Proverbs, book of the Bible. It is a collection of sayings, many of them moral maxims, in no special order. The teaching is of a practical nature; it does not dwell on the salvation-historical traditions of Israel, but is individual and universal based on the observation of nature. There are eight divisions, some having traditional ascriptions, including three to Solomon, one to Agur (unknown), and one to King Lemuel. The book is an early example of wisdom literature (see Wisdom of Solomon), where wisdom is often personified. The dating of the final shape of Proverbs is post-exilic. Although tradition attributes Proverbs to Solomon, the book is probably a collection of various origins dating from the 9th to the 2d cent. BC Proverbs does insist that the fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, thus placing the instruction within the framework of faith.

See B. Lang, Wisdom and the Book of Proverbs (1986); R. Alter, The Wisdom Books (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Proverbs: Selected full-text books and articles

A Dialogue of Proverbs By Rudolph E. Habenicht; John Heywood University of California Press, 1963
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
A Dictionary of American Proverbs By Wolfgang Mieder; Stewart A. Kingsbury; Kelsie B. Harder Oxford University Press, 1996
The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs By William George Smith Clarendon Press, 1935
FREE! Gold-Foil, Hammered from Popular Proverbs By Timothy Titcomb Charles Scribner, 1859 (7th edition)
Proverbs in Medieval Occitan Literature By Wendy Pfeffer University Press of Florida, 1997
The Book of Proverbs and Our Search for Wisdom By Richard J. Clifford Marquette University Press, 1995
Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction By Elliott Oring Utah State University Press, 1986
Librarian's tip: Chap. 8 "Riddles and Proverbs"
Our Living Traditions: An Introduction to American Folklore By Tristram Potter Coffin Basic Books, 1968
Librarian's tip: Chap. 17 "'The Wisdom of Many': Proverbs and Proverbial Expression"
Proverbs, Textuality, and Nativism in African Literature By Adeeko Adeleke University Press of Florida, 1998
African-American Proverbs in Context By Sw. Anand Prahlad University Press of Mississippi, 1996
Japanese Proverbs By Otoo Huzii Board of Tourist Industry, Japanese Government Railways, 1940
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