Archive for August 26th, 2017

Proverbs: Sharing God’s Wisdom, Building God’s Kingdom

Saturday, August 26, 2017

“The book of Proverbs is a collection of collections, all on the subject of wisdom. There are several major compilations in the book, including ‘the provers of Solomon son of David, king of Israel’ (Pr 1-24), “more proverbs of Solomon, copied by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah’ (chs. 25-29), ‘the sayings of Agur son of Jakah” (ch 30) and ‘the sayings of King Lemuel – an oracle his mother taught him’ (ch. 31)”. There are also a few sub-collections (chps. 22:17-24:22, 24:23-23), a prologue (1:1-7) and an epilogue (31:10-31 that were likely added later. (Zondervan 957)

These verses brought to the people of Israel – and they bring to us – a methodology for the inclusion of divine wisdom into everyday living. These words give us a window into the mind of God, a preview of Christ as the Incarnate Word, and a taste of the Spirit present in each of us.

We may scoff at the simple wisdom of Proverbs because these words describe a well-defined path of knowledge leading to an ideal world in which most are comfortable and few struggle. As we explore these verses, we allow ourselves to remain open not to any prophetic value they hold, but to the simple orderly, stable, reliable guidance they impart, and to the description of God’s kingdom we are called to build. We do well to seek Lady Wisdom among these words.

When we choose a favorite chapter to explore in depth, we have an opportunity to acquire – and to share – the tools we need as builders of the Kingdom. 

A final note on Proverbs, modern scholars believe that while there were many compilations of sayings of and for the wise in ancient times, it is unlikely that Solomon had any connection these particular sayings. Most likely composed after the Babylonian exile, the 30 sayings in chapters 22-24 are quite similar to an Egyptian collection written before Solomon’s era.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE (NIV). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005. 957. Print.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. RG 263-264. Print.

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