PROVERBS & PARABLES

           in the New Testament

 

  this will be a continuing study, subject to the

  will of  the Lord,      and material will be added

  as time and opportunity allows..it is we truly

  believe a vital and significant study for us all 

   

  The  key  to this fascinating and vital subject   lies in     the Book of

  Proverbs,  but  its  inception  lies  in  the  beginning,   at  Creation.

  In fact, the  theme  to  which  it  belongs,  the  seven stages  of the

  purpose of  Almighty God  to fill  this earth with His glory,  is also

  epitomized  in  the 7-fold divisions of the Old and the New  Testa-

  ments.  These  sections  are  exactly  parallel,  and are set forth in

  'The Structure of the Bible' - link here.   These   same   principles

  must  be  seen  also  in  the  lives  of  true disciples, and this is em-

  emphasized  in  the  'Structure'  page,  and  demonstrated  in:

  'The 8 'Signs' of the Gospel of John' - link here.

 

  Also, whilst  waiting  for  more  pages  to appear, please consider

  the  suggested sections of Proverbs, which we consider to be very

  important  in  our endeavours    to comprehend its vital messages..

 

  CHAPTER 1v1-7– Introduction to the Book

  CHAPTER 1v8-3v35– The 7 Pillars of Wisdom– Doctrine

  CHAPTER 4v1-9v18– The 7 Pillars of Wisdom–    Practice

  CHAPTER 10v1-31v31–   The Doctrinal, Practical, & Pro-

                            phetical Enlargement of the Above Sections

 

   Besides  the  above  4  Sections,  we   also   believe   there  to be

   7  Sub-Sections  within  each,  which  we  hope  to cover  during

   the  course of our exposition, if the Lord will.  The most import-

   ant  thing  we  find  is  the  use  made  of    Proverbs by the  Lord

   Jesus  Christ  and  His  Apostles  in  the  New Testament.      It is a

   high privilege indeed to be given a Divine commentary!

   This  in  no  way   depends on     the suggested sections of Proverbs

   set  out above.     However,  their  general outline we strongly be-

   lieve  to  be  correct, and they are useful for orientation.

   In particular, and with reference to ch.10v1 onwards, the

   following assessment of this section is useful:

   "By  now  the  reader is in  a position to orientate himself in the

   thicket  of individual sayings...and to see in each cool,    objective

   aphorism  a  miniature and  particular    outworking  of  the wis-

   dom  and  folly  whose        whole course he has seen spread out be-

   fore  him in Section I"-  Kidner, p.23,   quoted  'The  New Bible

   Commentary Revised', page 559.

   Of course, like  all writers who are unfamiliar with the Truth, it

   is impossible for him to realise  the  full  import  of these things-

   but with the knowledge of God's will, we can hope to succeed…

 

   Let us make  an  introductory comment  for your consideration:

   The Book  of Proverbs contains    Hebrew  poetry which is based

   upon a  PARALLELISM OF IDEAS. There are 3 types:

   A. synonymous parallelisms, as in ch.8v1:

        i.e. the 2nd parallelism restates the first, but by variation.

   B. constructive parallelisms, as in ch.3v11,12:

        i.e. the 2nd parallelism builds upon the first, reinforcing it.

   C. antithetic parallelisms, as in ch.10v1:

        i.e. the 2nd parallelism contrasts starkly with the first.

 

   The next thing is to define a 'proverb' and a 'parable'.

   A  'proverb'  is  defined as "a pithy maxim, usually of a meta-

   phorical  nature;  hence  a  simile, figurative language, an all-

   egory,  or  an  adage".  It  comes  from  a  Hebrew root word

   meaning  "to rule".  And  as  the  diligent  viewer will realise,

   it  is  by  comprehending  these  proverbs  that we may be   en-

   abled to rule over the flesh(which is the message of Proverbs,

   placed as it is in the 6th section of the Old Testament,refer to

   'structure' for more details).

   A  'parable'  is  really an extended proverb,     and that is how it

   appears in the New Testament.It is defined as a "fictitious na-

   rrative, conveying  a moral (lesson)".   We shall see how Jesus

   Christ and His apostles use  the Old Testament proverbs, and

   build  narratives upon them ,    with  important  lessons  for us.

