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LESSON 1 – PROVERBS BIBLE STUDY
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MAILBOX BIBLE COURSE
LESSON 1 – PROVERBS
Welcome to our Mailbox Bible Study Course. We trust you will enjoy these lessons as much as we did composing them. We are glad to be able to serve the Lord and you in this way. Many are being saved and helped through these simple Bible lessons. We suggest that you try to do one lesson each week; this will keep your interest in them active. This particular course contains twenty eight lessons on Proverbs Bible Studies. Please save this lesson onto your computer, read the lesson carefully, full in the answers to the test questions at the end of each lesson and email the test page back to us at - email@example.com.We will then evaluate and return any corrections to you with your next lesson. On completion of the full course you will receive a beautifully presented certificate. Should you have difficulty opening or sending this file to us, please let us know by return email. We suggest that you print these lessons and put them in a binder for future studies.
May God richly bless you as you proceed
All Courses are copyright and may not be used as Courses without permission.
I am grateful for permission to use this as Bible Lesson from the author and publisher, EVERYDAY PUBLICATIONS INC. 421 Nugget Avenue, Unit 2 Scarborough, ON, Canada MIS 4L8. Condensed from the original book with the same title. Copyright c 1972 by R.E. Harlow
LESSON 1 - PROVERBS
THE KING’S WISDOM
God gave King Solomon great wisdom and God the Holy Spirit has given us many of Solomon’s wise sayings in the book of Proverbs. This is very useful today because the heart of man does not change from age to age.
The bigger part of this important Bible book consists of over 500 proverbs or short wise sayings, most of them written by Solomon. In this book, the King’s Wisdom, we have put each proverb together with others which teach the same subject. There are 68 subjects in the book.
The only perfect Man is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us about many good men, but they all fell into sin. King David was a great man of God, but at onetime he was guilty of terrible sin. He took another man’s wife, then arranged for her husband to be killed in battle.
God forgave David when he confessed his sins. He married the woman, whose name was Bathsheba. When her second baby was born, David called him Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon, - And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him. 2 Samuel 12:24.
Solomon grew up in King David’s palace in Jerusalem. His father promised that he would be the king, but before David died, his other sons tried to take the throne.
Absalom wanted to rule and started a war against his father, but he himself was killed. Then Adonijah tried to set himself up as king when David was very old. But David put Solomon on the throne and Solomon had Adonijah put to death, -
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 1 Kings 1:5
And King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died. 1 Kings 2:25
The Bible tells us about Solomon’s life in 1 Kings Chapters 2 to 11, and 2 Chronicles Chapters 1 to 9.
Solomon made an agreement with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and took his daughter as his wife, - And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. 1 Kings 3:1
Still he loved the Lord and offered a thousand sacrifices to God. The Lord appeared to him and offered to answer his prayer. Solomon asked for wisdom to rule Israel well, and the Lord gave him special wisdom, more than to anyone else, also riches and honour, - In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 1 Kings 3:5-14.
Solomon soon had opportunity to show his wisdom. Two women came with a baby and each claimed it was hers. Solomon knew that the true mother would not want her baby to be killed. By this test he was able to decide who was the child’s mother, - Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king. Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.1 Kings 3:16-28
From this the people knew they had a wise king, and Solomon was able to set up a complete system of government, - So king Solomon was king over all Israel. And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest, Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests: And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers: and Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer, and the king's friend: And Ahishar was over the household: and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute. And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision. And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim: The son of Dekar, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Bethshemesh, and Elonbethhanan: The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher: The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife: Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam: The son of Geber, in Ramothgilead; to him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead; to him also pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brazen bars: Ahinadab the son of Iddo had Mahanaim: Ahimaaz was in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife: Baanah the son of Hushai was in Asher and in Aloth: Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar: Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin: Geber the son of Uri was in the country of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer which was in the land. 1 Kings 4:1-19.
He became very rich and powerful. He extended his kingdom and was at peace with his neighbours. The people of Israel brought food to Solomon, and other nations brought silver and gold. He brought thousands of horses from Egypt, although the law of God said that kings should not do so, -
But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Deuteronomy 17:16,
And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the vale for abundance. 16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 2 Chronicles 1:14-16.
Solomon decided to build the temple of Jehovah which his father David had planned. David had saved up 100,000 talents of gold for the temple, - Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. 1 Chronicles 22:14.
Solomon used it to cover the walls, - So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold. 1 Kings 6:21-22.
A talent is about 30 kilos, and today is worth around $500,000.00. So the gold in the temple would be worth fifty billion dollars. Hiram, the King of Tyre, helped by supplying lumber.
It took seven years to build the temple, and when it was ready Solomon prayed that the Lord would bless it. Then he offered a great sacrifice, 22,000 bulls and 120,000 sheep, - And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: 1 Kings 8:22.
