In Proverbs 1:1–6 the title
the proverbs of Solomon the son of David (Prov. 1:1) establishes a link between this proverb and 1 Kings 3:5–14. In Kings (as in the book of Proverbs), Solomon is presented as a son seeking wisdom from God. In addition to both referring to Solomon as
the son of David, the two texts share significant common wording:
judgment.Not only do these parallels confirm Solomon as the one behind the composition of the book, they also show that Proverbs is dealing with the human quest for wisdom from God.
Read Proverbs 1:7. What is wisdom? What is
the fear of the LORD? How do these two concepts relate to each other?
Wisdom here is defined as a religious experience. It is related to the fear of the Lord. This important concept of the Hebrew religion is key to Proverbs. Not only does it occur repeatedly, but it also frames the entire book (Prov. 1:7, Prov. 31:30).
The fear of the Lord has nothing to do with the superstitious and childish fear of divine punishment. Instead, it should be understood as the acute consciousness of God’s personal presence at all times and everywhere. The fear of the Lord had characterized the people’s reaction to God’s revelation at Sinai (Exod. 19:16, Exod. 20:20), just as it explained their commitment to be faithful and to love God in response to His covenant with them (Deut. 10:12).
In short, to fear God means to be faithful to God and to love Him.
the fear of the LORD is the beginning of . . . wisdom means that wisdom originates in this
fear. The Hebrew word for
beginning (reshit) points to the first word introducing the Creation story (Gen. 1:1). The first lesson of wisdom, then, deals with understanding that God is our Creator, the One who gives us life and breath, and that He is always present — a God of love, and justice, and redemption (John 3:16, Ps. 89:14, Heb. 9:12).
We are told to love God and also to fear Him. How do these two concepts relate to your own experience with the Lord?