20 My child, guard the commands of your father and do not forsake the instruction of your mother. 21 Bind them on your heart continually; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk about, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you. 23 For the commandments are like a lamp; instruction is like a light, and rebukes of discipline are like the road leading to life 24 by keeping you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the loose woman.
2 “O that I could be as I was in the months now gone, in the days when God watched over me, 3 when he caused his lamp to shine upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; 4 just as I was in my most productive time, when God’s intimate friendship was experienced in my tent, 5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me; 6 when my steps were bathed with butter and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil!
Notes and References
"... Household religion centered upon the family, and as seen with the Passover example, much of its focus concentrated on those members of the household who were vulnerable. Pregnant women, newborn infants, and young children fell into this category, and it is no wonder with an infant mortality rate upwards of 50%. Excavations have uncovered amulets of the demon Pazuzu, attacker of fetuses (Garroway 2018: 112–13). Amulets such as these could be worn by expectant mothers wishing to ward off the danger posed by malevolent demons. Other amulets were also worn as protective measures. Images of Bes, a minor Egyptian deity known for protecting pregnant women, young children, and the beds of young children, are found throughout the Levant and at major Iron Age Israelite sites (Garroway 2018: 121; Keel and Uehlinger 1998: 20–21). The wedjat eye, another Egyptian import, was also used to protect ancient Israelite households (Garroway 2018: 127; Meyers 2013: 155). Shiny objects, mirrors, and other small objects could also function as protective measures, as did lamps that would provide divine protection to ward off the demons of darkness (Job 29:3-4; Proverbs 6:20–23) ..."
Garroway, Kristine Henriksen "Children in Ancient Israel" in Keimer, Kyle H., and George A. Pierce (eds.) The Ancient Israelite World (pp. 291-304) Routledge, 2023
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