The proverbs of Solomon
Who is said to make three thousand proverbs, ( 1 Kings 4:32 ) ; but whether any of them are contained in this book cannot be said: however, it is certain that they are not all in it, since, if you except the first "nine" chapters, which are the introduction to the Proverbs, there are but six hundred and fifty-nine verses in it; and if they are taken in, they make but nine hundred and fifteen, which are not a third part of the proverbs said to be made by him: however, here are as many and such as God thought fit should be preserved for instruction in all future ages. It was usual with the ancients in all countries, when any truth was found, and established by experience, to wrap it up in a few apt words, with or without a figure; that it might be the better understood and more easily retained, and which were always venerable and greatly attended to: and of this kind are these proverbs; only with this difference, that these are of divine inspiration, and the others not. The word used for them comes from one which signifies "similitude" and "dominion" F7; because many of them are similes or comparisons, and are delivered out in figurative expressions, in metaphors and allegories, and the like; and have all of them a commanding power, authority, and influence upon the mind, obliging to an attention to them. The name of Solomon is put to them, the more to recommend them; who had a wise and understanding heart, as large as the sand of the sea, and was wiser than all men, ( 1 Kings 4:29-31 ) ; and was an eminent type of Christ, who spake in proverbs also, ( John 16:25 ) . He is further described by his pedigree and office,
the son of David, king of Israel;
a wise son of a wise father, and king over a wise and understanding people. These titles are added for the further commendation of the book; and it may be observed that they are such as belong to the Messiah, Solomon's antitype, one that is greater than he, ( Matthew 1:1 ) ( John 1:49 ) .
F7 A rad. (lvm) "dominatus est----(lvmn) comparatus, similis, consimilis factus est", Buxtorf. "Mirum est quod radix (lvm) significans antoritatem cum imperio, significat etiam parabolas vel sermones figuratos----verba quae (Mylvm) vocantur, habent autoritatem, nobis ideam immittunt, dicentis ut nos supereminentis, saltem sapientia, ingenio, doctrina; nos persuadent et pondere suo, quasi imperio noe ducunt". Gusset. Ebr. Comment. p. 845.