What Is The Book of Ahikar?
This is an original retelling of the Wisdom of Ahikar, which I originally posted on Steemit.com about four years ago. This is updated and reposted content for a new audience and for a new platform (HIVE).
The Wisdom of Ahikar is one of the most ancient sources of human thought and wisdom. There are elements of this story within the scriptures, both the Torah and the Gospels and Epistles.
The date of this story has been a subject of lively discussion. Scholars finally put it down about the First Century when they were proved in error by the original story turning up in an Aramaic papyrus of 500 B. C. among the ruins of Elephantine.
I've decided, for your reading pleasure, to paraphrase the ancient story and wisdom here on the HIVE blockchain. To read the original ancient text, click here
If you have not read part one, we begin the story here.
We Pick Up the Story Where We Left Off
A quick recap:
Ahikar is a wealthy and prosperous man, who has no heir. He sought the council of his astrologers and they advised him to worship idols that he may have a son. The idols tell him nothing. He petitions the Most High God, Creator of all things created and he is told to accept his sister's son as his own. His name is Nadan and Ahikar raises him as his own son, in wisdom and understanding.
King Sennacherib, King of Assyria
After many days, King Sennacherib looked at Ahikar and saw that he had grown very old and so he said to him:
"Oh my honored friend, skillful, trusty and wise. Governor, my secretary, my vizier, my Chancellor and director. Truly, you have become very old and weighted with years and your departure from this world must be near. Tell me, wise Ahikar, who shall have a place in my service after you?"
And Ahikar said:
"Oh my king, may you live forever. I have made Nadan, the son of my sister, my child and I have brought him up and taught him my wisdom and my knowledge."
And the King said:
"Oh Ahikar, bring him before my face that I may see him. If I find him suitable, put him in your place and you shall go your way to take a rest to live the remainder of your life in sweet repose."
Then Ahikar went and presented Nadad and he offered homage to the king and wished him power and honor. The king looked upon Nadad and rejoiced and said to Ahikar:
"Is this your son, Ahikar? I pray that the Most High will preserve him. As you have served me and my father Shalmaneser, so may this boy of yours serve me and fulfill my undertakings, my needs and my business so I may honor him and make him powerful for your sake."
And Ahikar bowed to the king and said to him:
"Oh my king, may you live forever. I seek from you that you may be patient with my boy Nadan and forgive his mistakes that he may serve you as it is fitting."
Then the king swore to him that he would make Nadan the greatest among his favorites and the most powerful of his friends and that he should be with him in all honor and respect. He kissed his hands and said goodbye.
And Ahikar took the son of his sister with him and seated him in a room and set about teaching him night and day until he had crammed him with wisdom and knowledge more than with bread and water.
Wait, Isn't Sennacherib a Bad Guy?
Why was all this wisdom offered to the vizier of king Sennacherib, enemy of the sons of Israel? Because even in his errors, king Sennacherib served the King of kings by performing His will. Even in his wickedness, God offered him wise council, that he may serve the Most High in due season.
The Most High promised His people:
Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. ‘Further, you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat. ‘I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you. ‘I will lay waste your cities as well and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your soothing aromas. ‘I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it. ‘You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste. Leviticus 26:27-33
This is a very serious warning to the children of Israel. Who fulfilled this when the sons of Israel turned away from the Most High?
[Sennacherib], the king of Assyria carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and put them in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, because they did not obey the voice of YHVH their God, but transgressed His covenant, even all that Moses the servant of YHVH commanded; they would neither listen nor do it. 2 Kings 11-12
This is why such wisdom was given to the vizier of Sennacherib, since the children of Israel had turned their ear from hearing the wisdom of Moses, the commandments given by the Most High God.
This is not for the destruction of the sons of Israel, but for an opportunity to repent and turn back to God, that they may be forgiven.
May We Have Ears That Hear!
May the people of God have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies, that if those who are willing to hear and to turn from their wicked ways and conform into the image of the Almighty God of Israel, then He will grant them abundant life through the gift of His Son.
Yeshua was sent not to condemn the world, but that through Him all the nations of the world may turn from their inherited lies and be saved from their former transgressions. What good news is this!
Wisdom shouts in the street, she lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings. Proverbs 1:20-21
May we search the ancient proverbs together and grow in wisdom and hear her sayings!
What Did Ahikar Teach His Son?
There are many teachings and proverbs that Ahikar gave to his son, so many that we will discuss them here and in the next several parts of the story.
Let's sit at the feet of Ahikar like Nadan did and listen to just a few of the words of Ahikar and learn of his wisdom together!
The Teachings of Ahikar to His Son
Thus Ahikar taught his son Nadan saying:
My son, listen to my words and follow my teachings and remember what I say:
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20
If you hear a rumor, let it die in your heart and reveal it not to another, lest it become a live coal and burn your tongue and cause a pain in your body and you gain a reproach and are shamed before the Most High and before men.
Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am YHVH. Leviticus 19:16
If you have heard a report that was not intended for you, do not spread it. If you have seen something that was not intended for you to see, do not tell it. You may not understand what you have heard or comprehend what you have seen and may bear false witness to your neighbor and slander his name.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23
My son, make your eloquence pleasurable for the listener and do not be hasty to return an answer.
Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is considered prudent. Proverbs 17:28
My son, when you have heard a proverb, do not hide it.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:15
My son, do not loosen a tightened knot, nor untie it, and do not tighten a loosened knot.
Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you. 1 Thessalonians 4:11
My son, do not desire outward beauty for it wanes and passes away, but a respected name is remembered forever.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair or gold jewelry or fine clothes, but from the inner disposition of your heart, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
My son, do not let a foolish woman deceive you with her speech, lest you die the most miserable of deaths and she entangles you in her net until you are trapped.
With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. Proverbs 7:21-23
My son, do not desire a woman adorned with dress and perfumes who is despicable and foolish in her soul. Woe to you if you bestow anything upon her that is yours or commit to her what is in your hand and she entices you into sin and the Most High is wrathful towards you.
Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? Eziekiel 13:18
My son, do not be like the almond tree which brings forth it's leaves before all the trees but bears it's fruit after them all. Be like the mulberry tree which brings forth it's fruit before all the trees and leaves after them all.
His delight is in the Torah of YHVH, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:2-3
Behold the wisdom of Ahikar, versed in the wisdom from the Heavens. When Ahikar asked the Most High for a son, He also granted wisdom to guide his son in knowledge and in strength.
This concludes this portion of the Proverbs of Ahikar. Much more to come!
Next Installment of the Proverbs of Ahikar
There are many more parts to this story, this being only the second part. We have more to the story and much wisdom for the reader to learn. Let's read this tale together and learn together, the wisdom which only comes from above, wisdom from the Most High.
Let us bless His Holy Name in fear and reverence.
Bless the Most High!
Bless the Most High!