Monday, October 12, 2009

Pr 25

Pr 25:7b-10.

Today's excerpt from the reading of the One Year Bible is so subtle in its nuance that I probably won't even get it after I type it in. Also, I promised my friend I'd check out the ESV translation in some of these posts.

"Lest" -- use that word in a sentence! Give it a try, lest I have to explain it myself.

OK? Give it a try, or else I have to explain it myself. (25:8, ESV mg). Aren't those two sentences slightly different in meaning? The first is talking about a possibility that something might happen if you don't give it a try. The second is making an assertion, a teacher's threat, that if you don't try, I definitely will have to explain something myself.

So Proverbs 25:10 addresses us, as people considering, deliberating with the writer, whether to talk about somebody, critically, "offline," i.e., behind their back.

Deliberate whether to "reveal another's secret" with 25:10. Don't do it, lest the person you tell bring shame upon you! "Or else" is too strong for that idea.

The person you reveal the secret to may not bring shame upon you actually. It's not at the level of "threat." But the mere POSSIBILITY of it should be enough to deter you from doing it. Lest. Not "or else."

So go with "lest" in the 25:8 mg (RSV, NAS) and 25:10 (ESV). Let the mere possibility -- not even the level of "threat" of it -- deter you, from revealing secret evils about people. What possibility? That the one who hears you, in return, change your reputation for the worse, and that "have no end!" It's one of those wisdom sayings about payback.

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