Proverbs 25:1—How can Solomon be the author of Proverbs when Hezekiah’s men copied them?
Problem: The Book of Proverbs claims to be written by Solomon (1:1; 10:1). Conservative Jewish and Christian scholars have long attributed this book to King Solomon. However, Proverbs 25:1 speaks of King Hezekiah’s men “copying” these proverbs long after Solomon’s death. Further, the last two chapters claim to be written by Agur (30:1) and King Lemuel (31:1) and not by Solomon.
Solution: Since Solomon wrote some 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32)—many more than are in this book—it is possible that the Book of Proverbs was not put together from Solomon’s many proverbs until after his death. If so, then God would have guided His servants who compiled it so that they selected the ones He wanted in His authoritative Word.
It is also possible that Solomon himself wrote the Book of Proverbs and that the reference to “copying” by Hezekiah’s men simply refers to their later transcribing what Solomon wrote on another manuscript. The last two chapters could have been included by Solomon himself or added later since they too were inspired wisdom like that of Solomon’s, even though they were written by other men of God named Agur (30:1) and Lemuel (31:1).
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.