Who compiled the varied material in the book of Proverbs, and why? Is there any significance in the order in which it has been arranged? These and similar questions about the book have often been discussed in the past, but no agreed conclusions reached. In this study the question of the purpose behind the composition of the book is raised anew. Whybray first discusses each section of Proverbs separately and then enquires into the significance, if any, of the shape of the book as a whole in its final form. Among the chief features of this study are an analysis of redactional layers in chapters 1-9, the comparison of different concepts of wisdom in the book, the question of a theological development in the course of the redactional process and an investigation of the possibility that the numerous short proverbs in chapters 10-29 may have been consciously arranged in meaningful groups.