The collection of Proverbs in the Old Testament is what I like to call the place where the “rubber meets the road”. The Proverbs are short sayings that generally give counsel about living righteously. These short sayings can be as small as a one sentence verse to a half a chapter. No Old Testament prophets wrote any of the Proverbs. But many of the Proverbs are considered to be inspired writings. In 1 Kings 4:32 it says that King Solomon “spake three thousand proverbs”. Some of those are included in what we know today as The Proverbs. Some Proverbs are such that no one knows who wrote them. The very last proverb was written by King Lemual.
As you read through all of the Proverbs you will see several recurring themes that the Proverbs speak to like Wisdom, Pride, Friendship, Happiness and Morality. There are additional topics such as trusting in The Lord, raising children, avoiding sin and temptations and the words we speak.
Out of all the themes or topics covered in The Proverbs one major themes seems to override them all and is present through all 31 chapters. That topic is “wisdom”. Wisdom that comes from God. Look at these two passages of scripture found in The Proverbs that tell us about “wisdom”.
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
If we follow the counsel in the previously mentioned scriptures we can see the wisdom in all the proverbs as well as find wisdom in our lives. As we consider The Proverbs we can see the inspired teachings of The Bible meet real life and get short statements of truth relative to our every day life, where the rubber meets the road.
In the context of The Proverbs:
Fear means reverence and respect for God.
Froward means perverse.
Talebearer means gossip.