Proverbs 11:1-25 'Is it possible that history teaches us nothing? And that the immense past was only the weary rehearsal of mistakes that future is destined to make on a larger scale? At times we feel so, and a multitude of doubts assails us. Our knowledge of the past is always incomplete – probably inaccurate, beclouded by ambivalent evidence and biased historians, and perhaps distorted by our own prejudices and religious partisanship. Most history is guessing – the rest is prejudice.' Will Durant
Least you be deceive, thinking that the Book of Proverbs is but a collection of sayings without any particular regard for orderly arrangement, the Book of Proverbs actually tells a story, which we will notice as we go along. It is a picture of a young man starting out in life. He gets his first lesson in Proverbs 1:7, which is the key to the book, to wit:
'The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.'
Succinct, profound and 'THE TRUTH'. ['Fear' or 'deep and devoted', 'reverence']
The advice that is given in the Book of Proverbs transcends all dispensations. Whether one lives in Old Testament or New Testament times, old Jerusalem or new Jerusalem, its truths are still true. It is a good book for anyone. For everyone. For me. For you. It contains, the very 'Wisdom of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.'
The One in this book whose wisdom it is, is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a book that makes sense, and it does have an arrangement and an organization. Solomon has something to say about his own teaching: 'And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs,' [Ecclesiastes 12:9].
You may find as you study, that in the Book of Proverbs are significant 'character sketches' of people in your life, and, of yourself, in some instances. There is in Proverbs a thumbnail sketch of every character in the Bible. So, have a great time 'seeing yourself' through the lens of the Holy Scripture - The Book of the Proverbs. And, do not be shy in changing what you see and do not like for it is not representative of Jesus Christ. After all, that is the primary purpose of 'studying the Holy Scriptures'. [2 Timothy 3:16, 17; James 1:22]
Now, let's see if we can mention for your use, some helpful analysis of the literary structure of Proverbs.
First, the literary form of these Proverbs is mostly in the form of couplets. The two clauses of the couplet are generally related to each other by what has been termed parallelism, according to Hebrew poetry. [Hebrew poetry does not have rhyme or meter as our poetry does. Hebrew poetry consists of parallelism of ideas.]
There are generally recognized three kinds of parallelism:
1. Synonymous Parallelism. Here the second clause restates what is given in the first clause. [It expresses the same thought in a different way.] For example:
'Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools' [Proverbs 19:29]. Keep in mind, 'a fool' in the Bible is not per say a 'mentally defective', but, one who 'chooses' to ignore 'biblical perspectives for life.' In other words, 'a fool has no fear of God.'
2. Antithetic [Contrast] Parallelism. Here a truth, which is stated in the first clause, is made stronger in the second clause by contrast with an opposite truth. For example:
'The light of the righteous rejoiceth, but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out' [Proverbs 13:9].
[You can see that the second statement is stating the same truth but from the opposite point of view by way of contrast.]
3. Synthetic Parallelism. The second clause develops the thought of the first. For example:
'The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion; He that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own life'. [Proverbs 20:2] Amen. Amen.
[Personal insight gathered from various commentaries and sermons of the past. SMQ-2018
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