Outline Of Proverbs

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The Book of ProverbsIntroduction:The very first word found in Proverbs is the Hebrew word masal. The Hebrew word masal is translated“proverbs” in the 1901 ASV and is defined as “byword, saying, maxim. a saying, usually brief, statingobservations from experience so arrestingly that it gains popularity. The purpose is to warn against dangerousconduct, while encouraging behavior that promotes personal and social well-being" (International Standard BibleEncyclopedia vol. 3 page 1012). The very purpose of this book is given in the first six verses of chapter one.Attaining wisdom and understanding through the process of instruction and prudence ought to be man's primaryobjective.The proverbs of this book belonged to Solomon (Proverbs 1:1). Solomon was known for his wisdom (1 Kings4:29). The Bible tells us that Solomon had composed 3000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). Other authors were Agur(Proverbs 30:1) and Lemuel's mother (Proverbs 31:1).DateThe date of compilation of Proverbs into book form can be no earlier than the reign of Hezekiah (715 – 690 BC).Proverbs 25:1 states, “These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.”Content of ProverbsThe theme of Proverbs is found at chapter 1:7 and 4:7. Solomon writes, "The fear of Jehovah is the beginning ofknowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). Again, he writes, "Wisdom is theprinciple thing; therefore get wisdom; yea, with all thy getting get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7). That which is tobe first, highest, and foremost in a person's life is obtaining wisdom. Solomon depicts wisdom as the greatesttreasure a man may own (see Proverbs 8:18-19; 16:16; 20:15). When one comes to view wisdom with suchprecedence in life they will do all they can do to obtain it as though it were a precious treasure. Solomon wrote,"Buy the truth and sell it not; yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23). Parents oftencontemplate how they may instill faith, conviction, and the pursuit of wisdom within their children. Solomon tellsus that the way to instill these eternal characteristics within man is to help them understand the great value ofwisdom. Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field; which a man found, and hid;and in his joy he goes and sells all that he hath, and buys that field" (Matthew 13:44-45).Solomon spends a considerable amount of time defining wisdom in the book. Solomon writes, "I wisdom havemade prudence my dwelling, and find out knowledge and discretion" (Proverbs 8:12). Wisdom is identified asprudence, knowledge, and discretion. The word prudence "expresses caution and wisdom in the conduct of affairs.implies not only caution but the capacity for judging in advance the probable results of one's actions" (AmericanHeritage Dictionary {hereafter AHD} 998). "Discretion" is "to be discreet. having or showing a judicious reservein one's speech or behavior; prudent. lacking ostentation or pretension; modest" (AHD 403). "Knowledge" is"familiarity, awareness, or understanding gained through experience or study. the sum or range of what has beenperceived, discovered, or learned" (AHD 705). Wisdom is the ability to gain understanding of life issues and toexercise reserve due to a perception of probable outcomes. Knowledge, prudence, and discretion will keep man outof much trouble in life and bring a great deal of happiness now and forevermore.The book of Proverbs paints pictures of various topics that wisdom affects. The book focuses heavily upon theconsequences of man's choices in this life. Proverbs reveals the grave consequences for rejecting wisdom in life.Solomon writes, "Good understanding giveth favor; But the way of the transgressor is hard" (Proverbs 13:15). Thelife of the fool is likened unto making your way through a "hedge of thorns" (Proverbs 15:19). When a personrejects wisdom for foolishness they bring trouble (Proverbs 15:6; 21:23), destruction (Proverbs 13:13), mischief(Proverbs 28:14), and calamity (Proverbs 22:) to their lives and the lives of those they touch. The foolish experience1

