QR code Bible Pathways

go to previous book

Proverbs study guide

go to next book

Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read:
Proverbs 1: The Value of Proverbs
Proverbs 2: The Reward of Wisdom
Also browse through the proverbs contained in Chapters 10-31. Write down the references of any that strike you as being especially insightful, meaningful, puzzling, or even humorous or odd; and bring the references with you to the study.
Orientation Proverbs is book #20 of 39 in the Old Testament. It is considered a book of Poetry. For more information see the Bible Overview page.
Warmup The topic of the book is wisdom, as Solomon records his wisdom. Discuss the difference between wisdom and knowledge. See 1 Corinthians 12:8 where wisdom is listed as one of the gifts of the spirit. Read 1 Kings 3: 4-14 to see how Solomon obtained his wisdom. and 1 Kings 4:29-34 which describes the results of his wisdom.
Synopsis After a 9 chapter introduction discussing wisdom vs. foolishness in general, the actual proverbs begin in Chapter 10. They cover various matters: marital fidelity, finances, honesty, raising children, etc. The proverbs follow the same Hebrew poetry fomat of parallelism as described in the Psalms study. While most of the book is written by (or attributed to) Solomon, the last two chapters are written by others.
Outline of Proverbs Ch. 1-9, Prologue, a father's exhorations about wisdom to his son.
Ch. 10-24 Solomon's Proverbs
Ch. 25-29 Solomon's Proverbs, a second series copied by Hezekiah's men
Ch. 30 Agar's Proverbs
Ch. 31 Lemuel's Proverbs
Activities Try a game to determine which "Proverbs" are real and which are madeup. Print out the Proverbs Game sheet and cut the proverbs up individually. Distribute to the group. Each person reads their "proverb" and the group discussess whether it is real or madeup. Then the answer is read. If real, look up that proverb. Try writing some of your own Proverbs, relating to today's life.
Relevance Keep in mind that 1). Proverbs relate general truths and principles, not specific promises from God, and that 2). the truths contained work for everyone, not just God's people. The wisdom contained in them will benefit all who follow it.
Connections More of Solomon's writing is found in "The Wisdom of Solomon" contained in the Apocrypha. Read the Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 5-7, and the Beatitudes in Matthew 5: 3-10. Do Jesus' words sound similar to the words of Proverbs? How so?

For source citations see the home page. Revised May 21 2015

Home > Bible Pathways home page This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. click for license