About the Book of Proverbs
Many people know proverbs in their own language. Often the proverbs have been there for a long time. Nobody knows who first said them. They are usually short and powerful, so that people can remember them.
King Solomon wrote down the proverbs in this book. They are proverbs that he heard people say at different times. These proverbs tell us how to live in a good way. They tell us what it means to be really wise. Solomon was a wise person himself. To be wise is not the same as to be clever. To be wise means to know the way that God wants us to live.
Many proverbs show the difference between a wise person and a foolish person. In the Book of Proverbs, a ‘fool’ means someone who refuses to let God teach him what is good and right. Other proverbs show the difference between a good person who is honest and righteous, and a wicked person who deceives people and who tells lies.
Proverbs are not laws or rules. Each proverb shows us a picture of something that is true about life, but it does not tell us everything. Proverbs make us think carefully about how we live our lives.
At the beginning of the book (Proverbs 1-9), Solomon speaks like a father who is speaking to his son. He wants his son to choose a good way to live. Wisdom is like a woman who wants us to listen to her (Proverbs 1:20-33; -9:6). But there is also another woman who wants us to follow a bad way (Proverbs 9:13-18). People who listen to the bad woman are foolish.
In Proverbs 10-29, Solomon makes a list of the proverbs that he knows. The last two chapters (30 and 31) have some more proverbs and also a poem about a wise wife who does many good things.