Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:53 AM

Biblical Scoffer

Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:53 AM
Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:53 AM

Scoff, mock, scorn, formally, talk big, i.e., speak words which show no respect for the object, and make fun of the object, with a possible focus of speaking in the situation with confidence and authority.

Fools scorn and mock at sin (Prov 14:9) and judgment (Prov 19:28). The scorner himself may be described as proud and haughty (Prov 21:24), incorrigible (Prov 9:7), resistant to all reproof (Prov 9:8; 15:12), and hating any rebuke (Prov 13:1). Wisdom and knowledge easily elude him (Prov 14:6).

So despicable is the scorner that he may be labelled as odious to all men (Prov 24:9). Therefore he must be avoided (Ps 1:1) by all who would live godly lives. Further, he should be punished by hitting so that the easily pursuaded naive fool may benefit from the lesson (Prov 19:25; 21:11). One good way to remove contention from a group is to eject the scorner, and then “strife and reproach will cease” (Prov 22:10). A prepared judgment awaits all such scorners (Prov 19:29), for their trademark of life has been “to delight” in their scorning (Prov 1:22). They shall be brought to nothing and consumed (Isa 29:20).

That the particular type of wickedness of the scorner is pride is suggested by Prov 3:34. Here the scorner is contrasted with the humble. In this verse the LXX renders “scorner” by “proud” which is followed in the nt Jas 4:6 and I Pet 5:5. Cf. Prov 21:24. Dahood points out a parallel of this word with “evil” in the Karatepe I inscription (Psalms, I, in AB, p. 2).

Among the various mockers and scorners are wine (Prov 20:1), the proud (Ps 119:51), the king of Samaria’s henchmen (Hos 7:5), and Job’s friends (16:20).

As a Hiphil participle, the word means an interpreter, such as Joseph used to fool his brothers (Gen 42:23). The interpreters in Isa 43:27 are the teachers of Israel, God’s priests and prophets who have sinned by refusing to give out God’s word as he first gave it. In II Chr 32:31, the word represents ambassadors or representatives of Babylon.

The most interesting text is Job 33:23. Elihu speaks of God graciously teaching men through the discipline of suffering the more perfect path of the Lord. Then God sends an angel, i.e. a messenger otherwise known as an interpreter, ambassador, or even a mediator to show man what is right.

Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (479). Chicago: Moody Press.

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