Home  Library  Donate

Proverbs 1

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 13, 2017


Video:  The Bible Project – Proverbs Introduction

1:1-7 Wisdom’s Beginning

:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

:1 The proverbs of Solomon

proverbsmashal – proverb, parable; poem; sentences of ethical wisdom, ethical maxims. The Hebrew term means “a comparison”.

A proverb is a saying that is wise and insightful.

Proverbs are sayings taken from everyday life and are intended to serve as practical guidelines for successful living.
These are not absolute promises, but principles that generally are true.
They are not keys to an absolute problem free prosperous life, but if you follow these things, you will find your life doing much better than if you didn’t do them.

When Solomon became king, God appeared to him in a dream and gave him the chance to ask for whatever he wanted.

While Solomon could have asked for a long life or lots of money, he chose to ask for wisdom. (1Ki. 3:9)
(1 Kings 3:9 NKJV) Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
God gave Solomon his request.

The written proverbs of Solomon are part of God’s legacy of wisdom that he gave to Solomon.

One of the byproducts of the wisdom God gave Solomon was the proverbs, or “sayings” that he recorded. 

1Ki. 4:32 tells us that he spoke 3,000 proverbs.
(1 Kings 4:32 NKJV) He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five.
Though most of the book contains things written by Solomon, not all of the book was written by Solomon.

:1 the son of David

Even though Solomon seems to have written this book for his own son, Solomon himself was a son, the son of King David.

I can’t help but think that some of Solomon’s wisdom came from the lessons he learned from his own father.

David himself wrote,

(Psalm 19:7 NKJV) The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

:2 To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding,

:2 To know wisdom and instruction



wisdomchokmah – wisdom (found 39 times in the book of Proverbs)
It comes from the verb chakam, “to be wise” (found 102 times in the book of Proverbs)
There is an important interpretive principle called the “principle of first mention”.

The first time an event, thing, or word is found in the Bible can often be helpful in understanding how the word is used in the rest of the Bible.

The first time the root word chakam (“to be wise”) is used is in Genesis 41 where Joseph has just interpreted Pharaoh’s freaky dream and Pharaoh knows he needs someone “wise” to guide his kingdom through the coming famine.

(Genesis 41:39 NKJV) Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.

Pharaoh didn’t need a smart guy who could interpret dreams, he would need a very practical guy who knew how to do things, like saving grain and distributing it during a famine.

The first time the actual word chokmah is used is in Exodus, God is giving Moses instruction about the making of the priest’s garments …

(Exodus 28:3 NKJV) So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.

The artisans were men gifted by God with knowing how to make beautiful things.  They were practical guys.

Our word “wisdom” (chokmah) is followed by quite a few similar, synonymous words that are very close in meaning, including “instruction”, and “understanding”.

instructionmuwcar – discipline, chastening, correction

understandingbiynah – understanding, discernment

There are more words, all that fall under this umbrella of “wisdom”.

:3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity;

wisdomsakal – (Hiphil) to have insight, have comprehension; to cause to consider, give insight, teach; to act circumspectly, act prudently, act wisely

Justicetsedeq – justice, rightness, righteousness

judgmentmishpat – judgment, justice, ordinance

equitymeyshar – evenness, uprightness, straightness, equity

:4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion—

prudence‘ormah – shrewdness, craftiness, prudence

simplepethiy – simplicity, naivete

knowledgeda’ath – knowledge, perception, skill; discernment, understanding, wisdom

discretionmezimmah – purpose, discretion, device, plot

:5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,

wisechakam – wise, wise (man)

learningleqach – learning, teaching, insight

understandingbiyn – to discern, understand, consider

wise counseltachbulah – direction, counsel, guidance, good advice, (wise) counsel

:6 To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles.

enigmameliytsaw – satire, mocking poem, mocking song, taunting, figure, enigma

riddleschiydah – riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question

:4-6 simple … young … wise


Everyone needs wisdom

Wisdom is something that everyone needs to keep acquiring, no matter where they are in life.
simplepethiy – simplicity, naivete
Some of those needing wisdom are the “simple”, the foolish, the naïve, who are kind of like children.
Video:  Funny Kid Fails (February 2016) / Fail Army
Some of those needing wisdom are the “young”.  Some youth are more “wise” than others, but there is an amount of wisdom that only comes with a lot of wrinkles.

