Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Proverbs: Argument

5. The Argument of the book. It is a compendium of Christian ethics.


This book contains precepts of faith and manners, concerning the duties of the saints toward God and men, according to the rule of piety, which God determined beforehand, and of equity and humanity, which the law of nature has adumbrated in us, and which God has expressed in His word. It is not undeservedly called a compendium of Christian Ethics. For, although Solomon lived and wrote before Christ, yet he did not write without the Spirit of Christ:[1] and both before and after Christ the precepts of piety and holiness are the same, except that Christ by His example of obedience and holiness has inculcated them more efficaciously. Also, with good reason Eusebius says of this book, Historia Ecclesiastica, book IV, chapter 25, Πᾶς τῶν ἀρχαίων χόρος πανάρετον σοφίαν τὰς Σολομῶντος παροιμίας ἐκάλουν, the whole chorus of the ancients called the Proverbs of Solomon the wisdom of all virtues. Hence, the reading of this book is appropriate for rightly attending upon duty, not only for private persons, but also for public persons in whatever state, Ecclesiastical, Political, or Domestic. Ludwig Lavater, the προστάτης/antistes of this Venerable Church, shows that use is to be made of the rules selected from this book for whatever state.

[1] See 1 Peter 1:11.

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