Before we return to Solomon’s proverbs, we have five more sayings from the ″wise″ (Proverbs 24:23-34). They are possibly adapted from ancient Egyptian wisdom writing, though scholars remain unsure. The theme running through these sayings is a well-ordered society that promotes justice and truthfulness. These are attributes of God himself and are reflected in His creation, where wisdom ensures order in place of chaos (8:30).
About David Cook
David Cook was Principal of the Sydney Missionary and Bible College for 26 years. He is an accomplished writer and has authored Bible commentaries, books on the Minor Prophets, and several Bible study guides.
Entries by David Cook
The atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell once observed that most people would rather die than think-and that most people do!
The ″Thirty sayings of the wise″, were not written by Solomon himself, and scholars are divided over their source. Because of some similarity to an ancient Egyptian work, some believe that Solomon adapted them, but others differ.
The book of Job shows what happens when a formula is applied rigidly and insensitively to life. According to Job’s friends, he must have been suffering because he had sinned. This was based on the supposed principle that sin always leads to punishment and righteousness to blessing.
Solomon’s exceptional, God-given wisdom is described in 1 Kings 3 and 4. Such was his reputation that ″from all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom″ (1 Kings 4:34). It is not strange, therefore, that Solomon should speak of kings and rulers in the proverbs he penned.
Some people may be surprised to find a book like Proverbs in the Bible, given that it contains so much common-sense advice-not unlike a collection of wise sayings they might find in a secular book. But we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, good common sense comes from God, and it is available to all who are willing to listen and learn. Proverbs 20 is one of the many examples of chapters in the book that contain good common sense.
We have been warned that ″bad company corrupts good character″ (1 Corinthians 15:33). So what are the kinds of ″bad company″ that we should avoid? And what are the types of good company should we keep instead? We saw some examples of bad company in Proverbs 18. Proverbs 19 gives more examples of people we should avoid, along with those whose company we should keep instead.
Proverbs 18 offers several notable observations about God, our speech, marriage, and friendship. In contrast to the people we should seek, there are also several types we should avoid.
Proverbs 17 continues to offer advice on seeking wisdom and directions on how to live in a way that pleases God. This chapter includes more mentions of the tongue, the ear, money, friendships, justice, reward, and discernment. Let’s look at a few of the proverbs focusing on godly actions and attitudes.
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