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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 13:22


"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous"

good

This is the Hebrew word tob, which is pleasant, agreeable, good, beneficial. The idea of a good man is very similar to the idea of a righteous man. These two ideas are used synonymously in this proverb. They exhibit positive righteousness. They glow with the love of God, seeking to benefit and bless and meet the needs of those around them. They realize that the point of life is to love (meet needs) people – whatever people God has put them in contact with. In this proverb, Solomon points out that their desire to be a blessing and to meet needs extends to their children's children. They bless them with money that will allow them to be a blessing to others.

It is a very interesting question to ask if the people in your life consider you a blessing to them or a drain. Are you looking to gain things from others or to bless people with the love of God in your life?

The good person is not looking to consume but to bless. The extension of blessing to children's children shows the range of this good person's thoughts about blessing others. They are not just blessing their own generation or even the next generation; they are looking to bless two generations away. This kind of person is about blessing people.

children's children

This is literally the words son's sons.

The transition between the first and second parts of this proverb seems odd as Solomon uses and seemingly launches into a random observation, but it is not random and is hooked to the previous idea of leaving an inheritance.

Remember that the Hebrew learning style is one of hooked learning where there are thought-bridges. This thought or topic triggers a discussion about this idea which is related to the last topic. He has been talking about how far the good person's positive righteousness and desire to leave a blessing extends. This leads him to talk about inheritances and leaving your wealth to others after you die. So that forms the thought-bridge in which he now discusses the fact that the selfish people who have been heaping up treasure for themselves their whole life hand their wealth to other people when they die and often to those who are looking to bless people. Solomon does not stress why this is the case; just that it is.

The idea seems to be that the accumulation of wealth that has been the sinner's selfish, greedy pursuit will eventually find its way to people who will want to bless people. Righteousness wins in the end. People will be blessed by this accumulated wealth. We saw living examples of this in the lives of the enormously wealthy tycoons (called robber barons) of the early 1900's. Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, and others came to develop a great philanthropic heart and gave their wealth away. They found that the only solace they could find in their wealth was to bless people with it.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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