[ 1 minutes to read ]
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
– Proverbs 29:18
When there is no prophet in the community giving God’s word to the people, they perish, or break loose. The word has three uses in the Old Testament. It refers to the loosing of hair as in cutting or unbraiding it (Leviticus 10:6; 13:45; 21:10; Numbers 5:18). It can also refer to letting loose in the sense of losing or letting slip in the sense of ignoring or rejecting. It is used that way a number of times in Proverbs (Proverbs 1:25; 8:33; 13:18; 15:32). It can also refer to let loose in the sense of running wild, as in out of control immorality (Exodus 32:25). In this saying it is set against the blessing of keeping the law, so it is probably that second usage of letting slip that is meant, though the third usage could be included. When there is no prophet speaking God’s word and keeping that word before the people, they let God’s word slip, but when they hold on to the law, the community is blessed.