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

1. The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel:

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

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

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

5. My son, pay attention to my wisdom

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

7. Warning Against the Adulteress

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

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

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

11. A false balance is an abomination to the Lord

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity

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

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

22. A good name is more desirable than great riches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30. The words of Agur the son of Jakeh

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

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