Avoid a Haughty Spirit!
A wise Bible proverb says: “Anyone making his entryway high is seeking a crash.” (Proverbs 17:19) What is wrong with a high entryway? And what is the main point of this proverb?
IN ancient times individuals and marauding bands on horseback were not uncommon. Unprotected homes in open country were vulnerable to thieves. To prevent the theft of their possessions, some homeowners built a wall with a special gate. The wall was high, but the gateway was low. In fact, some were no more than three feet [1 m] high—too low for entry by a horse and its rider. Those who did not make the entryway to their courts low risked having men on horseback ride in and plunder their goods.
In cities courtyard entryways were generally low and unattractive, giving no indication of wealth that might lie within a walled compound. However, in Persia a lofty gate was one of the signs of royalty, which some subjects tried to imitate at great risk. Anyone that made a high gate for his house was inviting robbery because of his show of prosperity.
Proverbs 17:19 thus shows that those making their entryway high are courting disaster by prizing themselves above their real worth. This proverb could also allude to the mouth as an entryway raised high by boastful and arrogant speech. Such talk fosters strife and can eventually lead the proud person to disaster. How wise it is, then, to avoid a haughty spirit!
[Picture Credit Line on page 30]
Picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt, Volume 1, by Colonel Wilson (1881)