Literature / Book of Proverbs
'"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."'
The Book of Proverbs is exactly what the name implies
. It is a rich collection of sayings gathered from various places and is produced over lengthy periods. Generally, this book focuses on how wisdom is gained from God.
This book of wisdom provides examples of:
- All Women Are Lustful: Some of the verses give out some warnings about "strange women."
- Can't Take Criticism: There are many verses such as Proverbs 15:5 that people are regarded as fools who hate correction and reproof and that wise people avoid this trope.
- Composite Character: The Wife of Noble Character is an amalgam of all the roles a "respectable" woman of that time and place could play. Unfortunately, some take this to mean that a "worthy" woman must do it all, or that if she's infertile/Hollywood Homely/not a shrewd businessperson/whatever, she's unworthy or not a "real" woman, or that she must be a mother first and foremost even if she doesn't want to be a mom, or that a woman's place is in the home (despite her very clearly not remaining solely in the private sphere). It should be noted that she was created not to tell women what they should be doing, but to encourage men to appreciate the work done by the women in their lives, the way her husband does.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: There are various passages which deal with a parent beating a child with a rod in order for him to gain wisdom and understanding. Proverbs 23:13-14 is a prominent example:
"Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
- Driven by Envy: According to Proverbs 27:4, envy is seen as worse than anger.
- Evil Tastes Good: This is utilized as An Aesop in Proverbs 9:13-18 in regards to the foolish woman.
- God of Evil: In regards of evil, Proverbs states that anything can be good in the proper context and that God allows it to exist to show that without moral value, people are no better than the animals they share this life with. Though Solomon said this after years of experimenting with "evil" and suffering the consequences for it.
- Good Is Not Nice: Proverbs 27:5-6 shows the difference between those who are upright and trustworthy and those who are anything but:
- Heroic Second Wind: Proverbs 24:16 - "For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again."
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Proverbs 31:4-7 are the words from King Lemuel's mother to her son:
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Nor for princes intoxicating drink;
Lest they drink and forget the law,
And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
Let him drink and forget his poverty,
And remember his misery no more.
- "Just Joking" Justification: Proverbs 26:18-19 is a Ur-Example.
Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
- Loners Are Freaks / Intelligence Equals Isolation: Proverbs 18:1 shows how the fool withdraws from others in order to seek wisdom.
- Madonna–Whore Complex: The "strange" women mentioned above contrasted to the likes of the Wife of Noble Character, and to a personification of wisdom.
- No Accounting for Taste: Averted by Proverbs 21:19 which assures that it's better to be in a wilderness than to be around an angry woman.
- Pride Before a Fall: Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
- Property Line: Proverbs 22:28 prohibits moving your neighbor's boundary stone or other property marker, presumably to prevent just such a quarrel taking place.
- Pushover Parents: Various passages mention that parents who don't discipline their children are the ones who don't love them.
- Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: The first 29 chapters are all about the contrast of the wise man and The Fool.
- Rule of Seven: Proverbs 6:16-19 has seven things that are an abomination to the LORD:
- The Scrounger: The ideal of a Virtuous Woman is described. Among the qualities described are that she is tireless, self-disciplined, good at business, keeps a tight ship at home, faithful to her husband, knows her way about the Bazaar, and is very good at being this trope.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: The Wife of Noble Character runs a successful textile business, as well as staying on top of the mending to be done at home.
- Turn the Other Cheek: "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you." Proverbs 25:21-22.
- Violence Is Disturbing: Proverbs 16:29 "A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good."
- Women Are Wiser: Proverbs 31:10-31 provides the details for the Virtuous Woman.