This was a time of spiritual renewal led by the king, who also showed great interest in the writings of David and Asaph (see 2Ch ).Perhaps it was also at this time that the sayings of Agur (ch.At times the book of Proverbs is very direct and earthy (cf. This is the nature of wisdom literature as it seeks pedagogically effective ways to illumine life situations and to guide the unwise (or not yet wise) into wise choices concerning how to shape their lives as members of the human community that lives under the scrutiny and the providential rule and care of the Creator (see essay, p. According to the prologue (1:1–7), Proverbs was written to give “prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young” (1:4), and to make the wise even wiser (1:5).The frequent references to “my son(s)” (1:8,10; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1) emphasize instructing the young and guiding them in a way of life that yields rewarding ends.Since the proverbs were written primarily for instruction, often they are given in the form of commands: “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor” ().Even where the imperative form is not used, the desired action is quite clear (see 14:5).For instance, says that the years of the wicked are cut short, while the righteous live long and prosperous lives (see3:2 and note).The righteous have abundant food (10:3), but the wicked will go hungry ().
Coupled with statements about his unparalleled wisdom (1Ki –31,34), it is quite likely that he was the source of most of Proverbs.
Although the book begins with a title ascribing the proverbs to Solomon, it is clear from later chapters that he was not the only author of the book.
Pr refers to the “sayings of the wise,” and mentions additional “sayings of the wise.” The presence of an introduction in –21 further indicates that these sections stem from a circle of wise men, not from Solomon himself. 30 is attributed to Agur son of Jakeh and 31:1–9 to King Lemuel, neither of whom is mentioned elsewhere.
The book contains a short prologue (1:1–7) and a longer epilogue (–31), which may have been added to the other materials.
It is possible that the discourses in the large opening section (1:8—) were the work of a compiler or editor, but the similarities of ch.