Week 19: Proverbs 1-9

Prepare these questions for Sunday, August 4, 2013.

The book of Proverbs is a collection of wisdom and advice that was meant to be passed down through the generations of the Israelites.  Many of the proverbs are attributed to Solomon, but there are also other authors and the book was not written in one sitting or even during one lifetime. It is often quoted and generally considered to be practical even in today's world.

1. Chapter 1 states the purpose of this book. In your own words, why was Proverbs compiled and written down?

2. These chapters usually begin with "my son" or "my sons." Why would the author use this address and how might that affect how they were heard or read in ancient Israel?

3. There are several major themes in these chapters-pursuing wisdom, fleeing adultery, warnings against folly. What pieces of advice stood out to you? Why?

4. These first 9 chapters are rather poetic. For instance, wisdom has a voice and a gender (it's a woman) and speaks directly to the reader. What might be the purpose of using such writing devices?  Do you think it is an effective way to communicate the message of the first chapters of Proverbs?

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