The Wisdom of Israel
(Category 9 of 16)
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Proverbs, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Proverbs, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.
The book of Proverbs invites people to live with wisdom and in the fear of the Lord in order to experience the good life.
The book of
THE key word in Proverbs is wisdom, “the ability to live life skillfully.” A godly
life in an ungodly world, however, is no simple assignment. Proverbs provides
God’s detailed instructions for His people to deal successfully with the
practical affairs of everyday life: how to relate to God, parents, children, neighbors,
and government. Solomon, the principal author, uses a combination of poetry,
parables, pithy questions, short stories, and wise maxims to give in strikingly
memorable form the common sense and divine perspective necessary to
handle life’s issues.
Because Solomon, the pinnacle of Israel’s wise men, was the principal contributor,
the Hebrew title of this book is Mishle Shelomoh, “Proverbs of Solomon”
(1:1). The Greek title is Paroimiai Salomontos, “Proverbs of Solomon.” The Latin
title Liber Proverbiorum, “Book of Proverbs,” combines the words pro “for” and
verba “words” to describe the way the proverbs concentrate many words into a
few. The rabbinical writings called Proverbs Sepher Hokhmah, “Book of Wisdom.”
The Beginning of Knowledge
1 THE aproverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction, To 1perceive the words of understanding,
CHAPTER 1 References
1 a1 Kin. 4:32;
4 aProv. 9:4
5 aProv. 9:9
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity;
4 To give prudence to the asimple, To the young man knowledge and
5 aA wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will 1attain wise counsel,
6 To understand a proverb and an enigma , The words of the wise and their ariddles.
7 aThe fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Shun Evil Counsel
8 aMy son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;
9 For they will be a agraceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you, aDo not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us alie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12 Let us them alive like 1Sheol, And whole, alike those who go down to the Pit;
13 We shall find all kinds of precious 1possessions, We shall fill our houses with 2spoil;
14 Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”—
15 My son, ado not walk in the way with them, bKeep your foot from their path;
16 aFor their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in 1vain the net is spread In the sight of any 2bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19 aSo are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners.
The Call of Wisdom
20 aWisdom calls aloud 1outside; She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the 1chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you 1simple ones, will you love 2simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
6 aPs. 78:2
7 aJob 28:28
8 aProv. 4:1
9 aProv. 3:22
11 aJer. 5:26
12 aPs. 28:1
1Or the grave
13 1Lit. wealth
15 aPs. 1:1 bPs.
16 a[Is. 59:7] 17 1futility
2Lit. lord of
19 a[1 Tim.
6:10] 20 a[John 7:37] 1in the street
21 1LXX, Syr.,
[Tg.] top of
the walls; Vg.
the head of
23 aJoel 2:28
24 aJer. 7:13
25 aLuke 7:30
26 aPs. 2:4
10:24, 25] 28 aIs. 1:15
29 aJob 21:14
30 aPs. 81:11
31 aJob 4:8
112:7 1at ease
CHAPTER 2 References
1 a[Prov. 4:21]
4 a[Prov. 3:14]
5 a[James 1:5,
6] 6 a1 Kin. 3:9,
7 a[Ps. 84:11]
Surely aI will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
24 aBecause I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you adisdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke,
26 aI also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes,
27 When ayour terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Thena they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29 Because they ahated knowledge And did not bchoose the fear of the LORD,
30 aThey would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.
31 Therefore athey shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32 For the 1turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell asafely, And bwill be 1secure, without fear of evil.”
The Value of Wisdom
1 My son, if you receive my words, And atreasure my commands within you,
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,
4 aIf you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 aThen you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.
6 aFor the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; aHe is a to those who walk uprightly;
8 He guards the paths of justice, And apreserves the way of His saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path.
10 When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11 Discretion will preserve you; aUnderstanding will keep you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things,
13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To awalk in the ways of darkness;
14 aWho rejoice in doing evil, And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
15 aWhose ways are crooked, And who are devious in their paths;
16 To deliver you from athe immoral woman, bFrom the seductress who flatters with her words,
17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God.
18 For aher house 1leads down to death, And her paths to the dead;
19 None who go to her return, Nor do they 1regain the paths of life—
20 So you may walk in the way of goodness, And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21 For the upright will dwell in the aland, And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be 1cut off from the 2earth, And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.
Guidance for the Young
1 My son, do not forget my law, aBut let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life And apeace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; aBind them around your neck, bWrite them on the tablet of your heart,
4 aAnd so find favor and 1high esteem In the sight of God and man.
8 a[1 Sam. 2:9]
11 aProv. 4:6;
13 a[John 3:19,
20] 14 a[Rom.
1:32] 15 aPs. 125:5
16 aProv. 5:20;
18 aProv. 7:27
19 1Lit. reach
21 aPs. 37:3
CHAPTER 3 References
1 aDeut. 8:1
2 aPs. 119:165
3 aProv. 6:21
b[2 Cor. 3:3] 4 aRom. 14:18
5 a[Ps. 37:3, 5] b[Jer. 9:23, 24] 6 a[1 Chr.
7 aRom. 12:16
8 aJob 21:24
9 aEx. 22:29
10 aDeut. 28:8
11 aJob 5:17
12 aDeut. 8:5
13 aProv. 8:32,
14 aJob 28:13
15 aMatt. 13:44
16 a[1 Tim. 4:8] 17 a[Matt.
11:29] 18 aGen. 2:9
1hold her fast
19 aPs. 104:24
20 aGen. 7:11
23 aProv. 10:9
5 aTrust in the LORD with all your heart, bAnd lean not on your own understanding;
6 aIn all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall 1direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own aeyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your 1flesh, And astrength2 to your bones.
9 aHonor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 aSo your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 aMy son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, aJust as a father the son in whom he delights.
13 aHappy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;
14 aFor her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies, And aall the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 aLength of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor.
17 aHer ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace.
18 She is aa tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who 1retain her.
19 aThe LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens;
20 By His knowledge the depths were abroken up, And clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes— Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
22 So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck.
23 aThen you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
25 aDo not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.
27 aDo not withhold good from 1those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
28 aDo not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you.
29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor, For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
30 aDo not strive with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm.
31 aDo not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his ways;
32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, aBut His secret counsel is with the upright.
33 aThe curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But bHe blesses the home of the just.
34 aSurely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.
25 aPs. 91:5;
1 Pet. 3:14
27 aRom. 13:7;
[Gal. 6:10] 1Lit. its owners
28 aLev. 19:13;
12:18] 31 aPs. 37:1;
32 aPs. 25:14
33 aLev. 26:14,
5:3, 4; Mal. 2:2
bJob 8:6; Ps.
34 aJames 4:6;
1 Pet. 5:5
Praise to the LORD from Creation
PRAISE1 the LORD!
1 Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!
2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!
4 Praise Him, ayou heavens of heavens, And byou waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For aHe commanded and they were created.
6 aHe also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, aYou great sea creatures and all the depths;
PSALM 148 References
1 1Heb. Hallelujah
4 aDeut. 10:14;
1 Kin. 8:27;
[Neh. 9:6] bGen. 1:7
5 aGen. 1:1, 6
6 aPs. 89:37;
[Jer. 31:35, 36;
33:20, 25] 7 aIs. 43:20
9 aIs. 44:23;
13 aPs. 8:1
14 a1 Sam. 2:1;
Ps. 75:10 bPs.
9 aMountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and maidens; Old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His aname alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 And He ahas exalted the 1horn of His people, The praise of ball His saints— Of the children of Israel, cA people near to Him.
2Praise the LORD!
DREAM IT => PLAN IT => DO IT
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