Friday, September 25, 2009

Beauty and the Pig

Our homeschool group is in their 1st year of the Co-op. I think I heard there were 70? students participating just this 1st year. The kids are all enjoying it. I am teaching a girls bible study for ages 8-13. There are 14 young ladies in the class and I'm just falling in love with these gals. The study we are doing is called Beauty and the Pig. We are studying on what does God find beautiful and at the same time learning how to study the bible. So far we are on week 3 and still on one verse. I hope they are not getting too bored, I think as long as I keep bringing goodies each time that will help:) This is a very timely study for me. I have looked at the ladies in my life and see such wonderful characteristics and a love for the Lord about them. Honestly, I'm humbled just being in their company. I'm truly the blessed one. I pray that as these young ladies go through this study that they will not only seek to put on the beautiful traits, but will also be able to identify the traits in others and use that as a guide for friendships.

Here is Week 1. Maybe someone else would like to follow along with us.

Beauty and the Pig Bible Study

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”
(Proverbs 11:22)

God paints a detailed picture of the beautiful woman who has no discretion! What could be more out of place than a costly gold ring adorning the snout of a pig? What could fall shorter of its purpose than that golden band as it is shoved through the mud and mire of the pigpen? Scripture tells us that beauty in the hands of a foolish woman is just as disgusting.

In this study we will examine the main words in Proverbs 11:22, seeking to gain a better understanding of the verse’s meaning. Later, in Study Number 4, “Beauty and the drip.” We will conduct a word study, learning to use the concordance to locate words, and the concordance’s dictionaries to understand the words’ meanings. For this first study, the appropriate verses and dictionary definitions will be provided for you.

The Hebrew word which is translated, jewel of gold in Proverbs 11:22 is often translated as “earring” in the King James Version. The literal translation from the Hebrew, however, is “nose ring.” The nose ring had a different meaning in the Old Testament, culture than it does in our own culture.

Each of the following verses uses the exact same Hebrew word that is used in Proverbs 11:22. Read each verse carefully and note what each one says about “earrings.”
Genesis 24:22
Job 42:11
Proverbs 25:12
Isaiah 3:21

What do you learn about “earrings” from these passages?
The word that is translated as fair in English is the Hebrew word “yapheh.” It comes from the root word, “yaphah” which means “to be bright.” “Yapheh” is also translated as “beautiful,” “comely,” “goodly,” “pleasant,” and “well” (as in well-favored). The word “yophiy” is translated as “beauty” and also comes from the same root word “yaphah.” Read each verse listed below and note how the word is used. Also list the names of all the people, places or things that are described as beautiful, fair, handsome, goodly in the verses.

Genesis 12:11, 14
Genesis 29:17
Genesis 39:6
Genesis 41:2, 4, 18
1 Samuel 16:12
a Samuel 17:42
1 Samuel 25:3
2 Samuel 13:1
2 Samuel 14:25, 27
1 Kings 1:3-4
Esther 2:7
Job 42:15
Proverbs 6:25
Proverbs 31:30
Ecclesiastes 3:11
Ezekiel 16:14
Ezekiel 28:17

Review your notes from Question 3 and summarize what you have learned about beauty.
In what ways do you think a gold earring and beauty are like?
For what purposes does the jeweler fashion the earring?
For what purposes does God grant physical beauty?
What responsibilities does the wearer of the gold ring have?
What responsibilities go with the physical beauty?
The word that is translated discretion in Proverbs 11:22 is the Hebrew word “taam.” It comes from a root verb that means “to taste,” or “to perceive.” The word is most often translated as “taste,” but it is also translated “advice,” “behavior,” “decree,” “judgment,” “reason,” and “understanding.”

Read each verse listed below and note how the word is used. You will need to read the verses before and after the listed passage to understand it’s context.
Exodus 16:31
Numbers 11:8
1 Samuel 21:13
1 Samuel 25:33
Job 6:6
Job 12:20
Psalms 119:66
Proverbs 11:22
Proverbs 26:16
Jonah 3:7

Review your notes. What common factors do you see in how the word “taam” is used?
Read the following definition of discretion as it is defined in Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language:

“Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment; directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one’s own conduct.”
How does this definition apply to the word discretion as it is used in Proverbs 11:22?
Read Webster’s definition of taste:

“To perceive by means of the tongue; to have a certain sensation in consequence of something applied to the tongue, the organ of taste; as, to taste bread; to taste wine; to taste a sweet or an acid.”
How does this definition apply to the word discretion as it is used in Proverbs 11:22?
As we learned in Question 3, the Bible uses a word for beautiful that means “to be bright,” Read Ecclesiastes 8:1. What does is say about wisdom and physical beauty?
*Read Proverbs 1:1-9. What is the purpose of the Book of Proverbs? How does this relate to the discretion that young ladies should possess?
Outline a specific plan that will help you grow in your ability to make wise judgments. How will you know how to behave in a proper way? How will you choose the correct way to respond to different situations throughout the day? Will you choose to read God’s Word for a specific amount of time each day? Will you study a particular topic in the Bible that could lead you to greater wisdom? Will you ask your parents for more guidance? Will you listen to authorities more carefully and obey them more diligently? Share your plan with someone that will help hold you accountable.

*Indicates a good scripture and discussion for young men to participate in.

For further study:
* Study the story of Rebekah in Genesis 24. Rebekah was a beautiful woman (Genesis 29:17) whose actions reflected her discreet and humble spirit. She was also given the same kind of gold ring that the pig in Proverbs 11:22 wears. What can you learn about beauty and discretion from Rebekah’s example?

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