Book of Proverbs in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

mishlee, plural of maashaal, "comparison" or "likeness." The Christian fathers (Clement, Ep. Cor. 1:57; Hegesippus, Irenaeus in Eusebius H. E. 4:22) entitle it "Wisdom, the sum of all virtues" (Panareros sophia). Pithy sayings (compare David's quotation, 1 Samuel 24:13), like similes or with a figure. The comparison is either expressed or left for the hearer to supply. So Balaam's "parable" is prophecy in figurative language (Numbers 23:7-10; 1 Samuel 10:12; Ezekiel 12:22-23; Ezekiel 17:2-3; Ezekiel 18:2; Ezekiel 20:49; Ezekiel 24:3; Luke 4:23). In Job 27:1 "parable" (Job 29:1) means a figurative, sententious, weighty embodiment of wisdom, not in this case short, but containing Job's whole argument (Psalm 49:4, maashaal). In Proverbs 1:6 "dark sayings" (chidah) are another form of proverbs, the enigmatical obscurity being designed to stimulate reflection (Habakkuk 2:6; Judges 14; 1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1; Ezekiel 17:2; Psalm 78:2); the melitsah (Proverbs 1:6), "interpretation" (so Chald. and Vulgate versions), for which Gesenius translated "a saying that needs an interpreter," i.e. enigmatical (Habakkuk 2:6). For instance (Proverbs 12:27), "the slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting" requires discernment to see the point of comparison and the application; the slothful man is too lazy to hunt, and therefore has nothing to roast (compare 2 Thessalonians 3:10). "Proverb" is with Jesus' disciples equivalent to an obscure saying (John 16:29). Canonicity. The Book of Proverbs is found in all Jewish lists among the ketubim, "writings" (hagiographa), the third division of Scripture. The Talmud (Baba Bathra, 14 b.) gives the order, Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra (including Nehemiah), Chronicles. The New Testament quotes and so canonizes (Proverbs 1:16; Romans 3:10; Romans 3:15. Proverbs 3:7; Romans 12:16. Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5-6; Revelation 3:19. Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6. Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8. Proverbs 11:31; 1 Peter 4:17-18. Proverbs 17:13; Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9. Proverbs 17:27; James 1:19. Proverbs 20:9; 1 John 1:8. Proverbs 20:20; Matthew 15:4. Proverbs 22:8; 2 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 6:7; Galatians 6:9. Proverbs 25:21-22; Romans 12:20. Proverbs 26:11; 2 Peter 2:22. Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13)...

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