Looking at the chapter as a unit, we can see further division into an
"IF" part (the first four verses) and a "THEN" part (the rest of the chapter),
which is further subdivided into five 3- or 4-verse stanzas.
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,There are three "if"s in these verses, which set up a poetic parallelism, three different ways to say the same thing, the good thing that the True Son of Wise King Solomon will follow, and the first is further divided into paying attention to Solomon, followed by paying attention to Wisdom (the same, only different), then a different facet, your active asking, and finally your active looking as if on a treasure hunt.
2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
Each of those is again a poetic doublet. So you have doublets of doublets
of doublets. [discuss each]
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.There in verse 5 you have "the fear of the LORD" again. What does the poetic form here tell us what that means?
6 For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
In chapter 1 v.8 we had the poetic form setting the Father's advice
next to (parallel with) the Mother's Rules. You can't see it in English
translation, but chapter 2 v.1-2 you have the same Father/Mother balance
(because Wisdom is feminine in Hebrew), and then again here where v.5-8
is from Father God, and v.9+ is from Mother Wisdom. God (like Pastor Mark)
is complementarian. Verse 6 reminds us that this is no StarWars Zoroastrianist
dualism ("the [equal] dark and light sides of the Force") but rather "Every
good and complete Gift comes first from God..." The Bible starts
out, "In the beginning God..." It is God Himself (not Wisdom) Who fights
the battles (v.7) for His people, and God Himself (not Wisdom) Who stands
guard (v.8] over the situations where battle is not yet necessary. Wisdom
is rather more passive. But not completely...
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path.God fights your battles, but Wisdom can give you the "warm fuzzies" that we all need from time to time. Balance. What do you think is the difference between the protection offered in verse 11, as compared to v.8? Or do you think they are the same? [discuss]
10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,[discuss]
13 who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.
16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words,So now when we look at what seeking God's Wisdom does for you, it is addressed to "My Son" (not "my daughter"). There are other places in the Bible where it identifies sons and daughters as both recipients of catastrophe or benefits, but here Solomon is talking to guys in terms guys understand. Is there something for women here? Yes, I guess women can be tempted by a gigolo, but the idea of roving bands of female gangs doing bad stuff to people, well, it just doesn't happen. Partly because men have greater upper-body strength, so in one-on-one physical combat, the guy will win over the woman. Most women know that, the guys certainly do. [discuss]
17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.
18 For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.
20 Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.How many layers of doublet do you see here? Does the form help you to grasp the teaching? [discuss]
21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
2022 July 12a