The book of Proverbs provides teaching in how to lead wise, godly lives and how to avoid the pitfalls of unwise and ungodly conduct.
The book of Proverbs is different than any other book in the Bible. It is not history, poetry, prophecy, or law. It deals with such topics as wisdom, sin, goodness, wealth, temptation, pride, humility, justice, folly, friendship, idleness, poverty, family life, pleasure, revenge, strife, gluttony, drunkenness, and success.
The key verse is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (1:7).
Solomon was the principal author of Proverbs according to I Kings 4:32. Solomon spoke three thousand proverbs, of which we have only one thousand in this book.
He wrote three books of the Bible, but we do not know for sure the order in which they were written. It has been suggested that he wrote the Song of Solomon when he was young and in love, Proverbs when he was middle-aged and full of intelligence, and Ecclesiastes when he was old, disappointed, and disillusioned with the carnality of much of his life.
Solomon was known as the richest and wisest man who ever lived, and yet as the years slipped away, he made some very sad and serious mistakes as he entered into political marriages with the daughters of pagan kings.
The theme of the book is wisdom for living with specific instruction on such subjects as wealth, poverty, the tongue, pride, vengeance, strife, love, lust, laziness, friends, children, family, life, and death.
Related thoughts are scattered throughout the book. Do not be surprised at the lack of grouping of concepts and that some of the things once said occur again and again in the same or varied form.
Proverbs makes it clear that heavenly wisdom is priceless, virtue is blessed of God, and vice is always to be shunned.
Proverbs stresses being rightly related to God and then being rightly related to others.
The book contains 31 chapters and 915 verses, and almost every verse jumps to a different thought. This makes it impossible to outline the book.