The actually good books in the “Good Book,” or: No, I’m not just tweeting the nasty stuff

Previously in Tweeting my way through the Bible: Genesis and Exodus, Leviticus through Deuteronomy, Joshua through Psalms.

In my “Tweeting my way through the Bible” project, I’ve been accused of only seeking out the “nasty” verses. This isn’t true. Instead, I’m seeking out surprising verses, verses not often covered in Sunday Schools, sermons, and Bible studies. It’s just that unfortunately, the surprises in the Bible are mostly nasty ones.

There are exceptions, however, and three of the biggest ones are right next to each other in traditional orderings of books of the Bible (Christian version, anyway): Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Okay, proverbs is a mixed bag, as you really shouldn’t beat people, except maybe as an alternative to prison (or if they want you to). But I do sympathize with the desire to beat people for foolishness.

ETA: Follow me on Twitter here.

  • Proverbs 8:11 “Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”
  • Proverbs 10:13 “A rod is for the back of one who has no sense.”
  • Proverbs 11:29 “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”
  • Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children.”
  • Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believe anything.”
  • Proverbs 14:20 “The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.”
  • Proverbs 16:4 “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.”
  • Proverbs 16:10 “Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.”
  • Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler.”
  • Proverbs 20:30 “Blows that wound cleanse away evil; beatings make clean the innermost parts.”
  • Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a boy, but the rod of discipline drives it far away.”
  • Proverbs 23:13: “Do not withhold discipline from your children; if you beat them with a rod, they will not die.”
  • Proverbs 26:3 “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.”
  • Okay, physically beating fools is extreme, but as one who doesn’t care for fools, I sympathize with Proverbs here.
  • Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”
  • Proverbs 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”
  • I really identify with the dilemma in Proverbs 26:4-5.
  • Proverbs 26:9 “Like a thornbush brandished by the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.”
  • Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.”
  • Proverbs 28:25: “He that puts his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.”
  • Proverbs 28:26: “He that trusts in his own heart is a fool”
  • Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by a neglected child.”
  • Proverbs 29:19: “By mere words servants are not disciplined, for though they understand, they will not give heed.”
  • Proverbs 30:17: The eye “that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother” will be pecked out by ravens and eaten by the vultures.
  • Ecclesiastes 1:1: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
  • Ecclesiastes 1:7: “All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.”
  • Ecclesiastes 1:8 “All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.”
  • Ecclesiastes 1:9: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
  • Ecc 1:10: “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”
  • Ecc 1:11 “There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that…
  • …shall come after.”
  • Ecc 1:14 “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
  • Ecc 1:15 “That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.”
  • Ecc 1:18 “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”
  • Ecc 2:13 “Wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.”
  • Ecc 2:15 “Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise?”
  • Ecc 2:16 “For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all…
  • Ecc 2:17 “Therefore I hated life; bc the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
  • Ecc 2:18 “I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.”
  • Ecc 2:19 “And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured…
  • …and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.”
  • Ecc 2:24 “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.”
  • Ecc 3:1: “To everything there is a season.”
  • Ecc 3:12 “I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.”
  • Ecc 3:13 “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.”
  • Ecc 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other…
  • …yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.”
  • Ecc 3:20 “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.”
  • Ecc 3:21 “Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth?”
  • Ecc 3:22 “Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion…
  • …for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?”
  • Ecc 4:1: “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed…
  • …and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.”
  • Ecc 4:2 “Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.”
  • Ecc 4:3 “Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.”
  • I like Ecclesiastes, but I wonder if that’s just because True Art Is Angsty.
  • Ecc 4:9 “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.”
  • Ecc 4:10 “If they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he hath not another to help him up”
  • Ecc 4:11 “Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?”
  • Ecc 4:12 “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
  • Ecc 4:13 “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king”
  • If the Bible were divinely inspired, every book would be at least as well-written as Ecclesiastes.
  • Ecc 5:15 “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour”
  • Ecc 5:18 “it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun”
  • Ecc 6:3 “If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, and his soul be not filled with good an untimely birth is better than he.”
  • Ecc 6:6 “Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?”
  • Ecc 6:12 “For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
  • Ecc 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”
  • Ecc 7:2 “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men.”
  • Ecc 7:13 “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?”
  • Ecc 7:15 “There is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.”
  • Ecc 8:15 “a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry”
  • Ecc 9:4 “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.”
  • Ecc 9:5 “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward.”
  • OMG this is so cute | A Song of Solomon: http://youtu.be/9dSY2fLdY8Y  via @youtube
  • SS 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”
  • SS 1:13 “A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.”
  • SS 2:3 ” I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
  • SS 2:16 “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.”
  • SS 4:5 “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins”
  • SS 4:10 “how much better is thy love than wine!”
  • SS 4:16 “Blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”
  • SS 5:4 “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.”
  • SS 7:1 “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.”
  • SS 7:2 “Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.”
  • SS 7:3 “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.”
  • SS 7:7 “This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.”
  • SS 7:8 “thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine”
  • SS 8:2 “I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.”
  • SS 8:10 “I am a wall, and my breasts like towers”
  • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

    I wanted to follow you on Twitter, but I’m sorry, there are just way too many posts per day. :(

    • Chris Hallquist

      Part of Twitter is that it really doesn’t matter if you see everything.

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com Kacy

    Awesome! It’s time for the humanists to reclaim the Bible and use our own decontectualized verses to support our values. Why not cherry-pick some of the better verses?

    The “Time for Everything” passage in Ecclesiastes 3 is still one of my favorites.

    Also, consider checking out some of the books in the Catholic Bible. Wisdom and Sirach are in the same genre of literature as Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Here’s a great gem from the Book of Wisdom:

    For by mere chance were we born, and hereafter we shall be as though we had not been. (WIS 2:2)

    • Chris Hallquist

      Will have to look at that.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler.”

    What drink did they have that was “stronger” than wine back in the pre-distillation days?

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