There are many characters in Proverbs, some of them helpful and others decidedly not. Whatever their role, they are all unforgettable. Here is a list of the people you’ll meet when reading through Proverbs.
The Son is the protagonist of Proverbs. He is right on the verge of adulthood and has many choices in front of him. Of all the paths that lay ahead, which will he choose? And where will he end up?
The Father is the Son’s mentor. He takes great interest in seeing his Son succeed. He recognizes that he cannot make his Son’s choices for him, but the Father can point his Son in the right direction.
Wisdom is the main opposition to the antagonists and the minions. Describing her ways takes almost the entirety of Proverbs.
The Lord is the Absolute in Proverbs. It is he that defines right and wrong. He is one who created Wisdom, and by His hand the righteous prosper.
The main antagonist in Proverbs is obviously Satan himself. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, could not have missed warning young people against the wiles of the devil. Well, that’s the thing… Solomon did not see fit to mention Satan in his Proverbs, not even in passing.
The first antagonist is actually the Wicked, or Sinners. Since the Lord is defined as absolute, the Wicked are men who live contrary to everything the Lord represents. There are various classifications of wicked men, including those greedy for gain, the miser (who may be either rich or poor), and the oppressor.
The other antagonist is the Seductress. She comes in three main varieties: the harlot (prostitute), the adulteress, and the woman of folly. Like the sirens of Greek mythology, the Seductress tempts men to their grave.
There are other characters in Proverbs who live contrary to the Lord’s ways, but they are a danger very different from the Wicked and the Seductress. Comparatively, they do not seem nearly as strong. Nevertheless, do not underestimate the ease with which men fall into their ways.
The Simple is not, at first, living in opposition to the Lord. He just doesn’t know a lot. The danger, however, is when the Simple cling to their simplicity and refuse knowledge.
The Fool is perhaps spoken of the most, when he himself is not speaking, that is. He scoffs at Wisdom. The Fool is the easiest to find and perhaps the easiest to become.
The Sluggard, or the lazy man, is best friend to the fool. He does not talk nearly so much, though, as he can most often be found sleeping. The Sluggard actually does own a field. He can work but he refuses to. Lions and all, you know.
There are many characters that make small appearances. Some of these are listed below, but not all.
The Wise are those who seek Wisdom as their single most precious pursuit. Curiously, no age limit is mentioned for the wise. As young men particularly are encouraged to seek Wisdom, presumably even the very young can still be numbered among the Wise.
The Wife comes in two categories: the foolish wife and the prudent wife. If a husband has the first, he is urged to seek refuge on the corner of a roof or in a desert somewhere. The second, however, is her husband’s greatest joy.
The King is one to be careful of. How people act in his presence often sorts the fools from the wise.
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