Nearly all Bible scholars speak of the proverbs as being natural wisdom, but they are both natural and spiritual. The spiritual wisdom is usually overlooked. In fact, the proverbs are so meaty and pithy that the theme is often not discerned. Therefore, in approaching this subject, we must be careful of semantics. For instance, in the first seven verses, “knowledge” is described in various ways: wisdom, instruction, understanding, subtlety, counsel—many of these are synonyms of wisdom. It is helpful to know the distinctions between these words according to the dictionary and in the Hebrew. The King James Version is a good translation for these verses.
The main theme of the Book of Proverbs is wisdom. The Gospels, on the other hand, are about love and mercy. When Jesus came, he brought the gospel of love. When Moses was on the scene, he brought statutes, ie, God’s justice. The power of God is shown in the accounts of the Flood, the opening of the Red Sea, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Judgment was rendered against evildoers in these events.
In reading the New Testament, Christians often say, “God is love.” And the Apostle John did say this, for love is the desired plateau of development for the Christian. The Apostle Paul mentioned three progressive steps: faith, hope, and love. In 2 Peter 1:5–7 the Apostle Peter listed eight steps or qualities to be added to faith, the last one being love. Although the Book of Proverbs cannot be equated with 1 Corinthians 13 or the Sermon on the Mount, it is interesting to note that in the Tabernacle, which illustrates the four attributes in the Most Holy, the Shekinah light, picturing wisdom, represents God. And light is wisdom, intelligence.
Is Proverbs 1:1–7 sequential? in ascending order of importance? in descending order? Just seven principal ingredients? It is both sequential and an ascending order of importance.