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Bible Commentaries

Gann's Commentary on the Bible

Proverbs 1

Verse 1

Book Comments

Walking Thru The Bible

PROVERBS

INTRODUCTION

A. AUTHOR

The collection of Proverbs in the Bible is attributed to King Solomon, the son of David (Proverbs 1:1; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 25:1) and to Agur (Proverbs 30:1), King Lemuel (Proverbs 31:1) and wise men (Proverbs 22:17; Proverbs 24:23).

Some hold to the view that King Lemuel was another name for Solomon while Agur is said in chapter Proverbs 30:1 to be the son of Jakeh and some see a connection between him and the tribe of Ishmael (Genesis 25:14).

Solomon, a man of great wisdom and literature, was known throughout the earth (1 Kings 4:29-34; Ecclesiastes 12:9). The writer’s son (Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 2:1) is presumed to be Rehoboam who succeeded Solomon as King. But the precepts are for all youths (Proverbs 4:1) and in the broadest scope for all men.

B. BACKGROUND

The book of Proverbs seems to be comprised of at least two collections and perhaps three. The second collection begins at Proverbs 25:1 which is said to have been copied out by Hezekiah’s scribes (cf. 2 Kings 18:37). King Hezekiah lived more than 200 years after Solomon. It is thought that these proverbs of Solomon may have been from a court collection used for teaching the princes and Hezekiah had them published for general use. Thus the people got to train their children by royal text books.

C. CHARACTERISTICS

A proverb is a short pithy saying. One definition said: Proverbs are short statements drawn from long experiences. Of the 3,000 proverbs which Solomon spoke, we have only those in this book and Ecclesiastes. Of the 1,005 songs we have only those of the Song of Solomon.

The use of proverbs have always been a favorite way of teaching. They are quoted or alluded to some 32 times in the New Testament.

The study of proverbs were an important part of a young man’s education. It is a vivid, practical, short, easy to remember saying of truth. Henry Halley said, "The Oriental method of teaching was constant repetition of wise and practical thoughts in a form that would stick in the mind."

For example, chapter Prov 31:10-31 is an acrostic ode on the worthy woman, laid out in a way easy to remember and repeat.

D. DESIGN

The proverbs cover a host of subjects (cf. ch. 3 with ch. 22) There is no clear continuity to the book.

COMMON PATTERNS OF HEBREW POETRY (Parallelisms)

1) The typical pattern is a couplet consisting of two short sentences which express a single thought. The second line usually reinforces the first, as in Proverbs 22:1 --

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,

And loving favour rather than silver and gold.

2) Another couplet pattern is where the second line states the opposite of the first, as in Proverbs 14:29.

He that is slow to wrath has great understanding:

But he that is impulsive exalts folly.

3) A third variation is where the second line or seceding lines complete the thought of the first, examples:

The eyes of the Lord are in every place,

Keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Proverbs 15:3

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;

Pride and arrogance and the evil way

And the perverse mouth I hate.

Proverbs 8:13

GENERAL DIVISIONS OF THE PROVERBS

(The first collection)

1. Proverbs of Solomon 1:1 - 9:18

2. Proverbs of Solomon 10:1 - 22:16

3. Words of the Wise 22:17 - 24:22

4. Words of the Wise 24:23 - 24:34

(The Second Collection)

5. Solomon’s proverbs copied out by Hezekiah’s scribes - 25:1 - 29:27

6. Agur’s words - 30:1 - 37

7. King Lemuel’s Words 31:1-9 - (As taught him by his mother)

8. ? "The Worthy Woman" 31:10-31

The Book of Proverbs is a collection of inspired instructions on the kind of conduct which is desirable and acceptable before God. The Proverbs teach piety, justice, and duty. They deal in themes of morality, religion, society, and politics. They draw comparisons between the righteous and the sinner, the wise and the foolish, and rewards and punishments.

The books sets forth a system of morality which all men of good intentions, whether Hebrew or Gentiles, could appreciate and apply to daily life. It must have been by deliberate design that the book contains nothing distinctive that marked it as being for Israel alone. For example:

1. There is no mention of Israel in the entire book.

2. There is no allusion to the feast of the passover, or to the feast of weeks, or to the feast of tabernacle.

3. There is no mention of a sabbath day.

4. There is no requirements or reference to the paying of tithes.

5. There is no distinct trace of messianic hope.

In its reference to God the book reflects the universal attributes of God’s infinity, omnipresence, and that he chastens and reproves the faithful. God is presented as rewarding the good and condemning the evil and is particularly concerned for the poor and lowly.

It was a book that set forth a morality and conduct for men for all races and nations. The book could be studied under the themes of Man’s Obligations:

1. His obligations to God,

2. His obligations to Self,

3. His obligations to Fellowmen,

4. His obligations to Parents,

5. His obligations to Spouse,

6. His obligations to Children,

7. His obligations to Civil Power.

SERMON OUTLINE Training The Young

Introduction:

1. How well do you think this admonition is being observed?

2. Look at the scenes around us today and ponder:

a. What has gone wrong?

b. Where are American parents failing?

I. WHO IS TO BLAME?

1. The Home--

2. The School--

3. The Community--

4. The Church--

II. CHIEF RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOME

1. Basic responsibility of parents.

2. Where have parents failed?

3. The Bible admonishes--

a. Moses, at the end of his career as leader of the Israelites, exhorted them: "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:" (Deuteronomy 6:6)

b. "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:7)

c. "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." (Proverbs 29:15)

III. TRAIN UP A CHILD

1. Observations of the rule in Proverbs 22:6

a. The principle

b. What does it mean to "train"

2. "In the way he should go"

3. In what way should he go?

1. In the way of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

2. In the way of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

3. In the way of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

4. In the way of Christ and Christianity (John 14:6).

Conclusion:

1. Your children are being "trained"-- who is doing it?

2. How fathers and mothers can "best" fulfil their role.

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Verse Comments

Verse 7

The fear of the Lord . . The overarching theme of this book and particularly the first 9 chapters is introduced—reverence for God (see Proverbs 1:29; Proverbs 2:5; Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 14:26-27; cf. also Job 28:28; Psalms 34:11; Acts 9:31)... The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s (cf. Psalms 42:1). - MSB

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Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Proverbs 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/proverbs-1.html. 2021.