trouble, destruction, mischief, and calamity in life because of the poor decisions they make. The fool will have evilcompanions (Proverbs 1:10-14; 4:14-19; 13:20; 20:19; 24:1-2; 28:9), participate in sexual immorality (Proverbs 5:79; 9:14-15; etc.), be too lazy to work (Proverbs 6:6-11; etc.), use filthy language (Proverbs 4:24-27; 8:7-9), hungerand thirst for riches (Proverbs 11:4-6, 27-28; 13:7-8, 11; 18:11, 23; 23:4-5; etc.), angry (Proverbs 19:19; 29:11),bear false witness (Proverbs 19:5, 28; 25:18), seek revenge (Proverbs 20:22), scoff at others (Proverbs 21:24; 22:10;24:9; 29:8), and harden their hearts against God's laws (Proverbs 29:1). All such foolishness brings regret, troubles,and sorrows now and forevermore.Proverbs paints a picture of the great contrast between the life of the wicked and the wise. While the wicked wallowin poverty and trouble the wise enjoy life now and forevermore. The choice of pursuing wisdom in life results inpreserving the soul (Proverbs 16:17), longevity of life (Proverbs 9:11), happiness (Proverbs 17:22; 28:14; 29:18),satisfaction (Proverbs 19:23), riches, honor, and life (Proverbs 22:4, 29), and such a one is less likely to experiencetroubles (Proverbs 19:23; 21:23). The wise will avoid worldliness at all cost. Solomon writes, "Keep thy heart withall diligence; For out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23 see also 25:26). The wise man also maintains aproper attitude toward sin. Solomon writes, "The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evilway, and the perverse mouth, do I hate" (Proverbs 8:13 see also 8:7-9; 13:5; 14:9). The wise have a high estimationof their soul. "He that gets wisdom loves his own soul: He that keeps understanding shall find good" (Proverbs 19:8etc.). The wise are humble (Proverbs 20:9; 22:4; 29:23; 28:13), interested in spiritual matters (Proverbs 23:12, 26),seek out the things that delight God (Proverbs 11:1, 20; 12:2-3 etc.), and have a never quit attitude. Solomon writes,"If thou faint in the day of adversity, Thy strength is small" (Proverbs 24:10).The overall message of Proverbs is that when one chooses the way of wisdom they chose a good life. Truly it is awonderful life being a Christian. Such a life is enjoyable now and will be forevermore!Chapter OneI.1The purpose of the proverbs (1:1-6):A. “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel” (1:1).1. As stated in the introduction, a proverb is a maxim (truisms), comparison, noting likenesses inthings unlike.2. The book begins by identifying its author; i.e., Solomon the son of king David.B. “To know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding” (1:2).1. By the examination of comparisons or parallels through instruction one gains understanding andwisdom.2. The one who engages in the pursuit of wisdom through proverbs sharpens his understanding inmatters of riddles, enigmas, and dark sayings (cf. Prov. 1:6). The sharpening of one'sunderstanding is "discernment" (i.e., the ability to differentiate or distinguish between things).The wise will differentiate between right and wrong.C. “To receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness and justice and equity” (1:3).1. The proverbs of Solomon deal in wisdom, instruction, and discernment. The wise will "receive"and the foolish shall reject "instruction."2. The instruction is in "righteousness" and therefore forms the thinking in a right direction. Theinstruction is in "justice" and therefore helps us form just judgments upon not only ourselves butour fellow man. The instruction is in "equity" and therefore teaches the wise to be fair andimpartial in judgments. Let all look to the facts alongside the word of God for proper judgmentsand not allow emotionalism to cloud one’s judgment (see study # 1; Bible Authority).D. “To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion:” (1:4).1. The word “simple” is defined as “the foolish, silly, one who allows him self to be easily persuadedor led astray.”1 The word “simple” is found 18 times in Proverbs and six other times in the entireBible.Keil and Delitzsch pg. 402

