Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Relevant after all

The reading cycle has come back to the book of Proverbs. It isn't a simple book, as it contains long passages in praise of wisdom and several collections of proverbs--some noble and some self-interested. Some proverbs are repeated with variations, and some sound like coinages made as a summary for a conversation or a court case.

A few seem irrelevant in a land with a national bureau of standards: "Differing weights and differing measures, both of them are abominable to the LORD." Except that today I remembered about the speck and the log.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I had learned in one study that these were primarily school-proverbs, taught to students from age 4-14, requiring much memorization. The idea was to impart general ideas in a memorable form that could be carried in the heart and brain for a lifetime.

The modern tendency to take them apart at close level may be missing the point. I think that is what you are saying here - the specifics of differing weights and measures are but an example of the general idea of imbalance, unfairness, disproportion.

james said...

I can see them being used as school-proverbs, but I wonder about how they came to be in the first place.