women, or a hoodlum pushing drugs on adolescents, who won’t listen to reason, an incorrigible, entrenched in their own ways, it takes on a different light.
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken to them:
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say to the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shall you put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
In Deuteronomy, the nation and the community take precedence over the individual. Preserving the well-being of women and adolescents has priority over the crime of one individual. In Bible Proverbs, the emphasis is on prevention. We find a different, more modern approach to a severe individual problem.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod (H7626) of correction (H4148) shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod (H7626) and reproof (H8433) give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
Before we become indignant at corporal punishment (which was not the case in 1600 when the translator’s used the term rod), let’s see what this Biblical Hebrew word, as well as correction (H4148) and reproof (H8433) mean.
שֵׁבֶט shêbeṭ shay’-bet; from an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, i.e. (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or (figuratively) a clan: KJV – ⨯ correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.
מוּסָר mûwçâr moo-sawr’; from H3256 (יָסַר); properly, chastisement; figuratively, reproof, warning or instruction; also restraint:
KJV – bond, chastening(-eth), chastisement, check, correction, discipline, doctrine, instruction, rebuke.
תּוֹכֵחָה tôwkêchâh to-kay-khaw’; and תּוֹכַחַת; from H3198 (יָכַח); chastisement; figuratively (by words) correction, refutation, proof (even in defence):
KJV – argument, ⨯ chastened, correction, reasoning, rebuke, reproof, ⨯ be (often) reproved.
There’s chastisement, but note how it’s kept in check and includes discipline, doctrine, instruction, reasoning, and the like. This is not punishment for punishment’s sake; it involves remedial direction to transform the individual’s behavior. As I pointed out in the last chapter, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:” (Ezekiel 33:11). That is the goal of the father and mother of this son.
The application of Bible Proverbs is practical psychology. It opens the way to physical and mental health, a more level headed society.
In one sense, this child had s/he been raised according to the principles in Proverbs, would not be in this position of needing remedial psychology. We’re not in a perfect world with perfect parents or children. Restoring physical and mental health with doctors and psychologists is part of life, but it would be infinitely better if done in God’s way.
The rules for life are concentrated in one book. Bible Proverbs. Therein we find ALL the basics covering mainly INDIVIDUAL laws but also broaching NATIONAL and WORSHIP laws. The study of Proverbs should be a daily exercise. Imagine if it were practiced at home, and why not in school? We desperately need an essential Code of Ethics in a secular society. Bible Proverbs puts God first, where He should be. But, even if you take God out of the picture (which we shouldn’t do), the Proverbs contain sufficient advice to establish balanced individual citizens in a peaceful nation.
Bible Proverbs chapter 1 sets the stage, with the preface including the most vital points to keep in mind.
Instruction: 1:2 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; (Sam: In every aspect of our lives, this yields mental peace).
Fear of the Lord: 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This is where it all starts. It has nothing to do with The Explanation or Sam Kneller. These are not my belly achings. Right at the outset, the first five minutes of the play, as I’ve said, the book of Proverbs makes it clear. The respect and reverence of God are where wisdom and the rules of life begin. This summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments. Bible Proverbs expands all Ten in practical psychological terms for all humankind in our society today.
Listen: 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, and forsake not the law of your mother: (Sam: Are we teaching young people, who become parents, the Bible Proverbs on a family, national, and international level?)
Wisdom: 1:20 Wisdom cries without; she utters her voice in the streets:
Bible Proverbs has been around and available for thousands of years. It’s even published separately and is possibly the most prolific book in the world. It is the book of practical wisdom.
Consciousness, Mind, and Bible Proverbs.
Below are the five areas of human consciousness coupled with a few Bible Proverbs to get you started. This is a lengthy but practical and rewarding study. Each Proverb can be associated with one or more of the Ten Commandments and fits into one or more areas influencing and affecting our mental health. Their study, meditation, and application would go a long way to improving our quality of life.
Purpose – Goals
- Professional goals Proverbs 12:11 He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that follows vain persons is void of understanding.
- Personal growth 3:13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding.
- Health 3:7- 8 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
- Family 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
How Humans Function
- Anger 14:17 He that is soon angry deals foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
- Integrity 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. (We need more honesty today).
- Thoughts 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. (We need more upright thinking. We’re not teaching people How To Think).
How Humans Socialize (Relationships)
- Parents 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, and forsake not the law of your mother: (Family, father, mother, and children with proper parental guidance).
- Children 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him. (Often the result of poor parenting. Not always, for sure. But parents must invest in the correct raising of their children).
- Husband 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
- Wife 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands.
- Friendship 18:24 A man that has friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. (true friendship is a necessary part of life).
How Humans Rule (Rulership)
- Counsel 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (This can refer to competent leadership and government).
- Righteous-wicked 10:16 The labour of the righteous tends to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.
- Lies 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaks lies shall not escape. (the antidote to fake news).
- Ruler 29:4 The king by judgment establishes the land: but he that receives gifts overthrows it. (Bribes and wrong influence. Read chapter 29, all about national leadership for ALL countries).
How Humans Reason
- Arrogance 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
- Contempt 15:32, 18:3 He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding.
- Reflection 2:11 Discretion (or thought) shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you: (Proper reflection of a subject. how about critical thinking to reason correctly).
Bible Proverbs cover all the bases for a balanced and sane life. We could modernize the language into a How To Live book. If anyone is interested in such a project, I’d be glad to hear from you.
You’ll notice that there’s not much about worship. Not because we shouldn’t worship God. The book is clear that all starts with God, but this book is designed for all UNconverted people. It lays bare the fundamentals for ALL people everywhere throughout history regarding how to live a decent life. That said, there is enough about God to know His plan is being accomplished, and the wise person is aware of the existence of God.
- God’s presence 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts. (The discerning student of Proverbs knows that God oversees the world).
- God’s plans 19:21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
- God’s knowledge 22:12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthrows the words of the transgressor. (God will have the upper hand. It’s worthwhile taking a closer look at His ways).
God clothed Adam and Eve with these rules for life. He clothed humankind down through the centuries, including you and me today, with these rules. This is the basis for society, whether they believe in God or not. Authors like Jordan Peterson, Yuval Harari, and others include some secular principles elaborated in Bible Proverbs. But they are short on the Godly-oriented preface and even God Himself. It’s only when nations and their people, collectively and individually, apply this to the best of their mental capacity that we’ll harvest the blessings God promised to pour out on those that look to Him and lead a decent way of life.
At the beginning of Deuteronomy. That Old Testament law for Israel and all nations God inspired this passage about passing the information down through the generations.
5 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
6 And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart:
7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when thou sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Isn’t that clear enough?
The New Testament corroborates this impregnation of God’s rules for life, “Be mindFUL of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets… (2 Peter 3:2). This is true mindFULness that we hear so much about. We are to fill our minds, not empty them, brimFUL of Bible Proverbs, the rules for life. God’s ways, elaborated in His manual, are practical psychology, representing the way to physical and mental health for all humankind.
Dig Deeper into The Explanation
Join The Explanation Newsletter to stay informed of updates. and future events. No obligations, total privacy, unsubscribe anytime, if you want.
The Explanation series of seven books. Free to read online or purchase these valuable commentaries on Genesis 1-3 from your favorite book outlet. E-book and paperback formats are available. Use this link to see the details of each book and buy from your favorite store.
Since you read all the way to here… you liked it. Please use the Social Network links just below to share this information from The Explanation, Bible Proverbs, the Guiding Rules for Life in the 21st Century