From the Pastor: Curious Comparisons VIII
"Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil
heart." Proverbs 26:23 (NIV)|
One item of kitchenware which enjoyed a renewed popularity in the 1970's,
and up to the present time, is the earthenware mug. Personally, I much
prefer the bone china teacup of our English tradition, but earthenware
mugs can be quite attractive, depending on the quality of the glazing.
There is the rub: earthenware by itself is very plebeian stuff, but a
good glaze can enhance it considerably.
The text above has to do with glazed earthenware, at least the way it is
rendered in the NIV. Older or more traditional modern versions have
there "silver dross" instead of "glaze". This is because in more recent
times a word turned up in texts in the ancient Canaanite language (very
similar to Hebrew), discovered earlier this century, which yielded more
sense in the present context. Thus if we run two Hebrew words together
to form one word the result is this Canaanite word meaning "glaze", as
Two aspects of this phenomenon are worth reflecting on:
(ii) earthenware is brittle. A good glaze may make it look more solid
than it really is, but how deceptive are appearances! So too a seemingly
righteous life breaks apart unless the indestructible life from the Holy
Spirit gives it real quality. Here we may draw an implication from the
older version: we need to be genuine silver vessels - they do not break.
Is your Christian life a solid silver vessel, or merely a glazed mug?.