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Friend or Bro?

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Proverbs 17:17 mentions two people: a friend and a brother. Are these two the same (one becoming the other) or are they different (each with their own roles)?

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Earlier this year, Tyler Bilskie, a 19-year-old in Vincennes walked into a Stop-N-Go like he does many times throughout the year. Along with maybe some gas, a drink, and whatever else one gets at Stop-N-Go, he purchased ticket to the $7,000,000 Mega Ca$h game in the Indiana Lottery.
Put them together and it
But he didn’t win the 7 million. He won $250,000.
Now I don’t know what happened with Tyler after winning the money, but I can imagine what I would have done at 19. Maybe I would have spent it on a nice car, a new clarinet, maybe build a top-of the line computer. But I do know others would come wanting a piece of that pie. One would say that I would have lots of friends…at least until that money is gone as Billie Holliday’s song suggests.
But tells us that a friend loves at all times—not just the rich times of ones life.
s every time you can think of. Good times, bad times. In worship t
imes and
When I Google , what I see the most is the phrase “A friend loves at all times.” I saw it so much that I wanted to look at that.
depressed times. In tired times and in times when there
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. “At All Times”.
All = total, everything, the whole
s a lot of energy. All times.
Times= Occasions, points in time.
What happens
Put them together and it’s every time you can think of. Good times, bad times. In worship times and depressed times. In tired times and in times when there’s a lot of energy. All times.
in
What happens in all times? Love! We know all about love, don’t we? God IS love. But how is a friend to love at all times?
It’s important to know what friend is. It’s certainly not the group of people knocking on your door if you win the lottery.
all times? Love! We know all about love, don
In the Hebrew, the word for “Rrrayohhh” friend here is the same exact word used for “Neighbor.”
It’s the same word that’s used in the Ten Commandments of :
t we? God IS love. But how is a friend
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
to love at all times?
You shall not covet your neighbors stuff
It
It’s also used in one of the two great commandments that Jesus recounts in :
Love your neighbor as yourself (from ).
s important to know what friend is.
It
So the friend in this verse is a neighbor.
When an expert in religious law asked Jesus “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with the parable of the good Samaritan. In this parable, there was a man attacked by robbers. Three people saw him and all reacted differently. They both agreed that the one who had mercy on the victim was the neighbor.
So, if I understand this correctly if we are all to love our neighbors as ourselves, we have to do it at all times—with mercy towards one another…in all situations, in all occasions, at all times.
s certainly not the group of people knocking on your door if you
We should stop there like the google results, right? Or maybe we should continue on to the rest of the verse.
win the lottery.
And a brother is born for a time of adversity.
In the Hebrew, the word for
͞
Some look at these two, the friend and the brother, as the same person. A friend loves ya, but may not be there for adversity. A brother is a friend who sticks through everything. In adversity, a friend is born into a brotherhood.
When talking about what the phrase "is born” means, The English poet William Wordsworth said, "Adversity brings him forth. He comes, as it were, out of the womb of calamity, and seems to be born for it."
Rrrayohhh
͟
Wordworth and others use this word “born” as something figurative. As something transforming—almost as if a part of friendship is awakened when needed by a friend in distress.
friend here is the same exact word used for
However, we have to look at what these words meant in their time, not our own.
͞
When the Hebrews used the word brother, it didn’t mean just someone who shares the same parents. It meant someone of blood relation, a fellow tribesman. But mostly it was someone related to you by blood marriage. It could be a brother, cousin, uncle, or various other relatives.
When the Hebrews used the word brother, it didn’t mean just someone who shares the same parents. It meant someone of blood relation, a fellow tribesman. But mostly it was someone related to you by blood marriage. It could be a brother, cousin, uncle, or various other relatives.
Neighbor.
It would be odd for me to say that my father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate is my brother’s roommate. But for the ancient Hebrew, this was normal…ish.
͟
It
Is born for adversity
Yalaad. Literally to be born. Fathered, Begot, Commencement of life outside of the womb.
