Day 1: Proverbs 5:1-7:27

Day 2: Proverbs 8:1-10:32

Day 3: Proverbs 11:1-13:25

Day 4: Proverbs 14:1-16:33

Day 5: Proverbs 17:1-19:29

Day 6: Proverbs 20:1-22:16

Day 7: Proverbs 22:17-24:34


Hard Questions

  1. (Prov. 5-7) Why so much talk about immoral women? It’s interesting; Solomon’s writing this, and his audience, as stated in chapter 1, is primarily young men—for this he addresses various discourses to “my son.” He’s aware of how many temptations are out there on the street, and especially how a wealthy young man can seem like prey. Interestingly, in this culture, we see him urging a young man toward sexual self control and satisfaction with the wife of his youth. Solomon exposes both the methods and motives of the immoral woman and calls the young man to walk in wisdom—not to let himself be flattered but to consider the evil motives and the terrible consequences of sexual immorality.
  2. (Prov. 8-9) Wisdom personified as a woman? What’s going on? Some people interpret these passages as Wisdom—chokma—being some kind of goddess or leftover from earlier Israelite polytheism. I would suggest that maybe they’re not very good at metaphors, or that it’s perhaps a cultural and historical chauvinism, and they assume that people three thousand years ago weren’t good at metaphors, which is also pretty ignorant.
  3. How do we interpret proverbs? Ex., Prov.22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Does this mean that, if my kid doesn’t go right as an adult, I didn’t train him up the right way?
  4. A note on Prov. 9:8-9, 15:31-33. The difference between a wise person and a fool is not that the wise person never makes mistakes (and thus does not need rebuking, which is what we often go for); it’s the response when they both need a rebuke! A wise person gets rebuked—and loves the person who corrects him or her.
  5. Why does the reading at this point only go up to Proverbs 24? Proverbs 25 is the beginning of the proverbs that Hezekiah’s people compiled (at a later time in Israel’s history, the nation experiences a revival under Hezekiah, with the result that they go back and restore scriptures that hadn’t been protected. They restore part of Proverbs and collect quite a few Psalms). Additionally, these Proverbs come from more than one source—Agur, son of Jakeh (Prov. 30), and Lemuel (Prov. 31), who traditionally has been assumed to be Solomon.


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