Tommy Shelby quotes Proverbs 17:17 in Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 2, but what could the Bible verse mean for Arthur and Tommy Shelby?
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Peaky Blinders season 6.
Peaky Blinders The Bible verse from Season 6 Episode 2 has layered meaning for Arthur and Tommy Shelby. Creator Steven Knight said that Peaky Blinders’ The final season will answer the question of whether Tommy can be redeemed and find a way back from the brink. The Bible verse he quotes gives an indication of Tommy’s feelings for Arthur and what the final season could hold for the Shelby brothers.
Arthur has always been the loose cannon of the Shelby family. He is loyal to a fault, but quick to anger, with little control over his emotions or vices. With Tommy entering the opium business (which Arthur voted against in Peaky blinders season 5) Arthur now has unlimited access to a new form of addiction. Without Polly to keep the Shelbys in line, Arthur spirals out of control, despite Ada’s best efforts to watch over him. Meanwhile, Tommy juggles his business plans, his political adversaries, the IRA, the Boston mobsters and, most importantly, the well-being of his daughter Ruby. With all of this on his shoulders, Arthur’s drug addiction is the last thing he needs.
In Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 2, Tommy Shelby meets IRA leader Captain Swing when Ada walks in and tells him she found Arthur with a syringe (again). In response, Tommy sighs and quotes Proverbs 17:17: “A friend always loves, but a brother is born for adversity. “The Bible verse and the way Tommy recites it can be interpreted in many different ways. Taken literally, Proverbs 17:17 means that a true friend will be there for his companions in good times and bad, but the purpose of a brother is to be there in difficult times. So a friend’s true colors are revealed in times of adversity, but a brother will be there no matter what. Another interpretation is that true “brotherhood” forged through danger or hardship would certainly be true for Tommy and Arthur Shelby. Besides being related by blood, they fought side by side in World War I and against all adversaries who stood against the Peaky Blinders Their bond as brothers is unbreakable.
Tommy’s exasperated sigh upon hearing about Arthur using opium again opens up another interpretation of the Bible verse from Proverbs. In Tommy’s mind, Arthur was put on this earth to test Tommy in adversity. Tommy Shelby’s schemes come to an end as his opponents close in on him. His plans are finely balanced, and Arthur’s addiction makes him a liability that can easily destabilize whatever he works tirelessly for. Tommy tries to get his brother to come clean by telling him that Linda, (Arthur’s wife, who left him in Peaky blinders season 5) is open to the prospect of forgiving him. He needs his older brother to get back in shape and watch his back more than ever, especially since Michael Gray wants revenge.
While Tommy’s interpretation of the Bible verse in Proverbs portrays Arthur as his adversity, Arthur has also shown that he was there for Tommy through his adversity as well. He saved Tommy’s life early in Peaky Blinders season 6 by removing the bullets from his gun before attempting to end his life. Arthur’s brotherly love could be the key to Tommy Shelby’s survival and redemption. If Arthur Shelby also survives to the end of Peaky Blinders Season 6 remains to be seen, but until his dying breath, he’ll be there for his brother whether it’s part of Tommy’s big plan or not.
Next: Peaky Blinders Season 6 Episode 2 Ending Explained: Why Tommy Is Calling Esme
New episodes of Peaky Blinders airing every Sunday in the UK, with a US Netflix date to follow.
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