BIBLICAL JOY
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THE BOOK OF PROVERBS … GETTING STARTED

People are often surprised to find the diversity they do in the Bible. We tend to see the Bible in terms of story/history – like the Gospels or Exodus.  Or we see the Bible in terms of great doctrinal teaching, such as Romans. Many of us are used to the practical instruction for in the letters of Paul, John, Peter.  And most of us have figured out that Revelation is a very unique type of literature.

One of the great traditions of Old Testament times is called Wisdom Literature. Proverbs fits into this category.    The Book of Proverbs belongs to the group of Ḥokmah, or “Wisdom” books, in which Job and Ecclesiates are also included.  The original Hebrew title of the book of Proverbs is “Míshlê Shlomoh” (“Proverbs of Solomon”). The Greek and Latin Vulgate translations of the title were “Proverbs” and “Proverbial,” respectively, from which the English title of Proverbs is derived.

An excellent introduction and summary can be found at a web site called BibleStudy.org.

Solomon gets credit for authorship of this book, a position supported by the superscription of the Book.  It is, however, best understood as a collection of wise sayings, some written by Solomon, some he had gathered and brought together in this book.

As we start, take some time to ponder these questions and then Proverbs, chapter one for our next lesson.

1. For many of us growing up, mothers and grandmothers were the great dispensers of wisdom.  Do you remember anything your mother or grandmother was fond of saying that has served you well over the years?

2. If you have a piece of wisdom you’d like to pass down to your children, what would it be?

Share your thoughts especially one question two in the comments section.

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4 Responses to “THE BOOK OF PROVERBS … GETTING STARTED”

  1. My sister & I were just talking about how those who are dying are compelled by love to pass on wisdom to those who are close. By doing so, the hope is to make their road less rocky. We talk about the triangle of body, mind, spirit; how vital it is to nurture one’s spirit, which will be the only consistent source of strength.

  2. This is in response to Steve’s question #1.

    My father was a tough, opinionated man with distinct beliefs. He, on multiple occasions, said that real men do not cry. So I did not.

    Well, my mother told me that real men have the courage to cry. She didn’t mean that if you were to get a splinter in your thumb, you should therefore cry. She meant that if you had a concern or grief, it was OK to have tears, get it out there.

    We guys frequently think that we should be pillars of strength, solid as a rock, be logical and exhibit only strength. Yea, yea, yea. Well I have seen some very strong men cry and what it did for me was to see them as a real and full person.

    Now, I would rather be seen as a full person than be viewed as a strong person, etc. To be viewed as a full person and a strong person would be good too.

    Mark Ertel

    • I admire a man (or woman) who can cry. For me, it is a release of anger, frustration, or grief that is much better than holding it in until I explode more violently. God gave us the ability to cry in grief, and I see many examples in the Bible. Not the least of which is “Jesus wept”.

  3. I believe that your observation would very much match the spirit of Proverbs. Wisdom leads to a wholeness of person that ultimately displays great inner strength–a strength that comes from knowing yourself as God does and becoming the person he created you to be.


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