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A Proverb A Day

There are 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs (sometimes referred to as the Book of Wisdom). According to one biblical source, "It is a collection of pithy sayings in which by comparison or contrast, some important truth is set forth".  The King James Bible gives Solomon as the author and the date of writing was the 10th century B.C. so it has been around a long time. 

"Proverbs were common to all nations of the ancient world". As mentioned, the biblical proverbs was written by King Solomon (Israel's third King and son of King David and wife Bathsheba). I Kings 4:32 says Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and he also wrote 1,005 songs. 

"Among the virtues commended in the book are the pursuit of wisdom (actually the theme of the book), filial piety, liberality, domestic faithfulness and honesty in business relationships". It also has warnings for "vices such as intemperance in eating and drinking, immorality, illegality, falsehood, lying, laziness, contentiousness, and keeping bad company".

In the introduction to the book in the KJV Scofield Reference Bible, 1967 edition by Oxford Press, it says "the proverbs collected by Solomon are difficult to classify, however the following divisions may be helpful:  I. Fatherly Exhortations Addressed To The Young, Chapters 1-9. II Wisdom and the Fear of God Contrasted with Folly  and Sin, Chapters 10-24.  III. Proverbs of Solomon Selected by the Men of Hezekiah, Chapters 25-29.  IV. Supplemental Proverbs by Agur and Lemuel, Chapters 30-31".

Someone has said that reading the chapter in Proverbs that pertains to the day of the month and doing it continually month after month not only can result in reading the book in its entirety every month, but the wisdom gleaned will be invaluable to your spiritual development, and it will keep the devil at bay. For many years, I practiced this truth then allowed other things to get in the way.  Recently, I have returned to the habit of reading the appropriate Proverb of the day and thought I would write a commentary for my readers, so let's begin. (Since I am writing a commentary on the book, I will not necessarily follow the day of the month, but when I am finished, hopefully it will help you to better understand the text as well as encourage you to make it a habit to read a chapter a day):

Proverbs Chapter 1

I have chosen to follow Charles Ryrie's Study Bible (NASB) outline for Proverbs because it presents an accurate division of the text as well as I have made copious notes in the margins over many years of studying the RSB.

Outline:

I. Introduction - 1:1-7
A. Author 1:1
B. The Purpose - 1:2-6
C. The Theme - 1:7
II. The Precepts of Wisdom - 1:8-33
A. Avoid Bad Company - 1:8-19
B. Heed Wisdom's Advice - 1:20-33


The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
Andornaments about your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;
14 Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16 For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the net
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.


Verse 1 identifies King Solomon (called perhaps the wisest man who ever lived) as the author of the book. However it doesn't mean he wrote the whole book, but is the main contributor - see 22:17; 24:23; 30;1; 31:1. Just a very brief history of Solomon's background; he was born to King David and Bathsheba whom David committed adultery with and then had Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, purposely killed in battle in order to cover up his wicked deed. David had many sons and daughters and he did not especially favor Solomon because he was something of a Mommy's boy. David had been a mighty warrior and killed Goliath the Philistine giant.  

David wept grievously when his son Absalom was killed in battle even though Absalom shamed David by having sex with his concubines and then tried to kill him and take over his throne, so I think as a man Absalom might have been David's favorite who was not soft like Solomon.  Later when God revealed to both David and Bathsheba that Solomon was to succeed him as King of Israel, on the day of his coronation, Solomon did not ask for riches and fame rather for the wisdom to lead the nation of Israel. God not only granted his request, but also gave him great wealth and fame.  

Verses 2-6 we are given the purpose of the book - "to know wisdom and instruction; to discern the sayings of the wise and to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity;to give good judgment to the simpleton's (that is what the Hebrew text says); to give young people knowledge and discretion". Notice, it says a wise man will hear (listen) and increase in learning and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel (he will consult with wise people not the foolish). Last, in Verse 6 it says the purpose of wisdom (the kind that comes from the Word of God not the world's wisdom) is to gain the interpretation of a proverb as well as to understand wise words and complex sayings.  

Looking at these first six Verses, we have a bunch of politicians in Washington that desperately need to read the book of Proverbs for they have anything but Godly wisdom.  True wisdom comes from the Word of God. 

The bible tells us in I Corinthians 1:18-31 there is a wisdom of this world that is of man not God to which God calls foolishness. This is why I say we have a bunch of politicians trying to run this nation without having any godly wisdom, particularly the democrats who have gone off a cliff with their far-left ideology that resembles mental derangement. 

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God,God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

From this passage, we better understand why Solomon exhorted all people to know the kind of wisdom that comes from God not this world and that wisdom is to be found in the words of Sola Scriptura contrary to how the pseudo-intellectuals think otherwise. Who is the person who is truly wise - the one who has accepted Christ Jesus who is both the power and wisdom of God as well as our righteousness, sanctification and redemption. 

We need men and women in government who are filled with the Holy Spirit and know how to use knowledge wisely, which is what wisdom is. Do you see any wise  behavior among the democrats in Washington as they fight against President Trump at every turn?  No, they act like foolish little kids void of any wisdom and understanding. Now, don't get me wrong here; I don't agree with everything President Trump does and says, particularly some of his stupid tweets that just stir up contempt. However, I can also see the many good things he is accomplishing for the nation materially that has brought a prosperity unseen in Obama's eight years in office. To deny that things are not better for the American people under President Trump is foolish stupidity and lacking of any wisdom. Several times in Proverbs we are exhorted to get wisdom and understanding which again comes from biblical revelation. 

I know I will get hate emails for saying this, but I don't care one iota. What America needs is a genuine born-again wise Christian filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and who knows how to discern right from wrong, justice from injustice and truth from lies. Someone asked me the other day if I believed Donald Trump is a Christian. I cannot say for sure, but Jesus told us to be fruit inspectors that we do not have to be fooled by charlatans.  Trump has a lot of worldly wisdom and he is not the dumb sort the Dems make him out to be even though he says dumb things at times. I pray he is a Christian, but his tree does not have a lot of spiritual fruit on it. 

Well, this is all I have time for today, but will have much more to say about this first Chapter of Proverbs.  

God bless and have a great day.