The Book of Proverbs, written by King Solomon, was written to give over of Solomon's wisdom to the rest of the Jews. When Solomon became king, God offered him either wisdom, a long life, or riches. Solomon asked for wisdom so that he would be able to judge the people correctly. God was so impressed with his answer that he gave King Solomon all three of the gifts - wisdom, a long life, and riches as well. King Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs as a condensation of this divine wisdom.
Although the English word for the book is "proverbs," the Hebrew title officially means "analogies" or "parables." For this reason, King Solomon uses many longer parables throughout the book in addition to the more pithy proverbs that are often quoted. Famous quotes from the book include "A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman destroys it," "Favor is false and beauty is nothingness," and "like water reflects a face, so one person's heart reflects another person's heart."
There are three main sections of the Book of Proverbs. In the first section of the book, King Solomon gives advice to young people. For example, he tells them to listen to the wisdom of the older people around them and to seek spirituality as well as knowledge. In the second section of the book, King Solomon gives advice to average people in their quest to become righteous. In the third and final section of the book, King Solomon gives advice to leaders, especially Jewish kings.
Perhaps the most famous section of the Book of Proverbs is the chapter that discusses the Aishes Chayil, or the Woman of Valor. This can be understood as a description of a truly righteous woman, or it can be seen as a metaphor for a Jew's relationship with the Torah. This section has long been sung on the Sabbath Eve as praise for the woman of the house and has become a symbol of the potential power of the Jewish woman.