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Is Proverbs for Girls?

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding, Proverbs 4:1.

I recently heard a man preach on Proverbs 4:10 which says; Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. He made a quick remark that reassured girls that Solomon was speaking to them also. If you have a King James Bible the preacher was dead on. If you have an ESV or an NIV the preacher was wrong.

To understand the context of Proverbs 4:10 it is necessary to remember that Solomon is quoting his father David's advice to him. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live, Proverbs 4:3,4. Therefore, "Hear, O my son" is a quote from David in speaking to Solomon. Solomon opens up his recollection of King David's advice to him by saying, "Hear, ye children". That includes both boys and girls. He wanted both sexes to hear the advice that he received as a child.

In fact Proverbs chapters 4-24 is Solomon reciting the advice given to him by his father. Those chapters of Proverbs are like the material list for the temple. It was gathered in David's lifetime but left to Solomon to build. It is the heritage of all mankind. It is to both male and female.

If you read an ESV or an NIV, girls are excluded. It's a boys only club. The NIV says; Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction. The ESV is no better; Hear, O sons, a father's instruction. Isn't it fascinating that as churches bend more and more on women's role in the church, and as those churches holding on to traditional roles for men and women are criticized more and more, our old fashioned King James Bible included girls in its Proverbial admonitions and the modern versions excluded them?

If you want to see women suffer, go to a land untouched by Christianity. Men and women each have distinctive roles in nature, in the family and in the house of God. Neither one is superior to the other. Tragedies and other circumstances often compel either men or women to take up roles in the family or in society that are traditional for the other sex. God bless and God help such people. What is important to remember is that when Solomon recounted the advice given to him by his father, it was for both men and women. The devil hates that and blotted it out in the new versions.

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