One of the striking things that appeared to me in reading chapters 1-9 is how the themes of the 10 Commandments – are all covered within the guidance given within these proverbs as well as the curses of following Wisdom Folly. The inherent links in this to Solomon’s ordination are apparent. Do this and you will be blessed…yet do the other and you will be cursed. (Wisdom / Folly Woman)
Dell presents an Exilic / Post Exilic date for the writing of Proverbs; while maintaining the tension an oral authorship from a much earlier time frame – though doubts the authorship coming from King Solomon himself. He speaks of the various ways in which the book of Proverbs was taught; and my favourite being that it could be linked to the School of prophets in Kings. – My reasoning for this is that the prophets had a keen sense of being able to tell a story and weave the story within their prophecies. Such as Nathan; whose ministry convicted David of adultery, through his telling a story of a stolen lamb, which was killed!
Within the framework of a postexilic editorial setting – It’s my belief (yet to be supported through research) that the book of Proverbs is / has a form of political subversive elements to it. Within captivity and under rule of the Babylon government; the Jewish nation was not freely allowed to practice Torah and was subject to Governmental rule, as such they would not have been freely allowed to speak out against idolatry – yet there is a clear warning against it within this book as well as previously mentioned, clear references to Law / God / Creator / 7 pillars – without containing the covenantal language of law.
Murphy’s concluding reflections on 1:1-6 in regards to them shaping a theological reflection on life / salvation within a Jewish context – is a reminder to the reader that Wisdom is a gift from God and in doing so again reinforces my idea in that the basis for the proverbs is the outworking of the 10 Commandments in day to day life.
What personally strikes me is that Wisdom is calling to us. It’s easy to be found and it isn’t just something to know; rather it’s something that is to be lived out. In applying this to our lives; it’s a warning that the Gospel is meant to be lived and is not just facts and propositions to believe. Scripture warns us that a form of Godliness; yet denying the power of God in our lives (how we live) is a stench in God’s nostrils.