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Warring Proverbs. We read the Proverbs for their good intentions. But do we pay attention to their red-light warnings?
Is all wisdom valid wisdom? Warring Proverbs slam dunks an astounding NO. There is positive and negative wisdom, and all humans have a choice.
God gave us the book of Proverbs as the practical expression of the Ten Commandments. It is the clothing of Adam and Eve’s descendants so they could live appropriately through history and into the 21st century. The Proverbs are guidelines to keep us from going over the edge of the negative influences all humans are subject to.
(Mind-Body Problem Solved, Chapter 40 – Table of Contents)
Psychologically, our minds can be swayed into good or bad knowledge and understanding. This is the warring wisdom to which each human is exposed. Proverbs is designed to keep the world population on the straight and narrow.
1 Does not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
35 For whoso finds me finds life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Note whoso finds me… the wisdom in Proverbs is accessible to everyone worldwide. it opens the way to favor from God. This wisdom is the spiritual Prozac that beats all anti-depressants and anxiety drugs; It’s all here in this book, free for worldwide consumption.
Warring proverbs, anti-proverbs
In contrast to God’s wisdom, there’s human wisdom. or anti-wisdom, because humankind thinks it can do it better than its Creator. Humans continue to dress in fig leaves and reject God’s clothing.
There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
Here’s a straightforward fundamental statement when evaluating arguments about God and the Bible. The intelligentsia of this world has far more degrees, education, facts, and knowledge than most of the readers of this blog, myself included. The subject has nothing to do with people’s qualifications; it has to do with wisdom in conformity with and not warring against God’s wisdom.
Here are a few of what I call anti-proverbs. The guardrail Proverbs are there to keep us from falling into these damaging practices. Anti-proverbs are the abyss and mental turmoil we topple into.
Pro. 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Pro. 15:32 He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding.
Pro. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Pro. 20:3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
Pro. 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD ponders the hearts.
Personal wisdom is right in his/her own eyes; it’s the counsel against the LORD (Pro. 21:30). There’s no remedy, and that’s why there’s no use getting into debates with people who have no intention of being reasonable. Pro. 23:9 “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.”
We can add a further three circles to explain human behavior. Proverbs (green circle); God’s psychological guardrail protects human consciousness and mind. Anti-proverbs (red circle); human reasoning and behavior that exposes and harms consciousness and mind. The few verses above represent these opposing green and red circles. In between (blue circle) are our warring minds (the red and green arrows) being pulled to the proverbs, the anti-proverbs, the wisdom or the anti-wisdom. Human functioning, purpose, reasoning, socialization, and rulership pay a stiff penalty in anxiety and depression when we make wrong choices.
Wisdom and anti-wisdom in Proverbs, two warring women
In Proverbs, two women personify wisdom. The words wisdom or wise appear over 115 times in Proverbs; in fact, wisdom is mentioned in every chapter of this book. This is the book of wisdom living.
Both women have positive points, but one also has negative characteristics. Just like the forbidden fruit looked attractive but had disastrous results which weren’t evident from the outside.
Why does a woman portray both types of wisdom in Proverbs? The book is about a father addressing his son with rules for life. And one of the most important principles is choosing that one and only partner, his future wife. It is, therefore, fitting that the book ends with an entire chapter devoted to what we call the virtuous woman. It’s the summary of the choice of a very wise woman, the appropriate wisdom each person should determine.
Between chapters one and thirty-one, the father expands on all types of women, from the best to the worst, warring against each other. They are warnings and encouragements.
The good woman – Godly wisdom
2:2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
2:10 When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul;
3:13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding.
We can’t look at all the verses here; go to UnlockBibleMeaning.com. Search for and study all the verses with wisdom and wise in Proverbs. This is the way to psychological health. From a stable, loving marriage perspective, this is what a wise man should search for in a partner.
The bad woman-human wisdom
1 My son, attend to my wisdom, and bow your ear to my understanding:
2 That you may regard discretion, and that your lips may keep knowledge.
3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:
4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
6 Lest you should ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable (fugitive), that you can not know them.
7 Hear me now therefore, O you children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
8 Remove your way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
Do you see how God refers to this warring between the two wisdoms and His urging to choose the right one while still leaving us the choice? You can’t see this in English, but moveable in verse 6 is the same Hebrew as Cain the fugitive in Genesis 4:12,14. This bad woman is a fugitive; you can not know her character unless you follow God’s wisdom.
