Proverbs Graphics

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 Purpose: To teach people how to attain wisdom, discipline, and prudent life, and how to do what is right, just, and fair (1:2, 3) - in short, to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction 
 Author: Solomon wrote most of this book, with Agur and Lemuel contributing some of the later sections.
 Original audience:  The people of Israel
 Date written: Solomon wrote and compiled most of these proverbs early in his reign.
 Setting: This is a book wise saying, a textbook for teaching people how to live godly live through the repetition of wise thoughts.  
 Key verse: "Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline" (12:7)
 Special features: The book uses varied literary forms: poems, brief parables, pointed questions, and couplets. Other literary devices include antithesis, comparison, and personification. 

Wisdom in Proverbs 8

The Origin of Wisdom
The Results of Wisdom
The Value of Wisdom
     Comes from God Himself (8:22).
     Is from everlasting (8:23).
     Has existed from the beginning (8:23–30).
     Prudence (8:5, 12).
     Understanding (8:5).
     Excellent things (8:6).
     Truth (8:7).
     Hatred of wickedness (8:7).
     Righteousness (8:8).
     Knowledge (8:12).
     Discretion (8:12).
     Fear of the Lord (8:13).
     Yields riches and honor (8:11, 18).
     Is greater than rubies, gold, or silver (8:10–11, 19).
     Blesses the wise (8:32, 34).
     Gives life to the wise (8:35).
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Pr 8.10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Four Kinds of Fools in Proverbs

The Simple
The Scoffer
The Arrogant
The Rebel
This person can’t tell the difference between truth and falsehood. Because he lacks direction, he is headed for a fall.
This person laughs at wisdom and toys with wickedness. Warned of the consequences of pursuing evil, he says, “It won’t happen to me. ”
This person willfully ignores wisdom and lives unto himself. He has no interest in whether something is good or bad. All that matters is, “What’s in it for me?”
This person actually hates wisdom. He so totally rejects it that he could be said to be an aggressive unbeliever.
     Loves simplicity (1:22).
     Is devoid of understanding(7:7).
     Is gullible (9:4, 16; 14:15).
     Delights in scorning (1:22).
     Shames and hates those who try to correct him (9:7–8; 15:12).
     Refuses to listen to a rebuke (13:1).
     Searches for wisdom on his own—in vain (14:6).
     Is proud and haughty (21:24).
     Causes contention and strife (22:10).
     Hates knowledge (1:22).
     Makes a sport out of doing evil (10:23).
     Proclaims foolishness to others (12:23; 13:16).
     Rages at instruction and is self-confident (14:16).
     Despises his parents (15:20).
     Is more dangerous than an angry bear (17:12).
     Likes to give his opinion rather than learn (18:2).
     Despises wisdom (23:9).
     Is wise in his own eyes (26:5).
     Despises wisdom and instruction (1:7).
     Is sure that he is right (12:15).
     Mocks the idea of sin (14:9).
     Despises his parents’ instruction (15:5).
     Tries self-correction that is folly (16:22).
     Quarrels easily (20:3).
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Gn 1.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Wisdom Cries Out

Wisdom is personified in the Proverbs and acts as God’s dynamic Word. In the N.T., Jesus becomes the Wisdom and Word of God.
Origin of Wisdom
Teaching of Wisdom
Value of Wisdom
In God (v. 22)
From everlasting (v.
23) Before all things (vv. 23–30)
Prudence (vv. 5, 12)
Understanding (v.
Excellent things (v.
Truth (v.
Hatred of wickedness (v.
Righteousness (v.
Knowledge (v.
Discretion (v.
Fear of the Lord (v.
Yields riches and honor
Greater than gold and
silver (v.
The wise are blessed
32, 34)
The wise find life (v.
The foolish love death (v.
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (Pr 7.2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Understanding Proverbs

 Type Description Key Word (s) Examples
 Contrasting Meaning and application come from the differences or contrast between the two statements of the proverb.  "but" 10:3; 14:11, 18 
 Comparing  Meaning and application come from the similarities or comparison between the two statements of the proverb   "as/so"
 15:16, 17; 22:7; 25:25
 Complementing   Meaning and application come from the way the second statement complements the first.  "and"  14:10, 17; 23:22

The Blueprint


  Solomon instructed the young people of his day like a father giving advice to his child. While many of these proverbs are directed toward young people, the principles supporting them are helpful to all believers, male and female, young and old. Anyone beginning his or her journey to discover more of wisdom will benefit greatly from these wise sayings.
  B. WISDOM FOR ALL PEOPLE (10:1-24:34)

Solomon wanted to impart wisdom to all people, regardless of their are, sex, or position in society. These short, wise saying give us practical wisdom for daily living. We should study them diligently and integrate them into our lives. 