Growing Opinions of Dad

4 years: My daddy can do anything.

7 years: My dad knows a lot, a whole lot.

8 years: My father doesn't know quite everything.

12 years: Oh, well, naturally Father doesn't know that, either.

14 years: Father? Hopelessly old-fashioned.

21 years: Oh, that man is out-of-date. What did you expect?

25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.

30 years: Maybe we ought to find out what Dad thinks.

35 years: A little patience. Let's get Dad's assessment before we do anything.

50 years: I wonder what Dad would have thought about that. He was pretty smart.

60 years: My Dad knew absolutely everything!

65 years: I'd give anything if Dad were here so I could talk this over with him.  I really miss that man.

Even those who are older and hopefully “wiser” have something to learn.
Video:  American Fails July 2017 – FailArmy
Staying teachable is a characteristic of a truly wise person.

:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

fearyir’ah – fear, terror, fearing

:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge


It starts with God

The key to real wisdom is your relationship with God, and that involves two things.
Fear of God
Having a healthy respect of God.

People get themselves into trouble when they don’t have a proper respect or understanding of the thing they’re messing with.


You’ve heard about Chuck Norris?  The actor and martial artist? Have you heard how amazing he is?

Video:  Chuck Norris Epic Split

Some people wear Superman pajamas.  Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.

Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

Chuck Norris will never have a heart attack.  His heart isn’t nearly foolish enough to attack him.

Chuck Norris has counted to infinity.  Twice.

Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; that’s why there are no signs of life there.

So why in the world would you want to challenge Chuck Norris to a fight?

Video:  Walker Texas Ranger Fight Scene – Season One

You’d only try to fight Chuck Norris if you didn’t “fear” him, if you didn’t have respect for him.

Chuck isn’t a bad guy.  He’s someone to be respected.

Loving God
Last week Daniel Grant talked about how our lives are to be motivated by both the “fear of the Lord”, as well as the love of Christ. (2Cor. 5:9-15)

(2 Corinthians 5:9–15 NKJV) —9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

God doesn’t just want us to be “afraid” of Him, He wants us to have a relationship with Him that’s based on love.

In Deuteronomy 6, God tells Moses that He wants the people to “fear” Him (Deut. 6:2) and obey Him, but He wants more than that:

(Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

love‘ahab – to love, both human love for each other, love for things, love for God, and God’s love for us.

God wants you to understand that He is indeed the Awesome Creator of the Universe, but God doesn’t want you to live in complete terror of Him, He wants you to know Him and love Him.

We can love Him because He first loved us.

God loves you so much He gave His only begotten Son Jesus to die for you.

(1 John 3:16a NKJV) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us…

As we begin our journey in discovering what wisdom looks like, you’re not going to gain any benefit at all if you don’t start with your relationship with God.
Wisdom that produces a life that pleases God, a life of fulfillment, comes from having your relationship with God in a healthy place.
It comes from a life that has turned to Jesus.

1:8-19 Which advice?

:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;

:9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.

:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father

Solomon may be writing to his own son Rehoboam, or he could be talking in general terms to his readers.

Young people, pay attention to what your parents have taught you.

Yet they may not be the only ones you listen to…

:10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.

:11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;

:12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;

(Proverbs 1:12 NLT) Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.

:13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil;

:14 Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”—

:13 We shall fill our houses with spoil

People who will entice you to make bad choices will tempt you by telling you that there are rewards for being bad.

:15 My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path;

:16 For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.

:17 Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird;

:18 But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives.

:19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners.

:17 in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird

You aren’t going to catch a bird by putting a big net out in the open.  Even a bird brain is smart enough to see the net and fly away from it.

A fool on the other hand goes along with peer pressure and makes stupid choices even though it’s obvious they’re getting themselves into trouble.

:10 if sinners entice you, do not consent


Peer Pressure

Sometimes “peer pressure” occurs in a person who is looking to feel loved and accepted, and the wrong people get into their life and promise to love them if they will follow them in doing the wrong things.
When I was in high school, the issues were things like going out in smoker’s field and lighting up.  There might have been a little marijuana as well.
Now high schoolers also have to face issues like their sexual identity, or how active their sex life is.

