These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
Here is a reminder you are studying Solomon’s proverbs. You have the personal counsel of a very successful king, whom God inspired with divine wisdom and great ability of observation and analysis. The proverbs you have in the following chapters were selected from many by the careful work of men appointed by Hezekiah, another great king.
There is value in this verse of Scripture, or the LORD Jehovah would not have given it to you. There are two intermissions in the book of Proverbs, one at Proverbs 10:1, and one here. God gave you a break to consider again what special words you are reading. Consider the matter carefully, and you will see that here also is wisdom for your learning.
God gave Solomon, son of David and king of Israel, much wisdom and a large heart (I Kgs 3:10-15). He immediately showed Israel his great sense of judgment by dealing with two prostitutes in a wonderful way (I Kgs 3:16-28). He was wiser than all men, and wise men and kings came from all nations to hear him speak on any subject (I Kgs 4:29-34).
God also gave Solomon the other things needed for a full experiment in discovering purpose and pleasure for life. He was a very attractive man (I Sam 16:12; II Sam 11:2); he had unlimited capital (Eccl 2:10); he had no wars or disturbances (I Kgs 4:24-25); and he was an absolute ruler at the height of the power of the Israelite nation (I Kgs 4:20-21).
Consider! He was incredibly skilled and desirable socially; he could afford anything he wanted; he had no opposition or wars to distract him; and everyone would do exactly what he wanted. His great laboratory for experimenting with life was exceptional. No man or group of men, before or since, can even approach his research opportunities or ability in analyzing and summarizing the results. Surveying the homeless does not cut it!
Solomon committed his life to discovering man’s purpose and pleasure in life (Eccl 1:3,12-13). He tried it all, and then some. Wealth? Silver was as common as gravel (I Kgs 10:14-29). Women? He had seven hundred princess wives and three hundred concubines, many of whom he loved with his extra large heart (I Kgs 11:1-3). Entertainment? He tried everything there was to try, in staggering excess (Eccl 2:1-10). Prestige? The wise men and kings of the earth came with presents annually to hear him talk (I Kgs 10:1-25).
At the end of his grand and exhaustive experiment of life, he carefully sought out good words to teach his people the truth about what he had learned. He summarized his vast learning in 3000 meticulously devised and acceptable proverbs – short, substantial, and powerful sayings of truth and wisdom for the people to learn his knowledge (Eccl 12:9-10). And the proverbs were further refined by divine inspiration from God (Eccl 12:11). Can you hear from heaven, “These are the true sayings of God” (Rev 19:9)?
Where does Hezekiah fit in? He was a glorious king in his own right, a descendant of David and Solomon (II Chron 32:27-30). He was exceptionally wise and zealous in the reformation and revival of true religion in Israel, like in the days of David and Solomon (II Chron 29:2; 30:21-27; 31:1-21). He appointed men, under the direct guidance of God, to select the proverbs used from this point to the end of the book of Proverbs, for you.
What an incredible gift! Can you believe it? You have a book of about 500 of the choicest proverbs of Solomon’s learning, edited to perfection by the Creator God, and carefully selected by the appointment of another great king. Here is the wisdom of the greatest king and of God Himself for you to live prosperously. Give God great praise!
Now, dear reader, what will you do with these short, pithy statements of wisdom called proverbs? Will you read them as quaint sayings of ancient religious literature? Will you marvel at their brevity and variety? Or will you humble yourself before them with a trembling heart and beg the Lord to teach you in your soul all the wisdom each contains?
All the wisdom of all authors, even with the information and learning explosion today, cannot compare to one of his proverbs (II Tim 3:7). Why read the tome on anthropology of a God-hating, marijuana-smoking, same-sex-loving professor who teaches classes about abnormal and deviant sexual behavior of one-legged penguins in Madagascar?
The verse does have value! It serves as the second intermission, after 10:1, for you to realize once again that you are reading the most glorious words in the universe (along with the rest of Scripture). See the comments on Proverbs 1:1. Dear reader, you are very blessed. What will you do with this book? How can you put it down for anything else?
Can you see Jesus Christ in this verse? You should, for the Bible testifies of Him (Jn 5:39), especially parts written by another son of David. The Holy Spirit inspired the verse to further whet your appetite for Solomon’s proverbs, but with the words of the Lord Jesus Christ you should say, “A greater than Solomon is here” (Mat 12:42; Lu 11:31)!