LESSON ONE
Proverbs 1:1-7, 1:20-2:10
Wisdom's Benefits

      The opening chapters of Proverbs are meant to motivate us to study the book and introduce what the proverbs are about.  Ask God to give you understanding as you study these frist passages.

The beginning of knowledge (1:1-7)
Read 1:1-7.

      1. Verse 1 identifies King Solomon as the primary author of the book.  What do you learn from the following passages about the authors of some of the book's sections?
      30:1 ____________________________
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      31:1 ____________________________
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Men of Hezekiah
(25:1).  These were scribes (secretaries) of King Hezekiah, who lived about 250 years after Solomon.  (Solomon reigned 970-930BC, and Hezekiah reigned 715-686 BC.  Isaiah lived during Hezekiah's reign.)  These scribes compiled additional proverbs from Solomon's repertoire and listed them in chapters 25-29.  These same scribes may also have added the proverbs of Agur and Lemuel at that time.
        Proverbs 22:17 and 24:23 mention "the saying of the wise,"  which Solomon or the scribes may have collected.

Acquiring (1:3).  (NASB: "receive.")  This word was used for plucking grapes and taking them for personal consumption.

Prudence (1:4). "Good judgment," "good sense."

Discretion (1:4).  The ability to plan ahead and plot a course of action with foresight.

Simple (1:4).  A person who is "naive" (NASB) and untaught.  "He is not an imbecile, one who cannot comprehend, or a fool who despises wisdom.  Instead, he is one whose exposure to life and wisdom has been limited.  Because of inexperience he is gullible and easily influenced."

Guidance (1:5). (NASB: "counsel.")  Literally, "steerings." The word has to do with moving one's life in the right direction.
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      2. What five purposes for Proverbs do you see in 1:2-6?
      1:2a ___________________________
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      1:2b ____________________________
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      1:3  ____________________________
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      1:4-5 ___________________________
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      1:6  ____________________________
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 Beginning
(1:7).  The first and controlling principle, the essence.  Possibly also the first step toward.

Fools (1:7).  Unlike the simple, who are too inexperienced to understand wisdom, fools actively hate and avoid wisdom (1:22).  The simple are on the fence, with the potential to become wise if they make the effort or fools if they choose not to.
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        3.  Proverbs 1:7 states the theme of the book.  How do people display "the fear of the LORD" in the following passages?
      Exodus 20:18-21  _________________
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      Joshua 2:1-14  ____________________
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      Job 1:1,4-5 ______________________
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      Psalm 112:1, 128:1 _______________
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      4.  In light of these cross references, how would you define "the fear of the LORD"?
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      5.  Why do you suppose this is the essence of or first step toward true knowledge?
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Warnings against rejecting wisdom
(1:20-33)

           Study Skill- Personification
Personification is "a rhetorical figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form."  In Proverbs, wisdom is often personified as a woman.
 
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Gateways
(1:21).  The city gateway was the normal place where the city's leaders met to conduct official business.
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      6. Read 1:20-33.  How accessible is wisdom for those who really seek it (1:20-21)?
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Mockers
(1:22). (NASB: "scoffers.") Proud, arrogant people who are self-opinionated and full of insults and contempt.
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   Questions taken from first chapter of Proverbs.
   The Navigators, 1990.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

For Thought and Discussion: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (1:7) and of wisdom (9:10).  Do you think knowledge and wisdom are essentially the same or is there a distinction?  Explain.

Optional Application:
a. Would you say your lifestyle shows that you really fear God in a healthy sense?  Why or why not?
   b. How can you grow in this area?

 






 

 

 

 

 

 






 

 

For Thought and Discussion: Why do you think Solomon chose to personify wisdom as a woman so often (3:16-18, 4:3-6, 8:1-21, 9:1-6, 14:33)?

Optional Application:  Accepting rebuke is a major virtue in Proverbs (3:11, (9:8, etc.) How are you at accepting rebuke?

For Thought and Discussion: Proverbs 1:33 says those who heed wisdom will "live in safety." What about those godly Christians who suffer car accidents, violent crimes, and so on?  Do these events prove 1:33 is wrong?