Since 2004, Bruce Waltke’s magisterial two-volume NICOT commentary on the book of Proverbs has been recognized as a definitive exegesis of the Hebrew text, groundbreaking in its illuminating analysis that the authors and redactors of Proverbs had organized their material into discernible clusters and groupings. Waltke and Ivan De Silva here offer an abridged and revised version of the preeminent commentary, which is more accessible to students, pastors, and Bible readers in general. In place of a technical analysis of the Hebrew text, Waltke and De Silva interpret the translated text, while also including their own theological reflections and personal anecdotes where appropriate. A topical index is added to help expositors with a book that is difficult to preach or teach verse by verse.
At its heart, this shorter commentary on Proverbs preserves the exegetical depth, erudition, and poetic insight of Waltke’s original and maintains the core conviction that the ancient wisdom of Proverbs holds profound, ongoing relevance for Christian faith and life today.
“Solomon adopted from pagan cultures the wise sayings informed by God’s common grace and adapted them to Israel’s faith in I AM.” (Page 4)
“‘Wisdom’ (ḥokmâ) is a difficult concept to define since, as Van Leeuwen and others note, it is a totalizing concept that seeks to bring all of life’s activities into harmony with God’s created order.57 At its core is the belief that God has made the world in, with, and by wisdom (3:19–20; Ps. 104:24). The wise, therefore, seek to orientate all their being and actions to conform to this wisdom.” (Page 27)
“Fear of I AM (yir’at yhwh) is the key that opens the door to understanding Proverbs.79” (Page 38)
“So a wise person is righteous, and a fool is wicked.” (Page 34)
“The sages’ wisdom, however, is not based on natural theology. They view creation and all human activity through the lens of faith in Israel’s covenant-keeping God. Without this point of view, observing nature could teach the ‘law of the survival of the fittest’ and not the way of righteousness, leading them to commend the use of power and dominance.” (Pages 16–17)