The Teachings of Solomon, King of Israel with Brit-Am Commentary
Positivity for the Positive
They who look for the good of others and seek to do good themselves receive wisdom and insights. Those who are negative in attitude cause a negation of their own potential and abilities.
Duration ca. 23 minutes. To read text please Scroll Down!
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
This is true. Very often a calm, collected, respectable reply allays the wrath or irritability of others.
On the other hand a superfluous jab can result in angry reactions that could have been avoided.
2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
In Hebrew the expression, "uses knowledge rightly" is Taytiv Daat. Literally this says, Make good, correct [taytiv], knowing [daat]. Wise good people not only teach us things and give us knowledge but they also enable us to acquire the depth of knowing.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
God sees everything. We forget this or deliberately put it to one side but we should not do so.
4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
A wholesome tongue in Hebrew is "marpeh [healing] lashon [tongue]". When you say things try to make them words that make matters better than they were. You will find this of immense help to others and it will bring you respect.
5 A fool despises his father's instruction,
But he who receives correction is prudent.
We should try and learn from everyone especially from those who are genuinely concerned about us.
He who receives correction is prudent. In the Hebrew this may alternately be rendered as, He who keeps [in mind] reproof will become shrewd.
You do not necessarily have to always accept the criticism of others but you should take it into account.
6 In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.
Righteous people value everything and give value to simple things. To be with righteous people is a blessing.
Even a simple meal with righteous people is enjoyable.
Wicked people even when they are rich are not really enjoyable to be with. There is always a price to pay.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge,
But the heart of the fool does not do so.
disperse. In Hebrew "yizaru" from the root ZRH but it can also mean "spread healing" from the root "MZR". It would appear that both intentions were intended. The wise spread knowledge and their teaching has a healing effect.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
We all sometimes make the mistake of assuming we can bribe the ALMIGHTY. God will listen to us when we call on HIM but HE wants us to give something of ourselves to HIM.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves him who follows righteousness.
10 Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way,
And he who hates correction will die.
11 Hell and Destruction are before the Lord;
So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.
Hell and Destruction. The word translated as Hell is Shaol usually meaning the Place of the Dead.
The word translated as Destruction is Abadon from the root "ABD" connoting "loose, destroy, wander".
12 A scoffer does not love one who corrects him,
Nor will he go to the wise.
13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
In Hebrew this expression may be read both forwards and backwards, i.e. A happy heart makes for a positive face and a cheerful expression makes the heart feel better.
Smile at people, speak well to them. Very often, even if you are not in the best of moods just making a little effort to be pleasant to others automatically will cheer you up.
When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.
[-- Song and Music by Chauncey Olcott & George Graff, Jr.]
14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
Talk well, be in places where the conversation is positive. If by chance one finds oneself in the present of idle bad converse get away from it.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil,
But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
a merry heart. In Hebrew "Tov Lev" literally "a good heart". The word heart in Hebrew is Lev. This is where the English word "Love" comes from.
A related Hebrew word is "Levav" meaning "like very much", and Levavi i.e. likeable.
16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord,
Than great treasure with trouble.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.
18 A wrathful man stirs up strife,
But he who is slow to anger allays contention.
Stay calm, calm others. Avoid speaking in anger to others and when others get angry try not to respond in kind.
19 The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns,
But the way of the upright is a highway.
Laziness in the Bible is considered a vice. Do what you have to do, when you can.
20 A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.
despises. In Hebrew "bozeh" which may also mean "bring shame to".
The Hebrew word root "BZH" connoting shame or bring shame to may be related to the English words "booze" (drink to excess).
We also have the English word "boo" i.e. a sound made to indicate disapproval.
21 Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment,
But a man of understanding walks uprightly.
to him who is destitute of discernment. In Hebrew "choser lev" i.e. he who lacks heart. If we develop Fear of Heaven, belief in the Bible, positive attitudes and empathy for others, we too will act correctly. We shall become wise.
The opposite applies to they who take a negative attitude. They are liable to hurt themselves and others even though they may not mean to. They become foolish.
22 Without counsel, plans go awry,
But in the multitude of counselors they are established.
23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth,
And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
24 The way of life winds upward for the wise,
That he may turn away from hell below.
25 The Lord will destroy the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.
God looks after the downtrodden and hard of luck if they remain steadfast.
26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
But the words of the pure are pleasant.
The Hebrew here lends it itself to several meanings at once.
The last part of the verse may ALSO be translated as saying:
Pleasant Words are Pure and Purifying.
We may not always be able control our thoughts, at least not most of us. We can however determine what we say. By saying good words of positive intent we can purify our own inner bad impulses.
27 He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.
bribes. In Hebrew "matanot". Literally presents. This is a common expression in Spoken Hebrew. It means that a person who prefers to pay for what he gets and dislikes receiving things he did not earn will gain life and vitality.
28 The heart of the righteous studies how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
A person should consider what to say before he says it.
This is not only practical advice but also a pathway to doing the right thing. What we say can determine what we do and how we think, and what happens to us.
evil. In Hebrew "raot" which may also be rendered as "bad things".
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
And a good report makes the bones healthy.
31 The ear that hears the rebukes of life
Will abide among the wise.
rebukes of life. Take note of what happens to you and those around you and of others. Learn from mistakes and do not make them yourselves.
32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
There is a saying in Israel: "Whatever you do, you do to yourself".
Do good and good will come to you. Do bad and bad will it be.
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.
Humility is the opposite of pride. Becoming conceited, listening to the flattery of others, etc, is an invitation to turn success into failure, Avoid it.
Stay focused, stay humble. Be your own judge and fear the Almighty.
Who Said This too Shall Pass?
Originally, King Solomon said, "this too shall pass". This phrase is commonly engraved on silver rings by the Jewish community. This saying was made well known by Abraham Lincoln in 1859.