Proverbs 22-24

So here we are… the third section of Proverbs!  Today just might be your favorite all-time read so far this year!

The value of wisdom 1:1—9:18
The examples of wisdom 10:1—22:16
The application of wisdom 22:17—24:34

NOW the rubber meets the road!  Do you apply it??  How do you apply it??

The first 16 “maxims” (do I sound smart using “scholarly words??”) Ha! anyway, verses 1-16 are great!  I only got tripped up on a few…and I don’t plan on being in a public square with a lion anyway 😜

Verse 17-major shift- The Thirty sayings of the Wise.  This section can be subdivided into 4 sections:

  1. introduction (22:17–23:11)
  2. teaching children to obey (23:12–24:2)
  3. adversity (24:3–12)
  4. evildoers (24:13–22).

This portion of Proverbs is similar in form and content to the “Instruction of Amenemope”, and that has led some to assume a connection between the two. In 1888 a British archaeologist purchased an Egyptian papyrus for the British Museum. It wasn’t translated until after World War II. The Instruction of Amenemope is a list of thirty wise sayings for his son,  teaching him how to live to receive blessings from the Egyptian god of justice and truth.    The papyrus in the British Museum is twelve feet long, ten inches high, and broken into twenty-seven pages.

AMENEMOPE | My Blog, Observations and Truths

If you compared Solomon’s Proverbs to Amenmope’s, both sets of proverbs contain 30 sayings each, both use the
“my son” terminology and both follow the same structural design. However, a difference between these two collections is significant. The writers of the biblical proverbs said their purpose was: (22:19)

So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I teach you today, even you.

However, Amenemope did not express hope in a personal God. So obviously we find a huge debate over which one was written first.  Did Solomon use Amenemope’s as a blueprint or vice versa? (I mean they are really similar…I will put some examples in the comments section)

There are three possible explanations of the parallels between Proverbs and the Instruction of Amenemope:

1. Solomon discovered the Instruction of Amenemope and used it as a blueprint.
2. The dating of the artifacts is wrong, and the Egyptian text was copied from Solomon’s original.
3. Both texts were written independently, and the parallels are either the result of common source material or the fact that similar purpose and form (wisdom literature was quite popular in the ancient world) naturally leads to similar subject matter.

So why did I tell you all that?  Because there is a world out there who would love to devalue the Bible in a debate.  Prove it’s lack of authenticity.  Like when the movie Noah came out (Russell Crowe), and the story was clearly different.  You know why I loved that….because people actually opened their Bibles and READ IT and said: “umm the Bible said that??”.  ANYTHING that sends believers and non-believers to the direct Word of God I am all for!

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice.” Philippians 1:18

I was sad to leave 1 Kings and switch to Proverbs….now I am sad to leave Proverbs to go back to 1 Kings!

4 thoughts on “Proverbs 22-24

  1. Here’s my .02 cents…
    -Solomon was gifted, by God, “true wisdom”
    -I don’t think God-gifted wisdom, would have to rip off some other chump.
    -I have more faith in the worlds greatest history book, “The Bible,” than I do in the science community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok. Ready? So I have studied with you for years so I know that your passion is apologetics. So you are talking to a non-believer, maybe they have maybe they haven’t read the Bible. They say to you, “obviously, Solomon saw the Instruction of Amenemope, maybe he had a copy of it, and he altered it into the 30 Wise Statement. How do you defend the Bible? What can you say that would bring his argument to question? Your goal is not to debate the topic but to get him to question his “fact” (which we know is false) so that he says “I never thought of that”.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well first I believe my main point would be I don’t see carbon dating as very accurate. Take for example: rapid petrification. (Look it up)
    P.S. it’s further proof of the flood as well

    And secondly, I suppose it could be that Solomon came across this list and just changed them to reflect on the God of Israel… But that doesn’t mean Solomon was any less wise, it doesn’t mean that God is any less God, and it doesn’t mean that Solomon’s list isn’t still the “inspired word of God,” that we believe the Bible is. God still endowed Solomon with wisdom, so whatever Solomon wrote was still inspired by God, no matter where the spark for the initial thought came from.

    So in short, I’d say the carbon dating could be wrong, as well as, it doesn’t really matter if he copied it or not, Solomon’s wisdom came from God…
    However I stick to my original statement, I don’t think Solomon would have had to copy off some other dude.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a cool response. I immediately thought “Ummm I better research this carbon dating thing because I can’t refute what I don’t know about.” I love getting people to double think so they dig deeper on their own like that.

      As a former non-believer I can say that no matter what anyone said “scripturally” was going to confuse me (tons of Proverbs on that topic!) BUT what would trip me up was backing it with proven historical or archeological facts because suddenly I was the one who knew less than I thought.

      When we read the Law, it can be defended because the Hammariabi Code existed. When I spoke with Rachel in the South she would use phrases like “ya’ll” and “SEC football” because they could relate and understand it. When we went to New York, I told her if you talk like that they are not going to understand you at all! So I would say “you guys” and “what exit do you live on”. We knew what they would understand that. God wrote the Law to “look like” the Hummarabi code SO THAT everyone could understand it: Familiar structure. So is it possible that God (through Solomon’s wisdom) did the same thing? Could he have used the “structure” of the Instruction of Amenemope to ensure that the wise statements were not just understandable, but applicable so that they would gain wisdom?

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s