BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 20

Proverbs - BibleProject

In this lesson on Proverbs, you will gain knowledge and insights into the structure, themes, and practical applications of the book. You will learn about the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, such as the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work. Moreover, the lesson provides practical applications of the book in everyday life, including relationships, finances, and business and leadership. Finally, you will be able to understand the significance of Proverbs for Christians today.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 20
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Proverbs - BibleProject

I. Introduction to Proverbs

A. Definition and Characteristics of Proverbs

B. Authorship and Date of Proverbs

C. Structure and Content of Proverbs

II. Theological Themes in Proverbs

A. Wisdom and Folly

B. Fear of the Lord

C. Family and Relationships

D. Work and Money

E. Justice and Righteousness

III. Application of Proverbs

A. Understanding and Interpreting Proverbs

B. Applying Proverbs to Our Lives

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.
BP100-20 Proverbs The book of Proverbs. The word proverb typically refers to a short clever saying that offers some kind of wisdom and this book has a lot of those. But they're almost all in the center section of the book chapters 10 to 29. But there is way more going on in the book of Proverbs especially at the beginning -chapters 1 to 9- and the conclusion -chapters 30 and 31. The book's been designed with an introduction -chapter 1 verses 1 through 9- and it first of all links this book to King Solomon now remember the story and first Kings chapter 3, Solomon had asked God for wisdom to lead Israel well, and so Solomon became known as the wisest man in the ancient world and we're told in first Kings chapter four, that he wrote thousands of proverbs and poems and collected knowledge about plants and animals. So Solomon was like the fountainhead of Israel's wisdom literature. So while not all the material in this book is written by him personally, he is where Israel's wisdom tradition began. The introduction says that by reading this book you too can gain wisdom. Now wisdom for most of us means knowledge but the Hebrew word Khokhmah means much more than just mental activity, it was first to action also. So think skill or applied knowledge. This is why back in the book of Exodus chapter 31, it was artists and craftsmen in Israel who were said to have to Khokhmah. So the purpose of this book is to help you develop a set of practical skills for living well in God's world and this gets linked with another key idea in the introduction; The fear of the Lord. Now fear here is not about terror it's about a healthy sense of reverence and awe for God and about my place in the universe it's a moral mindset that recognizes I am NOT God and that I don't get to make up my own definitions of good and evil of right and wrong. Rather I need to humble myself before God and embrace God's definition of right and wrong even when that's inconvenient for me. Now this introduction leads us into the first main section of the book chapters 1 through 9 which also doesn't contain short one-liner proverbs rather what we find here are 10 speeches from a father to a son. About how the son should listen to wisdom and cultivate the fear of the Lord and live accordingly which means a life of virtue and integrity and generosity all of which lead to success and peace. The father warns his son also about folly and evil and stupid decisions that will breed selfishness and pride all leading to ruin and shame. And so the son should make the pursuit of wisdom and the fear of the Lord his highest goal in life. And this way of thinking it forms the moral logic of this entire book. Now these speeches from the father also clue us into what biblical wisdom literature is and how it's different from other parts of the Bible. These books explore how to live well in God's world but wisdom is not the same as law, like what Moses gave Israel at Mount Sinai. And it's not the same as prophecy, divine speech to God's people. Rather wisdom literature has the accumulated insight of God's people through the generations about how to live in a way that honors God and others. And so through the book of Proverbs now these human words about wisdom have been put together as God's Word and wisdom to His people. Which connects to the other thing you find in chapters 1 through 9. There are four poems from lady wisdom. Here wisdom has been poetically personified as a woman who calls out to humanity to pay attention and to seek her. Wisdom says that she is woven into the fabric of the universe and so wherever you see people making wise decisions they are relying on her. So you see someone being generous or having sexual integrity or upholding justice they are drawing on wisdom. These lady wisdom poems they're a creative poetic way of exploring this idea that we live in God's moral universe and that goodness and justice are objective realities that we ignore to our own peril. And so fearing the Lord living wisely it's living along the grain of the universe. Now together these two sets of speeches from the father and Lady wisdom they make a powerful claim about this book that you're not simply reading good advice, you're reading God's own invitation to learn wisdom from previous generations. And so in the next section of the book chapters 10 to 29 we find hundreds of ancient proverbs and they apply wisdom in the fear of the Lord to every life topic you could imagine: family, work, neighborhood, friendship, sex, marriage, money, anger, forgiveness, alcohol, debt, everything. And these are all filtered through the value system of Proverbs 1-9. Now these proverbs they're all pretty short, they're easy to memorize and actually this section of the book is meant to become a reference work that you return to time and time again throughout the years which raises some important issues in learning how to read these proverbs. First of all proverbs are by nature about probabilities So you fear the LORD and you make wise good choices, things will likely go well for you. And if you don't fear the LORD, you're foolish, your life will likely not go so well. Now that is all often true but not always. Which leads to the next point.That proverbs are not promises, they're not formulas for success. So some proverbs, for example: The fear of the Lord prolongs your life but the years of the wicked are cut short. Or train up a child in the way they should go and when they're old they won't turn from it. So yes, fearing God, being a moral person will most likely lead to a better longer life and raising your kids in a stable loving home does set them up well. But there are no guarantees. Lots of things can and often do go wrong in our world. And so lastly proverbs by nature focus on the general rule but not the exceptions. Which are many. And the wisdom books actually aren't ignorant of that. The exceptions are with the other wisdom books Job and Ecclesiastes, are all about. And together these acknowledged that life is too complex for simple formulas which is why we need all of the wisdom books together to get the bigger picture this all leads to the final section of the book two large collections of poems first poems from a man named Agur. Who begins by acknowledging his own ignorance and folly, and his great need for God's wisdom. And then Agur discovers that divine wisdom has been given to him in the scriptures which teach him how to live well and so Agur is put before us as like a model reader of the book of Proverbs somebody who's always open to hearing God's wisdom through the scriptures. The final poems are connected to a man named Lemuel he's a non-Israelite king and he passes on the wisdom that was given to him by his mom. It´s guidance for being a wise and just leader and then the final poem is an acrostic or an alphabet poem where each line begins with a new letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the entire poems about the woman of noble character. It depicts a woman who lives according to the wisdom of proverbs and stands like a model of someone who takes God's wisdom and then translates it into practical decisions and everyday life. At work or at home, in her family and in her community. So the book opens with words from a father to a son about listening to Lady wisdom and so now the book closes by offering the words of a mother to her son about a woman who lives wisely. The book of Proverbs is for every person in every season of life. It's a guide for living wisely and well in God's good world. And that's what the book of Proverbs is all about.