Monday, October 27, 2014

The Nature of a Proverb

The Nature of a Proverb

I. Definition of a Proverb
  • A proverb is a short, catchy phrase that expresses a true or useful idea.  The Latin root proverbium combines the prefix pro with verbium, which together mean a word that you put forward, or a common saying.
  • A short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.
  • Easton’s Bible Dictionary: a trite maxim; a similitude; a parable. The Hebrew word thus rendered (mashal) has a wide signification. It comes from a root meaning "to be like," "parable." Rendered "proverb" in Isaiah 14:4 ; Habakkuk 2:6 ; "dark saying" in Psalms 49:4 , Numbers 12:8 . Ahab's defiant words in answer to the insolent demands of Benhadad, "Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off," is a well known instance of a proverbial saying ( 1 Kings 20:11 ).
II. Characteristics of a Proverb
  • A proverb is brief. - Focuses on being memorable, not on being complete.
  • A proverb is concrete. - The concrete example should bring to mind related principles.
  • A proverb is a general truth. - They don't include the fine print or instructions on when they apply.
  • Proverbs have diverse applications. - The general principles embodied in a concrete example can be applied to a variety of situations.
III. What Proverbs Are Not
  • "A proverb comes to express a general rule through a specific example."
  • "The two kinds of literature most often confused with proverbial literature are laws and promises."
IV. Proverb Identification activity
  • Identify personally.
  • Compare answers with you table.
  • Give answers in the big group.
V. Proverbs and context:  Example of Proverbs 16.16-30
  • ID boundaries formed by six tight proverbs about the king 10-14 and the framed section about age 16.32-17.6
  • 16-19 around the core of vs. 17 and staying on the highway away from the town’s trouble
  • 20-24 joined by speech words  Saddle bagged around a central proverb (v.22)
  • 25-30 joined by word “man” who is ungodly, perverse, and violent in his own way

Class Notes:
Understanding the Nature of a Proverb
Definition of a proverb:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Characteristics of a proverb:
Identify each of the following as a promise, law, or proverb.
__________ 1. You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.
__________ 2. Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
__________ 3. Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
__________ 4. I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.
__________ 5. If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.
__________ 6. Bad company corrupts good morals.
__________ 7. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.
__________ 8. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
__________ 9. The fathers eat the sour grapes, but the children’s teeth are set on edge.
__________ 10. Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
__________ 11. A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.
__________ 12. Physician, heal yourself!
__________ 13. Keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.
__________ 14. Whenever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
__________ 15. Whoever will call upon the Lord will be saved.
__________ 16. Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness.
__________ 17. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord your God gives you.

1) De. 25.4   2) 1 Cor. 15.32    3) Matt. 5.44    4) Heb. 13.5    5) Ex. 22.1    6) 1 Cor. 15.33    7) Lev. 19.34    8) 1 Jn. 1.9    9) Ez. 18.2
10)  Is. 40.31    11) De. 19.15    12) Lk. 4.23    13) 2 Th. 3.6    14) Mt. 24.28    15) Rom. 10.13    16) 1 Sam. 24.13    17) Ex. 20.12

Walking in Wisdom: Studying the Proverbs of Solomon  by William E. Mouser, Jr.
141026 Carpenter Flock “Proverbs for Parents”