Holman Commentary - Proverbs
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The Book of Proverbs is one of the most widely read books of the Bible. Many Bible reading plans call for reading one chapter of Proverbs each day. Those who follow such a plan read through Proverbs 12 times a year. Proverbs is a compilation of short sayings or maxims designed to present important truth in memorable form. The Hebrew word for wisdom means "skill in living." The purpose of Proverbs is to give the reader skill for living life from God's perspective, and in doing so, give the wise person greater happiness. Wisdom begins with a fear of the Lord (reverence and respect, not terror), and includes knowledge, understanding, direction, discernment, and obedience. Proverbs is to be used to help succeeding generations be successful in life, primarily by contrasting the difference between the wise person and the fool. While there is some general overall organisation to the book of Proverbs, the individual proverbs within the book are often arranged randomly. This can present a challenge when studying the book, because it is often helpful to study similar proverbs at the same time. Therefore, this commentary has rearranged all the proverbs into 31 topical studies, rather than going through the proverbs in the order they are found in the Bible.