2.E.F.G.H.23“Prudence” (phronesis) “a minding to do so and so, purpose, intention. thoughtfulness,prudence” (LS 872). The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word as, “carefulmanagement. the capacity for judging in advance the probable results of one's actions” (AHD998). The prudent is cautious and careful in all his dealings. The simple are easily carried awaywith every wind of doctrine (Cf. Rom. 16:18-19). The proverbs are therefore designed to sharpenthe mind of the simple through knowledge and discretion. The young man who gains wisdom willbe careful and cautious when any teaching is brought his way. He will be cautious and carefulwhen making a decision to do this or that.The word “that” always indicates purpose. Solomon records that the purpose of a proverb is that “thewise man may hear, and increase in learning; and that the man of understanding may attain untosound counsels” (1:5).1. Godliness is an education process (Cf. Isa. 54:13; Jn. 6:44; Eph. 4:20-22).2. Understanding through education leads one to “attain unto sound counsels.” “To explain, to maketo understand: one who is caused to understand or who lets himself be informed, and thus anintelligent person – that is one who may gain by means of these proverbs.”2 “Literally, the powerto ‘steer’ his course rightly on the dangerous seas of life.”3“To understand a proverb, and a figure, the words of the wise, and their dark sayings” (1:6).1. Herein we see another purpose of studying the proverbs. One gains a habit of thinking on a higherplain. The mind is thus bent to seek out understanding.2. That which one seeks to understand is the words of the wise, figures, enigmas or dark sayings thathave spiritual meanings.“The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction”(1:7).1. Fear “feminine of 3373; fear (also used as infinitive); morally, reverence:--X dreadful, Xexceedingly, fear (-fulness)” (Strong’s). Those who fear God are those who reverentially fearHim because He is the Potentate King of kings (see I Tim. 6:15). Fear is evidenced in manthrough obedience to God’s commands (see Deut. 5:29; 6:1-3; Titus 3:8; I Pet. 1:17). To fear is tobe aware of the fierce anger and wrath of God against law breakers (Deut. 19:19-21; I Tim. 5:20;Rev. 14). Moses (see Deut. 9:19), David (II Sam. 6:9), early Christians (Acts 9:31), and Paul (IICor. 5:11) had this fear. The Bible paints an obvious picture of the error of not possessing suchfear (see Numb. 12:1, 7-8; II Sam. 1:14; Jer. 5:22-24). Fear caries with it the idea of reverentialsubmission to those in positions that deem honor (see Rom. 13:7).2. To "despise" is “a primitive root; to disrespect:--contemn, despise, X utterly” (Strong’s). TheGreek equivalent is kataphroneo which is defined as “to think in disparagement of; to contemn,scorn, despise, to slight. disregard” (Moulton 222). This is the disposition of the false teacher(see II Pet. 2:10) and obviously the founding principle for all who have trouble submitting toGod's laws or the laws of man.3. Solomon defines the "foolish" one in Ecclesiastes as one who is so far removed from reverentialand fearful respect of God's laws that he doesn't even know that he is in sin(Eccl. 5:1).4. The sinful disregard the things of God and thereby are opposed to knowledge and wisdom."Wisdom" ( Greek / sophia) “knowledge of, acquaintance with a thing. sound judgment,intelligence, practical wisdom, such as was attributed to the Seven Wise men” (LS 737). Moultondefines the word as, "Practical wisdom, prudence, superior knowledge and enlightenment (seeCol. 2:23). Christian enlightenment (see 1 Corinthians 12:8 etc.)" (Moulton 371)."My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be achaplet of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck" (1:8-9).1. Children are to learn very early in life what respect, honor, and fear is all about. Young peopleare to be taught, by their father and mother, to honor and fear those to whom honor and fear isdue. Children who will not honor their father and their mother will certainly dishonor the name ofJehovah God and all others who are due honor (Eph. 6:1-2) (see study # 47).Ibid. pg. 40Barnes 153

2.II.III.Such early principles of respect, reverence, and honor to those in authority will serve as "a chapletof grace unto thy head and chains about thy neck." The young man or woman who listens, learns,and makes reverence respect and honor to those in authority a part of their moral character will belikened unto one with a crown and jewels about the neck (the moral character is examined here see I Tim. 2:9-10; I Pet. 3:4-5).Have no fellowship with those who despise Authority, wisdom, and Instruction (1:10-19):A. "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, come with us, let us lay wait for blood; letus lurk privily for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them up alive as Sheol, and whole, asthose that go down into the pit; we shall find all precious substance; we shall fill our houses with spoil;Thou shalt cast thy lot among us; we will all have one purse:" (1:10-14).1. The scriptures warn of making friends with or sharing in the sins of the wicked who despise theauthorized word of Jehovah God (see 1 Corinthians 15:33) (see study # 2; Evil CompanionsCorrupt good Morals).2. To the mind of the wise (those instructed in the ways of righteousness and who have not despisedthe wise instruction of their father and mother) such words are foolishness and there is to be nodesire for such conduct or company.B. "My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil,and they m

The proverbs of this book belonged to Solomon (Proverbs 1:1). Solomon was known for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:29). The Bible tells us that Solomon had composed 3000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). Other authors were Agur (Proverbs 30:1) and Lemuel's mother (Proverbs 31:1). Date The date of compilation of Proverbs into book form can be no earlier than the .

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