These also are the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed
This is a historical reference to the discovery of a list of proverbs that Solomon, the King of Israel, had put together and that the men of Hezekiah had transcribed or translated for the public consumption of the people.
What is interesting is that many of the proverbs in this section are found in other parts of the book of Proverbs, but they are included here because they come with a different context so they have a different meaning or nuance. The context for the proverb is the proverb that precedes it or is two back. While many commentators declare that there is no context for the individual proverb, I do not believe that this is true or why would God repeat the same proverb in a number of different places. The context of a proverb is the proverbs around it. The wisdom contained in the one proverb triggers another proverb because the ideas can be related. It is this relationship that also brings insight and not just the truth of the proverb. This means that the proverbs are, in a sense, hooked learning. This type of learning is one of the best ways of causing people to remember and is, in fact, the basis of all catechisms in which a question is asked and then more questions are asked about the answer.
In order to become a person of understanding, one must develop the ability to see the connections between proverbs. There is a connection mentally, spiritually, relationally, and verbally between the one proverb and the next one. So one can ask what triggered this proverb to come to mind in connection with the last one and a whole new insight about and in the proverb comes to light. It is this different arrangement of the proverbs that gives the new insights in this section. Hopefully this view of the context of the book of Proverbs will allow you to see a whole new level of depth and beauty in the Proverbs. Why is this proverb here? What is its connection to the ones before it and after it?
There are sections of the book of Proverbs that are clearly marked off and form a larger context as well. This verse marks one of the sections beginning points.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.