Fr Jude Ferreira.
19th Oct 2008
I 1. Intro. What is a Proverb.
In this context what is the meaning.
a. Proverb is a short pithy saying often based on an comparison.
b. Proverb is a pithy formulation of a recognized truth of experience. ( shorter the proverb better to remember) substantial, rich in content, condensed, forceful.
Proverb = masal (Heb) has many many meanings.
Masal = à to be like (Comparison)
à to rule = the explanatory character of the proverb.
What kind of writings (masal)
1. Similitude’s, it encompasses
2. Popular sayings
3. A phorim, short pithy saying.
4. Taunt songs Is 14:4. Gods Taunts
5. By –words Deu 28:37.
6. Allegories. Stories. Something compared to something. Who is who in the story, connected to a person
7. Discourses. Long speeches Mt 5.
PROVERB. In a proverb there is an intellectual perception to which poetic or elegant expression is added.
à all p. are grounded in experience.
à a p is a short sentence founded upon long experience containing a truth.
à The demand which a p must always satisfy is that of brevity (short), compactness & yet of intelligibility, with a clear graphic quality.
à In short a p must be remembered vividly & easily.
I. 2.The book of Proverbs is an anthology (literary collection) of short 2 line or 4 line sayings.
à Every sentence & every didactic poem stands out on it own & is full of meaning / teaching. It is self contained & flexible.
à In the book of proverbs , the proverbs can be grouped according to the teachings, & problems they deal with.
From Amen-em-ope 22:17 – 23:11. proverbs take word to word from it.
Proverbs was a recipient not a donor.
In the book of proverbs, there are repetition, final edition.
1. Prologue 1:8-9,18.
2. The saying of the wise 22:17 -24:34.
In the book of proverbs you will not find promise, election, covenant, law.
Proverb they deal with court life, daily life.
II Authorship: Who is the author of Proverbs.
In Isaiah it is said that Solomon is the author of Proverbs.
à 1 Kgs 4:29-34. He composed 3000 proverbs, 1000 songs. Here we find 500 proverbs in the text.
à The Egyptians had already achieved considerable success in the form of instructions for public life (Sabite) When Solomon organized his kingdom on Egyptian lines & with the help of the Egyptian scribes 1 Kgs 4:3 (secretaries, recorders, scribes, priests, overseers, priests,
forced labor) Solomon did what the Egyptian did. Solomon however surpassed his neighbors by reasons of his personal reputation of a wise man.
Reputation of Solomon;
1 Kg 3:9-12. God grants wisdom to Solomon.
I Kg 5:9-14. Lord gave Solomon Wisdom.
1 Kg 10:1-9 Queen of Sheeba. In this way she became the patron & founder of a wisdom tradition in Israel. Solomon is a prototype (best ex) of a wise man
There are only 2 collections that have
a direct dependence to Solomon 10:1-22:16; 22:1-29:27.
PSEUDONYMITY: R A F Mc kenzie.
‘In Israelite tradition, in order to express the belief that books were holy& composed under the impulse of the spirit of God. They were connected with the great names of the prophets , wise men, who were famous of having being instruments through which the spirit worked. Far a Jew this was their instruction way of expressing a profound truth, they were unwilling to leave a sacred writing entirely anonymous, for them there was no affirmation of its origin thro a divinely inspired man’ Ex Pentateuchà Moses; Psalmsà David; Wisdomà Solomon.
III Date of the book of Proverbs:
The Book of Proverbs received its final form at the end of the 5th cen BC. Proverbs is representative of 5 cen. in the life of Israel. Wisdom movement 10th cen – 5th cen.
Events demonstrated the weakness of a too human wisdom the fall of Jerusalem is 587 BC & the subsequent exile 587-538.
Occasioned much theological soul searching among the learned men of Israel, hence fidelity to Yahweh & his law is the only hope of salvation. The wiremen seemed to have prophesized the most from the experience for they had learned that all human wisdom is futile without the fear of God. Prov 1:7; 9:10; This gave a unique charisma to the Israelite wisdom. Fear of the Lord, am I reverential obedient to God.
IV. What is the literary form of the book of Proverbs
There are 31 chapters.
Ch 1-9 Introduction to the whole book, the reader is encouraged to pursue wisdom, who will be faithful guide for life & will prevent him from those things which can lead to self destructions.
V. How are the Proverbs presented to us.
The Book of Proverbs uses parallelism thro. Things.
1. Antithetic parallelism, opposites. Opposite side by side for us to understand.
contrast is shown / implied
Prov 11:1 False balance à abominable
Just weight à delight. Don’t cheat using false weights.
15:17 Dinner of à vegetablesà love is.
Fatted oxà hatred.
Better to have vegetarian food,if you are loved, then to have a fatted ox,when he hates you.
2. Synonymous Parallelism. It repeats an essential point in different words.
Prov 1:8-9. Father Instructions
3. Progressive Parallelism: It builds up on an earlier idea in a manner of ladder steps.
Proverbs 25:18. connected with false witnesses
war clubà danger; sword à more danger; arrow à most dangerous.
4. Other types.
a. conditional clause: Prov 21:13 . If you close your ears to the cry of the poor, You will cry out & not be heard,
b. Expansion of a proverb: 22:22-23. à Do not rob the poor because they are poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; For the Lord pleads their cause & despoils of life those who despoil them.
The 2nd. Half gives the reason for the first half, for the advice given in the first half.
c. Results of a given course of action. 22:6. Train children in the right way, & when old, they will not stray.
If you take action now you will benefit later.
d. The use of the second person. (you)
14:7. Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not find words of knowledge.
If you go with the fool yoy will be a fool.
e. Numerical Proverbs 30:29-31.
