Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Introduction to Proverbs

Proverbs 1:1 – The Beginning of Knowledge
1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

A. The Book

Definition: Proverbs are sayings which distill God’s truth for everyday life. They are usually brief, always perceptive and often amusing. They are essential advice for good living.

– Contains 31 chapters. Many Christians use them as a daily reading. This is a good practice!

– Part of what is known as the “Wisdom Literature” which contains Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.

– Solomon wrote the majority but not all; recognized as the compiler and does not include all he wrote. 1 Kings 4:29-32, Ecclesiastes 12:9

– Likely written around 970-930 b.c. Solomon authored three Books – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. It is suggested he wrote Song of Solomon when he was young and in love; Proverbs in middle age when his intellectual power was at its peak and some of the lessons he painfully learned in life; Ecclesiastes likely in old age when he looked back at the folly he committed in many areas and writes a warning to not go there.

– Use in the New Testament affirms Proverbs authenticity Prov. 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:5-6; Prov. 3:34, James 4:6; Prov. 10:12,
1 Peter 4:8; Prov. 25:21-22, Rom. 12:20

– No prophecies, types, or theophanies are found in Proverbs but there are a number of verses, especially in Proverbs 8, which provide interesting insights into the character of Christ. Yes, Christ is in every book of the Bible.

B. The Author

– The internal evidence proves his authorship and role as compiler. Prov. 1:1, Prov. 10:1, Prov. 25:1, Prov. 30:1, Prov. 31:1

– A lesson from its Author. It is a great but sad irony that Solomon would fulfill the proverb “Do as
I say, not as I do”. His life was tragic in the pursuit of folly and sinful indulgences of the flesh. And it passed down to his offspring.

Rehoboam, his son, followed his dad’s latter years example, not his proverbs, and became a foolish, evil king.

C. The Theme and Purpose

Theme: “The wise life governed by the fear of God and the aim to please Him.”


Proverbs 1:2-6 – “To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
    in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.”

D. How to Read Proverbs

Proverbs 2:1-5 – My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.