Structure and Content of Proverbs

21-page article begins with a basic outline followed by a detailed outline with summaries and notes

2153000-prv0000-out-bcrxStructure and Content of Proverbs: Following the one-page, basic outline, the PDF contains a twenty-page detailed outline (a preliminary proposal) with summaries and notes suggesting literary / rhetorical features.


  1. Prologue: The purpose of proverbs (1.1-7) “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel” (1.1a)
  1. Odes on the value of wisdom (1.8–9.18)
  2. Collections of proverbs (10.1–29.27)
    1. Solomon I: Collection of Solomon’s proverbs (10.1–22.16) “The proverbs of Solomon….” (10.1a)
    2. The Sayings of the Wise (22.17–24.34)
      1. Collection of thirty sayings (22.17–24.22) “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise” (22.17a)
      2. Collection of four sayings (24.23-34) “These also are sayings of the wise.” (24.23a)
    3. Solomon II: Collection of Solomon’s proverbs at the time of Hezekiah (25.1–29.27) “These are also the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed.” (25.1)
  1. Appendix: Additional collections of proverbs (30.1–31.31)
    1. The words of Agur (30.1-33) “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle.” (30.1a)
    2. The words of Lemuel (31.1-9) “The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him.” (31.1)
    3. The excellent wife (31.10-31) “An excellent wife, who can find?” (31.10)

An exegetical study of individual proverbs in the original Hebrew will increase sensitivity to additional rhetorical devices, e.g., Hebrew word meanings, synonyms, assonance, etc. This will provide additional supports for or alterations to this preliminary outline.

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Structure and Content of Proverbs
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