The Bible Book by Book
Practical Value of the Book of Proverbs. The proverbs emphasize the external religious life. They teach how to practice religion and overcome the daily temptations. They express a belief in God and his rule over the universe and, therefore, seek to make his religion the controlling motive in life and conduct. They breathe a profound religious spirit and a lofty religious conception, but put most stress upon the doing of religion in all the relations of life. Davison says: "For the writers of Proverbs religion means good sense, religion means mastery of affairs, religion means strength and manliness and success, religion means a well furnished intellect employing the best means to accomplish the highest ends." This statement is correct as far as the side of duty emphasized is concerned.

Nature of Proverbs. (1) There is a voice of wisdom which speaks words of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, prudence, subtility, instruction, discretion and the fear of Jehovah, and furnishes us with good advice for every condition of life. (2) There is a voice of folly, which speaks words of folly, simplicity, stupidity, ignorance, brutishness and villainy, and lifts her voice wherever wisdom speaks. (3) Wisdom is contrasted with folly, which often issues in simplicity and scorning. (4) Wisdom is personified, as if it were God speaking about the practical, moral, intellectual and religious duties of men. (5) Christ finds Himself in the book, Lu. 24:27, and if Christ be substituted for wisdom, where it is found, a new and wonderful power will be seen in the book.

Scheme of the Considerations Found in Proverbs. The first sphere-the home, father and children, 1:8-9 and Chs. 2-7. Key-word here is "my son." The second sphere-friendship; companions is the important word. 1:10-19. The third sphere-the world beyond.


I. Praise of Wisdom. Chs. 1-9. This is shown by contrast with folly.

1. The design and some fundamental maxims, 1:1-19.

2. Wisdom's warnings, 1:20 end.

3. Wisdom will reveal God and righteousness and save one from wicked men and strange women, Ch. 2.

4. Description of the life of wisdom, Ch. 3.

5. Wisdom the best way, Ch. 4.

6. The strange woman, Ch. 5.

7. Against various evils, Ch. 6.

8. Wisdom's warnings against the seductions of an adulterous, Ch. 7.

9. Wisdom makes an appeal, Ch. 8.

10. Wisdom gives her invitations, Ch. 9.

II. Practical Proverbs of Solomon. 10:1-22:16. These are separate and cannot be classified.

III. Words of the Wise. 22:17-24 end. Sometimes called commendations of justice. There are several authors, but no common topic.

IV. Proverbs of Solomon, copied by the scribes of Hezekiah, Chs. 25-29.

V. Words of Agur. Ch. 30.From one who has tried "to find out God unto perfection and found the task above him."

VI. Words of Lemuel, Ch. 31.

1. The duty of Kings, 1-9.

2. The praise of a virtuous woman or good wife, 10-31.

For Study and Discussion. (1) Collect passages that tell of the rewards of virtue and piety. (2) Cite passages that show the evils of: sloth or indolence, of wine-drinking and drunkenness, of tale-bearing, of family contentions. (3) Make a list of the chief thoughts of the book concerning God, man, and other great religious teachings of our day. (4) What is said of a man who rules his own spirit, of a good name, of obedience to parents, of fitly spoken words, of a beautiful woman who lacks discretion, of a liberal soul, of a false balance, of a soft answer, of a wise son. Find where the answers are found (5) The Peril of following an unchaste love (woman), chapter 5. (6) Folly of yielding to the wiles of an harlot, chapter 7. (7) The description of a worthy woman, 31:10 end.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Proverbs 1. The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel:

1. The use of the proverbs
7. An exhortation to fear God, and believe his word
10. to avoid the enticing of sinners
20. Wisdom complains of her contempt
24. She threatens her contemners

Proverbs 2. Receive my words, and store up my commandments within you;

1. wisdom promises godliness to her children
10. and safety from evil company
20. and direction in good ways

Proverbs 3. Don't forget my teaching; but let your heart keep my commandments:

