An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 124 – The Proverbs Of Solomon Begins Through Listening To God (Proverbs 1)

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1. Who penned the book of Proverbs?
“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel (Proverbs 1:1).
“The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother” (Proverbs 10:1).
“These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out” (Proverbs 25:1).

* Solomon was certainly a good penman for the book of Proverbs:
“(29) And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. (30) And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. (31) For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. (32) And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five” (I Kings 4:29-32).

** Solomon did not retain His wisdom as he later fell to evil influences (I Kings 11:1-8).

* Proverbs often have less obvious meanings:
“These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father” (John 16:25).

2. What is the purpose of the book of Proverbs?
“(2) To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; (3) To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; (4) To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. (5) A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: (6) To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings” (Proverbs 1:2-6).

3. Does the fear of God help in gaining knowledge?
Yes: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever” (Psalms 111:10).

* We are to fear God and keep His commandments (
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

4. Is it wise to learn from godly parents?
Yes: “(8) My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: (9) For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9).

* We know we should never listen to anyone who would cause us to err (
Proverbs 29:27).

“(20) My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: (21) Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck” (Proverbs 6:20-21).

“The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Proverbs 30:17).

“Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:3).

** See also:
Ephesians 6:1-4 and II Timothy 1:5.

5. What should be done when sinners entice [attract; tempt] us?
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10).

“(1) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalms 1:1-2).

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Corinthians 15:33).

6. What is the godly response when the wicked want us to go with them to do evil?
“(11) If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: (12) Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: (13) We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: (14) Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: (15) My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path (Proverbs 1:11-15).

* “(4) I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. (5) I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked” (Psalms 26:4-5).

“(14) Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. (15) Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away” (Proverbs 4:14-15).

* “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Corinthians 15:33).
7. Are sinners presented as innocent and unknowingly ignorant or as predators?
Predators: “(16) For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. (17) Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. (18) And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. (19) So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof” (Proverbs 1:16-19).

“The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts” (Psalms 119:110).

8. Is wisdom presented as elusive or as something that wants found?
Wisdom wants to be found: “(20) Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: (21) She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, (22) How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? (23) Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you” (Proverbs 1:20-23).

* See also:
Proverbs 8:1-12

9. God presented wisdom to His people, but did they listen?
No: “(24) Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof” (Proverbs 1:24-25).

10. What did God say He would do at the calamity [distress] of His people?
“(26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you” (Proverbs 1:26-27).

“(12) The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. (13) The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming” (Psalms 37:12-13).

11. Whose fault is it when people look for God and cannot find Him?
That person’s fault: “(28) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: (29) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (30) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof” (Proverbs 1:28-30).

“But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me” (Psalms 81:11).

“The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them” (Jeremiah 8:9)?

12. Do people reap what they sow?
Yes: “Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them” (Proverbs 1:31-32).

“Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same” (Job 4:8).

“He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail” (Proverbs 22:8).

“(10) Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. (11) Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him” (Isaiah 3:10-11).

“(7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

13. What did God say about those who hearken unto Him?
“But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33).

* Remember, this is when God DIRECTLY worked among His people (
Psalms 46:1)!