I think I need a lexicon. Back in grade school, it was third maybe fourth grade, a teacher had us keep one in a spiral bound notebook. Mine was red.

The first line of Saying 15 has two words that would be included in mine.

Saying 15

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
    but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 23.17-18

I mentioned heart a couple weeks back, in Saying 12 but my lexicon would read something like this:

heart /härt/ – an act of the will, the choices we make

I learned that from my friend Bob. He calls the heart the “seat of volition.” Just FYI, when these sayings were written and heart was understood this way, soul was the “seat of emotion.”

Decide not to envy sinners,

Already seems to change the meaning of this verse.

It gets better.

In Greek mythology, Thesis knew that if she dipped her son Achilles in the river Styx he would be invulnerable. So she grabbed him by his ankle and dipped him in face first. The water didn’t touch where she was holding and this is where we get Achilles heel, or his sin.

The Greek word that describes Achilles heel is hamartia, the word we translate as sin. So my lexicon would read

sin /sin/ – a vulnerability that trips someone up.

There are a lot more conversations to have about this word, especially it’s relationship rules and breaking them. But for today, how often are the things we envy the very things that are tripping someone else up? That’s the first question Saying 15 is asking.

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