1. various exhortations
13. The gain of wisdom
27. Exhortation to goodness
33. the different state of the wicked and upright

Proverbs 4. Listen, sons, to a father's instruction

1. persuades to wisdom
14. and to show wickedness
20. He exhorts to sanctification

Proverbs 5. My son, pay attention to my wisdom

1. Solomon exhorts to wisdom
3. He shows the mischief of unfaithfulness and riot
15. He exhorts to contentedness, generosity, and chastity
22. The wicked are overtaken with their own sins

Proverbs 6. If you have struck your hands in pledge for a stranger;

1. against indebtedness
6. idleness
12. and mischievousness
16. seven things detestable to God
20. the blessings of obedience
25. the mischief of unfaithfulness

Proverbs 7. Warning Against the Adulteress

1. Solomon persuades to a sincere and kind familiarity with wisdom
6. In an example of his own experience he shows
10. the cunning of a harlot
22. and the desperate simplicity of a young wanton
24. He detests such wickedness

Proverbs 8. Doesn't wisdom cry out? Doesn't understanding raise her voice?

1. the fame
6. and evidence of wisdom
10. The excellence
12. the nature
15. the power
18. the riches
22. and the eternity of wisdom
32. Wisdom is to be desired for the blessedness it brings

Proverbs 9. Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars.

1. The discipline
4. and the doctrine of wisdom
13. The custom
16. and error of folly

Proverbs 10. A wise son makes a glad father; but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

1. Proverbs of Solomon: observations of moral virtues, and their contrary vices

Proverbs 11. A false balance is an abomination to the Lord

1. On Deception

Proverbs 12. Whoever loves correction loves knowledge; he who hates reproof is stupid.

1. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge

Proverbs 13. A wise son listens to his father's instruction, but a scoffer doesn't listen

1. a scoffer does not listen to rebuke

Proverbs 14. Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down

1. A wise woman builds her house

Proverbs 15. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

1. A gentle answer turns away wrath

Proverbs 16. The plans of the heart belong to man; Answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

1. The Plans of the heart

Proverbs 17. Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.

1. Contrasts between the Righteous and the Wicked

Proverbs 18. An unfriendly man pursues selfishness, and defies all sound judgment.

1. A fool delights not in understanding

Proverbs 19. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity

1. Life and Conduct

Proverbs 20. Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler.

1. Proper Living

Proverbs 21. The king's heart is in the Lord's hand like the watercourses.

1. The king's heart in the hand of the Lord

Proverbs 22. A good name is more desirable than great riches

1. A good name is more desirable than great wealth

Proverbs 23. When you sit to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before you;

1. Consider carefully what is before you

Proverbs 24. Don't be envious of evil men; neither desire to be with them:

1. Precepts and Warnings

Proverbs 25. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out

1. observations about kings
8. and about avoiding causes of quarrels

Proverbs 26. Like snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.

1. observations about fools
13. about sluggards
17. and about contentious busybodies

Proverbs 27. Don't boast about tomorrow; for you don't know what a day may bring forth.

1. observations of self love
5. of true love
11. of care to avoid offenses
23. and of the household care

Proverbs 28. The wicked flee when no one pursues; but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

1. general observations of impiety and integrity

Proverbs 29. He who is often rebuked and stiffens his neck will be destroyed suddenly

1. observations of public government
15. and of private
22. Of anger, pride, thievery, cowardice and corruption

Proverbs 30. The words of Agur the son of Jakeh

1. Agur's confession of his faith
7. The two points of his prayer
10. The meanest are not to be wronged
11. Four wicked generations
15. Four things insatiable
24. four things exceeding wise
29. Four things stately
32. Wrath is to be prevented

Proverbs 31. King Lemuel: Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.

1. Lemuel's lesson of chastity and temperance
6. The afflicted are to be comforted and defended
10. The praise and properties of a good wife
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