Proverbs, book of

A collection of pithy sayings and moral advice for the instruction of the young, traditionally ascribed to Solomon, the archetypal wise man, and certainly chs. 10–31 seem to have been compiled before the Exile, though in its final form, with chs. 1–9, the book dates from the post-exilic period. It is written in poetic form—that is, with regular patterns and vivid images—and emanates from a fairly established group in society such as the royal court, anxious to maintain stability and tradition, though much advice is addressed to quite humble families and local communities. These teachers of the Wisdom School were sometimes in conflict with the more radical proclamations of the prophets (Jer. 9:23); they were from the same school as Ben Sirach and the author of Job and were intellectuals but not in the Greek tradition of speculative philosophers; Hebrew wisdom was exemplified in practical skills, knowledge about how best to manage one's life and about the purpose of life. Hence ‘wisdom’ came to be personified as an attribute of God (Prov. 8:22) and eventually the concept was available to the Church as it struggled with its Christology (Col. 2:3).

Dictionary of the Bible.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PROVERBS, BOOK OF — (Heb. סֵפֶר מִשְׁלֵי, Sefer Mishlei), one of the three wisdom books of the Hagiographa, representing the affirmative and didactic element in wisdom (ḥokhmah), in contrast to the radical questioning of Job and Ecclesiastes. In its present form the …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Proverbs, Book of — • One of the Sapiential writings of the Old Testament Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Proverbs, Book of —    A collection of moral and philosophical maxims of a wide range of subjects presented in a poetic form. This book sets forth the philosophy of practical life. It is the sign to us that the Bible does not despise common sense and discretion. It… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • PROVERBS, BOOK OF —    a book of the Hebrew Scriptures, full of the teachings of wisdom bearing on the conduct of life, and though ascribed to Solomon, obviously not all of his composition, or even collection, and probably ascribed to him because of his fondness for …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • PROVERBS, BOOK OF —    part of the WISDOM LITERATURE of the HEBREW BIBLE which was traditionally attributed to King SOLOMON …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Proverbs —     Book of Proverbs     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Book of Proverbs     One of the Sapiential writings of the Old Testament placed in the Hebrew Bible among the Hagiographa, and found in the Vulgate after the books of Psalms and Job.     I. NAMES …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • book — see you can’t tell a book by its cover a great book is a great evil …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Book of Wisdom —     Book of Wisdom     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Book of Wisdom     One of the deutero canonical writings of the Old Testament, placed in the Vulgate between the Canticle of Canticles and Ecclesiasticus.     I. TITLE     The oldest headings… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Book of Wisdom — or Wisdom of Solomon or simply Wisdom is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books of the Septuagint Old Testament, which includes Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (Song… …   Wikipedia

  • Proverbs — may refer to:*The plural of the word proverb *The Book of Proverbs, one of the books of the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament *Roy Proverbs, English footballer …   Wikipedia

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