Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ecclesiasticus, Chapters 21-22: How to challenge a friend to a swordfight

Chapter 21

If you've sinned, ask forgiveness. Stay away from sin as it's like a snake with lion's teeth. Rich people's prayers don't reach god's ears. Eloquent men become famous, but smart men know when the eloquent ones are bullshitting. Buying a house with borrowed money is like gathering the stones for your tomb. Congregations of evil people will be set on fire. You will understand the law if you keep it. Stupid people cannot learn and wisdom can make you bitter, but always listen to wise men. There are a lot of  'stupid is as stupid does' versus. Methinks Solly isn't very self-reflective. Skilled men can learn from the wisdom they hear. Fools laugh but wise men only smile. Fools look in your windows but wise men don't. Neither of those things would make you look smarter in my books.

Chapter 22

Finally! We move from stupid people to lazy ones. Lazy people are also dirty. And their sons bring them shame and their daughters are unprofitable. Smart daughters will have dowries.Bold women are a source of shame for their fathers and their husbands and will end up despised and alone.

Pick your moment to tell stories, but know that wisdom is always appreciated. Then we go back to fools. Apparently there is some hope: virtuous children can make up for their shitty parents. In this verse, at least. See, oh, the entire Old Testament for the contradictory claim that sinning great-great-great grandparents can fuck up your life a hundred years later.

You get one week to mourn people, but fools and atheists will always be in mourning. Solomon, the smartest man on the planet, mind, asks what is heavier than lead. Now, just one chapter after we were told that it's better to let your anger out, we're told that telling a friend off will ruin the friendship. As will drawing a sword if you intend to fight him. You may make up with your friend in future, unless you've upbraided him, acted pridefully, told his secrets, or injured him physically. Then the friendship is gone.

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