Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman without discretion.
The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.
The people curse him who holds back grain,
but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favour,
but evil comes to him who searches for it.
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and whoever captures souls is wise.
If the righteous is repaid on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!
Comment: Who’d put a gold ring in a pig’s nose? Most men would love a beautiful lady but even the thought of her having lack of discretion makes you shudder! What a waste of beauty, both on the pig and the woman.
The couplet about grain is so poignant thinking of people starving in a famine area and those with grain refusing to share and save the lives of the poor. “Inheriting the wind’ means ending up with nothing of substance. Sadly in life we see the ‘haves’ raising the price when there are shortages for the ‘have-nots’!
The concept of ‘capturing souls’ isn’t to bring them into submission under you in a you-controlled cult, but rather to rescue them from the way they are heading, with its certain end, to walk in wisdom and ‘the Fear of the Lord’. It says that doing that is like you being a tree of life producing good fruit – the fruit of changed lives. With a resultant change in the way they are going to end up.
It’s worth pairing the couplets and seeing what you can find of profit for you in this poetic passage.
Prayer: Keep me learning while I have breathe; learning and growing, please.