These are short, pithy and wise statements that convey truth, often contrasting two different groups of people eg. The wise with the foolish. These ‘pearls of wisdom’, which encapsulate a commonly observed fact, are scattered throughout Bible with the main concentration in the book of Proverbs, which begins by stating the purpose of the collection (Prov 1:1-7). They are general statements and not universal truths, such as “No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble” for we know good people do have bad things happen to them, yet their lives are enriched as they handle these circumstances correctly (Prov 12:21).
Jesus also used proverbs in His teaching (Mt 6:21; Lk 4:23; Jn 12:24, 16:25,29).
See also: Proverbs (Prov).