Proverbs 1:1-7 - Outline of Proverbs (Book Notes menu page)
Introduction to Proverbs (Read Proverbs 1:1-6)
The Proverbs... - {HB=mashal} is the noun form of a HB verb which means:
"to rule, or to govern" (Gen 1:18; 3:16). As the sun, moon and stars preside over the earth, dividing light from darkness, so "the wisdom which cometh from above" (Jam 3:17) provides light to govern and discern the earthly conduct of mankind. In this book, this wisdom is encapsulated in pithy "proverbs" or "governing principles" by which a person, who heeds them, can order his life and avoid many problems.
of Solomon... - Solomon is renown as the wisest man who ever lived.
But wisdom was not inherent in him, he received it from the Lord (see 1King 3:5-15; 2Chr 1:1-13). The wisdom of the proverbs, was not original with Solomon. While sections of the book are attributed to his authorship (Pro 10:1; 25:1), in many sections, he is repeating the instruction which he received from his parents, as a prince and possible future king (eg., Pro 31:1-4).
Solomon the son of David, King of Israel...-
The term "son" reflects on his physical descendancy from his father, David. But that is not the only thing inferred by this word. Timothy was Paul's son in the faith. Likewise, Peter called Marcus his son (1Tim 1:2; 1Pet 5:13). Timothy and Marcus were discipled by their spiritual fathers, assimilating their teaching, and maturing into men of God who were "thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2Tim 3:17).
to know wisdom, and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding... -
"The wisdom in this Book is not human sagacity or cleverness or ability, but the application to the smallest details of human life of the wisdom which built the heavens and the earth, and maintains them in being. This is grace indeed, that God should place His wisdom at the disposition of man [to] order man's happiness, and his walking in a safe road in the midst of confusion, evil and danger.
     "The Book contrasts the fear of Jehovah and the folly of self-will. The former is declared to be the foundation of wisdom, and prosperity; the latter is denounced as the cause of suffering and death.
     "The Book deals with God's moral government in the earth, and is a sure guide amidst life's perplexities. It undertakes to lead men safely, whether they be princes or peasants; and to direct them aright in all their concerns, whether public or private.
     "Rejection of this wisdom is declared by the Book to open the door to corruption and violence. Such was the moral condition of the Antediluvians (Gen 6:5,11)." [in quotes, GWms]
wisdom...- What is it? Where does it come from?
In v.5,6, we see some characteristics of "a wise man" (ie., a man who has received wisdom and subtilty).
A wise man will:
Verse 7 is the key verse to the book of Proverbs.
An attitude of awe-filled respect toward the LORD is the beginning of understanding who He is, and of submitting to His governing principles. But many people foolishly despise {ie., hold in contempt, consider as insignificant} the things which they have been told concerning Him, with tragic consequences.
In v.7-8, the wisdom from above and the wisdom received from parents are not separated, as though they were distinct from one another, but rather they are seen as parallel, together forming "the foundation of a just relationship to God and man." [in quotes, GWms]

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