Proverbs 15:17, A Valentines Day Observation

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. –KJV

//Need a cute verse to write inside your valentines day card? Here’s one, if you can make any sense of it. Why is a dinner of herbs compared to a furious ox stuck in the mud? This verse highlights the oddness of attempting a direct translation. Let’s look at a different translation:

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. –RSV

Ah! So it’s an angry fat ox! I guess that’s why he’s stalled. But who wants a fat ox? Let’s try again:

Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred. –NIV

A fattened calf! Now it makes sense, given that we all know that phrase. It’s a calf that has been prepared on the best grain for slaughter. The calf is for eating, not plowing. I think we’re ready for the final translation to bring it into today’s world:

A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. –NLT

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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