(Three things are stately in their stride; 4 are stately in their gait).
The lion which is the mightiest among wild animals, & does not turn out before any.
The strutting rooster, the he-goat, & a king striding before his people
Numerical Proverb heightening effect à Stately how they walk
30:24-28. 4 things on the earth are small, yet they are exceedingly wise.
The ants are a people without strength. Yet they provide their food in summer.(small & wise)
The badger are people without power, yet they make their homes in the rocks.
The locust have no king, yet all of them march in rank. (disciplined)
The lizard can be grasped in the hand, yet it is found in kings palaces.
Wisdom of animals in their action.
VI: EXEGESIS – Explanation.
1. Portrait of a fool, this come 69 times
there are 2 kinds of people
The simple are open to the wise & the foolish.
No one is born a fool, you become one.
Simple: are the uninformed, untaught, open to influence; virgin sorts; easily swayed by ideas of the wise & foolish.
Prov 1:22 How long simple ones will you being simple
8:5 O simple one , acquire wisdom.
Biblical meaning of a fool:
1. Naïve , untutored. (pethi)
2. Innately stupid (k e sil)
3. Obstinate person (e wil)
4. Persist in folly (sakal) à A true friend is the one who comes
5. Crude individual (ba’ ar) when everyone goes out.
6. Brutal depraved (na bal)
7. An irrational mad man (hotel)
8. Foolish talker, over values his opinion ( les)
Qualities of a fool:
a. Dull in his moral sense, he mimics people.
He blames people for what they have not done Ps10:23.
b. He considers himself an encyclopedia of knowledge. Ps 18:2.
Personal understanding. A person refuses to to learn from others.
12:15. Wise listen to advice.
13:16. He parades his knowledge. Fools display folley.
26:27. A proverb & a fool are a mismatch.
26:9.cant feel pain. Immune.
15:2. He asked & unasked for advice without understanding.
c. 15:14. Fools feed on folly.
Fools have no discernment., the fool does not want to put on any effort
26:11. Fool feeds on stupidity., fool returns to his folly
d. Fool refuses wisdom at all costs. 1:32. 1:7; eyes = mind.
He wants to learn without effort. Why buy wisdom when he has no mind. 17:16; 17:24;
e. Incorrigible: Does not want to be confronted.
Fool is the one who has a closed mind & an open mouth.
17:10. A fool is stubborn. 26:3. A fool requires a rod.
f. A fool can be a destructive person.
17:12. I would rather meet a bear, then a fool.
18:6. A fool’s lips bring strife, & a fools mouth invites flogging.
10:23. He thinks it is a big Joke.
g. A fool needs discipline.
23:14.If y7ou beat them with a rod , you will save their lives from sheol.
CONCLUSION: It is not worth being associated with a fool. 14:7. Leave the presence of a fool 13:20. A companion of a fool suffers harm.
2. A Portrait of a sluggard. (laziness) idleness.
Doing evil is bad, not doing anything is worse.
a. A sluggard is a non starter.
26:13-16. 13. A lazy person says there is a lion on the road, there is a lion in the street.
14. As the door turns on the hinges, so does the lazy person in bed.
15. A lazy person buries a hand in the dish, & i9s too tired to bring it to his mouth.
16. The lazy person is wiser in self esteem, then seven who can answer discreetly.
Vs 13. all excuses, He avoids all work;
Vs 15. He wants some one to feed him (spoon feeding);
Vs 14 sheer laziness
Vs 16. Totality of wisdom. A lazy man lives in a make belief world.
24:30-34. You bring ruin on others & himself. 6:6-11; 21:25; 12:27; 15:19; 13:4.
3. Portrait of a drunkard.
Wine is glorified in the bible
31:6. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, & wine to those in better distress.
Sirac 31:25-30. Vs 25. Do not try to prove your strength in wine drinking, for wine has destroyed many.
Abuse of wine condemned Prov 23:29-35. Vs 29 Who has woe, who has sorrow, who has strife, who has complaining. Abuse of alcohol is the root cause of suffering, poverty & disgrace. Persistence in the folly of drinking only leads to ruin & death 23:21; 23:20; 20:1.
4. Evil in general.
Evil is very seductive / attractive . Proverbs explain it with sex.
At an early age young boys & girls are seduced to sex 7:6-23.
5. Who are the women mentioned in the book of proverbs.
I. Wisdom herself is the women. (Wisdom Personified). 1:2o-33; 8:1-36; 9:1-6 These are wisdom speeches.
Lady wisdom is opposite of dame folly
Ii. Bad women
a. Stranger 2:16a loose women; 5:3a; 5:10; 5:3a
b. Adulteress. Adventuress 2:16b; 5:20b; 6:24b; 6:26b.
c. Harlot 6:26a; 7:10b.
d. Another’s wife 6:29a. neighbors wife.
III Wife of your youth. 5:15-19; 5:15-19, perfect wife / nagging wife.
19:13; 21:9-19; 27:15-16; 25:24.
IV. Women of Folly. 9:13-18.
Crenshaw: The wisdom teacher contrasts hot blooded young men with a stark reality. Any one who fools around with an adulteress has by decision opted for death. 6:34-35;
30:20 This is the way of the adulteress. She eats and wipes her mouth & says ‘ I have done no wrong’.
Am I faithful, fidelity; Can I be trusted.
Perfect wife: 31:10-31. The poem focuses on on God fearing women of extraordinary activity.
a. Productive activity Vs 13-14.
b. Thoughtful activity, she thinks of the future security. Vs 16; 21; 25.
c. Activity is loving Vs 20; reaction out to the poor Vs 26; 15.
d. God centered Vs 30.
All her activity is related to God, selfless action. Ferar of God 1st. & Last.