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Solomon, The First Sychologist

            A proverb is a pithy sentence, concisely expressing some well-established truth susceptible of various illustrations and applications. The word is of Latin derivation, literally meaning for a word, speech, or discourse; the Hebrew word for proverb is mashal which is translated into comparisons. The design of Proverbs is to fear God, believe in his word, to avoid the company of wicked men, attaining wisdom, and the dreadful punishment of those who refuse to submit to the will of God and his glory. Proverbs is broken down into thirty-one chapters. Each of these chapters instructs us in the proper ways to live our lives. It begins with a brief introduction preface in the first six verses, then followed by different discourses from a father to his son, filled with practical advice on how to face some of the problems of life. When Solomon became king he had a vision of God in which God asked him what his heart desired above everything else, rather than saying riches or fame, he asked for wisdom. God gave him all three. The book of Proverbs discusses the will of man but also his fall. The whole purpose of the book is stated in just one of the most important verses in the book. That men may know wisdom and instruction, understanding words of insight, receive instruction in wise dealings, righteousness, justice, and equality; that prudence may be given to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth---the wise man also may hear and increase in learning, and the man of understanding acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles (2:6). This book was designed for man in every division of age of his life, from childhood through youth and maturity, in order to understand what life is all about. The very next verse gives us the key to the whole book, and because the book is concerning life, essentially it is the key to life. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction (2:7).

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