Proverbs (book of the Bible)

Proverbs. (Pr) . Old Testament Biblical Book . This book belongs to the group of those generically called “poetic and sapiential”. It consists of a series of collections that, in the form of maxims, sayings, sayings and poems, transmit the ancient heritage of the wisdom of Israel . The content as a whole is headed by the title “The Proverbs of Solomon the Son of David , King of Israel ” (Pr.1.1), which is why the entire work has often been attributed to the monarch, famous for his wisdom and author of three thousand proverbs and one thousand five songs (cp1 Kings 4.29–34).

Summary

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  • 1 Proverbs in Scripture
    • 1 Word
    • 2 Book
    • 3 Authors
  • 2 The Writings
    • 1 Literary genre
  • 3 Call to wisdom
  • 4 Outline of the book
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Sources

Proverbs in Scripture

Word

The Hebrew word translated “proverbs” means a comparison, and it came to be used for any wise or moralistic pronouncement (Ez. Cp 18: 2; Ps. Cp. 49: 4) Many proverbs are synthesized parables.

Book

Proverbs. Hebrew מִשְׁלֵי, Mishlei proverbs of , is short for Solomon’s proverbs (Pr: 1.1). This title comes from the Latin Vulgate ., Liber Proverbiorum. It is a collection of collections, which serves as a manual for the successful life of Christians.

Authors

A careful reading of the book highlights the complexity of its composition, which is greater than could be appreciated at first glance. Apart from Solomon, Agur son of Jaqué (Pr. 30.1) and King Lemuel (Pr. 31.1) are cited as authors or compilers of sayings and sentences, both believed to be from the Massa tribe, descendants of Ismael ( Gn: 25.14). On three occasions it is specified that Solomon is the author of the following proverbs (1.1; 10.1; 25.1); in two others they are attributed to “the wise” (22.17; 24.23), and in one the collaboration of the copyists in the service of Hezekiah , king of Judah is mentioned (25.1). Year 722 (ane)

The writings

The Hebrew Bible , after its first two sections, known respectively as the Law and the Prophets, contains a third, generically called the Writings (ketubim).

Literary genre

Amalgamating themes and styles, the ketubim give a prominent place to the “wisdom” genre (from the Latin sapientia, that is, “wisdom”), especially represented by the books of Job , Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, by certain psalms and by some passages from others books.

For Christians, wisdom is essentially a gift from God, later developed by experience and reflection. The experience of everyday life is also, in turn, an inexhaustible source of wisdom for those who walk with their eyes wide open and do not take pleasure in their own ignorance. So the sage observes reality, judges what he sees and finally communicates to his disciples what he himself first learned from his personal relationship with the world around him.

To convey their teaching, the sages often resort to the proverb or saying, which is usually presented in the ketubim in two different forms: the warning and the sentence.

  • The first of these is immediately recognized by the frequency of use of the imperative verbal mode, used to advise and exhort the disciples about the path they should follow (cf. Pr 19.18; 20.13).
  • The second, the sentence, consists of the brief objective description of a verifiable reality, of a fact on which no kind of moral judgment is pronounced (cf. Pr 10.12; 14.17). The Wisdom Poem (Pr 1–9), the Allegory (Pr 5.15–19)

The soft answer takes away anger; But the harsh word raises the fury. Proverb 15: 1

Without wood the fire goes out, And where there is no gossip, the strife ceases. Proverb. 26:20

Call to wisdom

In the wisdom writings, not only is the voice of the Hebrew sages heard, but sometimes the voice of the sages of other peoples is heard (Pr 30.1; 31.1). And sometimes even Wisdom, personified, speaks and invites everyone to receive his teaching, which is a treasure of incomparable value (Pr 8.10–11). Like a diligent housewife, Wisdom has prepared a banquet in which she wishes everyone to participate (cf. Pr 9.1–6). In front of her, and also personified, Foolishness tries to attract the unsuspecting and inexperienced with seductions and false charms (Pr 9.13–18).

At a later stage in their history, the Hebrew people identified wisdom with the Law promulgated by Moses at Mount Sinai. Thus, Pr 1.7 establishes that: “the principle of wisdom is the fear of Jehovah” (cf. Pr 9.10) Faced with it, and also personified, Foolishness tries to attract the unsuspecting and inexperienced with seductions and false charms (Pr 9.13-18).

Book sketch

  • Introduction (1: 1-7)
  • Author 1: 1
  • Purpose 1: 2-6
  • Topic 1: 7
  • The precepts of wisdom (1: 8-9: 18)
  • Flee from bad company, 2: 1-22
  • Heed the advice of wisdom 1: 20-33
  • Flee the adulteress 2: 1-22
  • Trust God and honor Him 3: 1-12
  • Consider the value of wisdom 3: 13-20
  • Be kind and generous to others 3: 21-35
  • Gain wisdom 4: 1-9
  • Run away gives bad company 4: 10-19
  • Take care of yourself 4: 20-27
  • Discard lust 5: 1-23
  • Avoid leaving surety 6: 1-5
  • Avoid laziness 6: 6-19
  • Flee adultery 6: 20-35
  • Run away from the harlot 7: 1-27
  • Contrast between wisdom and folly 8: 1–9-18
  • The qualities of wisdom 8: 1-21
  • The origin of wisdom 8: 22-31
  • The wise man 8: 32-36
  • The foolish woman 9: 1-18
  • Contrast of righteous lives and wicked lives 10: 1-15: 33
  • Divine and human sovereignty 16: 1-19
  • Blessings of Wisdom 16:20 30
  • The dynamics of relationships 16: 31—18: 1
  • The Nature and Price of Foolishness 17: 24-18: 8
  • Questions of strength and power 18: 9–21
  • 18: 22—19: 10.
  • 19: 11–19; 20: 2,
  • Appearances and truth. 20: 5–19
  • Various kinds of people 24: 1-34
  • Said copies from the court of Funerals (25: 1-29: 27)
  • Relationships with others (25: 1—26: 28)
  • With the kings 25: 1—26: 28
  • With neighbor 25: 8-20
  • With enemies 25: 21-24
  • With yourself 25: 25—26: 2
  • With fools 26: 3-12
  • With the lazy 26: 13-16
  • With the gossiper 26: 17-28
  • To life 27: 1-27
  • To the law 28: 1-10
  • To wealth 28: 11-28
  • To stubbornness 29: 1-27
  • Sayings of Agur
  • Introduction 30: 1–9
  • Proverbs 30: 15-.33
  • Sayings of King Lemuel
  • 31: 1
  • Three exhortations 31: 2–9
  • The virtuous woman. 31: 10–31

 

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