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Book of Proverbs: One of the Five “Wisdom Books” of the Bible, a Guide to Pleasing God
By Troy Anderson
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Proverbs is one of the five “wisdom books” of the Bible, with the other four being Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon (Song of Songs). While it is a book about wisdom and how we can and should pursue that, the book is ultimately a guide to pleasing God and our fellow man.
Proverbs are a simple way of expressing a well-known truth or adage based on common sense or experience. They are usually considered to be imbued with ancestral wisdom, passed down from generation to generation until they become part of a society's oral tradition.
First of all, Proverbs is designed to give us wisdom. The word “wisdom” in the context of Proverbs, means to have the skills to live life successfully. These skills cannot be learned in a classroom. They can only be learned by studying the Book of Proverbs.
Proverbs often make use of grammatical and rhetorical devices that help make them memorable, including alliteration, rhyme, parallel structure, repetition of key words or phrases, and strong imagery.
Proverbs, like Psalms, names multiple individuals as the authors of its various sections. King Solomon was uniquely qualified to serve as the principal author for this book of wise sayings.
Solomon, who was the tenth son of King David and the second son of Bathsheba, was responsible for writing most of the Proverbs. They are often referred to as the “Proverbs of Solomon” as he accounts for possibly 29 of the 31 chapters. The other two chapters were authored by Agur and King Lemuel, respectively. Solomon reigned during what many refer to as Israel’s “Golden Age.”
He was known for his wisdom, as we feel the power of as we read, as well as his accomplished record of buildings and other writings. His span of leadership lasted some 40 years, like Kings David and Saul before him. This lengthy range and history of prosperity during this time is a shining reflection on the type of leader he was.
Morning Devotional - Inspiring Proverbs 1: Read One Bible Chapter a Day with Troy
Evening Devotional - Peaceful Proverbs 1: Read One Bible Chapter with Troy
The Beginning of Knowledge
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Shun Evil Counsel
8 My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
14 Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners.
The Call of Wisdom
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love [k]simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
27 When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”
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A Prayer for Wisdom to Read the Book of Proverbs
Dear Heavenly Father, As we join together with our brothers and sisters around the world to read the Book of Proverbs, we pray that your Holy Spirit is our guide. Open our eyes and minds to understand your wisdom. Soften our hearts to the Gospel message and strengthen our wills to live as this book calls us to live. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen.