The People of Proverbs

Reading through the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament this year, I made a list of the people who are mentioned inside. Each one of them is a way that people respond to the good and evil as it is described in God’s word.

  1. The Simple – They are also called naive. This is a person who does not know what is right and wrong (often due to a lack of experience) and they make choices not understanding the consequences.
  2. The Fool – This person knows the right and wrong thing to do, and they chose to do what is wrong thinking there will be no ramifications.
  3. The Mocker – This person knows what is right and wrong, and they make fun of anyone who would choose to do what is right. They find joy in the foolishness and failure of others.
  4. The Wicked – This person knows what is right and wrong, and purposefully does the opposite of what is right. Their choices do not consider or care about what is right.
  5. The Adulterous – This is a person who entices other people to do evil. Usually, this is attributed to a woman who leads a man into illicit sexual behavior. It can apply more broadly to anyone who leads others astray, especially when it involves idolatry.
  6. The Wise – This person knows the right thing to do and then does it. Their steps are calculated and thoughtful while they move forward in the will of God.

The book of Proverbs labels people so that we can see the actions of others and ourselves more clearly. The primary question is which category do I fall into the most? The challenge of that book, along with the rest of the Bible is, “Will you live as a wise person?” Is your life marked by wisdom or something else?

I hope you will find this helpful as you read Proverbs, but more than that, I pray that you will be seen by others as living the wise life that God desires for you.

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