The Book of Proverbs
ExcerptThe twentieth book of the Old Testament according to the Christian canon and third of the poetical books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs) in the Hebrew canon included among the Writings. The book of Proverbs is a collection of largely proverbial Wisdom Literature traditionally associated with Solomon, the Israelite king famed for his divine gift of wisdom (1 Kgs. 3–4); the Hebrew title for the book (Heb. mišlê; Prov. 1:1) reflects this association. It is clear from literary analyses and internal evidence that the contents of the book must be attributed to a variety of authors over an extended period of time. At least three authors are named in headings (Solomon, 1:1; 10:1; 25:1; Agur, 30:1; Lemuel, 31:1), and other segments are attributed anonymously to “the wise” (22:17; 24:23). The designation of the whole collection as “proverbs” (LXX Gk. Paroimiai; Vulg. Lat. Liber Proverbiorum) is not entirely apt since large portions of the contents (primarily the discourse material of chs. 1–9) do not fit this description. Many scholars contend the present introductory verse (1:1) originally stood as the heading of the Solomonic [Proverbs] at 10:1–22:16, before chs. 1–9 were placed in their present position, and was only later moved to serve as the title of the composite book.
Myers, Allen C. The Eerdmans Bible dictionary 1987 : 855. Print.