“The sayings of King Lemuel–an oracle his mother taught him –” (Prov 31:1)
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Me with the littlest arrow in the quiver, The Writer! (c) Kim M. Bennett, 2012
Mother DOES Know Best…

“Mom, you won’t believe what Lee did today on the playground!”

Whenever I hear something like that, I pause, even if JUST for a teeny, tiny moment…

“We were standing at the edge of the playground, and I was pumping my fist to get trucks to honk their horns, and I realized that Lee was sticking up his middle finger at the cars as they went by!”

Of course, he gave many more details than I needed. I concluded the conversation with the sage advice, “Maybe you should choose to play with someone else besides Lee for awhile.”

Fast forward about a month — “Mom, you won’t believe what Daniel told the teacher about me!” — Sigh.

“He said that I do the same thing as Lee on the playground!”

Well, you stopped playing with him, right?

“No… he’s my friend.”

Sadly, it took my son being called the “N” word and being physically hurt before he realized that he should have listened to his mom in the first place. I reminded my son of this: parents don’t tell kids stuff to make them miserable: parents make rules to keep kids safe and out of trouble.

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My eldest son, Nature Boy, whose co-workers used to call him “State Police” because of his muscles and his “No. 1” haircut. (c) Kim M. Bennett, 2012.

A Message from Mother to Son

Proverbs 31 is a lesson. It is a not-so-gentle warning from a mother to her son about the way a young man should behave, and a reminder of the consequences of choosing otherwise. In Proverbs 31, Bathsheba, lovingly but firmly, chides a young King Solomon and instructs him on what to do and what not to do in order to live a happy, prosperous life within the will of God.
In this post, I closely examine Verse 1, only. Why just one verse? Because I have found, as you will, too, that a close examination of one scripture, and all the related cross-references, taught me what the verse was really saying, which was often very different from the way I had previously understood the verse.
  • The Subject is“The sayings (or words) of King Lemuel…”
  • The Main “Characters” are: King Lemuel (Solomon) and his mother (Bathsheba)
How do we know this line refers to Solomon?
“… The general sense of Jewish and Christian writers is, that Solomon himself is meant; whose name Lemuel is either a corruption of his name Solomon, a fond pretty name his mother Bathsheba gave him when young, and he thought fit to write it just as his mother spoke it; as mothers often do give such broken names to their children in fond affection to them: or it was another name of his, as it appears he had more than one; it signifies “to God”, one that was devoted to him, as he was by his parents and by himself; or one that belonged to God, was his, as Solomon was; he was beloved of God, and therefore called Jedidiah, ( 2 Samuel 12:24 2 Samuel 12:25 ) ; one to whom God was a father, and he a son to him; and he was chosen and appointed by him to succeed his father David in the kingdom, ( 2 Samuel 7:13 ) ( 1 Chronicles 28:5 ) . Hillerus makes the word to signify “over against God”, or “before the face of the first”, or of God and was a type of the “angel of faces”, or of God’s presence, ( Isaiah 63:9)” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible).
  • The “words” are described as:  an oracle, a teaching, a prophecy, a vision, a prophetic revelation, a message, an utterance, strong advice, a declaration or solemn words

… depending on the translation or version of the Bible used. [I find it helpful to sometimes look at several versions, because it helps me get at the original intent of the word choice (in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek) in a way that reading only one version would. It also helps me see places where there are differences in opinion on the meaning. For example, the words teaching, solemn words, declaration and strong advice sound parental, while the words oracle, prophecy, vision, revelation, message and utterance convey that the words ultimately come from God.]

The word “prophecy” could convey a number of meanings:
  • the words were the inspired words of God, as given to Bathsheba;
  • they reflected her wisdom, or her own (bad) experiences (the word “prophecy” often being used to describe any sage advice);
  • the predictions were those of a son’s mother, who sees his inclinations and knows where they will lead, if unchecked.
  • The purpose of the words is: Teaching, discipline, instruction…
This kind of implies that there was some correction that needed to take place. Unfortunately, as we know, some of the things that Bathsheba warned Solomon about in the next few verses contributed to his falling away from God in the latter part of his life.

What does this mean for our Christian homeschool instruction? Read on, in “Three Aspects to a Mother’s Instruction.

[This post was submitted to the “No Rules” Blog Hop and this great blog carnival:]

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