The Book of Proverbs - Vol. 1

The Book of Proverbs - Vol. 1

The Book of Proverbs - Vol. 1

The Book of Proverbs - Vol. 1


Over twenty-five years in the making, this much-anticipated commentary promises to be the standard study of Proverbs for years to come. Written by eminent Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke, this two-volume commentary is unquestionably the most comprehensive work on Proverbs available.

Grounded in the new literary criticism that has so strengthened biblical interpretation of late, Waltke's commentary on Proverbs demonstrates the profound, ongoing relevance of this Old Testament book for Christian faith and life. A thorough introduction addresses such issues as text and versions, structure, authorship, and theology. The detailed commentary itself explains and elucidates Proverbs as "theological literature." Waltke's highly readable style -- evident even in his original translation of the Hebrew text -- makes his scholarly work accessible to teachers, pastors, Bible students, and general readers alike.


In a world bombarded by inane cliches, trivial catchwords, and godless sound bites, the expression of true wisdom is in short supply today. the church stands alone as the receptacle and repository of the inspired traditions that carry a mandate for a holy life from ancient sages, the greatest of whom was Solomon, and from the greater than Solomon, Jesus Christ. As the course and bulk of biblical wisdom, the book of Proverbs remains the model of curriculum for humanity to learn how to live under God and before humankind. As a result, it beckons the church to diligent study and application. To uncommitted youth it serves as a stumbling stone, but to committed youth it is a foundation stone.

But, tragically, the church has practically discarded the book of Proverbs, which was written for young people as a compass by which to steer their ship of life (see 1:2-6). of its 930 ancient sayings many Christians know three — to fear the lord (1:7), to trust him (3:5-6), and to “train their children in the way they should go” (22:6) — and possibly something about the “virtuous wife” (31:10-31). However, “to fear the LORD” is misunderstood, “to trust him” (3:5) is a platitude divorced from the book, the promise that the child will not depart from childhood rearing raises more questions than solutions, and the poem about the virtuous wife seems out of date.

For some honest readers, as one student confessed, “Proverbs seems banal or wrong.” Obviously “a truthful witness gives honest testimony” (12:17), “does not deceive” (14:5), and gives the lord delight (12:22). For sober theologians the book’s heavenly promises of health, wealth, and prosperity are troublesome, and for many saints they seem detached from earth’s harsh realities. Some proverbs seem to contradict each other: “Answer a fool according to his folly” (26:4) is followed by “Don’t answer a fool according to his folly” (26:5). Moreover, whereas Proverbs affirms a righteous order, Job (9:22) and Ecclesiastes (9:2) deny its reality.

For the logical mind the book seems to be a hodgepodge collection . . .

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