Category — Chinese Proverbs
Today’s Bible or Not quote is well-known contemporary wisdom, but its origin goes back to ancient times. A universal concept throughout history is the idea to do those thing which are good, and to shun those things which are evil. The maxim of the 3 Wise Monkeys conveys this concept in a very simplified visual.
“Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.” – Bible or Not?
No, the proverb of the 3 wise monkeys, namely “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” is not from the Bible. The origin of the quote, as depicted by the above ancient carving, goes back to the 17th century. But depending on your sources, its origin can also be traced as far back as the 8th century originating in China. The theory is that it originally came from Confucius’s Code of Conduct, but without the famous picture of the 3 monkeys. You can read more about the origins of the three monkeys maxim at Wikpedia.
So what does this quote have to do with the Bible? Well for sure, the Bible teaches to do no evil. As a matter of fact, in the book of Thessalonians we see, “Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 NKJV). Here are some particular verse that support each of the “do nots” of the three monkeys:
Hear No Evil
The Psalmist teaches us, in the very first verse of the Book of Psalms, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” – Psalms 1:1 NKJV. Therefore, do not listen to ungodly counsel, or in other words, hear no evil.
Speak No Evil
The Apostle Paul admonished the saints in Ephesus to speak purely: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29 KJV
See No Evil
Jesus Himself, when it comes to “seeing no evil”, teaches us to go to extremes to keep our eyes from causing us to sin: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” – Matthew 5:29 NKJV
So there we have it; the 3 wise monkeys in not in the Bible, but nevertheless, the saying itself has merit and can be supported by the Bible. Do you have any verses that support this? Feel free to leave additional Bible verses about hearing, speaking, seeing and doing no evil by submitting your comments.
April 6, 2011 11 Comments
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
Sounds like a wise proverb, but did it come from the Bible?
November 27, 2009 1 Comment