The Old Testament

A Historical, Theological, and Critical Introduction


16. Proverbs

Bible Reading Guide

Note: The numbers of the questions correspond to the chapters from which they come.

  1. What is wisdom’s message that she calls out?
  2. Wisdom will save you from what sort of men and women?
  3. Wisdom is more precious than what metals and gems?
  4. What is “above all else?”
  5. To what does the charge “Drink water from your own cistern” refer?
  6. What is the seventh thing hated by the Lord?
  7. Who is described in Proverbs 7?
  8. What is God’s relationship to Wisdom?
  9. What is the end of those who follow Dame Folly?
  10. What adds length to life?
  11. To what may a beautiful woman be compared?
  12. If fools show their annoyance at once, what do the prudent do?
  13. If a wicked messenger is trouble, what does a trustworthy envoy do?
  14. A way may appear right, but where is its end?
  15. How does the heart of the righteous respond when the wicked gushes evil?
  16. The lot may be cast in the lap, but whence come its every decision?
  17. What will happen to the house of one who pays back evil for good?
  18. What comes before honor?
  19. If wealth is inherited, what comes from the Lord?
  20. If a gossip betrays a confidence, what type of person should be avoided?
  21. While a fool gulps them down, the wise store up choice food and what?
  22. How many sayings has the wise teacher written?
  23. Warnings about drunkenness include it leading to what two results?
  24. What food does the author command to be eaten and compare with wisdom?
  25. What will be the result of giving food to your hungry enemy?
  26. What type of people does almost all of the first half of Proverbs 26 address?
  27. What property is especially important to know its condition and give attention to?
  28. Who is deluded in the eyes of the poor and discerning?
  29. Without revelation what happens to the people?
  30. What two things does Agur ask from the Lord?
  31. Where are the works of the wife of noble character?

Study Questions

  1. Why is the Septuagint translation of Proverbs different from the Masoretic text?
  2. Who/what was created before the world and involved in the world’s creation?
  3. How do the additional proverbs copied by the men of Hezekiah begin?
  4. By the second millennium of Christianity, what became the dominant interpretation of Proverbs?
  5. What important resource has been identified to provide thematic connections?
  6. What does Waltke’s review of ancient Egyptian wisdom demonstrate about pseudepigraphy?
  7. What pedagogical emphasis is found in the worldview of wisdom?
  8. What type or form of wisdom literature may describe Proverbs 1–9?
  9. How do the numerical proverbs aid in picturing the king in Proverbs 30:31?
  10. How should the individual proverbs be understood and applied?
  11. What ancient Near Eastern text has the most parallels with Proverbs?
  12. When would Ken Kitchen date the composition of Proverbs?
  13. With whom would some scholars compare the tree of life in Proverbs 3:18?
  14. What texts of the New Testament are couched in the form of proverbs?
  15. What is the first occurrence of the verb “to heal” in the Bible?
  16. In Proverbs, what repeatedly heals?