Proverbs 1 : 1-7

Proverb 1 – You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink… Proverb 2 – A horse can take a man to war but it cannot make him fight! -authors unknown.

(This is meant to be a daily quick look at a relatively short segment of the book of Proverbs. I have not looked up commentaries or reference books. I’m writing what it meant to me as an ordinary person, not theologically trained, but believing that the Bible is God inspired. Solomon lived a year or two ago, but human character basically hasn’t changed. That is his thoughts are still relevant for us today.)

Proverbs 1 1-7

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction;

To discern the words of understanding;

To receive instruction in wise dealing,

In righteousness and justice and equity;

To give prudence to the simple,

To the young man knowledge and discretion:

That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning;

And that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels:

To understand a proverb, and a figure,  the words of the wise and their dark sayings

The words of the wise, and their dark sayings.


The first portion of these verses has a list of words which pile word upon word to make a the reader fully equipped to grasp the true essence and meaning of life!

  • Wisdom, 
  • Instruction, 
  • Discernment, 
  • Understanding,
  • Instruction (again).

But note this is to be practical stuff! For wise dealing; righteousness; justice and equity.

It is very possible to seek wisdom to use it for personal advantage – but definitely not so here.  You’re meant to become wise enough to avoid being gullible but too honourable to cheat.

The four high-lighted above would have been definitely, in olden days, listed under ‘Godliness’ or a true and upright citizen.

The next section gives a list of four groups of people who will profit if they listen to what Solomon is saying.

  • The simple will overcome their simplemindedness.
  • The young will become truly mature people.
  • The wise will get wiser.
  • People will be trained to give wise advice.

Solomon’s method is by using proverbs to help people understand proverbs, i.e. figures of speech – to help them to listen to those wiser than themselves. ‘Dark’ here has nothing to do with the forbidden but rather to things hard to understand! We can all appreciate the thinking behind the two proverbs quoted at the very beginning -under the horse. One is from the West, the other is the Ethiopian version.

There are plenty of things in life where deeper understanding and wise counsel is needed.

Bible quote ESV Proverbs 1: 1-7

Prayer – Lead me in your ways, please God.

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