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Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: Proverbs, Book Of

Dictionaries :: Proverbs, Book Of

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Below are articles from the following 2 dictionaries:
Easton's Bible Dictionary

Proverbs, Book Of:

a collection of moral and philosophical maxims of a wide range of subjects presented in a poetic form. This book sets forth the "philosophy of practical life. It is the sign to us that the Bible does not despise common sense and discretion. It impresses upon us in the most forcible manner the value of intelligence and prudence and of a good education. The whole strength of the Hebrew language and of the sacred authority of the book is thrown upon these homely truths. It deals, too, in that refined, discriminating, careful view of the finer shades of human character so often overlooked by theologians, but so necessary to any true estimate of human life" (Stanley's Jewish Church).

As to the origin of this book, "it is probable that Solomon gathered and recast many proverbs which sprang from human experience in preceeding ages and were floating past him on the tide of time, and that he also elaborated many new ones from the material of his own experience. Towards the close of the book, indeed, are preserved some of Solomon's own sayings that seem to have fallen from his lips in later life and been gathered by other hands' (Arnot's Laws from Heaven, etc.)

This book is usually divided into three parts: (1.) Consisting of (Pro. 1-9), which contain an exhibition of wisdom as the highest good.

(2.) Consisting of Pro. 10-24.

(3.) Containing proverbs of Solomon "which the men of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, collected" (Pro. 25-29).

These are followed by two supplements, (1) "The words of Agur" (Pro 30); and (2) "The words of king Lemuel" (Pro 31).

Solomon is said to have written three thousand proverbs, and those contained in this book may be a selection from these (1Ki 4:32). In the New Testament there are thirty-five direct quotations from this book or allusions to it.

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Proverbs, Book Of:

The title of this book in Hebrew is taken from its first word, mashal, which originally meant "a comparison." It is sometimes translated parable, sometimes proverb as here. The superscriptions which are affixed to several portions of the book, in Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 25:1 attribute the authorship of those portions to Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. With the exception of the last two chapters, which are distinctly assigned to an other author it is probable that the statement of the superscriptions is in the main correct, and that the majority of the proverbs contained in the book were uttered or collected by Solomon. Speaking roughly, the book consists of three main divisions, with two appendices:-

(1.) Chapters 1-9 form a connected didactic. Wisdom is praised and the youth exhorted to devote himself to her. This portion is preceded by an introduction and title describing the character and general aim of the book.

(2.) Chapters 10-24 with the title "The Proverbs of Solomon," consist of three parts: Proverbs 10:1-22; Proverbs 10:16 a collection of single proverbs and detached sentences out of the region of moral teaching and worldly prudence; Proverbs 22:17-24; Proverbs 22:21 a more connected didactic poem, with an introduction (Proverbs 22:17-22) which contains precepts of righteousness and prudence; Proverbs 24:23-34 with the inscription "These also belong to the wise," a collection of unconnected maxims, which serve as an appendix to the preceding.

Then follows the third division chapters 25-29, which, according to the superscription, professes to be collection of Solomon's proverbs, consisting of single sentences, which the men of the court of Hezekiah copied out. The first appendix, chapter 30, "The words of Agur the son of Jakeh," is a collection of partly proverbial and partly enigmatical sayings; the second, chapter 31, is divided into two parts, "The words of King Lemuel," verses 1-6, and an alphabetical acrostic in praise of a virtuous woman, which occupies the rest of the chapter. Who was Agur and who was Jakeh, are questions which have been often asked and never satisfactorily answered. All that can be said of the first is that he was an unknown Hebrew sage, the son of an equally unknown Jakeh, and that he lived after the time of Hezekiah. Lemuel, like Agur, is unknown. It is even uncertain whether he is to be regarded as a real personage, or whether the name is merely symbolical.

The Proverbs are frequently quoted or alluded to in the New Testament and the canonicity of the book thereby confirmed. The following is a list of the principal passages:-
Proverbs 1:16 compare Romans 3:10 and 3:15.
Proverbs 3:7 compare Romans 12:16.
Proverbs 3:11-12 compare Hebrews 12:5-6, see also Revelation 3:19.
Proverbs 3:34 compare James 4:6.
Proverbs 10:12 compare 1 Peter 4:8.
Proverbs 11:31 compare 1 Peter 4:18.
Proverbs 17:13 compare Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9.
Proverbs 17:27) compare James 1:19.
Proverbs 20:9 compare 1 John 1:8.
Proverbs 20:20 compare Matthew 15:4; Mark 7:10.
Proverbs 22:8 (LXX.) compare 2 Corinthians 9:7.
Proverbs 25:21-22) compare Romans 12:20.
Proverbs 26:11 compare 2 Peter 2:22.
Proverbs 27:1 compare James 4:13-14.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.