Case in Point

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This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

Christian journalist: An apple a day keeps you in the editor’s pay (Proverbs 25:11)

Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes that Christian journalists should “know the proper times and procedure because there is a proper time and procedure for every matter” including writing (8:5-6), to “find just the right words” (12:10), and that good words are “like rain upon the mown grass” (Ps. 72:6). We tend to read this primarily in a counseling situation, but it has also a journalistic application.

Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (ESV and NIV) or “As a golden apple in a necklace of sardius, so is it to speak a wise word.” (Greek Septuagint)

The Hebrew word translated “fitly spoken” or “speak a wise” is “ouphan,” the root of which comes from “to turn” or “to revolve” and it can have a reference to the wheels of a cart (Prov. 20:26). Thus the Jewish Tanakh translates the phrase “a word aptly spoken” as “a phrase well-turned.” Delitzsch translates the phrase “a word spoken according to its circumstances.” “Sardius” is one of the precious stones in the breastplate of Aaron (Exodus 28:17).

The phrase “like apples of gold in a setting of silver” has new meaning in today’s economic market. Precious metals are a hedge against inflation which robs a person of his wealth. Gold and silver are not only beautiful but they are timeless measures of dependable wealth. Furthermore, gold and silver are reflective of wisdom and prudence. The right words have a lasting impact and can bring a public display of beauty to the receiver of the words. In fact, other people than the receiver can enjoy the beauty of well-spoken words.

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