by Stan Coffey

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The Book of Proverbs: Heavenly Wisdom for Earth's Problems (29 of 54)
Through the Bible Survey
Stan Coffey
November 18, 1990

BACKGROUND: The Book of Proverbs is devoted to our practical life while the Psalms are devoted to our devotional life. This is a book of divine wisdom applied to earthly conditions The term "Proverb" means a brief saying as opposed to many words. Proverbs are short statements drawn from long experiences.

AUTHORSHIP: Traditionally, Solomon is recognized as the author of Proverbs on the basis of internal evidences (Ch. 1:1, 10:1, 25:1), as well as external proofs, (I Kings 4:32 which attributes 3000 proverbs to Salomon, though the Book of Proverbs contains only 800 proverbs). Solomon probably gathered together wise sayings along with his own.

STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK: The book as we have it contains 5 distinct sections or divisions.

1. The Superiority of Wisdom - Ch. 1-9
2. The Practical Problems - Ch. 10 - 22:16
3. Words of the Wise - Ch. 22:17 - 24:22
4. The proverbs of Solomon which were copied by the scribes of Hezekiah - Ch. 25-29
5. General Proverbs and a description of or tribute to a worthy woman - Ch. 30-31

The object of the book seems to be to inspire God's people to honesty, purity, and industry.

CENTRAL MESSAGE: The real power and beauty of this book lies hidden in the true meaning of the word "wisdom." It is found that the wisdom of proverbs is the incarnate Word of the New Testament. When you read the Book of Proverbs, put Christ instead of wisdom in the verse. (See I Cor. 1:30). This will help you to see a wonderful power in this book, for Christ is the wisdom of God.

PARALLELISM IN PROVERBS: The Book of Proverbs says things in short repeat or backup statement

Three kinds of parallelism are pointed out.
1. Synonymous parallelism - Here the second clause restates what is given in the first clause. Example: Proverbs 19:29
2. Contrast parallelism - A truth stated in the first clause is made stronger in ...

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