Five Tips for Reading the Book of Proverbs

Having completed the first nine chapters of Proverbs, we now settle in to our regular reading schedule for this year (you can find details on this year’s schedule in this previous post).  Monday is Psalm 119 day.  On Tuesdays, we will read a chapter of Proverbs, Job on Thursdays, and different Psalms on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Today’s blog is focused on the subject of “Tuesdays.”

Proverbs 3:13

Proverbs 3:13 (Photo credit: heymarchetti)

So now that on every Tuesday we will be reading Proverbs, some good questions arise.  How can we get the most out of reading these other chapters?  Proverbs is, after all, a very different book from any other in the entire Bible.  There is no intuitive continuity of thought in each of the remaining chapters – seemingly just one “proverb” after another.  And really, just what is a proverb  anyway?  Is it just a wise saying, like “Early to bed and early to rise…?”  Like all Scripture, this book is inspired – it contains the wisdom of God!  One writer said that “God in His wisdom provided the book of Proverbs as a help in navigating life,” and that is an excellent description of them.  But one that we like even better was written by David Kidner is his commentary:

It is a book which seldom takes you to church. Like its own figure of Wisdom, it
calls across to you in the street about some everyday matter, or points things out
at home. Its function in Scripture is to put godliness into working clothes; to
name business and society as spheres in which we are to acquit ourselves with
credit to our Lord, and in which we are to look for his training.”

Proverbs 1:7

Proverbs 1:7 (Photo credit: heymarchetti)

That is so true.  But even one chapter of this great book can seem very overwhelming if you try to take all of it in at once. There is wisdom to be had in this book that could fill volumes; and we may find proverbs in these chapters that apply to the circumstances and/or difficulties in our lives at any time.  But not every proverb in every chapter is going to seem applicable to our lives at all times.  And certainly any attempt to “blog” on an entire chapter of Proverbs in just a few short paragraphs would be woefully inadequate.

So we will be taking a different approach, focusing on selected verses in a chapter each Tuesday; and we suggest that you take a different approach to Proverbs as well.  And since there are only 22 chapters left, we will start again (with chapter 10 and following) later in the year, in order to focus on a few other verses.

Here are some tips for the Book of Proverbs as we go through the year:

  • As you read a chapter in Proverbs each week, underline, highlight, or copy and paste one or two verses that stand out as particularly relevant to your life at the time.
  • After reading the chapter, go back over those verses you singled out, and find one or two that seem really meaningful to you.  Work on memorizing one or both of those two verses during the week.
  • Consider speaking about that verse with someone you care for, a friend, or even posting a comment on one of these pages.  Your thoughts on the subject may be helpful to someone else!
  • Don’t forget to mark some of those that you simply do not understand in some different manner ( a separate list, different color highlight, etc.), so that you can look at some other time.  You will be surprised what a difference a fresh look and a different perspective can make.

Finally, and most importantly, begin applying the proverbs that you have singled out in your daily life.  As we “put godliness into working clothes” in 2013, we will surely have grown in wisdom by the end of this year!

/Bob’s boy

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Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 1 (January 2013 Week 1) of the schedule I am following this year.  This short PDF documents contains condensed comments about Proverbs 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10 with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading.

image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


5 comments on “Five Tips for Reading the Book of Proverbs

  1. Pingback: 2013 ~ Goals and Updates | A Taste of Daily Candyfloss

  2. Pingback: Verse of the Day 2-20-13 | ricklee's poetry plus

  3. Pingback: Proverbs 31 – The Last Chapter | Bob's boy's Christianity blog

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