Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ecclesiasticus, Chapters 18-20: Hookers make you impudent

Chapter 18

God created everything and rules over it and everything obeys him. At the same time, he needs to separate the holy and profane things. All his works are perfect.

Next, Solomon ruminates on the subject of humans. What is a man? Who does he serve? What are his good and bad qualities? Well, men live to be 100 at most, which is nothing compared to eternity. As a result, god is patient and merciful. He knows we're inherently evil and so he's extra-compassionate with us. Men are nice to their neighbours, but god is nice to everyone that believes in him.

So what is the takeaway from this? Well, be nice when you give stuff to people, but remember that words are as good as gifts, especially if the giver is churlish or jealous. Only speak on subjects you're knowledgeable about and take medicine if you're sick. Before passing judgement, examine yourself first. Repent. Keep your promises. Prepare before you pray. Always keep hell in mind. When times are good for you, remember the bad and give back. Don't indulge your appetites or people will laugh at you. Don't spent all your money on pleasure. Don't invite yourself to dinner parties.

Chapter 19

Drunkards are seldom rich and people who scorn small things will fall bit by bit. Wine and women are your enemies and people who visit prostitutes will become impudent. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Don't extend credit freely. Abstemiousness is a virtue. Don't gossip. Tell your friends when they fuck up. Warn your neighbour about things he does that piss you off, then threaten him. Fear god. The commandments are the doctrine of life (v. 19) and will get you into heaven. Slaves shouldn't lie to their masters. Knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom. It's better to be a stupid believer than a smart sinner. People are devious bastards, but show their true colours through their clothing, laughter and gait.

Chapter 20

It's better to express your anger than to hold it inside, and confession will stop you getting hurt. Repentance feels good. I rarely find any of these things to be true. As it is the lust of an eunuch to deflower a virgin; so is he that executeth judgement with violence (v. 4). Stoics are wise, gossips are hateful, as are dictators.

Gifts given by fools do not benefit you, nor do those of envious people, because they expect a lot in return. People who don't give but rebuke a lot are annoying. Falling on pavement is better than accidentally gossiping. Even when fools say smart things, it's at the wrong time and so people don't respect it.

Some people can't sin because they're too poor, and so they sleep easy. Other people destroy their souls through shyness because they can't say no. Lies are the worst thing you can do, but are often in the mouths of ignorant people. It's better to be a thief than a liar. Remember to till your fields. Don't hide your wisdom or your treasure, because they're no good that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment