Book of Proverbs


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.

Book of Proverbs: Selected full-text books and articles

Proverbs By Ernest C. Lucas William B. Eerdmans, 2015
The Book of Proverbs and Our Search for Wisdom By Richard J. Clifford Marquette University Press, 1995
The Book of Proverbs By Bruce K. Waltke William B. Eerdmans, vol.1, 2004
The Book of Proverbs By Bruce K. Waltke William B. Eerdmans, vol.2, 2004
Instruction and Imagery in Proverbs 1-9 By Stuart Weeks Oxford University Press, 2007
An Introduction to the Bible By Robert Kugler; Patrick Hartin William B. Eerdmans, 2009
Librarian's tip: Chap. 23 "Proverbs"
The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible By Gordon D. Fee; Robert L. Hubbard Jr William B. Eerdmans, 2011
Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament By William Sanford Lasor; David Allan Hubbard; Frederic Wm. Bush; Leslie C. Allen; John E. Hartley; John E. McKenna; James R. Battenfield Jr.; Robert L. Hubbard Jr.; William B. Nelson Jr William B. Eerdmans, 1996 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. 34 "Proverbs"
Ethics and Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs By Fox, Michael V Hebrew Studies Journal, Vol. 48, Annual 2007
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