 

   We now intend to embark, if it is the Lord's will, upon  the de-

   tailed  exposition  of  this  beautiful and glorious  subject.  The

   method  of  presentation will  be unusual,    but we think  fitting

   and  of  great  benefit  to those viewers  who desire to learn of

   the ways of God as  revealed, especially  relative to  our times.

   The  original  studies  on  this  subject  were  given in a  series

   of  8  parts, over  8  nights,   from  1 September 1976 to 15 De-

   cember  1976.   It  is proposed to summarise this matter in the

   sequence in which it was presented-  with some additions  that

   are appropriate,     and which have been ascertained since from

   God's Holy Word. We are now on the brink of Christ's return.

   Might the number 8,  pointing  forward  to  perfection,  be our

   focus as we embark upon a  glorious study  of   what is in truth

            GOD'S MESSAGE FOR THESE LATTER DAYS

   Link to 'structure'  and  'grace'-page 2  for more about 'eight'.

 

   We  give thanks  to  our  Heavenly Father for now making the

   way open  for  a  much wider dissemination of this priceless &

   vital  information  to a world-wide audience.      May He add His

         richest blessing  in the time left by His grace and mercy.

 

        THESE ARE THE STUDIES PRESENTED IN 1976

 

    Night 1- 'An Introduction' -               read Proverbs 1 v1-9.

    Night 2- 'The Simple Ones'-              read Proverbs 7.

    Night 3- 'Scorners & Fools'-             read Matthew 25v1-13.

    Night 4- 'The Good Samaritan'-        read Luke 10v25-37.

    Night 5- 'Wisdom is a Tree of Life'-    read Proverbs 3v1-18.

    Night 6- 'The Heart is Deceitful

                    and Desperately Wicked'-   read Proverbs 16v1-9.

    Night 7- 'Seven things which

                    Yahweh hates'-                   read Proverbs 6v1-19.

    Night 8- 'The 7 Divisions in the

                     Latter Days'-                     read Revelation 3.

 

                         STUDY 1 – AN INTRODUCTION

   

    Firstly,  we  have    a     definition  of  'proverb'  and  'parable'. 

    Also  the  basic  idea  of  a proverb  or a parable is something

    which  is  built  upon  a  short  pithy saying.   It  can  become  a

    fable  or  an  allegory..to  give us  many lessons in this wilder-

    ness  of life and our pilgrimage in Christ Jesus.

    In  the  Old  Testament  the  Hebrew  word  'mashal' signifies

    superiority in mental action', properly  a  pithy maxim usually

    of a metaphorical nature, hence a simile.

    An allegory is a narrative in which abstract ideas are person-

    ified. Example-Galatians 4v24  "which things are an allegory"

    referring   to Hagar representing Jerusalem       which now is and

    Sarai representing Jerusalem which is above.    Hagar thus re-

    veals the Old Covenant of the Law   and those who are in bon-

    dage.       Sarai  on  the other hand reveals the New Covenant in

    Christ and those who are free. Link to 'grace' for more.

    And so an allegory is a story which has various ideas in it-     a

    description  which  is  meant  to  convey   a  different meaning

    though based upon that which is expressed.

 

    Some will  look earnestly for this hidden meaning,  having the

    aspect of a child– i.e. a desire to learn from the parent.This is

    indispensable to the learning process–    see Matthew 18v1-4.

    Jesus explained why there are different   reactions  to His   par-

    ables  and  indeed    why  they  are  given-   Matthew 13.  Only

    "the good  ground"  is  able to receive  and  allow  "the word

    of the kingdom" to  grow, and to ultimately bring forth  fruit.

 

    Robert Roberts made the following useful comments:

    "That it is advantageous to "conceal a thing", while revealing

    it, is also  manifest  from experience.     A riddle is  proverbially

    more interesting  than an aphorism.   A parable stimulates dis-

    cernment. A thing seen after the search provoked by obscurity

    is seen more clearly, than if exhibited in a plain and direct ma-

    nner in  the first  instance..there  is  always  an  inkling  of  the

    meaning somewhere- -a  clue by  which  the  secret  can be un-

    locked,which those may find who are humbly anxious to find".

