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THE BOOK OF PROVERBS
THE BOOK OF PROVERBS is one of the great, perhaps the greatest pastoral books of the Old Testament. The authorship is generally accepted to be of king Solomon of Israel, the son of David, one who adopted a lifestyle of practicality and was thus able to project that practicality in his pronouncements. The book of Proverbs, represents the fruit of Solomon's profound practicality, unprecedented experience and divine inspiration, and contains a complete code of practical rules for living.
In Proverbs, Solomon presents a collection of emphatic and moral rules that have a divine scope and thoroughness of meaning to stay relevant for time and also for eternity. The principles that Solomon embodied in these rules admit of infinitely varied applications, so that a life of study cannot exhaust them. The more one ponders and prayed over, and reduced to practice, the more wisdom and hidden treasures one gleans from them.
Solomon dealt constantly with all classes, and was well versed in the ways of men and the course of human events. This experience is exhibited in proverbs. Solomon’s maxims are adapted to the actual condition of things, not to an imaginary state of existence. They contain those broad principles of action which are relevant to the wants of all men in all circumstances, in all ages and in all conditions of life.
The first nine chapters of Proverbs, consisting of earnest and fatherly exhortations addressed to the young in a series of discourses, are written in beautiful poetic style and are more continuous than the succeeding chapters, which consist mainly of separate maxims. "The Proverbs of Solomon” extend to the end of the twenty-fourth chapter, though these are but selections from the three, thousand which he is said to have spoken.
Chapters xxv.-xxix. are also the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah copied out. The proverbs of this part are generally expressed in detached maxims: but occasionally there is a connection between adjacent verses. An effort is made to bring together related proverbs, as those concerning rulers, fools, sluggards, busybodies and talebearers. Chapter xxx. Is ascribed to Augur and affords examples of the enigmatic proverbs so popular in the East. Chapter xxxi. by king Lemuel, is mainly a beautiful picture of female excellence. By whose care this book was collected in its present form is not known; but it is manifest from the been arranged in its present form as late Hezeiciah: while there is no book of the Old Testament whose canonical authority is better attested.
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From: The Devotional and Practical Pictorial Family Bible, Copyright, by J. R. Jones, 1879.