“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity.” (Proverbs 1:1-3)
King Solomon was well-known for his wisdom. His fame had spread far beyond the borders of Israel. He composed thousands of songs and proverbs (see 1 Kings 4:29-34). The book of Proverbs in the Bible also contains wise sayings that are written or collected by this king Solomon.
In the first verses, the aim of this book is made clear: to give the reader wisdom. This wisdom can be practical, intellectual, or moral. For wisdom according to the Bible is not just about knowledge (understanding the world, ourselves and God correctly), but also about the ability to apply this knowledge in our daily lives. It is about living well in a right relationship with God and with the people around us.
Not everybody is willing to gain knowledge and wisdom. “Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). The book of Proverbs strongly warns against such an attitude, and shows that fools “shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices” (Proverbs 1:31).
Are you willing to gain knowledge and wisdom by listening attentively to the proverbs collected by king Solomon? Let’s read some of them the coming days, and see what they can teach us.