The Author of Proverbs
Proverbs fall into an ancient category called “wisdom books or wisdom literature.” There are several references that Proverbs was written by Solomon such as: “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel” (Proverbs 1:1 also 10:1; 25:1). In addition, 1 Kings 4: 32 states that Solomon “spake three thousand” wise sayings (1 Kings 4:32). The Jewish and the Christian church history never disputed that Solomon wrote this book during his reign (971-931 B.C.).
However, there are some today that claim that Solomon was only one of the authors of this book and that “The Wise” (Proverbs 22), “Agur” (Proverbs chapter 30), and King Lemuel wrote it (Proverbs 31). Others deny that Solomon was the author and claim that the book was a post-exilic work. Yet, they provide no valid support for their claim.
Israel’s Golden Age
Solomon began his reign in a spirit of humility and dedication to God which allowed the Lord to bless him tremendously (1 Kings 3:5–15). He walked in the steps of his father David. And he wrote this book of wisdom literature in the beginning part of his rule, when he was still faithful to the Lord.
His early reign was a time of high moral standing as well as of great peace and material prosperity. The Bible tells us that “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth” (1 Kings 10:23). This era was, indeed, the golden age of the Hebrew monarchy.
As a result, Solomon’s wisdom and his fame spread abroad throughout much of the world, and many of the kings sought to learn of his wisdom and council (1 Kings 4:31–34; 10:1–13). And the knowledge of the true God was spread among the pagan nations.
Solomon’s Apostasy and Repentance
One of the great errors of Solomon’s life, which led to his downfall, was his multiplication of wives, many of whom were pagans (1 Kings 11:1–4). The influence of these pagan women swayed his heart away from God and obedience to His commandments (Exodus 20) and robed him from the blessings of a peaceful long life (1 Kings 11).
However, at the end of his life, Solomon saw his errors, was grieved over them, and repented with all of his heart. And he summed his experiences in the following words: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14).
The Book of Proverbs exalts wisdom as being “the fear of the Lord” (ch. 1:1–7; 9:10). Although wisdom is built on a relationship with God, the book is not really a religious one. Much of the proverbs are ethical and moral rather than spiritual. Its principles of industry, honesty, prudence, abstinence, and purity are the secret of real success. These morals, constitute a collection of practical wisdom that can be helpful to both believers and non-believers.
In His service,