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What is a...   Proverb ??


A short saying that teaches us a principle or states a truth.
  • Man-made... not always true, but often a good idea or suggestion.
  • God-made... always true, but you must use it the right way.


Some proverbs teach general principles... the way things will normally be.
  • These proverbs tell us how to live (especially if they are commands).
  • They show us what the normal consequences will be (if other factors do not influence the outcome).

By a soft answer wrath is turned away,
          but a bitter word is a cause of angry feelings.
(Proverbs 15:1)

Sometimes two proverbs will show us two possible ways to react to something.

  • Often these two ways will look like opposites.
  • The situation will determine the best way to respond.

Do not give to the foolish man a foolish answer,
          or you will be like him.

Give a foolish man a foolish answer,
          or he will seem wise to himself.
(Proverbs 26:4-5)

Some proverbs explain or remind us why certain things happen
                                                       - including bad things and injustice.

  • This does not always mean we are to do what they describe. Sometimes it would be sin to do so!
  • Scripture reminds us that justice will eventually come, but not always at the time we want it.

There is much food in the ploughed land of the poor;
          but it is taken away by wrongdoing.
(Proverbs 13:23)

An offering of money is like a stone of great price
                    in the eyes of him who has it:
          wherever he goes, he does well.
(Proverbs 17:8)

Dennis Hinks 2005
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles,
a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.