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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Old Testament pearls of wisdom (1)

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In today’s times of material and moral torment, the eyes of many Christians are directed in anticipation of help and hope, of comfort and salvation, to the Eternal Comforter. We can find this comfort in the Holy Scriptures.

With this small work, we focus our attention, among the countless life instructions in the Holy Bible, on the wise proverbs in the Old Testament books, the author of which is the holy prophet and King Solomon: the Book of Wisdom of Solomon, the Book of Proverbs of Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes or the Preacher, which from an ethical point of view are veritable pearls of wisdom. These very precious pearls have been extracted and offered in a consistent order, different from the order in the Bible, – in order to facilitate the reader to perceive them more easily and use them more fully. The Wise Sayings of King Solomon are grouped by purpose into several sections, and an index is also offered of the parallel places in the three wisdom books of Solomon from the Old Testament, juxtaposed with the books of the New Testament.

We live in a reality decidedly contrary to and rebuked by the Holy Scriptures: a desire for earthly goods and excesses, a self-forgetfulness and bitterness are present and in force in many, a spiritual self-destruction, a terrible indifference to the human soul and a fatal carelessness for its salvation.

Let us hope that this publication will find circulation among those who seek comfort and spiritual wisdom for the common good and to please God.

Biography

Solomon was the third and greatest king of the Israelite nation. The second son of the holy prophet and king David of Bathsheba, he was designated as his successor during his father’s lifetime and ascended the throne when he was only 16 years old. A graduate of the prophet Nathan, Solomon was born with a bright mind and insight. As the ruler of the God-chosen people of Israel, he was above all concerned with bringing peace around the throne and in the external affairs of the state. His rule is synonymous with peace and national prosperity. Having settled the affairs of the state, Solomon proceeded to equip the house of God – the temple of God in Jerusalem, known to this day as Solomon’s temple.

Subsequently, the Eastern luxury and manners surrounding him weakened his zeal for his father’s faith, and he built in the city temples of the Lord for the pagan cults of Moloch and Astarte. The books of wisdom left by him reveal a life of a man who experienced all the pleasures of life and drank to the bottom the cup of earthly joys and yet remained unsatisfied.

Solomon died in Jerusalem in the 40th year of his reign (1020-980 BC). The story of his life is described in the Third Book of Kings and the Second Book of Chronicles in the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament.

I. Section: Fear of the Lord. God’s providence and omnipresence. Vanity.

1. The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will always be satisfied, and evil will not overtake him. Proverb. 19:23

2. Fear of the Lord means to hate evil; pride and haughtiness, evil way and perfidious mouth I hate. Book of Wisdom 8:13

3. After humility comes the fear of the Lord, wealth, glory and life. Proverb. 22:4

4. The eyes of God are everywhere: they see the bad and the good. Proverb. 15:3

5. There are many designs in the human heart, but only what is determined by the Lord comes true. Proverb. 19:21

6. God will bring into judgment every work and every secret, whether good or bad. Eccl. 12:14

7. Banish sorrow from your heart and turn away evil from your body, for childhood and youth are vanity. Eccl. 1:10

8. On good days enjoy the good, and on bad days think: God has done both so that no one can say anything against Him. Eccl. 7:14

9. And the dust shall return to the earth as it was; and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7

10. As he came out naked from his mother’s womb, so he goes as he came; and he will take nothing from his labor that he could bear in his hand. Ecclesiastes 5:14

11. What has been, is now, and what will be, has already been, – and God will call back the past. Ecclesiastes 3:15

12. Everything goes to one place: everything came from dust, and everything will return to dust. Ecclesiastes 3:20

13. There is a time for everything, a time for every work under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

14. The crooked cannot become straight, and what is not there cannot be counted. Ecclesiastes 1:15

15. What has been will be again, and what has been ruled will be done again – there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

16. Vanity of vanities – everything is vanity! Ecclesiastes 1:2

17. Many seek the favorable face of the ruler, but the destiny of man is from the Lord. Proverb. 29:26

18. Vanity and falsehood far from me, poverty and wealth do not give me, – feed me with my daily bread. Proverb. 30:8

II. Section: Righteousness and unrighteousness. Godliness and wickedness.

19. There is no righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin at all. Eccl. 7:20

20. And the traitor, even if he dies early, will be in peace. Book of Wisdom 4:7

21. There is grace and mercy for His saints and providence for His chosen ones. Book of Wisdom 4:15

22. If anyone loves righteousness, its fruits are virtues: it teaches chastity and prudence, justice and bravery, than which there is nothing more useful for people in life. Book of Wisdom 8:7

23. Wisdom will not enter into a wicked soul, and it will not dwell in a body that is enslaved to sin. Book of Wisdom 1:4

