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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 3:31

"Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways"

Solomon specifically says not to envy the man who gains through his aggressiveness and harm to others. Don't envy what he gains and do not envy that he is always able to assert his rights and his point of view.


This is the Hebrew word qanah which means to be jealous or envious. To want what someone else has is the basic idea in this context. We may want this person's ability in order to bend others to our point of view. But Solomon says they pay a very steep price for their ability to gain what they want.

When we gain by others, loss it is only a short-term gain at best. That seems to be a project with the Lord.


This is the Hebrew word chamas which means violence, wrong, malicious. The idea is that harm is being or will be done. It is the sure sign that ethical misconduct or wrong has taken place. Someone has been harmed or their profit has been diminished in order to accomplish your personal profit. We do not think in these terms; but we should become increasingly aware of how our actions, words, attitudes, and motives impact others.

The violent person does not necessarily want to be violent. They just have to have their own way, and they are willing to threaten violence or do violence to get it.


This is the Hebrew word bachar which means to choose, to make a choice. You do have a choice what kind of lifestyle you will embrace. Once you have embraced a lifestyle, then your choices may become inevitable as certain behaviors come with a certain lifestyle choice.

Think this through: The life of person who makes a living selling drugs is different from the person who sells clothes at a department store. The person who keeps out of trouble by lying has a completely different set of friends than the person who tries to keep out of trouble by not needing to lie in the first place.


This is the Hebrew word derek which means path, way, direction. The Hebrew mindset was that a person’s life was on a path and certain predictable things are a part of each lifestyle path. The things that are a part of a person who gets their way through violence, intimidation, or over-aggressiveness is not a way of life to embrace. It entails far more than just getting your own way. It is clear from the fact that this is a plural word and that there are a number of different ways that this person uses harm, violence, threat, and/or intimidation to assert his perspective. Don't make the choice to have your claims met through this volatile, aggressive behavior. You may think that you are accomplishing lots of stuff, but you are not.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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