A Brief Commentary
PROVERBS: Chapter One
A proverb is a saying that is easily remembered which contains a lesson and wisdom.
Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba (who had been the wife of Uriah), became the king
of Israel after the death of his father. Solomon, given the choice of riches, power or wisdom (1
Kings 4:29-34). The story of the two harlots fighting over one baby is the classic example of his
wisdom (1 Kings 3:16-28) It was the wisdom shown in such instances which cased the Queen
of Sheba to declare “It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy
wisdom: howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and,
behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou excellest the
fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand
continually before thee ,and hear thy widom.” (2 Chronicles 9:5-7)
“And King Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of
the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom that God had put in his heart.”
(2 Chronicles 9:22,23; 1 Kings 10:6-9).
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart,
even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all
the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. … And he spake three thousand
proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree
that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts,
and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came all people to hear the
wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” (1 Kings 4:29-
It is this wisdom, given by God, that is revealed in the Book of Proverbs. This is the wisdom
which amazed the ancient world, its rulers, and all who will hear the same words today.
VERSES TWO – SIX.
Education raises the abilities of man morally, spiritually, and physically. And no education
raises the state of man more than the study of divine wisdom. Only by the wisdom of God can
man perceive and understand “wisdom, justice, judgment and equity.” There is a reason for
divine revelation: revelation is necessary for us to know and understand the wisdom of God. As
the apostle Paul declared to the Corinthians, “But as it is written, “But as it is written, Eye hath
not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath
prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit
searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man
which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we
have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the
things that are freely given given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words
which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things
with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But
he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known
the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians
2:9-16). Only those who have the Spirit (are inspired of God) can explain to us who are
uninspired the mind of God.
Everything begins with the proper respect for the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham and
Isaac and Israel, the GREAT I AM of the burning bush, the Almighty of creation. Whether he is
called our heavenly Father, God, Almighty, Lord of hosts, Jehovah, Yahweh or the Lord God; it
is he who is revealed in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation who is to be respected, awed,
revered and feared. Without godliness, there can be no true wisdom.
Philosophically, scientifically, morally and theologically, it opens a Pandora’s Box of
possibilities which spell disaster if the fear of the Lord does not figure as the foundation of the
On the other hand, fools (who deny the existence of God – Psalm 14:1) reject and hate
instruction in wisdom. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after
God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).
VERSES EIGHT AND NINE.
The instruction of Solomon is presented as the loving instruction of a father to a son.
Listen to your parents. Children obey your parents (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3;
It was Mark Twain that is reported as saying he thought his father was one of the most ignorant
men on the face of the earth when he was 16, but when he turned 21 he was surprised at the
what the old man had learned in the last 5 years.
Listening to your parents will do you more good than any jewelry you may obtain, or honors you
VERSES TEN – NINETEEN.
Just say, NO. It’s that simple when people try to talk you into doing something wrong. Don’t let
them talk you into sinning. Do not allow them to convince you that wrong is right.
This is not to say that there is no temptation. They make it sound good. They make it seem as
though you will profit by it.
Would you kill someone for his possessions? Is the thought abhorant to you? Make all sin the
Eventually evil will catch up with the evil doers. “What goes around, comes around.” Greed will
come back to bite you.
As the apostle Paul states, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man
soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:
VERSES TWENTY – THIRTY-THREE.
Solomon is emphasizing that men who sin have refused to listen to the wisdom of God, and
will suffer because of it. And, when they call for wisdom and God when they find themselves in
trouble, they will find no help.
Wisdom is personified as crying in the streets for people to listen. At the gates of the city where
commerce was made, and where the chief men congregated to discuss the affairs of the day,
she asked how long they would continue in foolishness, scornfulness and ignorance. If they
would turn from their ignorance and iniquitous ways, they could still know the wisdom and
understand the will of God.
The words of wisdom here are echoed in the words of Jesus: “Then said Jesus to those Jews
which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall
know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:31,32).
However, those who wisdom called to, refused to listen. She extended her hand in an offer to
help, but no one accepted the gesture. They refused the advice of wisdom and refused to be
corrected. Therefore, when the results of their actions brought fear and destruction like a
tornado, and they became distressed and were worried sick – wisdom would laugh at them.
They would ask for help, looking for wisdom – but will find neither help nor wisdom. Because
they did not respect God and refused to learn – they would have to pay the consequences of
their actions. They have brought about their own destruction. The comfort of the ignorant and
the wealth of fools will destroy them.
If a man will listen to wisdom, he will avoid the calamity that awaits the ignorant and the fool –
he will be safe from danger and fear.