The book of Proverbs or simply Proverbs (Hebrew מִשְׁלֵי , Mishlei) is a collection of sayings, poems that is part of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Tanakh. It is a text that is classified within the sapiensal books of Christianity and is among the Writings or Ketuvim of Judaism. In the Hebrew bible and in the Greek version of the Seventy (LXX) it is called as "The Proverbs of Solomon".
The word proverb means proverb, allegory, but it also means parable, fable and even riddle or riddle. A proverb is a statement or short sentence that teaches moral values and principles for righteous living.
Its literary genre is poetry and gathers the wisdom of the Hebrew people with the particularity of being more universal, showing in some parts a deep spirituality about human life that is not under the vision of religion, covering personal and family life, education, home, the relationship of parents with their children, adultery and more; that is to teach with wisdom and examples for future generations. In this book you can appreciate the style of Hebrew poetry such as parallelism, images, figurative language and other literary resources typical of antiquity.
Traditionally accepted as the author of Proverbs to the King Solomon, to whom the following are attributed 3000 proverbs, but this is not exact, because in this book there are several collections that belong to other authors such as Agur son of Jaque, King Lemuel of Massah; who are two wise men of non-Hebrew origin and the "sayings of the wise men" that were recompiled and edited by unknown authors during the reign of Hezekiah in the years 715-686 B.C. This book shows a great influence of the peoples of Egypt, Mesopotamia and other peoples of the ancient East, but the Hebrew culture gave it its own cultural and religious characteristics that have transcended to the present day. This book shows a great influence of the peoples of Egypt, Mesopotamia and other peoples of the ancient East, but the Hebrew culture gave it its own cultural and religious characteristics that have transcended to the present day.
The proverbs or sayings are writings that are full of teachings, advice for proper behavior in daily life or sentences to show good versus evil; all of this shown through the practical wisdom of living under the promise of God and the love of truth and justice.
The book is divided into a prologue or introduction, five collections of proverbs and an epilogue. It teaches in a practical way how to live and expresses in a simple way that the Lord has done everything with wisdom and that this in turn is based on the fear of God and the trust we put in him.
The book of Proverbs has the following outline:
- Introduction (1.1-7)
- First collection of sapiential poems (1.8-9.18)
- Second collection "Sayings of Solomon" (10.1-22.16)
- Third collection "sayings of the wise" (22.17-24.22)
- Fourth collection "other sayings of the wise men" (24.23-34)
- Fifth collection "sayings of Solomon" compiled by the people of Hezekiah, king of Judah (25.1-29.27)
- Sixth collection "Agur sayings" (30.1-33)
- Seventh collection "Sayings of King Lemuel" (31.1-9)
- Appendix Praise of the exemplary woman (31.10-31)