|PROVERB, THE BOOK OF |
A collection of pointed and sententious moral maxims, the fruit of Solomonís profound sagacity and unexampled experience, but above all, of the inspiration of God. Solomon is said to have uttered three thousand proverbs, 1 Kings 4:32, B. C. 1000. The first nine chapters of Proverbs are written in an admirable poetic style, and are more continuous than the succeeding Proverbs 10:1-22:29, which consist of separate maxims. Proverbs 25:1-29:27 are proverbs of Solomon collected under the direction of King Hezekiah. Proverbs 30:1-33 is ascribed to Agur, and affords examples of the enigmatic proverbs so popular in the East. Proverbs 31:1-31, by "king Lemuel," is mainly a beautiful picture of female excellence. By whose care this book was compiled in its present form, is unknown; there is no book of the Old Testament, however, whose canonical authority is better attested. The New Testament contains frequent quotations and allusions to it, Romans 12:20 1 Thessalonians 5:15 Hebrews 12:5-6 James 4:6 1 Peter 4:8 2 Peter 2:22. Its "winged words" are a rich storehouse of heavenly wisdom, and few questions can arise in actual life, on which they do not shed light.