Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Book of Proverbs in January

My wife and I decided to read on chapter a day of the book of Proverbs from the Holy Bible this January because January has 31 days and Proverbs has 31 chapters. I missed a couple of days but doubled up on other days. So in this post I will share some notes on that book. I will do this with the help of Dr. J. Vernon McGee's notes on Proverbs.

The writer of the book of Proverbs is Solomon and he is also the author of the books of Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Proverbs is the book on wisdom; Ecclesiastes is the book on folly; Song of Solomon is the book on love. A Key verse is this:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

 A proverb is a saying that conveys a specific in a pointed, pithy way. Proverbs are
short sentences, drawn from long experience. It is a truth couched in a form that is easy to remember, a philosophy based on experience, and a rule for conduct. A proverb is a sententious sentence, a maxim, an old saying, an old saw, a bromide, and an epigram.

    The Orient and ancient East are the home of proverbs. Evidently Solomon gathered together many from other sources.Some of the proverbs in the Book of Proverbs are written in the second person while some are written in the third person. Some scholars believe that the proverbs in the second person were taught to Solomon by his teachers, and the proverbs in the third person were composed by Solomon.
    There is a difference between the Book of Proverbs and proverbs in other writings such as those written by the Greeks. Here are some of the major differences:

1. Proverbs bear no unscientific statement or inaccurate observation. For example, "Out of the heart proceeds the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23); about 2,700 years later, William Harvey found that the blood circulates. In contrast the Epistle of Barnabas (an apocryphal book) mention is made of the mythical phoenix, a bird that consumes itself by fire and then rises in resurrection. A fable such as this does not appear in the Book of Proverbs, nor anywhere else in the Bible.

2. The Proverbs do not contradict, while man's proverbs are often in opposition to each other. For example: "Look before you leap" vs. "He who hesitates is lost." "A man gets no more than he pays for" vs. "The best things in life are free."
There is a proverb that is a thumbnail sketch of every character in the Bible and similarly there is a proverb that will fit all your friends and acquaintances. This certainly adds interest to the reading of the book, however it may not increase the popularity with your friends if you identify them publicly.

Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32): we have fewer than 100 of them in the Book of Proverbs.

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