While reading in the LXX (Septuagint: the Greek OT), I ran across a Proverb, and I thought of a dear friend. He is currently tending to his father (grave in illness), to his own family, and to the church where he preaches.
The LXX text is Prov. 25:13:
ὥσπερ ἔξοδος χιόνος ἐν ἀμήτῳ κατὰ καῦμα ὠφελεῖ
οὕτως ἄγγελος πιστὸς τοὺς ἀποστείλαντας αὐτόν
ψυχὰς γὰρ τῶν αὐτῷ χρωμένων ὠφελεῖ
The NET Bible has for this proverb:
Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest,
so is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
for he refreshes the heart of his masters. (Prov. 25:13 NET)
There is nothing wrong with this translation, but let's take a more literal or wooden look at this verse from the LXX:
Just as snow going out at harvest time against the heat is beneficial,
so, too, a faithful angel [benefits] those who sent him,2
for the souls of those who make use of him [this angel] benefits
A few of observations:
- Line 1 mentions the "exodus of snow" = snowfall.
- Line 1 literally reads, “snowfall benefits”
- It is worth noting that lines 1 and 3 end with “it/he benefits,” which also is implied for line 2 (because of the words “so, too”). By its placement at the end, the words “it/he benefits” get highlighted.
- It is also worth noting that the messenger/angel is the one whom others have sent/appointed (τοὺς ἀποστείλαντας αὐτόν "those having sent him") for some purpose.
- That is to say, he has been made an apostle/missionary for their sake. So it is that both the snow and the angel get sent out.
We might summarize it this way:
The snowfall benefits [by relieving the heat] . . .
the faithful angel benefits [by taking the heat off of others].
The Take Away
The take away in all of this is not profound, but it is still quite useful to know and keep in mind:
Whenever any of us leans in the direction of that for which we have been sent,
we perform the function of a faithful angel to those we serve.
My friend wrote me back, half joking: "Did you just call me an angel?"
Of course the answer is that for those he is serving, absolutely! And so are you when you serve others in this way.
Snowfall can be a blessing from God.