Main Divisions of the Book of Proverbs

Proverbs 1-9, Solomon addresses the young. His words are arranged in a series of discourses in praise of wisdom. A personification of Wisdom speaks as an instructor, warning against all manner of folly. The proverbs in this section are arranged with more continuity than is seen in succeeding chapters. Proverbs 10-22:16 are the "proverbs of Solomon," and this section is usually thought to be the original nucleus around which the remainder of the book was constructed. Proverbs 22:17-24 :22 contains advice for those in responsible positions, calling it "the words of the wise." Proverbs 24:23-29 are designated as "the proverbs of Solomon which the wise men of Hezekiah copied out." These are in the form of detached statements, although there are occasional signs of continuity. There are also sayings on related subjects such as rulers, sluggards and fools. Proverbs 30, the sayings of Agur, and Proverbs 31, the great chapter on womanhood which purports to come from the mother of King Lemuel which was constructed in acrostic form, the verses beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This last chapter completes this book of Hebrew wisdom.

Read More