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Who wrote the book of Proverbs? Who was the author of Proverbs?

author of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs was written mainly by Solomon, although portions come from other authors. The book of Proverbs is an example of wisdom literature in the Old Testament, and it stands out as a primary source on biblical wisdom. Its practical principles resonate widely, appealing to people of all backgrounds. Proverbs address different subjects such as wealth creation, sexuality, friendship, marriage, and child training. Interwoven in the practical advice is the priority of wisdom (Proverbs 1:20–33) and acknowledgement of God as the ultimate source of all wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). Because of its practical nature, Proverbs is often associated with the book of James in the New Testament.

At the outset, both the author of Proverbs and his purpose are highlighted:

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.
(Proverbs‬1:1–6, NLT).

‬‬‬ Solomon’s name also appears in Proverbs 10:1 and Proverbs 25:1. Thus, internal evidence leads us to credit King Solomon for the book of Proverbs. He was a wise king (1 Kings 3:5–14), and he wrote many proverbs in his lifetime (1 Kings 4:32). However, certain proverbs within the book of Proverbs are attributed to other authors. For instance, Proverbs 31 is attributed to King Lemuel and Proverbs 30 to Agur. While Solomon likely wrote a large portion of the book, it seems that he also compiled other proverbs from various wise men, as Ecclesiastes 12:9 suggests. As a king, he might have commissioned the compiling of many wise sayings, as did King Hezekiah at a later date (Proverbs 25:1). In addition, the sections that begin with Proverbs 22:17 and Proverbs 24:23 are simply labeled as “sayings of the wise” and are therefore anonymous.

In summary, the lion’s share of the proverbs contained in the book of Proverbs were written by King Solomon, who exercised his divine gift of wisdom (see 1 Kings 3). Other proverbs were compiled from ancient wisdom in different places. This may explain similarities of some of the proverbs with collections such as the Egyptian document “The Instruction of Amenemope.” As the saying goes, all truth is God’s truth.

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Who wrote the book of Proverbs? Who was the author of Proverbs?
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This page last updated: March 4, 2024