Good morning! Today’s two chapters of Proverbs (23-24) expand the genre slightly to allow for proverbs that take more than one verse to complete. Now the message of a proverb might be unfurled over the course of multiple verses, allowing for thoughts to be more fully developed.
While there are many themes one might find within a collection of proverbs such as this, the one that catches my attention today is that of restraint. This is a classic virtue in most ancient worldviews, and it has served people well even in the present time. The general idea is to “keep it between the ditches”, as my father-in-law says to us before we leave in the car. On one side might be the excess of too much (could be anything), and on the other side is scarcity, poverty, and too little. Modesty and restraint help one stay on the path of health and life between those excesses. (Ask a doctor.) Hence, chapter 23 suggests modesty in the presence of riches, because they won’t last long anyway. We read at some length about the evils of indulging in too much food or drink., and then 24:17-18 includes counsel against what football umpires might call “excessive celebration”. Finding a moderate course between foolish extremes is the nature of the wisdom, as it’s encouraged in these somewhat longer proverbs. Happy reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is Proverbs 25-26. Thanks for reading!