24. Their wives (note – of the wicked) are senseless and their children bad, cursed is their race. Book of Wisdom 3:12

25. For the practice of wickedness darkens the good, and the excitement of the passions corrupts a good mind. Book of Wisdom 4:12

26. The hope of the wicked vanishes like dust blown by the wind, and like fine frost blown by the storm, and like smoke blown by the wind, and passes away like a memory of a day’s guest. Book of Wisdom 5:14

27. The wicked flees when no one pursues him; but the righteous is as bold as a lion. Proverb. 28:1

III. Section: Charity and Charity.

28. A man’s joy is his charity. Book of Wisdom 19:22

29. With mercy and righteousness sin is cleansed, and with the fear of the Lord evil is turned away. Proverb. 16:6

30. A merciful man does good to his soul, but a cruel man destroys his flesh. Proverb. 11:17

31. Do not refuse to do good onomuva who is in need, when your hand has the power to do it. Book of Wisdom 3:27

32. May mercy and truth not leave you: tie your neck with them, write them on the tablets of your heart. Book of Wisdom 3:3

33. Lose your bread on the body, because after many days you will find it again. Eccl. 11:1

34. He who gives to the poor will not be poor; and whoever turns a blind eye to it will be greatly cursed. Proverb. 28:27

35. Do not say to your friend: “go away and come again, and tomorrow I will give you”, when you have with you. (for you know not what tomorrow will bring forth.) Wisdom 3:28

36. He who does good to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed. Book of Wisdom 19:17

37. He who trifles with the poor, blasphemes his Creator; he that delighteth in mischief shall not go unpunished (but the merciful shall be pardoned.) Prov. 17:5

38. Open your mouth for the voiceless and for the protection of all orphans. Proverb. 31:8

39. Open your mouth for justice and for the cause of the poor and the helpless. Proverb. 31:9

40. If your enemy is hungry, feed him with bread; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. Proverb. 25:21

41. He who harms the poor in order to increase his wealth, and he who gives to the rich, will become poor. Proverb. 22:16

42. One gives generously, and more is added to him; and another beyond measure is parsimonious, and yet he is poor. Proverb. 11:24

IV. Section: Reason and Wisdom. Stupidity and insanity.

43. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; (all who are guided by him understand well; and reverence for God is the beginning of understanding); only fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverb. 1:7

44. Wisdom is bright and does not fade, and those who love it easily see it, those who seek it find it. Book of Wisdom 6:12

45. Do not consider yourself a sage; fear the Lord and flee from evil. Book of Wisdom 3:7

46. ​​Wisdom is better than a pearl. Book of Wisdom 8:11

47. Listen, my son, to the teaching of your father and do not reject the covenant of your mother. Proverb. 1:8

48. Wisdom makes the wise stronger than ten rulers in one city. Eccl. 7:19

49. Words of wise men spoken calmly are heard better than the shout of a ruler among fools. Eccl. 9:17

50. The words of a wise man’s mouth are a blessing, but the mouth of a fool destroys him. Eccl. 10:12

51. The words of the wise are like thorns, and like nails driven in are their sentences given by the one Shepherd. Eccl. 12:11

52. The heart of the wise is in a house of weeping, and the heart of the foolish is in a house of rejoicing. Eccl. 7:4

53. It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man than to listen to the songs of fools. Eccl. 7:5

54. A wise man’s eyes are in his head, but a fool walks in darkness. Eccl. 2:14

55. And I saw that the advantage of wisdom over folly is just as the advantage of light over darkness. Eccl. 2:13

56. Great wisdom – great suffering, and he who accumulates knowledge accumulates sadness. Eccl. 1:18

57. Listen to advice and accept rebuke, so that you will become wise later. Book of Wisdom 19:20

58. Wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb and made the tongues of children understood. Book of Wisdom 10:21

59. The many wise are salvation for the world; and a wise king is a blessing to the people. Book of Wisdom 6:26

60. Wisdom is before the face of the prudent, but the eyes of a fool are at the ends of the earth. Proverb. 17:24

61. By troubling others, the wise become foolish, and gifts corrupt the heart. Eccl. 7:7

62. Do not indulge in sin and do not be foolish: why die without time? Eccl. 7:17

63. The work of a fool tires him, because he does not even know the way to the city. Eccl. 10:15

64. The fool sits with folded hands and gnaws his flesh. Eccl. 4:5

65. A whip for a horse, a bridle for a donkey, and a staff for fools. Book of Wisdom 26:3

66. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest he think himself wise. Book of Wisdom 26:5

67. As a thorn is in the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools. Book of Wisdom 26:9

68. A foolish son is a disaster to his father, and a contentious woman is like a never-ending hoodwink. Book of Wisdom 19:13

69. It is better for a man to meet a bear devoid of bears than a fool with his folly. Proverb. 17:12

70. A fool loves not knowledge, but only to show his mind. Proverb. 18:2.

(to be continued)

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