|Proverbs, Book of |
As to the origin of this book, "it is probable that Solomon gathered and recast many proverbs which sprang from human experience in preceeding ages and were floating past him on the tide of time, and that he also elaborated many new ones from the material of his own experience. Towards the close of the book, indeed, are preserved some of Solomon's own sayings that seem to have fallen from his lips in later life and been gathered by other hands' (Arnot's Laws from Heaven, etc.)
This book is usually divided into three parts:
Consisting of ch. 1-9, which contain an exhibition of wisdom as the highest good.
Consisting of ch. 10-24.
Containing proverbs of Solomon "which the men of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, collected" (ch. 25-29).
These are followed by two supplements, (1) "The words of Agur" (ch. 30); and (2) "The words of king Lemuel" (ch. 31).
Solomon is said to have written three thousand proverbs, and those contained in this book may be a selection from these (1 Kings 4:32). In the New Testament there are thirty-five direct quotations from this book or allusions to it.