As its title suggests, we have here a stock of wise, witty and often humorous sayings, which make up a collection of traditional folk-lore and religious teaching which ranges from pithy, sometimes cynical, often misogynous worldly wisdom to profound religious insights.
Not all of this material is native to Israel; for there are affinities with other Middle East 'Wisdom' literature. Several strands or sources may be detected by their style and subject matter. Here we have selected only a few representative passages.
The reputation Solomon gained for 'Wisdom' understandably accounts for the ascription of the book to him.
'Wisdom' is a popular concept in later Judaism sometimes so exalted in the writings of Israel as to become a prime attribute of the Almighty.
The passages selected emphasise that the 'fear of the Lord' is
the beginning of 'Wisdom'.
Proverbs 1.vv.1-10, 2.vv.1-6, 3.vv.3-6, and vv.11-18
There follow now 28 chapters of sayings that contrast the characteristics
and behaviour of the wise and foolish, the good and bad, the righteous
and unrighteous; until the book ends with a passage well-beloved
for its beauty and the honour it pays to womankind.