7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night (Sam: like Adam and Eve who hid in the forest):
10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart (Sam: clever and intelligent)
11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house (Sam: negative wisdom perseveres, that’s why continuous warring against it is vital):
12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lies in wait at every corner.)
13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said to him,
14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. (Sam: presents herself as religious, but it’s all a facade)
27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
Excellent Godly wisdom: Chochma (H2451)
Proverbs is the book of Godly wisdom warring against human wisdom. This concept of one wisdom leading to death and the other to life can be difficult to assimilate. Wouldn’t all wisdom lead to life? No, says God’s Word. Let’s compare them. For lack of space, consult the links for more details.
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord God; You sealed up the sum, full of wisdom (H2451), and perfect in beauty.
The King of Tyrus represents one of the highest angels in God’s realm, Lucifer. No man (other than Jesus Christ) can have full wisdom and beauty; Lucifer did. Here’s Strong’s annotation for this top-of-the-class wisdom; the summum of Godly wisdom which characterized this angel, Lucifer. This is the excellent wisdom the father is admonishing his son to obtain in Proverbs.
חׇכְמָה chokmâh khok-maw’; from H2449 (חָכַם); wisdom (in a good sense):
KJV – skilful, wisdom, wisely, wit.
It is a unique type of superior wisdom. You’re probably familiar with this word if you’ve been around the Jewish community. When their Rabbis and scholars evoke a wise saying or draw a wise lesson from the Torah or Gemara, they earn the epitaph, chacham. Chacham is a derivative of H2451 (chochma), indicating the highest possible wisdom, God’s wisdom. In the New Testament, we find the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes parading around as the chachams of the religious world.
Human wisdom, good but very fallible: Sakal (H7919)
In Genesis 3.6, when Eve, under the influence of the Serpent, contemplates the tree of knowledge of good and evil and sees “a tree to be desired to make one wise (H7919),” a totally different Biblical Hebrew word is used here. It’s a translation shortcoming; this is definitely wisdom, but there’s a distinct difference from chochma.
Here, it is sakal wisdom. It includes both good qualities when humans use correct reasoning and a bad side because it is devoid of Godly wisdom. This sakal wisdom is the characteristic of the Tree of GOOD and EVIL; even good human wisdom ultimately leads to death. We need Godly wisdom.
שָׂכַל sâkal saw-kal’; a primitive root; to be (causatively, make or act) circumspect and hence, intelligent:
KJV – consider, expert, instruct, prosper, (deal) prudent(-ly), (give) skill(-ful), have good success, teach, (have, make to) understand(-ing), wisdom, (be, behave self, consider, make) wise(-ly), guide wittingly.
Reading the above annotation and translations, everything looks dandy; I’d dare say that’s the kind of sakal wisdom we’d all like. Yes and no. This wisdom (H7919) includes many excellent attributes, but sakal wisdom is not the same as chacham wisdom. If we want to fully understand the contours of these puzzle pieces, it is essential to comprehend the difference between these two types of wisdoms because the contrast is night and day.
To comprehend the pseudo wisdom Eve saw in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which leads to death, study this chapter in the book Agony of Humankind and the Antidote to grasp the difference between chacham and sakal wisdom. Let’s illustrate it with a New Testament passage.
11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him (SAKAL things)? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God (CHOCHMA things).
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world (SAKAL), but the spirit which is of God (CHOCHMA); that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches (SAKAL wisdom), but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual (CHOCHMA wisdom).
14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Wisdom is ONE word in English, but covers TWO very different concepts; this is a major piece of the puzzle, and we must have the correct contours if we hope to understand the psychology of humankind. Why the world is in its present state, and what kind of wisdom it will take to move it to real peace and prosperity.
Section 6 of Mind-Body Problem Solved addresses the masses of humans devoid of chochma wisdom (Section 7); God only expects all humans to apply the GOOD part of SAKAL wisdom; that’s setting our consciousness on the right track regarding learning how to function with a dual nature and choose the right behavior. We are all in a warring posture for our own and others’ minds and well-being: having a life purpose, integrating into our family and society, ruling our responsibilities correctly, and reasoning sanely.
That’s the primary role of parents in preventive psychology and psychologists in remedial practice. Children, adolescents, and adults of all ages and backgrounds cannot make giant leaps at solving their psychological dramas, but the goal is to help them accomplish one little step at a time. Point them and accompany them in the right direction using the Proverbs guidelines.
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