    'More Seasons Of Comfort' - 'Use of Similitudes by God'. 

 

    An early example of  'proverb'  and  'parable'    is  found in 2nd

    Samuel 12v1-14.The "poor man" represented Uriah, the "ewe

    lamb"  represented   Bathsheba,   the  "rich   man" was David.

    When Nathan the prophet told this parable to David,       the king

    could see that what  the "rich man" of the story had done was

    unjust, and deserved punishment.       Nathan then said to him-

    "thou art the man",        thus  driving  home  the  purpose  of  this

    parable-     that David should   apply the lesson to himself.    And

    this is the purpose of all parables,         that we should apply the

    lessons to ourselves.   There is no benefit in reading these things

    and not learning the lessons which we read.   Should we fail to

    do so, we would be like  the  hard-hearted listeners to Ezekiel-

 

    "And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that

    hath a pleasant voice,  and  can  play  well on an instrument:

    for they hear thy words, but they do them not"- Ezekiel 33v32.

                  Also consider the words of James 1v22-25.

 

    Let us instead apply the lessons to ourselves, so that we might

    mend our waywardness       before the Divine assessment shortly

        to be rendered– for then it will be too late to do anything.

              Let us realise that we individually, like David,

              are the "men" and "women" of the parables.

    We shall find various characters  brought to our notice as we

    traverse the Book of Proverbs,  and as we clearly see the cha-

    racteristics which they display,   let  us  search inwardly to see

    whether some of these things  might well be applicable to our-

    selves.   In this way, we shall fulfil  the essential purpose of the

    narratives,      and obtain victory over the nature which we bear.

    And we know that we are saved by the grace of God–

    Ephesians 2v5 through reconciliation in Christ-   Romans5v11.

 

    Returning to the Proverbs more directly, the book is summar-

             ised as the story of two women- Wisdom and Folly.

 

    Wisdom- ch.9v1-12       "Wisdom hath builded her house,  she

                           hath hewn out her seven pillars".

    Note the way in which Jesus Christ uses this proverb,by mak-

    ing it the basis for   a parable in Matthew7v24,25,commending

    the "wise man"who "heareth these sayings of mine and doeth

    them" as "like unto a wise man, which  built   his house    upon a

    rock.."which was then able  to withstand all external troubles.

 

    Folly- ch.9v13-18     "A foolish woman..sitteth at the door of her

    house,      on  a  seat  in  the high places of the city..the dead are

                   there..her guests are in the depths of hell".

    Jesus Christ also expands thus-     And every one that heareth

    these sayings of mine,   and  doeth them not,        shall be likened

    unto   a  foolish man, which  built  his  house  upon  the sand.."

    which was  then  unable  to  withstand  the  external  troubles.

 

    These two "houses" each have 7 supports.

    "Wisdom" has "seven pillars",       and is built "upon a rock".

    The "seven pillars" find expression in ch.1v2-6;1v8-9v18 -

    also link to 'structure' re the seven principles involved.

    "Folly" has the "seven things" -      these "doth Yahweh hate"

          - ch.6v16-19. These support "her house", ch.7v8;9v14.

    Look at the contrast between the two contained in ch.3v33-

    "The curse of Yahweh is in the house of the wicked;       but he

    blesseth the habitation of the just". The separation of these

    two "houses" is stark, and the choice we must make is clear.

 

    We have to make the choice,     as to  which  "woman" we shall

    follow.    One woman,   "wisdom", will form   the accepted Bride

    of Christ at His return. The other, "folly", will be condemned

    to destruction at that same tribunal.          Let us picture ourselves

    in the company of "wisdom" as "the virgins her companions"

    Psalm 45v14,      who "with gladness and rejoicing shall enter

    into the king's palace",v15.      For more on the contrast, link to  

                                 'promises' and 'departure'.  

