Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Proverbs Chapter 20
Metaphysically Interpreting Proverbs 20:1-30
20:1Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler;
And whosoever erreth thereby is not wise.
20:2The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion:
He that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own life.
20:3It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife;
But every fool will be quarrelling.
20:4The sluggard will not plow by reason of the winter;
Therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.
20:5Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water;
But a man of understanding will draw it out.
20:6Most men will proclaim every one his own kindness;
But a faithful man who can find?
20:7A righteous man that walketh in his integrity,
Blessed are his children after him.
20:8A king that sitteth on the throne of judgment
Scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
20:9Who can say, I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin?
20:10Diverse weights, and diverse measures,
Both of them alike are an abomination to Jehovah.
20:11Even a child maketh himself known by his doings,
Whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
20:12The hearing ear, and the seeing eye,
Jehovah hath made even both of them.
20:13Love not sleep, let thou come to poverty;
Open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
20:14It is bad, it is bad, saith the buyer;
But when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
20:15There is gold, and abundance of rubies;
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
20:16Take his garment that is surety for a stranger;
And hold him in pledge that is surety for foreigners.
20:17Bread of falsehood is sweet to a man;
But afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
20:18Every purpose is established by counsel;
And by wise guidance make thou war.
20:19He that goeth about as a tale-bearer revealeth secrets;
Therefore company not with him that openeth wide his lips.
20:20Whoso curseth his father or his mother,
His lamp shall be put out in blackness of darkness.
20:21An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning;
But the end thereof shall not be blessed.
20:22Say not thou, I will recompense evil:
Wait for Jehovah, and he will save thee.
20:23Diverse weights are an abomination to Jehovah;
And a false balance is not good.
20:24A man's goings are of Jehovah;
How then can man understand his way?
20:25It is a snare to a man rashly to say, It is holy,
And after vows to make inquiry.
20:26A wise king winnoweth the wicked,
And bringeth the threshing -wheel over them.
20:27The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah,
Searching all his innermost parts.
20:28Kindness and truth preserve the king;
And his throne is upholden by kindness.
20:29The glory of young men is their strength;
And the beauty of old men is the hoary head.
20:30Stripes that wound cleanse away evil;
And strokes reach the innermost parts.
May 23, 1943: Prov. 20:1
In what sense is wine “a mocker”? Wine or strong drink is, a mocker, because it promises much, but fails to fulfill its promises. Drink makes brawlers of those who indulge in it to excess.
Is the excessive use of strong drink the only sign of unwisdom in those who are addicted to it? No, any use of intoxicants as beverages is harmful to the body, especially to the nervous system. The habitual “moderate drinker” experiences a negative reaction in degree as surely as the confirmed drunkard does.
August 17, 1947: Prov. 20:1
The poise that is gained by the habit of abstinence from intoxicants enables a person to be master of himself in matters of appetite. When once he falls under the spell of intoxication, he is no longer his own master. The intoxicant masters him by permeating his entire system, affecting his nerves, his brain, his muscles. The first exhilaration leads him to indulge still further, in the hope of increasing or at least maintaining the effect at its first level. This hope is vain, for the effect is not constant; it is cumulative; instead of making the one who indulges in it brilliant, scintillating, clever, and penetrating, it steals away his brains, leaving him a slave to the drink habit. To retain one's faculties at their highest efficiency is the part of wisdom, and this means that there must be no yielding, even momentarily, to the degenerating influence of either stimulants or depressants.
- UNITY magazine.
November 22, 1903: Prov. 20:1, 20-21, 29-30
A number of young men were one day sitting around the fire of the waiting room of an English railway, talking about total abstinence societies. Just then a policeman came in with a prisoner in handcuffs. He listened to the young men's conversation, but did not give any opinion. There was also in the room a minister, who, hearing what the young men were saying, stepped up to the policeman and said, “Pray sir, what have you to say about temperance?” Well”, replied the policeman, “all I have to say is that I never took a teetotaler to York Castle Prison in my life, nor to Wakefield House of Correction, either.
From such examples we jump at the conclusion that strong drink makes criminals. That the love of intoxicants and criminology are closely related is patent to any observer, but that strong drink is wholly responsible for the crimes is not tenable. There was a desire for strong drink before the supply was produced, and associated with that desire were other tendencies out of Divine order. Thus it is the criminal thought that seeks to drown its conscience in drink; drink is not directly the cause of crime. Strong drink stimulates the criminal tendencies in man, and he then shows forth the error in all its hideousness.
But who shall say that there may not be a cleansing process in the periodical “sprees”, that some people indulge in? They may in this way be working off error thoughts that might do worse if allowed to develop in other directions. I know a man, who for years claimed that there was a devil inside of him, who would kill him, if he did not let him have his own way in a “spree” about every six months. After he learned the truth, and assumed his natural dominion, he killed the devil and stopped his sprees.
Thus the temperance movement resolves itself into a question of right understanding and right thinking. Every man, who has ever been drunk, knows all about the “woe,” “sorrow,” “contentions” and “redness of eyes.” If the horrors of these were placarded before him every moment, in letters as large as a seventeen story building, it would not deter him from drinking. A recital of the tragedies of the drink practice does not head off the drunkards. Those who drink and those who are in the traffic admit and habitually refer to the death-dealing effects of alcohol. When ordering it at the bar, 'tis the practice of nearly all habitual drinkers to say,” Give me some’ red-eye,’ or’ coffin varnish,’ or that 'same-old-tanglefoot.”
Temperance reform, like every reform, must come out of a higher education of men. This higher education is not to be obtained in our colleges, but in our minds and hearts. Children who have been taught the Truth of Being are, as a rule, exempt from abnormal tendencies in appetite. They early learn to control and direct thought in right channels, and the result is a mentality keyed to a much higher range of ideals than the average. When the ideals are high, there is slight inclination to sense gratification.
Then the true temperance remedy is to think divinely. In this way only shall we ever overcome the lusts of the flesh. In our own human might we are not able to withstand the demands of abnormally developed appetite and passion, but, with the restraining and reconverting power of the Spirit, we are transformed into His’ “likeness and image.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-28-2013