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What the Bible says about Pride as Father of all Sin
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Job 41:34

By means of symbolism, Satan's position is defined in terms of attitude. Pride is rightly considered to be "the father of all sin," and the word children is used in the sense "of showing the characteristics of" or "that which is descended from." The Bible uses "sons of Belial" in a similar way. They were not literally children of Satan, but they showed the same characteristics of Satan. Literally, "foolishness" would be a better definition of Belial. We can look at our own children and see that they definitely have our physical characteristics.

So children is used in this sense: Those who are the children of Satan show his characteristics. Jesus uses the same principle back in John 8:44, when He tells the Jews that they are of their father the Devil. Satan was not their literal father, but He alludes to the fact that they displayed the spiritual characteristics of their spiritual father, Satan the Devil. Specifically, He mentions lust: "and the desires of your father you will do."

So, God says here in Job that mankind's dominant sin, idolatry, has its roots in pride. It is usually self-worship.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What I Believe About Conspiracy Theories

Proverbs 21:4

This confirms that pride gives birth to more tangible sins. As plowing prepares the earth to produce crops, so pride prepares the way to produce other sins. Some Bibles translate plowing as "lamp," indicating lighting or guiding the path into other sins. Haughty look shows comparison is taking place and reveals the very essence of pride: perverted comparison, a wrong judgment regarding the value or importance of self, skill, intelligence, etc.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pride, Contention, and Unity

Proverbs 21:4

The relationship between pride and sin is easily seen, but none seems to exist between either pride or sin and plowing. However, there is a link. Solomon is saying that just as surely as plowing precedes the produce of the earth, so does pride prepare the way for the produce of sin.

In some Bibles "plowing" may be translated "lamp." In this case, pride is depicted as a lamp that guides or lights the way into sin. In his poem, The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri listed pride among the seven great sins. In fact, he lists it first because, he concludes, it is the father of the others. Because of what the Bible reveals of Satan and his rebellion, he is probably correct.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pride, Humility, and the Day of Atonement

Isaiah 2:6-22

Isaiah 2 provides us with a detailed overview of the immorality that existed in Judah a few years before they fell to the Babylonian armies of Nebuchadnezzar. Isaiah reports what he witnessed the people being involved in, and he also foresaw the conclusion if no repentance occurred. It was a time not far different from what we observe in America today.

God is illustrating in His own picturesque way that pride (loftiness and haughtiness), emanating from within man and triggering his conduct, is heavily involved in human life—perhaps it is even the basis and foundation of all sin. He mentions the accumulation of wealth in the form of treasures, silver, gold, chariots, and horses. He speaks of manufacturing (the works of their own hands) and of religion (creating idols). He portrays things of sturdy power (oaks of Bashan) and things of grace and beauty (cedars of Lebanon). He mentions military power (high towers and fortified walls), large nations (high mountains) and small nations (hills that are lifted up), and commerce (beautiful sloops).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Living By Faith and Human Pride

Ezekiel 28:17

Here we see the very beginning of pride. The marginal reference reads, "your heart was made proud." In Job 41:34, as part of the description of Leviathan, Satan is called "king over all the children of pride." God describes no mere animal but rather uses an animal as a type of the Devil.

Satan's pride led him into war with God (Isaiah 14:12-14). He has passed this proclivity on to his "children," and their pride in turn leads them to divide from each other and enter into wars against each other as their father does. Pride is a vine that produces a multitude of evil fruits—so many that some call it "the father of all sin." As long as the seed of pride is alive, it has a very good chance of springing forth in ugly conduct.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pride, Humility, and the Day of Atonement

Related Topics: Leviathan | Pride | Pride as Father of all Sin | Satan


 

James 4:5-6

Taken together, James 4:5-6, Proverbs 23:6-7, and Romans 12:3 indicate that what a person thinks of himself is clearly important to God. We all have an image of ourselves that we carry about in our heart. We tend to think of ourselves in a certain way, a persona that we want to project to others. This is not wrong of and by itself. Because we love God, we should greatly desire to project to others an image of Him that is pleasing to Him. What is wrong, though, is that too often the image we project has its basis in some area of pride.

Most of us do not really understand exactly what image we project to others. In other words, we often do not succeed in projecting the impression we want others to have of us. For instance, it is easy for a person to think he is projecting an image of one who is serious, quiet, and contemplative, when the reality is that others consider him to be stern and condemning. A wide divergence of conclusions about an individual is actually quite common. While those who know us may see the same person, they take away different impressions, which results in different assessments.

The image that we try to project is what we think we ought to project for someone in our position. As mentioned earlier, the problem in most of this image-projection is that it is driven by pride, and "God resists the proud."

Since so many commentators believe that pride is the father of all sins, it is surprising that "pride" appears only 49 times in Scripture and only three times in the New Testament. The Hebrew term ga'on in a good sense indicates "majesty" or "excellence." However, most of its usages are negative, as the antonym of "humility." It is associated with arrogance, insolence, evil behavior, and perverse speech.

The Greek word translated pride is tuphoo. Its literal meaning is "to envelop in smoke," but metaphorically, it indicates "conceit," "lifted up," and "high-mindedness." The word pictures a person using smoke as a screen to conceal the image he does not want the public to see.

Pride includes a degree of haughtiness, a measure of contempt for others. It is a matter of the heart that is buried under the surface. However, though the one who suffers from it may appear to walk in downcast humility, all the while in his heart he has vast contempt for God and fellow man, which is revealed in his lack of the fear of God and general, overall disobedience.

Why is God so against pride? A person infected by this deadly quality so admires himself that he is unaware of his paucity of vastly more important qualities. A proud person cherishes independence so that he will not be beholden to others. He is so preoccupied with his self-proclaimed goodness that he never realizes that he has any sin from which he needs to be saved, and thus he will not be corrected. He believes that he is above it all.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Job, Self-Righteousness, and Humility


 




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