The Relationship Between Ethics and Sanctions in Proverbs 1-7

The book of Proverbs was written primarily by Solomon, and was directed towards his son. This book in particular is full of advice and is designed in my opinion to help guide people through life. Because of the book’s design it focuses very strongly on morality and ethics; but what is the relationship between ethics and sanctions in Proverbs 1-7?

Before answering the question one must know what the words ethics, and sanctions means. Ethics means moral principles, and sanctions means permission(it also means penalty), this is in relation to the Proverbs.  In Proverbs 1-7, Solomon warns his son of the people he should not associate with or avoid to associate with. He tells his son to search for wisdom and understanding, and gives other important life advice. But how does all this come into relation with ethics and sanctions? Well for every action there is a consequence, for example if you steal you will most likely be caught or feel guilt after doing so. Consequences do not necessarily have to be negative though. So there will always be consequences for one’s actions, even though it may not seem so.

The Proverbs provides ethics, it is in many ways a book of ethics, as individuals we can choose to follow them or not. In the Proverbs it shows examples of good and bad ethics; ethics one should not follow, and ethics one should follow. But what about sanctions? How does it come into the picture? Well like I stated, sanctions at least how I perceived it to mean in the context of the Proverbs is permission, or permission from a higher power or ruler, who is God. As humans we have free will, we can make our own decisions, bad or not, but that does not mean that God does not disapprove or approve of these decisions. In the Proverbs there are many examples of God disapproving of one’s actions, or approving of one’s actions. 

Which is why I believe that the relationship between ethics and sanctions in Proverbs 1-7 is that of teaching lessons, instead of active punishment. Also this relationship is quite important, without ethics there are no sanctions. 

In conclusion, the relationship between ethics and sanctions in Proverbs 1-7 is that of lesson teaching, and it is also an important relationship. Ethics is an important concept throughout the Bible, and so is the concept of sanctions. Without ethics there can’t be sanctions, or without moral values there cannot be moral standards.

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