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The Book of Proverbs

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 15:1-4 - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.

Proverbs 17:12-13 - Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly. Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Proverbs
Hebrew Name - Mishley "proverbs"
Greek Name - Paroimiae (Greek form of the Hebrew )
Author - Solomon (According to Tradition)
Date - 1000 BC Approximately
Theme - It is wise to obey God
Types and Shadows - In Proverbs Jesus is true wisdom

Summary of The Book of Proverbs

Quick Overview of Proverbs. 1:1-6 the introduction and purpose of the book 1:7-9:18 wisdom and folly are examined 10:1-22:16 wisdom does good 22:17-24:34 the words of the wise 25:1-29:27 the Proverbs of Solomon are collected by Hezekiah's servants 30:1-33 the messages of Agur 31:1-31 the sayings of King Lemuel.

The Proverbs are a collection of wise sayings that, although they were written in ancient times, their principles are for all men in every age, and every walk of life. The ultimate message in the book of Proverbs is that fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There is no greater principle that was taught by both David and Solomon than acknowledging God's presence in everything in life, and taking heed to everything He says.

Proverbs 1:1 indicates that the whole collection was called "the Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel." Technically a proverb is a profound maxim or epigrammatic saying that, if pondered on for a length of time there is deep meaning associated with it. Proverbs was not uncommon in the ancient world, but the concept of fearing a single God who is the only God and the giver of life, was completely foreign in a world filled with polytheism.

Solomon was the son of David who was chosen to build the Temple. His name comes from the Hebrew word for peace (shalom), and he is recognized in the Bible as the ultimate peacemaker King in the history of the kingdom of Israel. The book of Proverbs not only names Solomon as the author in the very first verse, but there are other verses that indicate that Solomon was the person responsible for the Proverbs (Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 25:1).

The book of Kings indicates that Solomon was blessed with wisdom from God (1 Kings 4:29), he was a man of humility (1 Kings 3:7), and a great diplomat (1 Kings 3:16-28; 1 Kings 5:12) to such an extent that people came from all over the world to hear his wisdom (1 Kings 4:30; 1 Kings 10:1-13). The book of Kings also indicates that Solomon wrote over 3000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32), and this is many more than the book of Proverbs contains.

Solomon's Wisdom. David had chosen Solomon to sit upon the throne of Israel and serve the Lord. After Solomon had removed his enemies, he allied with the Pharaoh of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter to be his wife. Solomon had thought intensely about his task to build a house for the Lord, the Temple in Jerusalem. He went to offer sacrifices to the Lord at Gibeon and that night the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying "ask what you will and I will give it to you" and Solomon said "you have shown great mercy to your servant David, my father, even as he walked before you in truth and justice and with an upright heart. You have continued your great mercy toward him and given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. And now, O Lord God, you have made your servant King succeeding David, my father. I am but a child, and know not how to act. You have chosen me to be king over so many that they cannot be counted. Give me, therefore, an understanding heart, to judge your people and to discern between good and evil." The Lord was pleased with Solomon's request and said, "because you have not asked for long life or riches, nor for the death of your enemies, but have asked wisdom for yourself to discern what is right, I have done for you as you asked, and have given you a wise and understanding heart, so much so that you are unlike anyone before you, nor shall there be anyone like you after. Yes, and the things also which you did not ask, I have given you: that is, riches and glory, so that you are incomparable with all previous kings. And if you will walk in my ways, and keep my precepts and my commandments, as your father, I will lengthen your life." (see 1 Kings 3 and 2 Chronicles 1).

Outline of the Book of Proverbs

Proverbs 1-9, Solomon addresses the young. His words are arranged in a series of discourses in praise of wisdom. A personification of Wisdom speaks as an instructor, warning against all manner of folly. The proverbs in this section are arranged with more continuity than is seen in succeeding chapters.

Proverbs 10-22:16 are the "proverbs of Solomon," and this section is usually thought to be the original nucleus around which the remainder of the book was constructed.

Proverbs 22:17-24 :22 contains advice for those in responsible positions, calling it "the words of the wise." Proverbs 24:23-29 are designated as "the proverbs of Solomon which the wise men of Hezekiah copied out." These are in the form of detached statements, although there are occasional signs of continuity. There are also sayings on related subjects such as rulers, sluggards and fools.

Proverbs 30, the sayings of Agur, and Proverbs 31, the great chapter on womanhood which purports to come from the mother of King Lemuel which was constructed in acrostic form, the verses beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This last chapter completes this book of Hebrew wisdom.

More About the Book of Proverbs
Proverbs in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
Back to the Old Testament
Back to Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament


Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)

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The Story of the Bible

The Old Testament
About
Divisions
Timeline
Charts
Maps

Creation
Adam and Eve
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham the First Hebrew
Isaac, Son of Promise
Jacob and the 12 Tribes
Joseph and Egypt
Moses and the Exodus
The Giving of the Law
The Tabernacle
The Wilderness Wanderings
Joshua and the Promised Land
The Judges
Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
King David
King Solomon
The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

Conclusion
Bibliography and Credits

Summary of the Old Testament Books

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
Samuel
Kings
Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Job
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Solomon
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

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