OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF PROVERBS

OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF PROVERBS
Introduction:

“A new author, or penman rather, or pen (if you will) made use of by the Holy Ghost for making known the mind of God to us, writing as moved by the finger of God (so the Spirit of God is called), and that is Solomon; through his hand came this book of Scripture and the two that follow it, Ecclesiastes and Canticles (Song of Solomon), a sermon and a song. Some think he wrote Canticles when he was very young, Proverbs in the midst of his days, and Ecclesiastes when he was old. In the title of his song he only writes himself Solomon, perhaps because he wrote it before his accession to the throne, being filled with the Holy Ghost when he was young. In the title of his Proverbs he writes himself the son of David, king of Israel, for then he ruled over all Israel. In the title of his Ecclesiastes he writes himself the son of David, king of Jerusalem, because then perhaps his influence had grown less upon the distant tribes, and he confined himself very much in Jerusalem.” — Matthew Henry.

Author: The author of this book was King Solomon, as the “first” verse, which contains the inscription of it, shows; for he was not a collector of these proverbs, as Grotius is of opinion, but the author of them, at least of the far greater part; and not only the author, but the writer of them: the Jews say that Hezekiah and this men wrote them; it is true indeed the men of Hezekiah copied some, Proverbs 25:1, “These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out,” but even those were written by Solomon. —John Gill’s Expositor

Chief Purpose: To give Moral Instruction, especially to young People.

Key Verse: Proverbs 1:4, “To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.”

Key Thought: “The fear of the Lord,” which occurs fourteen (14) times.

A Brief Summary of the Book:

1) Fatherly counsels and warnings, with exhortations concerning the attainment of wisdom, Pr 1:1–7:27.

2) Wisdom’s call, Pr 8:1–9:18.

3) Proverbs that contrasts between Good and Evil, Wisdom and Folly, Pr 10:1–20:30.

4) Proverbial maxims and counsels, Pr 21:1–24:34.

5) Proverbs of Solomon copied by men of King Hezekiah, Pr 25:1–29:27.

6) The words of Agur, the oracle, Pr 30.

NOTE: “Who this Agur was is a matter of doubt; some of the Jewish writers, as Jarchi and Gersom, and likewise some Christian writers take him to be Solomon himself, who calls himself Agur, which is said to signify “a gatherer”; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, “the words of the gatherer, the son of the vomiter”; just as he calls himself Koheleth, or “the caller,” or “preacher,” Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12.” — John Gill’s Expositor.

7) The words of King Lemuel; the Jewish rabbis identified him with Solomon, Pr 31:1:

a. A mother’s advice, Pr 31:2-9.

b. The description of an Ideal wife, Pr 31:10-31.

NOTE: John Gill thinks this is “the instruction of Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba.” —John Gill’s Expositor.

Choice Selections: Wisdom:

1) The Call of, Pr 1:20-23.

2) The Source of, Pr 2:6 8:1-36.

3) The Preciousness of, Pr 3:13-26.

4) The Principal thing, Pr 4:5-13.

5) The Richest Treasure, Pr 8:11-36.

6) The Feast of, Pr 9:1-6.

Subjects Especially Discussed:

1) Anger, Pr 14:17, 29; 15:18; 16:32; 19:11.

2) Benevolence, Pr 3:9, 10; 11:24-26; 14:21; 19:17; 22:9.

3) Correction of Children, Pr 13:24; 19:18; 22:6, 15; 23:13,14.

4) Enticers, Pr 4:14; 9:13; 16:29.

5) Fear of God , Pr 1:7; 3:7; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26-27; 15:16, 33; 16:6; 19:23; 23:17; 24:21.

6) Fools:

a. Slanderous, Pr 10:18.

b. Short-lived, Pr 10:21.

c. Mischief-makers, Pr 10:23.

d. Self-righteous, Pr 12:15.

e. Irritable, Pr 12:16.

f. Mock at sin, Pr 14:9.

g. Talk nonsense, Pr 15:2.

h. Insensible, Pr 17:10.

i. Dangerous, Pr 17:12.

j. Visionary, Pr 17:24.

k. Meddlesome, Pr 20:3.

l. Despise Wisdom, Pr 23:9.

m. Stupid, Pr 27:22.

n. Self-confident, Pr 14:16; 28:26.

o. Babbler, Pr 29:11.

7) Friendship, Pr 17:17; 18:24; 19:4; 27:10,17.

8) Indolence, Pr 6:6-11; 10:4-5; 12:27; 13:4; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15, 24; 20:4,13; 22:13; Pr 24:30-34; 26:13-16.

9) Knowledge Divine, Pr 15:11; 21:2; 24:12.

10) Oppression, Pr 14:31; 22:22; 28:16.

11) Pride, Proverbs 6:17; 11:2; 13:10; 15:25; 16:18-19; 18:12; 21:4, 24; 29:23; 30:13.

12) Prudence, Pr 12:23; 13:16; 14:8,15,18; 15:5; 16:21; 18:15; 27:12.

13) Scorners, Pr 3:34; 9:7; 14:6; 19:25; 24:9.

14) Strife, Pr 3:30; 10:12; 15:18; 16:28; 17:1,14,19; 18:6,19; 20:3; 22:10; 25:8; 30:33.

15) Temperance, Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:1-3, 20; 23:29-35; 25:16; 31:4-7.

16) The Tongue, Proverbs 4:24; 10:11-32; 12:6,18, 22; 13:3; 14:3; 15:1-7, 23; 16:13, 23, 27; 17:4; Pr 18:7, 21; 19:1; 20:19; 21:23; 26:28; 30:32.

17) Unjust Gain, Proverbs 10:2; 13:11; 21:6; 28:8.

18) Wealth, Proverbs 10:2, 15; 11:4, 28; 13:7, 11; 15:6; 16:8; 18:11; 19:4; 27:24; 28:6, 22.

19) Women, evil, Proverbs 2:16-19; 5:3-14, 20, 23; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 9:13-18.

20) Women, good, Proverbs 5:18-19; 31:10-31.

Conclusion:

Solomon was a Guide Post rather than an example. He pointed the way to Wisdom, but in the latter part of his life he did not walk in it; hence his son, Rehoboam, followed his Example, rather than his Counsels, and became a foolish and evil ruler.

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