This post is an adapted excerpt from Concordia Commentary: Proverbs by Andrew E. Steinmann.
Those who read Proverbs today, like all modern readers of Scripture, are separated by a great distance in time and place from the original writers and audience. The challenge of applying the proverbs to contemporary life can be daunting when they refer to long past customs and situations that no longer exist (e.g., arbitration in the city gate). However, the timeless advice of the Book of Proverbs has spoken to every generation since the proverbs it contains were first written. In order to take advantage of the wisdom offered by this book, we need to explore a number of principles that apply to the unique challenges of interpreting this Wisdom book.