"A Good Thing?" (Proverbs 18:22)
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22).
Any guy with a loving, helpful, virtuous wife can say an "Amen, Amen!".
But the language sounds awkward nonetheless. "A good thing" sounds utilitarian, objectifying, demeaning or something. Now i'm no Hebrew scholar, but even if that is a literal translation, i suspect NIV is closer to the meaning; that is, "finds what is good".
In any event, it reminded me of another word that sounds awkward in our culture. Now sometimes Biblical words, phrases, verses, ideas are awkward culturally because God's Word does not bend and bow to culture. But sometimes things are simply lost in translation.
For instance, in Genesis 2:18: "The Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet/helper fit for him".
Hmm, awkward. Is woman Biblically subservient? No! Something is really, really lost in "cultural" translation.
Actually in Biblical culture this is an expression of woman's strength. Ask yourself, in married couples, if God should call one home, woman is generally far more adept at carrying on. Statistics bear this out i believe.
Moreover and more interesting, in Biblical culture, helpmeet/helper was a position of strength. In other words, scholars tell us God uses the same word "helpmeet/helper" in terms of his relation to man and later of the Holy Spirit in Greek. In other words, woman AND GOD help man from a place of unique strength -- not merely as an extra hand. Woman AND GOD "help" man by lending unique skills, talents, and strengths he simply does not have or in a comparatively diminished capacity.
We don't really even need the Bible to tell us this, it's obvious. Just look around, the Cooks are perfect example.