So a brother being born actually points to family ties. It points to people who are united by a line of blood. In other words, the meaning is rather that in trouble you see what family ties are for.
s the same word that
People of the same blood line had duties to perform in times of adversity. This went all the way back to Genesis. For instance,
s used in the Ten Commandments of :
1. One of my favorite stories in Genesis is one of Joseph and his brothers. His brothers sold him into slavery out of jealousy…but in the end, Joseph ended up saving his brothers from the adversities of poverty and hunger. This led to all the people of Israel being brought into Egypt to be free of these adversities. Joseph and his brothers died and when the population of Israelites within Egypt became too numerous, the new king put them into slavery.
2. In Exodus, Moses was tasked to lead the people from Egypt from under the adversities of slavery, and tyranny He didn’t free his people alone. Aaron had to be there right beside him. It wasn’t Moses’s best friend, but rather his brother that aided in this time of calamity.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
3. When a man dies before he is able to have children, the brother has a duty to perform.
You shall not covet your neighbors stuff
It
Deuteronomy 25:5 NIV
If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.
In doing this, the deceased brother’s line is kept going instead of dying with him.
In all these instances, it is the blood relative (or united to the family by marriage) that had to step up. This is what this verse is talking about.
s also used in one of the two great commandments that Jesus recounts in Mat
But! Something great happened due to this “brotherly” duty. Years later, a woman named Naomi lost her husband and two sons. She and Ruth, her widowed daughter-in-law (1 of the 2) ventured from Moab into Bethlehem and met Boaz who happened to be in the same clan as Naomi’s late husband. There’s a bit more to it, but Boaz was a kinsman who stepped up to his duty and married Ruth. Ruth and Boaz had Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse.
The prophet Isaiah told us that :
thew 22:
Love your neighbor as yourself (from ).
11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
Isaiah 11:1–2 NIV
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
Isaiah 11:1–3 NIV
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
Isaiah 11:1–3 NIV
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
So the friend in this verse is a neighbor.
This shoot brought the world King David, Solomon, and all the great kings of Judah and grew into a Branch bearing fruit. This Branch that bears fruit has a name. And that name is Jesus Christ! He was born for a time of adversity!
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
When an expert in religious law asked Jesus
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
͞
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
who is my neighbor?
͟
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
Jesus responded with the parable of
This shoot brought the world King David, Solomon, and all the great kings of Judah and grew into a Branch bearing fruit. This Branch that bears fruit has a name. And that name is Jesus Christ! He was born for a time of adversity!
Jesus Conquered the Adversities Poverty Abundant life
the good Samaritan. In this parable, there was a man attacked by robbers.
Three people saw him and
Hunger Bread of Life
all reacted differently. They both agreed that the one who had mercy on th
New International Version (NIV)
e victim was the neighbor.
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Slavery Tyranny Freedom
So, if I understand this correctly if we are all to love our neighbors as
ourselves, we have to do it at all
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
times
O Come O Come Emmanuel
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
with mercy towards one another
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
Jesus Jesus Just that name!
...
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
in all situations, in all occasions, at all times.
We should stop there like the google results, right? Or maybe we should c
Jesus Jesus Just that name!
That’s good news, but what does that have to do with a brother being born?
ontinue on to the rest of the
New International Version (NIV)
verse.
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
And a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Some look at these two, the friend and the brother, as the same person. A fri
48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
end loves ya, but may not
Jesus Christ was born for a time of the adversity of Sin. Do you do the will of God? Is he your brother? Know that he is the best neighbor around. He loves you at all times. His love is devoted, His love is enduring, and for that, may his praise be ever on our lips.
be there for adversity. A brother is a friend who sticks through everything.
In adversity, a friend is born
into a brotherhood.
"is born," Wordsworth fancifully remarks, "Adversity brings him forth. He
comes, as it were, out of the
womb of calamity, and seems to be born for it."
