Who? | Author & Audience
When? | Dates
Most of Proverbs is said to have been written during the 10th century BC, and was completed between 729-696 BC.
Where? | Setting
Proverbs was written mostly during Solomon’s middle-aged years while he was at the height of his power as King of Israel, leaving behind a book of practical wisdom for godly living.
What & Why? | Outline & Purpose
Proverbs of Solomon (Proverbs 1-29)
Wisdom and godly living (Proverbs 1-4)
Folly and unrighteous living (Proverbs 5-7)
Tribute to wisdom (Proverbs 8-9)
Wisdom vs foolish living (Proverbs 10-22)
Saying of the wise (Proverbs 23-24)
Wisdom for relationships (Proverbs 25-26)
Wisdom for godly actions (Proverbs 27-29)
Wisdom of Agur (Proverbs 30)
Wisdom for the godly woman (Proverbs 31)
How? | Application
Teaches that godly wisdom and living is more valuable than wealth and earthly things.
Teaches that true wisdom is from God alone.
Teaches that wisdom is available to all, but all must choose the path of wisdom for themselves.
Teaches that the wise and godly are rewarded for their righteousness and the foolish reap the consequences or their folly.
Provides practical guidelines for godly living and helps Christian to understand the difference between wisdom and foolishness, good and evil, truth and falsehood, and so much more.
Reinforces that godly wisdom is a choice all people must choose to accept and live in, and that there are consequences for rejecting God’s truth.
Solomon was 20 years old when he ascended to the throne of Israel and he reigned for 40 years, from 971-931 BC. He wrote approximately 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, and most of the book of Proverbs is attributed to him as well. Solomon was esteemed as the wisest person of his time (1 Kings 4:29-32), and his strengths were not in battle but in matters of the mind such as planning, organization, meditation and negotiation. Solomon wrote more of the Old Testament than any other man except Moses, having written Song of Solomon in his youth while writing Proverbs in his more mature years at the height of his power, and Ecclesiastes was written in his later years as a reflection of his life and experiences. Proverbs 30 is attributed to Agur while Proverbs 31 was from King Lemuel’s mother, neither of whom there is much known.
A proverb is usually a brief saying as a statement of comparison. The book of Proverbs is a collection of statements about everyday life and practical guidelines for successful living as a godly person. They often speak of a “path” or “way, indicating conduct and lifestyles as a means to wise and godly living. The primary contrasts throughout Proverbs are the differences between wisdom and foolishness, good and evil, life versus death, truth versus falsehood, and more. Throughout the Book of Proverbs we can all learn the Biblical wisdom of having the right relationship to God and living godly, prudent lives for Him.