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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

The Contrast - The Upright & The Wicked


Farming can be boring, dirty, and hard. A farmer requires patient waiting for crops to grow, and it offers no glamour or fancy titles. But, a farmer knows that without his toil there is no sweet fruit.

Farming or work involves long hours, labor, much practical wisdom, high risk, no paid vacations, and only modest financial reward. Farming requires self-discipline and self-motivation. It provides food to sustain human life and for eating pleasure. Farming is a real job. In a perfect world without sin, God gave Adam the work of dressing the Garden of Eden; in a sinful world, his first son was a tiller of the ground (Gen 2:15; 4:2). God gave man the knowledge of agricultural wisdom thousands of years before today’s modern inventions (Is 28:23-29). And He blessed men with great returns from tilling the ground and sowing seeds (Gen 26:12; Zech 8:12). Even kings are fed by the field and should pay attention to farming (Pr 27:23-27; Eccl 5:9). It is a good job. Any work done with the honesty of your heart and for a reason that is higher than earning a paycheck, is an act of worship - saying, "Thank you, Jehovah Jireh. My LORD and my provider."


A proverb is a pithy sentence, concisely expressing some well-established truth susceptible of various illustrations and applications. The word is of Latin derivation, literally meaning for a word, speech, or discourse; that is, one expression for many.

The Hebrew word for "proverb" (mashal) means a "comparison." Many suppose it was used, because the form or matter of the proverb, or both, involved the idea of comparison. Most of the proverbs are in couplets or triplets, or some modifications of them, the members of which correspond in structure and length, as if arranged to be compared one with another.

They illustrate the varieties of parallelism, a distinguishing feature of Hebrew poetry. Many also clearly involve the idea of comparison in the sentiments expressed, is a marked feature of the proverbial style, was also adopted for continuous discourse, even when not always preserving traces of comparison.

The word, when properly translated, "parable," is to designate an illustrative discourse. Then the Greek translators have used a word, parabola ("parable"), which the gospel writers (except John) employ for our Lord's discourses of the same character, and which also seems to involve the idea of comparison, though that may not be its primary meaning. It might seem, therefore, that the proverbial and parabolic styles of writing were originally and essentially the same. The proverb is a "concentrated parable, and the parable an extension of the proverb by a full illustration."

The proverb is thus the moral or theme of a parable, which sometimes precedes it, as in Matthew 19:30 Proverbs 20:1 style being poetical, and adapted to the expression of a high order of poetical sentiment, such as prophecy, we find the same term used to designate such compositions (compare Numbers 23:7 ; Micah 2:4 ; Habakkuk 2:6

Though the Hebrews used the same term for proverb and parable, the Greek employs two, though the sacred writers have not always appeared to recognize a distinction.

The term for proverb is, paroimia, which the Greek translators employ for the title of this book, evidently with special reference to the later definition of a proverb, as a trite, sententious form of speech, which appears to be the best meaning of the term. John uses the same term to designate our Savior's instructions, in view of their characteristic obscurity (compare Proverbs 16:25-29 and even for his illustrative discourses ( Proverbs 10:6 sense was not at once obvious to all his hearers.

This form of instruction was well adapted to aid the learner. The parallel structure of sentences, the repetition, contrast, or comparison of thought, were all calculated to facilitate the efforts of memory; and precepts of practical wisdom which, extended into logical discourses, might have failed to make abiding impressions by reason of their length or complicated character, were thus compressed into pithy, and, for the most part, very plain statements. Such a mode of instruction has distinguished the written or traditional literature of all nations, and was, and still is, peculiarly current in the East.

In this book, however, we are supplied with a proverbial wisdom commended by the seal of divine inspiration. God has condescended to become our teacher on the practical affairs belonging to all the relations of life. He has adapted His instruction to the plain and unlettered, and presented, in this striking and impressive method, the great principles of duty to Him and to our fellow men. To the prime motive of all right conduct, the fear of God, are added all lawful and subordinate incentives, such as honor, interest, love, fear, and natural affection.

Besides the terror excited by an apprehension of God's justly provoked judgments, we are warned against evil-doing by the exhibition of the inevitable temporal results of impiety, injustice, profligacy, idleness, laziness, indolence, drunkenness, and debauchery. To the rewards of true piety which follow in eternity, are promised the peace, security, love, and approbation of the good, and the comforts of a clear conscience, which render this life truly happy.


He who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread. This was man's work in innocence; this he was doomed to do with the sweat of his brow after his fall; every man has his land to till, or some calling, work, or business, to be employed in, either civil or sacred; and it becomes him to be diligent therein, and such as are shall not want bread, but shall have a sufficiency of it.

But he that follows vain [persons is] void of understanding:

1. that neglects his business, loiters away his time, spends it in the company of vain, empty, and unprofitable persons; as he shows himself by such a choice that he is void of understanding, or "wants a heart" F19, to improve his time and talents; so before long it is much if he does not want a piece of bread.

Thus he that is concerned to have the fallow ground of his heart ploughed up, and righteousness, truth, and holiness, sown therein, that it may bring forth fruit; or who is careful about the welfare and salvation of his immortal soul, and makes diligent use of all means to promote its spiritual good, shall be filled with the bread of life, shall find it and eat it, to the joy and rejoicing of his heart; and, on the contrary, he that associates himself with vain persons, empty of all that is spiritually good, that have only empty notions of religion; or who attend to the profane and vain boasting of antichrist, and all false teachers; and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, whose words eat as do a canker; these, as they show themselves to want wisdom, so they are and will be brought into starving and famishing circumstances in a spiritual sense.

Jarchi interprets the former clause of a man that is studious in his doctrine, that revolves it in his mind, that he may not forget it; and the Arabic version renders the last clause,``they that run after false demons, their minds are deficient;''see ( Revelation 9:20 ) .

What in your opinion, is good work? Share with us how your work impacts those around you? God bless you and your family.


F19 - "deficiens corde", Pagninus; "carens corde", Montanus; "deficitur corde", Schultens.

References: John Gill's Exposition of the Bible.


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