In this, Wordworth and others use this word
͞
born
͟
as something figurative. As something
transforming
almost as if a part of friendship is awakened when needed by a friend in distress.
However, we have to look at what these words meant in their time, not our
own.
For example, the Septuagint, "Have thou a friend for every crisis, and let b
rethren be useful in
adversities; for for this they are made."
📷
When the Hebrews used the word brother, it didn
t mean just someone who shares the same parents.
It meant someone of blood relation, a fellow tribesman. But mostly
it was someone related to you by
blood marriage. It could be a brother, cousin, uncle, or vario
us other relatives.
It would be odd for me to say that my father
s brother
s nephew
s cousin
s former roommate is my
brother
s roommate. But for the ancient Hebrew, this was normal
...
ish.
Are Born for adversity
Yalaad. Literally to be born. Fathered, Begot, Commencement of life outsi
de of the womb.
So a brother being born actually points to family ties. It point
s to people who are united by a line of
blood. In other words, the meaning is rather that in trouble you see what
family ties are for.
People of the same blood line had duties to perform in times of adversit
y. This went all the way back to
Genesis. For instance,
1.
One of my favorite stories in Genesis is one of Joseph and his brothers. His bro
thers sold him
into slavery out of jealousy
...
but in the end, Joseph ended up saving his brothers from the
adversities of
poverty
and
hunger
.
Th
is
led to all the people of Israel being brought into Egypt to
be free of these adversities. Joseph and his brothers died and when the
po
pulation of Israelites
within Egypt became too numerous, the new king put them into sl
avery.
2.
In Exodus, Moses was tasked to lead the people from Egypt from under the adv
ersities of
slavery, tyranny,
and
homelessness
. (Sure, they had homes, but it was not where they
belonged).
He didn
t
free his people alone. Aaron had to be there right beside him. It wasn
t
Moses
s best friend, but rather his brother that aided in this time of calamity
.
3.
When a man dies before he is able to have children, the brother has a duty to
perform.
If brothers are living together and one of them dies without
a son, his widow must not marry
outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fu
lfill the duty of a brother-
in
-law to her.
In doing this, the deceased brother
s line is kept going instead of dying with him.
In all these instances, it is the blood relative (or united to the fami
ly by marriage) that had to step up.
This
is what this verse is talking about.
But! Something great happened due to this
͞
brotherly
͟
duty. Years later, a woman named Naomi lost
her husband and two sons. She a
nd
Ruth, her widowed daughter-
in
-law (1 of the 2) ventured from
Moab into Bethlehem and met Boaz who happened to be in the same clan as Namoi
s late husband.
There
s a bit more to it, but Boaz was a kinsman who stepped up to his duty an
d married Ruth. Ruth
and Boaz had Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse.
The prophet Isaiah told us that :
11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
📷
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
This shoot brought the world King David, Solomon, and all the great
kings of Judah and grew into a
Branch bearing fruit. This Branch that bears fruit has a name. And that
name is Jesus Christ! He was
born for a time of adversity!
Poverty Ab
undant life
Hunger Bread
of Life
New International Version (NIV)
35 Then Jesus declared,
͞
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and
whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Slavery Tyranny Freedom
͞
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim
good news to the
poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight
for the blind, to set
the oppressed free,
O Come O Come Emmanuel
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
Homelessness A Prepared Place
My Father
s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you th
at I am going
there to prepare a place for you?
Jesus Jesus Just that name!
That
s nice, but what does that have to do with a brother being born?
New International Version (NIV)
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood
outside, wanting to speak to
him. 47 Someone told him,
͞
Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.
͟
48 He replied to him,
͞
Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?
͟
49 Pointing to his disciples, he
said,
͞
Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Fath
er in heaven is my
brother and sister and mother.
͟
📷
Jesus Christ was born for a time of the adversity
of
Sin.
Do you do the will of God? Is he your brother?
Know that he is the best neighbor around. He loves you at all times.
His love is devoted, His love i
s
enduring, and for that, may his praise be ever on our lips.
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