Author: Solomon and others (written c.970-700 B.C.)

Title: The English title, like the titles in the Latin (Proverbia Salomonis) and Greek (Paroimiai Salomonos), reflects the sense of the original Hebrew title, Mishle, which means “The proverbs of . . .” (from the opening line).

Summary: In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is the attitude that puts God first as man’s rightful guide and master. The book does not hesitate to link good and bad with reward and penalty. Much can be learned by testing personal conduct against the positive and negative standards and warnings as recorded in the Proverbs. Throughout the book, the view is set forth that all men fall into two basic classes. Both are known by their habits, their deeds, their “fruits,” their chosen “ways” in life, and their fitting ends. They are either with God or without Him, good or evil, or wise or foolish. There is even a mutual tension between the two classes–the two ways of life–that shows up in every aspect of life.


Superiority of the way of wisdom: Chapter 1:1 – 9:18

  • Introduction: 1:1-7
  • The good woman (Wisdom) vs. the evil woman (Folly): 1:8 – 9:18

Main collection of Solomon’s proverbs: Chapter 10:1-22:16

  • Contrasting proverbs: 10:1 – 15:33
  • Proverbs largely parallel: 16:1 – 22:16

The words of the wise–thirty sayings: Chapter 22:17-24:22

  • Sayings paralleled in Egyptian Wisdom: 22:17 – 23:12
  • Sayings with no parallel in Egyptian Wisdom: 23:13 – 24:22

The words of the wise–appendix: Chapter 24:23-34

Proverbs of Solomon–compiled by Hezekiah: Chapter 25:1 – 29:27

Final Appendices: Chapter 30:1-31:31

  • The words of Agur: 30:1-33
  • The words of Lemuel: 31:1-9
  • Alphabetical poem on the virtuous woman: 31:10-31