Proverb 11:2 A Story

Came pride and came humiliation;
And with humble ones, wisdom (chokmah H2451).

In Hebrew the verbs are both completed action and are missing in the second staph. So, from a reader’s perspective, do these proud ones come to them, or are they the proud ones? Does it matter? If not, then how do both options help us perceive the point?

For instance, if Bob is proud and shows up at Steve’s house, is Bob humiliating Steve? If Steve is proud, then as his pride grows, does his humiliation among his peers?

Conversely, if Bob is humble and shows up at Steve’s house, is Steve gaining wisdom by welcoming him? If Steve is humble, does his humility demonstrate his wisdom?

Steve looked at himself in the mirror, jutting his chin out to inspect his shaving job. He smoothed his hands over his cheeks and turned his head back and forth. His sideburns were short, hair neatly trimmed to a high-and-tight “rug”. It was a short rug.

He stepped back and checked his uniform. Pockets ironed flat, rank in place, no strings on patches, his eyes traveled down, checking every potentially dangerous gig. His boots were clean and pants bloused neatly above. Everything looked right.

This is it, today’s my day!

He turned to look at himself as well as he could, from behind. He glanced through the bathroom door into his quarters. His bed was still messed up, and his wife, Dana, still slept. She’d finally understand, after today. All these years will suddenly make sense.

Steve made another adjustment to his belt as he walked out of the bathroom, switching off the light. He stood at the foot of the bed and looked down at Dana’s sleeping form. She shifted and grunted, hugging her pillow tighter. He walked out softly and shut the door.

In the kitchen, Steve opened the fridge to get things out for his smoothie. Green spinach, frozen fruit, his protein, not hers, yuck, a little water, and he assembled the ingredients in the blender. A brief couple of pulses, and he let it run for a bit.

He leaned against the counter holding his cup. Steve caught his reflection in the oven door and toasted himself with a smile.

It all pays off today. Here’s to you, Sargent Robbins!

There was a loud knock on the door, and Steve jolted upright and rushed to get it before more sounded.

Bob, you dork!

“Hey, Dana’s still sleeping you idiot!” Steve said in a loud whisper as he opened the door.

Bob entered the living room with a flourish and a wave.

“Sargent Erickson has arrived! All bow before him!” Bob said loudly with an enormous grin.

“Dude! Shut up! I told you, Dana’s still…”

“Sleeping?” Dana said blearily from the bedroom doorway.

Steve looked at his wife and sighed. Bob looked at her with a wide grin.

“Now you get to be the first to congratulate me on my big day!” Bob said, arms up like he was about to hug her. He didn’t approach, though. Her face made it clear she was not to be approached.

“Sorry, honey. Oh, and Bob’s here.”

Dana didn’t smile.

“I thought it was your big day,” Dana said, looking at her husband.

“Well, it is. But Bob is involved in it too.”

“Involved?” Bob said, looking at Steve with hands on his hips. “It was my idea!”

“Oh sure, you thought up a way to change all the filters in Humvees in less than 5 minutes.”


“That was you,” Steve said, looking at Bob with a smirk.

“Yup, that’s what I told the Sargant Major.”

Dana smirked at Steve as Steve gaped at Bob. Bob did a dance in the living room, oblivious to both.

A cascade of expressions flowed across Sargant Steve Robbins face as emotions and thoughts collided, surged, crashed, and pinwheeled around in his head. Dana leaned against the door jamb, arms crossed, eyebrows raised, as she watched her husband grapple with news she had warned him about already.

Steve looked from his “friend” to his wife, and back, and forth, and back. He sighed, and looked at the floor.

Crap. I can’t believe he actually did it.

Steve looked at Bob for a second, still dancing, but now a horrible Irish jig. A smile crept across his face. He looked over at Dana who raised her eyebrows in question. He grinned wider, and pulled out his phone.

Sgt Major, I hate to do this, but something has come up with Dana.

Would it be okay with you if I took a PTO day today? I know it’s last minute.

Steve continued to look at his phone for a minute, tilting his head back and forth as he ticked off the seconds. The Sargant Major was always very prompt in replies. And today was no different.

Sure Sgt Robbins, Erickson is the one I need to meet with anyway.

“Perfect! I’m off the hook,” Steve said with a smile. He stood, arms folded, looking at Bob who had frozen, one leg up, in mid slap.

Bob looked over at Steve with wide eyes, still balanced on one foot, hand poised above his boot.

“So, you and I can go on that date to Old Town you have been asking for,” Steve said, looking at his wife with a wide grin. She smiled widely back at him.

“And you need to hurry if you’re going to make the motor pool on time to meet with Sargent Major Peters about your amazing new discovery,” Steve said looking at Bob.

Bob blinked, put his foot down slowly, still staring at Steve with wide eyes. Steve walked over and guided Bob by the arm out the door.

“Wait! What was the order again?” came Bob’s muffled voice as the door shut.

Steve and Dana had a wonderful day. Bob’s day was very different.