Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Old Testament survey (20): Proverbs

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:5, 7)

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. (Proverbs 4:5)

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. (Proverbs 8:13-14)


[1] Proverbs, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3)

Dr. A. C. Gaebelein has written this helpful analysis of the literary structure of Proverbs.

The literary form of these Proverbs is mostly in the form of couplets. The two clauses of the couplet are generally related to each other by what has been termed parallelism, according to Hebrew poetry. (Hebrew poetry does not have rhyme or meter as our poetry does. Hebrew poetry consists of parallelism of ideas.) Three kinds of parallelism have been pointed out:

1. Synonymous Parallelism. Here the second clause restates what is given in the first clause. (It expresses the same thought in a different way.)

“Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools” (Prov. 19:29).

2. Antithetic (Contrast) Parallelism. Here a truth, which is stated in the first clause, is made stronger in the second clause by contrats with an opposite truth.

“The light of the righteous rejoiceth, but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out” (Prov. 13:9).

(You can see that the second statement is stating the same truth but from the opposite point of view by way of contrast.)

3. Synthetic Parallelism. The second clause develops the thought of the first.

“The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion; He that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own life” (Prov. 20:2). Read the complete article
[2] Book of Proverbs, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
The theme of wisdom and its necessity in our lives finds its fulfillment in Christ. We are continually exhorted in Proverbs to seek wisdom, get wisdom, and understand wisdom. Proverbs also tells us—and repeats it— that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (1:7; 9:10). Our fear of the Lord’s wrath and justice is what drives us to Christ, who is the embodiment of God’s wisdom as expressed in His glorious plan of redemption for mankind. In Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3), we find the answer to our search for wisdom, the remedy for our fear of God, and the “righteousness, holiness and redemption” that we so desperately need (1 Corinthians 1:30). The wisdom that is found only in Christ is in contrast to the foolishness of the world which encourages us to be wise in our own eyes. But Proverbs also tells us that the world’s way is not God’s way (Proverbs 3:7) and leads only to death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Read the complete article
[3] Proverbs, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
This collection of sententious sayings is divine wisdom applied to the earthly conditions of the people of God. That the Proverbs were Solomon's (Proverbs 1:1) implies no more than that he gathered into orderly arrangement sayings already current amongst the people, the wisdom of the Spirit, perhaps through many centuries (Ecclesiastes 12:9). Chapters 25-29 were current in Hezekiah's time (Ecclesiastes 25:1). Chapters 30 and 31 are by Agur and Lemuel.

The book is in six parts:

1. To sons, 1-7.
2. The praise of wisdom, 8-9.
3. The folly of sin, 10-19.
4. Warnings and instructions, 20-29.
5. The words of Agur, 30. The words of King Lemuel, 31.

[1] Key verses: Proverbs 1:5, 7; 4:5; 8:13-14

[2] Book of Proverbs (from Eastons Bible Dictionary)
A collection of moral and philosophical maxims of a wide range of subjects presented in a poetic form. This book sets forth the "philosophy of practical life. It is the sign to us that the Bible does not despise common sense and discretion. It impresses upon us in the most forcible manner the value of intelligence and prudence and of a good education. The whole strength of the Hebrew language and of the sacred authority of the book is thrown upon these homely truths. It deals, too, in that refined, discriminating, careful view of the finer shades of human character so often overlooked by theologians, but so necessary to any true estimate of human life" (Stanley's Jewish Church).
[3] “Fear of the Lord” (from Easton’s Bible Dictionary) is in the Old Testament used as a designation of true piety (Proverbs 1:7; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:9). It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather filial reverence. (Deuteronomy 32:6; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 1:2; 63:16; 64:8.) God is called "the Fear of Isaac" (Genesis 31:42,53), i.e., the God whom Isaac feared. A holy fear is enjoined also in the New Testament as a preventive of carelessness in religion, and as an incentive to penitence (Matthew 10:28; 2 Corinthians 5:11; 7:1; Philippians 2:12; Ephesians 5:21; Hebrews 12:28-29).

[4] References to “fear of the Lord”
Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26-27; 15:16, 23; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17
[5] References to “wisdom”
Proverbs 1:2-3, 7, 20; 2:2, 6-7, 10; 3:13, 19, 21; 4:5, 7, 11; 5:1; 7:4; 8:1, 5, 11-12, 14; 9:1, 10; 10:13, 21, 23, 31; 11:2, 12; 12:8; 13:10; 14:6, 8, 33; 15:21, 33; 16:16; 17:16, 24; 18:1, 4; 19:8; 21:30; 23:4, 9, 23; 24:3, 7, 14; 20:3, 15; 30:3; 31:26
Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Practical Wisdom In The Book of Proverbs, by Paul G. Apple

[2] Materials by David Malick
[3] Materials by Bob Deffinbaugh, Th.M
[4] The Poetical Books, by J. Hampton Keathley, III, Th.M. (also available in Chinese)

[5] Proverbs of Solomon Family Discussion Guide, by Micki Maris

[6] Visual Scripture - Psalms, Proverbs & Wisdom

Sermons on Proverbs (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] The Benefit of Wisdom, by Johnnie R. Bailey, Norway Baptist Church

[2] Topical - Fear Of The Lord, by Ronnie Mitchell

[3] Lessons From The Richest Man Who Ever Lived - #7 – Choices, by Billy Taylor

[4] Pursuit of the Father, by Harry Swayne

[5] Wisdom - Chapters 1-2 - #3, by Andrew Brown

[6] Getting Life In Order, by William Delleman

[7] Living In God’s World, by George Toews

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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