These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
I'm sure you noticed this heading at the beginning of chapter 25, illustrating again that the book of Proverbs is a compilation of many works which were produced over the centuries. It is not surprising that Hezekiah, as the king who brought Judah back to worshiping the LORD, would have commissioned Solomon’s proverbs to be copied and preserved.
As there is no other boundary marker, we can assume that today’s chapters are all part of the Hezekiah compilation. In the first chapter, there are three distinct sets of proverbs, each built around a keyword. They are so obvious that you will notice them immediately. It is also obvious that there is no real consistent theme in the proverbs’ observations. As is often the case throughout this book, you’ll need to look well beyond these few verses to properly develop context for any one individual remark.
The power of the tongue and the nature of friendship are the themes of chapter 27, rulers are a recurring topic in chapter 28, and the effects of wisdom and folly are catalogued in chapter 29. Some of the sayings are obvious and feel timeless, such as “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Others are more cryptic, as with: Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.
Remember that these proverbs are born of a context: culture, time, and place. Read the text gently, and often. Take a verse you find striking today and meditate on it, for you never know what life, experience, and the Author will draw your attention to tomorrow.
Our verse for this week is Psalm 119:105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Proverbs 26 through 29. Now let’s read it!
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.