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Proverbs 3 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Proverbs 3 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

A beautiful proverb about mercy and truth.
On how merciful unbelievers are, see John 15:12.
On the quest for truth, it's a bit rich coming from someone whose whole endeavor is to find mistakes in the Bible, and leaves no stone unturned such as disregarding context, to find them, chapter 1:26.

4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

"Lean not unto thine own understanding."
Don't try to understand things; just accept whatever the bible and your religious leaders tell you.
And there we go, mercy and truth are already forgotten, verse 3. We have to be as merciless as possible when reading the Bible.
The Bible doesn't stay that one should not make an attempt at understanding, this verse actually indicates we should, but we should not lean on them, turning what we think into our gods. If we would trust scientists, we would have believed that the Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man and Lucy were all missing links. But the Bible says there is no such thing, and all these previously heralded missing links are now relegated to the clearly ape branch.
Or take another famous scientist: Stephen Hawking. If you have leaned on him in 1988, you would have believed that only scientists were really able to give the answer to why we and the universe exists:

However, if we do discover a [unified] theory ... it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God.

Staggering stuff! But he was just a bruised reed. Because in 2006 you would have heard:

Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory, that can be formulated as a finite number of principles. I used to belong to that camp, but I have changed my mind.

Stephen Hawkins admits we cannot know the mind of God...
This verse is of course not only about scientific knowledge. It is in particular about moral knowledge: what is good and what is bad? How surprising is it if scientists tell us that we came here by survival logic: only the fittest survived, it's by weeding out the weak that advances were made, and people start acting on that logic? And it's not only the Columbine school killers with the text “Natural selection” on their T-shirts, but it happens also in Finland:

I am a social Darwinist ... There are no other universal laws than the laws of nature and the laws of physics. ... Evolution is both a theory and a fact, creationism is neither one. It’s time to put natural selection & survival of the fittest back on track!’

Just accept what your science teacher tells you?

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

(3:9-10) If you give money to God, he will make you rich and you'll have lots of wine.
Yes, giving to God seems to have a different effect than paying taxes. And God only asks for ten percent.

10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding."
A special anthem was composed from these words for Darwin's funeral at Westminister Abbey.
Does wisdom make people happy?
How many people have believed Darwin and acted on his theories? And not only the famous ones like Stalin or Hitler. Or Dawkins, who now agrees with Hitler. How much happier have Darwin's speculations made this world?

14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

"Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it."
Why would the author of the SAB find this a good verse? Wouldn't it help propagate the genes of inferior races for example? Wouldn't it be highly injurious to the race of man to indulge in this behavior?

28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

Help your neighbor, if you can.
Again, what philosophical basis does the author of the SAB have to find this a good verse?

29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

(3:29-31) Don't devise plots against your neighbor, fight without cause, or imitate an oppressor.
Again, what philosophical basis does the author of the SAB have to find this a good verse?

30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

"He blesseth the habitation of the just."
Has the ever been a just person?

34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.