Question: What can we learn from Proverbs?

    Answer: Since the Book of Proverbs is one of the books of wisdom, it is especially good that we study it. The book has been called "Wisdom," "All Virtuous Wisdom," The Wise Book, and "Educated Wisdom." The design of Proverbs is simply to impart wisdom (see 1: 1-4, 7-9, 24-33).

    The nature of Proverbs. "Proverbs" is from the Hebrew root, "to be like." The word "proverb" is often used generically (see Prov. 1: 6). There are a number of different types of proverbs found in Proverbs. There are metaphorical proverbs that announce some moral truth under a figure drawn from nature or life (see 6: 6). Enigmas, riddles or obscure questions which need thought to explain, are also present (cp. 30: 15). There are true parabolic proverbs, presented in allegorical form (9: 1). There are also didactic proverbs that offer precise instruction on points of morals (chapters 1-9).

    Author(s) and sections of Proverbs. Proverbs appears to have been written by several men, all of whom were inspired. Solomon (1: 1, 10: 1, 25: 1, cp. 1 Kings 4: 29, 30); Agur (30: 1); and Lemuel (31: 1) are identified as contributors. There are also the "words of the wise" (22: 17-24: 34). There are nine natural sections seen in the Book of Proverbs. The introduction (1: 1-6), fifteen discourses (1: 7-chapter 9); Solomonic proverbs (10-22); words of wise (22:17-24: 22); further words of the wise (24: 23-34); second Solomonic collection (25-29); words of Agur (ch. 30); words of Lemuel (31: 1-9); and the virtuous woman (31: 10-31).

    While written under the Law of Moses, the general teaching of Proverbs knows no dispensation restriction. Attitude toward sin and sinners; upbringing of children; and a high standard of morality are plainly taught (25: 26; 23: 13; 24: 29, 17, 9). Wisdom is presented as practical and available to all who seek her (1: 20-25, 33). God's commandments are revered and promoted (3: 1-4, 7: 1-5).

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