Proverbs are most directly intended to be wise sayings for the young. Proverbs point us toward a successful life, yet they should not be taken as a divine formula for securing success. Most proverbs are in the form of couplets – two line sayings worded to be memorable, not necessarily theoretically accurate in every/all situations. Proverbs often point beyond themselves through parabolic/figurative language.
Proverbs often need be translated out of ancient culture into ours for accurate use.
I. Poetic Prologue (1:8-9:18)
II. Collections of Proverbs
a. Proverbs of Solomon I (10:1-22:16) – contrast wisdom and folly through antithetical couplets (10:1-15:29) and synthetical couplets (15:30-22:16).
b. Sayings of the Wise I (22:17-24:22)
c. Sayings of the Wise II (24:23-34)
d. Proverbs of Solomon II (25:1-29:27)
e. Sayings of Agur (30:1-33)
f. Sayings of Lemuel (31:1-31)
III. Poetic Epilogue (31:10-31)