The book of Proverbs is a collection of sayings, poems, and "life's little instructions." Wrestling with the values of things such as creation, livelihood, or moral character, Proverbs exhorts its readers to seek the higher ideals—knowledge, discipline, piety, and order—and offers guidance on how to live in harmony with God, others, and oneself. Perdue’s commentary divides Proverbs into eight separate collections, and clarifies the major historical, social, literary, theological, and ethical elements in this thorough interpretation.
“The poem provides an appropriate inclusion for the entire book of Proverbs, not only in dealing with the incarnation of wisdom in a female form—a noble housewife—but also in the reference toward the end of the poem that describes her ‘fear of Yahweh’ (31:30; cf. 1:7). Her wealth, wisdom, and success are attributed to her faith. She believes, like all true sages, that the beginning of wisdom is the belief in God as Creator and Sustainer. As a result, all the accoutrements of human desire that are noble are hers.” (Page 280)
“No human actions were isolated and self-contained, either in their performance or from their results. The sages taught that all actions and language had an effect, whether positive or adverse, on the human community and even on the order of creation.” (Page 11)
“While the verb is passive, it seems clear that Wisdom is saying that Yahweh is the one who gave her birth. In this metaphorical image of procreation, Yahweh is presented as both the father and the mother of wisdom, who ‘created’ her as the first born of creation (see Perdue, Wisdom and Creation, 89–91).” (Page 143)
“Trust (bāṭaḥ) in God, according to the wisdom teachers (Prov. 16:20; 29:25), is a virtue that is central to the practice of religious faith. To trust God means to rely on God’s truthfulness and integrity and on the authenticity of divine promises.” (Page 98)
“Trusting God and knowing Yahweh, while not depending on one’s own insight, are the acts of piety and the moral life that lead to divine guidance along the straight path.” (Page 98)
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