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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Proverbs of Solomon

King Solomon was known for his wisdom (1 Kings 3:3-13; I Kings 4:29-34). He may have authored some and collected others that he deemed wise. We know it was a composite work and collected over time. Three of these authors are named (Solomon, Agur and Lemuel), while some are mentioned collectively as ‘Wise Men’. Most of its contents were completed prior to Solomon's death in 931 BC. The book stayed in the southern kingdom of Judah, as Hezekiah’s men compiled more of Solomon’s proverbs in Proverbs 25–29. The book was likely in its final form before the end of Hezekiah’s reign in 686 BC.

1 Kings 4:32-34 (NKJV)  He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

Wisdom literature includes Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a "collection of collections". Roughly half the book is made up of "sayings" of this type, the other half is made up of longer poetic units of various types. A large part of Proverbs are saying that reflect, not just human wisdom, but divine wisdom as they are inspired by God. These sayings can help us live wisely in our lives and in relationships with others but they should not be considered "laws" or divine commands. We have to have the discernment of the Holy Spirit in order to know how and when to use these Proverbs. For instance, a couple of proverbs of our culture are, "When in doubt, do nothing" and "He who hesitates is lost". These seem opposing proverbs and discernment is to know which to use in your situation. When a decision is required you want to try and get all the facts and make a considered, informed decision. On the other hand, you don't want to lose an opportunity because you are paralyzed in indecision.

The primary purpose of the book is to teach wisdom, not only to the young and inexperienced (1:2–4) but also to the mature. The voice is obviously of a mature, experienced, older person speaking to younger, or inexperienced, people. A person such as a father/mother, a mentor, a teacher, a head of family. But there are words of wisdom included for mature people as well. A generation-to-generation impartation of wisdom.

Proverbs 1:5-6  5 let the wise listen and gain instruction,
and the discerning acquire wise counsel—
6to understand the proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.

It is rather sad that although, when he came to the throne, Solomon had exceeding wisdom, he shockingly failed to live out the truths he had learned. His son, King Rehoboam, totally rejected his father's wisdom teachings.

Early in the first chapter (Proverbs 1:7) we are told, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge".

We are continually encourage to seek wisdom and acquire understanding and discernment. Chapters 1-9 introduces the book and personifies Wisdom as a woman. Her opposite is the loose woman of Folly. Jesus Christ was the embodiment and fulfillment of Wisdom. He is one greater than Solomon.

Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

The World embodies Folly. To reject God is to choose Folly over Wisdom. The promises in Proverbs teach us that choosing Wisdom leads to seeking and following God which brings blessing.

Proverbs 1:1-7  1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and discipline,
to comprehend words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise living,
in righteousness, justice, and equity,
4 to impart prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and gain instruction,
and the discerning acquire wise counsel—
6 to understand the proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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