And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the Lord, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. 1 Kings 8:63.
The Lord appeared to Solomon again and promised to bless the temple if the king and the people would follow the Lord and obey His commands, - That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. 1 Kings 9:2-3.
King Solomon also built a palace for himself, and another for his wife, the daughter of Pharaoh, -
But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house. 1 Kings 7:1
And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of the like work. Solomon made also a house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch. 1 Kings 7:8.
The Queen of Sheba made a long journey to visit King Solomon. She found his wisdom and his house far greater than she had thought, - I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. 2 Chronicles 9:6.
Other rulers came with great gifts and Solomon became still richer. He built ships which sailed across the sea and brought back gold and many other things, - For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. 2 Chronicles 9:21.
Solomon became very proud and married many women. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred other women in his house, - But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 1 Kings 11:1-3.
It is God’s will that a man should have one wife, and He especially commanded that the men of Israel should not marry any women from the heathen nations around them, - For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. Deuteronomy 7:4.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24.
And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. Exodus 34:16.
God also commanded that a king should not marry many wives nor try to become rich, and that a king should write a copy of the law and read it and obey it, - Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. Deuteronomy 17:17-20.
Solomon’s heathen wives turned him away from the Lord, and he began to worship idols, -
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.1 Kings 11:4.
And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 1 Kings 11:9.
God punished him by sending enemies into his kingdom, - And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom. 1 Kings 11:14.
And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: 1 Kings 11:23
And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king. 1 Kings 11:26.
Solomon ruled Israel for forty years before he died, - And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 1 Kings 11:42.
His son Rehoboam took the throne but soon the nation was divided into two parts, - And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 1 Kings 12:1. So Solomon made Israel into a great nation but it did not last long.
At first Solomon really loved the Lord and God gave him great wisdom, more than any other man - And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom. 1 Kings 4:30-34.
Solomon studied God’s creation and he taught his people about trees, plants, animals, birds, insects and fish. As a wise man he spoke many wise sayings called proverbs, three thousand of them. He also wrote poetry: a thousand and five songs.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit specially guided Solomon when he spoke a proverb, and God has kept these for us in the Book of Proverbs.
Early in life Solomon wrote a special love song called the Song of Songs which is Solomon’s. Later he wrote another song, Psalm 127. He was older when he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes. By that time he was quite disappointed with life.
The Song of Songs is in the form of poetry, like the Book of Psalms, the hymn book of Israel. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are also written in the form of poetry.
In Hebrew poetry, each verse usually has two lines. The second line may say about the same as the first but in different words; the writer repeats the same idea because it is very important, for example, - For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. Proverbs 1:9
.Or the second line may add to the thought of the first line, for example, -
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Proverbs 1:8
For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Proverbs 1:16
And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. Proverbs 1:18.
Or the second line may begin with the word but and then say the opposite to the first line, for example
1. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
3 The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.
4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.
11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
12 Hatred stirreth up strives: but love covereth all sins.
13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
14 Wise men lay-up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
You will see many examples of these in the book of Proverbs.
Solomon lived when only part of the Bible had been written: the Law of Moses and the historical books from Joshua to 2 Samuel.
David, his father, wrote 75 Psalms, so Solomon had about half of the Book of Psalms. He himself added these three books: most of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
The Book of Proverbs contains wise sayings of two other men: Agur, - The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal. Proverbs 30:1 and King Lemuel, - The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. Proverbs 31:1.
Some of Solomon’s proverbs were copied down many years later by King Hezekiah’s men, - These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. Proverbs 25:1 and the sayings of other wise men are found in Proverbs Chapter 22.17 to 24.34.
There are three words translated wise or wisdom in the book of Proverbs. In their different forms they occur 163 times. Sometimes they mean prudence, understanding, insight, discernment.
We will study the book of Proverbs in this way:
1. The Importance of Wisdom, Proverbs Chapters 1 to 9
2. The Proverbs of King Solomon and Others, Proverbs Chapters 10 to 29
3. The Words of Agur, Proverbs Chapter 30
4. The Words of King Lemuel, Proverbs Chapter 31
TEST - LESSON 1 - PROVERBS
True or False
1. David gave Solomon great wisdom to write Proverbs
2. There are about 500 proverbs in the Book
3. The only perfect man in the Old Testament was Solomon
4. David wanted his son Absalom to be the king
5. Solomon ruled for forty years
Please fill in the blanks with CAPITAL LETTERS
6. ____forgave ______when he ______his sins
7. Solomon _____to _____the ______planned by his father.
8. The ______of Sheba _____a long _____to ______ _______
9. Solomon’s ______ ______turned him ____from the _______
10. It ______seven _____ to _____the Temple
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