You will find an introduction and outline to the book of Proverbs, here.

A prayer of   John Calvin to use before reading.
May the Lord grant that we may engage in the heavenly contemplation of the mysteries of God’s heavenly wisdom with ever increasing devotion to God’s glory and our edification. Amen.


Outline of Proverbs ( after Fontaine)

1:1-9:18 wisdom poems and instructions

10:1-22:16 “The Proverbs of Solomon”

16:1-33 Verses 1-7 are several proverbs that emphasize the role of God in human life. Verses 10-15 focus on the king. Verses 18 is often paraphrased as “pride goes before a fall” does that paraphrase capture the proverb well?  What do these proverbs tell us about wisdom or the wise person? Verses 27-30 focus on  scoundrels and the perverse. Verse 33, casting lots was a common way to make decisions. Are there “catch words” that help organize some of these proverbs?

17:1-28 The proverbs in this chapter cover a variety of topics, can you find reoccurring themes or phrases?What should we make of verses 8 and 23? Is verse 8 an observation? Or does it condone bribery?

18:1-24 Again there are a variety of topics in this chapter, but several proverbs have to do with speech. What do they tell us about the power of speech?

19:1-29 There are several proverbs in this chapter about family life. What is their message?

20:30 There are several proverbs about the king. In verses 26 the wheel is a threshing tool.

Here are several good sources to aid your reading of the Book of Proverbs

Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.

Dell, Katharine, “Proverbs” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version.Coogan, Michael D.; Brettler, Marc Z.; Perkins, Pheme; Newsom, Carol A. (2010-01-20) Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Fontaine, Carole R. “Proverbs” in  HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.

Van Leeuwen, Raymond C “Proverbs”,in The New Interpreter’s Bible Vol 5, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 1996.