The Book of Proverbs is one of the wisdom books of the Hebrew people. Emotionally and fundamentally, wisdom is the fear of God; intellectually, a knowledge of the manifestations of the divine wisdom; and, volitionally, obedience rendered thereto.
The first verse of this chapter constitutes the title of this Book, and the following six verses contain what we today would speak of as preface. That preface first declares the purpose of the Book in terms so simple as to need no comment (verses Proverbs 1:3-5). Then follows a statement of method, which is necessary to a right use of the whole Book (verses Proverbs 1:6-7). The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. The facts of God, and man's relation to Him, must be taken for granted and answered if there is to be any true wisdom. After the preface, the first section of the Book contains general instructions on wisdom which prepare the way for the Proverbs themselves, which come later.
The first instruction is a parental counsel, in which the wisdom of recognizing true friends is set forth in words which urge the habit of loyalty to father and mother; and the folly of forming false friendships is set forth in a series of warnings against them. This wisdom is personified, and her first call is written. It is, first, an appeal to turn from simplicity and scorning and hatred of knowledge, with the promise that she will give knowledge (verses Proverbs 1:22-23). This is followed by a warning that wisdom neglected at last refuses to answer (verses Proverbs 1:24-32). The call ends with a repeated promise of blessing to those who attend.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25