  C. WISDOM FOR THE LEADERS (25:1-31:31)

  In addition to the proverbs that Solomon collected, the advisers of Hezekiah collected many proverbs that Solomon and others wrote. While most of these are general in nature, many are directed specifically to the king and those who dealt with the king. These are particularly useful for leaders or those who aspire to be leaders. 

Things God hates

The book of Proverbs notes 14 types of people and actions that God hates. Let these be guidelines of what we are not to be and do!

  • Violent people 
  • Haughtiness, lying, murdering, scheming, eagerness to do wrong, false witness, stirring up discord 
  • Those who are untruthful 
  • The sacrifice of the wicked
  • The way of the wicked
  • Evil plans
  • Those who are proud 
  • Those who judge unjustly 
  • Proverbs 3:31, 32
  • Proverbs 6:16-19
  • Proverbs 12:22
  • Proverbs 15:8
  • Proverbs 15:9
  • Proverbs 15:26
  • Proverbs 16:5
  • Proverbs 17:15

God's advice about money

Proverbs gives some practical instruction on the use of money, although sometimes it is advice we would rather not hear. It's more comfortable to continue in our habits than to learn how to use money more wisely. The advice includes:

  • Be generous in giving  
  • Place people's needs ahead of profit
  • Be cautious of countersigning for another
  • Don't accept bribes
  • Help the poor
  • Store up for the future
  • Be careful about borrowing 
  • Other verses to study include

  • 11:24,25; 22:9 
  • 11:26
  • 17:18; 22:26,27
  • 17:23
  • 19:17; 21:13
  • 21:20
  • 22:7
  • 11:15; 20:16; 25:14; 27:13

Righteousness and wickedness

Proverbs often compares the lifestyles of the wicked and the righteous,  and makes a strong case for living by God's pattern. The advantages of righteous living and the disadvantages of wicked living are pointed out. The kind of person we decide to be will affect every area of our lives.   

 Outlook of 
 Righteous  Wicked Reference
Response of

 Concerned about the welfare of God's  creation

 Understand justice 

 Showered with blessings 

 Proceed with care

 Persevere against evil

 Seek out the honest

 Even their kindness is cruel 

 Don't understand justice

 Covered with violence

 Plot evil

 Put up a bod front

 Brought down by calamity 

 Hate the honest






 24:15, 16


 Are respected


 Walk a straight rod 

 Are not yo desire the company of  godless people

 Others are glad when they succeed

 Care for the poor

 Despise the unjust
 Headed for destruction

 Lead others into sin 

 Walk a crooked road

 Plot violence 

 Others hide when they rise to power

 Unconcerned about the poor

 Despise the godly



 24:1, 2




 Quality of life Stand firm

 Rescued by godliness

 No real harm befalls them

 Income results in treasure 

 Avoid evil

 Are bold as lions

 Will be rescued 
 Swept away

 Trapped by evil ambitions

 Constant trouble befalls them

 Income results in trouble

 Will not prosper 

  Are fearful constantly

 Will be suddenly destroyed






 Short-term results Walk safely

 Chased by blessings 
 Will be exposed

 Chased by trouble

 Long-term results  God protects them 

 Evil people will bow to them
 God destroys 

 Will bow to the righteous 

 Will be punished for rebellion 


 Eternal expectations Never disturbed 

 Reward will last

 Find life

 Look forward to reward 

 Will stand firm

 Have a refuge when they die
 Removed from the land 

 Reward will not last

 Find death 

 Look forward to judgment 

 Will die and disappear

 Crushed by their sins  





 God's opinion of them Delights in those with integrity Detests those with crooked hearts  11:20

Parallels between the Law and Wisdom

Law and wisdom both had secular functions outside 
of Israel, but are transformed into spiritual concepts
in Israel by God's revealed relationship to them.


God is source


"Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy (Lev 19:2)


"The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom" (Pr 9:10) 


Only a God-centered perspective
gives ultimate value.

Not just so that society runs
smoothly, but so that we will do
what is right.
Not pursued for personal 
fulfillment, but so that we 
become people of faith


God is characterized by absolute

God is characterized by
unfathomable wisdom. 

Proverbs Overview