For someone who doesn’t feel very good about themselves, it’s not hard to take that vulnerability and make them think they must be gay, or they need to have sex to be happy.

Teens aren’t the only ones that struggle. Adults do too.
Herod liked John the Baptist, but because of peer pressure, he had John put to death. (Mark 6:26)

(Mark 6:26 NKJV) And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.

There were Jewish leaders (John 12) who didn’t follow Jesus openly because they were more concerned about what people thought.

(John 12:43 NKJV) for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

It’s important to take inventory of the people in your life and their influence over you.  Paul wrote,
(1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV) Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
Video:  Values – Peer Pressure

It’s not a bad idea to make sure you’ve got some positive influences in your life.

1:20-33  Wisdom’s Call

:20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares.

:20 She raises her voice

Here’s the woman our Proverbs Intro video was talking about.

Several times Solomon will refer to wisdom metaphorically as a “woman”.

We will see it again in Proverbs 8,9.
Does Solomon make “wisdom” a woman because women are smarter than men?  I’m not going to answer that. ;-)
Later in life, Solomon would write,
(Ecclesiastes 7:28–29 NLT) —28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! 29 But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”

In the end, he seemed pretty bitter towards women.

Solomon had a lot of experience with women.

Solomon knew what it was to be enticed by women.

(1 Kings 11:3–4 NKJV) —3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.

You’re going to see Solomon use this picture of a woman in the streets calling out several times.

Sometimes it’s the gal named “wisdom”.
Sometimes it’s a “foolish” woman.
It seems that some people tend to be attracted to the wrong kind of people.
Like the gal who is always drawn to the “bad boy”.
Which “woman” are you going to be attracted to?  Are you going to live your life flirting with bad things, or are you going to see that your life will go much better when you pay attention to the “wise” woman?

:21 She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:

:22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge.

:23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.

:23 Turn at my rebuke

If “Wisdom” warns you to change the direction of your life, and you obey, you will grow in wisdom.

:24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,

:24 I have called and you refused

On the other hand, if you are warned by “Wisdom”, and you don’t pay attention to the warning…

:25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke,

:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes,

:26 I also will laugh at your calamity

It sounds like “Wisdom” is one of those cruel people who are quick to say “I told you so…” when you didn’t make the right choice.

:27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.

:28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord,

:30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.

:28 they will call on me, but I will not answer

Wisdom will not answer because the fool doesn’t really want to do what wisdom is instructing.

:31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies.

:31 eat the fruit of their own way

If we make foolish choices, we should expect a foolish outcome.

:32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them;

(Proverbs 1:32 NLT) For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.

:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

:33 whoever listens to me will dwell safely

As with most of the Proverbs, this is a general principle, not an absolute promise.

This is not an absolute promise that if you make wise choices you will never have any problems.

It means that as a general rule, you will have a “safer” life.



One day at kindergarten the Teacher said to the class of 5-year-olds, “I’ll give $10 to the child who can tell me who was the most famous man who ever lived.”
A little Irish boy put his hand up and said, “It was St. Patrick.”  The Teacher said, “Sorry Sean, that’s not correct.”
Then a little Scottish boy put his hand up and said, “It was St. Andrew.”  The Teacher replied, “I’m sorry Hamish, that’s not right either.”
Finally, a little Jewish boy raised his hand and said, “It was Jesus Christ.”  The Teacher said, “That’s absolutely right, Marvin.  Come up here and I’ll give you the $10.”
As the Teacher was giving Marvin his money, she said, “You know Marvin, since you’re Jewish, I was very surprised you said ‘Jesus Christ’.”
Marvin replied, “Yeah, in my heart I knew it was Moses, but business is business.”

There’s a boy who learns.

Here’s one of the qualities of a wise person.
A wise person will “listen” or pay attention to words of wisdom, even if it means needing to change the direction of their life, or admitting that they were wrong.
Do you want to grow in God’s wisdom?  How will you respond when God gives you direction?
Gaining wisdom starts with a simple step, asking for it.
(James 1:5–6 NKJV) —5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
When James says we must “ask in faith”, perhaps that’s tied to the “fear of the Lord”.
Asking in faith implies that you are trusting the Lord.
Asking in faith implies that when God says to turn “right”, you turn “right”.

Are you looking for wisdom? Are you ready to ask, listen, and change?