 

    Returning for a moment to the "seven pillars" of "wisdom" -

    in our resume of the construction of   ch.1v8 to 9v18 inclusive:

    we notice that both doctrine and practice are included.

    The change of emphasis is found in ch.4v2,4 -            "For I give

    you good doctrine,    forsake ye not my law…….Let thine heart

    retain my words: keep my commandments and live".   Eph.4v1

    shows the same graphic change of emphasis -         "therefore

    walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called".    And we

    are reminded of James 2v26: "Faith without works is dead".

    Purity before peace is essential to both,   Matt. 5v8,9;      James

    3v17. Some have tried to invert this order, which has resulted

    in the instability and ultimate destruction of their work. 

 

    Building the foundations is not easy work.     And maintaining 

    and caring for them is even harder.        If the wall of fellowship

    (the protection of the Truth) is broken down,      it becomes im-

    possible to protect them from ever-ready predators,Psalm 80.

 

    The purpose of the extended proverbs (called parables) in the

    New Testament is set out in Matthew 13v9 -

    "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear".             This immediately

    reminds us of the verse appearing 7 times in Revelation 2&3:

    "He that hath an ear,         let him hear what the spirit saith unto

    the ecclesias".   Those who do hearken to and obey the words

    of the spirit in all ages will form part of the 8th ecclesia -

    the perfected body of Christ - link to 'messages' page 3. 

 

    The disciples ask Jesus in Matthew 13v10 -

    "Why speakest thou unto them in parables?"

    And the Lord proceeds to explain that this does two things:

    Those numbered amongst the disciples of Christ   will learn,

    but those who oppose Him will not understand.  This latter

    class "are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed"

    because "this people's heart is waxed gross". See v11-17.

 

    This does not mean that they    outwardly oppose the Truth-

    far from it -          as in the days of Jesus, the greatest enemy,

    termed 'the satan', is found amongst those claiming to rep-

    resent the Truth - link to 'satan' & 'messages' - page 3, es-

    pecially to Smyrna, Sardis, and Philadelphia.           The twin

    evils of laxity and extremity  -  link to 'appeal' -          continue

    unabated to this day, as shown in 'messages' above.

    However, as Jesus also tells us -

    "But wisdom is justified of her children"  - Matthew 11v19.

 

    These children of wisdom are able to add to what they have

     - others will lose what they seem to have, Matthew 13v12.

    We can build each pillar,      being supported as we do so upon

    the "rock" of wisdom.  "For a just man falleth seven times,

    and riseth up again"-ch.24v16.     We may stumble as we try

    to build each pillar,  but "by grace are (we) saved".However

    "the wicked shall fall (utterly) into mischief".

 

    We know that God has already built the "pillars".  It is our

    calling to emulate them within ourselves.  To do this without

    error we must closely observe the Divine pattern.       In the

    boundless mercy of God,we may become   "an householder,

    which bringeth forth out of his treasure  things  new    (in us)

    and old  (found from "the beginning" in God's holy word)"-

    Matthew 13v52 - note the key is to be "instructed".   

 

    In the second part of these studies  we  shall  look at          various

    classes of people we meet in the Book of Proverbs.   The main

    three to come to our gaze will be the simple, the scoffer,    and

    the fool - as set forth in ch.1v22,23.   These will not inherit the

    Kingdom of God.          Let us, as stated earlier, search inwardly

    to see if what we learn can apply to us -        and if so make the

    necessary corrections while there is still time.   Our calling is

    to be sons and daughters (through wisdom) of the living God.

 

    The issues are vital - life and death.    We must pursue wisdom

    for ourselves, within the heart,           for that is where the ultimate

                  battle with the flesh must be fought and won.

    "Keep thy heart with all diligence;         for out of it are the issues

    of life" - ch.4v23.           Also let us judge ourselves by the Divine

    standard cp.ch.16v2 - "All the ways of a man are clean in his

    own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits"*. And v3 -

                       "Commit thy works unto Yahweh,

                         and thy thoughts shall be established"

     *note the following allusion from the Apostle Paul:

     "For I know nothing by (RV "against") myself;   yet am I not

            hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord".

                                   1st Corinthians 4v4.

      

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