In Proverbs, Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III offers an accessible commentary on one of Scripture’s most frequently quoted and visited books. With his deft exegetical and expositional skill, the resulting work is full of fresh insight into the meaning of the text.
In addition to the helpful translation and commentary, Longman considers the theological implications of these wisdom texts, as well as their literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions. Footnotes allow readers of varying interest and training levels to read and profit from the commentary and to engage the biblical text at an appropriate level.
This resource is both scholarly and readable, presenting an historical, theological, and applicable survey of the riches of Wisdom literature. In the Logos edition, each Scripture passage links to your favorite translation, and is easy to study side-by-side with your other commentaries. You can search by topic or Scripture with split-second results!
“The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge.’ As a beginning, this statement claims that there is no knowledge apart from a proper attitude and relationship to Yahweh. Fear of Yahweh is foundational to knowledge, which here functions as a close synonym to wisdom. In this way, the book acknowledges the radically relational and theocentric nature of knowledge/wisdom.” (Page 100)
“‘Prudence’ describes one’s ability to use reason, in context under the fear of God, to navigate the problems of life. Prudence carefully considers a situation before rushing in. It implies coolheadedness.” (Page 97)
“In the first place, Woman Wisdom represents God’s wisdom.” (Page 58)
“However, fools do not see the big picture. One might be an expert, say, on sailing, and the Bible even calls pagan sailors wise (Ps. 107:23–32; see the use of the root ḥkm in v. 27), but they do not understand who made the winds and the sea and who ultimately guides one’s way. True knowledge begins with an acknowledgment that everything is created and sustained by God and that he is the one who imparts knowledge not only through revelation but also through experience, observation, and reason.” (Page 101)
“The son is called upon to ‘listen to’ (šmʿ) the father. The Hebrew word denotes more than the simple act of hearing; it implies obedience. The son must act on the instruction that follows, not just learn it as brute fact.” (Page 105)
A very thorough and thought-provoking commentary from an experienced scholar in the field. The scholarly and church audiences are both clearly addressed here in a very readable writing style.
—Katharine Dell, senior university lecturer, St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge
Proverbs is a fascinating book, and its instructions and aphorisms virtually compel readers to respond and interpret. Tremper Longman is a good reader and has given us a learned and vigorously argued commentary. I like the way he cites comparative material from the ancient Near East, interacts with fellow scholars, and moves creatively within the conservative tradition.
—Richard J. Clifford, professor of biblical studies, Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Tremper Longman III serves as Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. He has written over 35 books, including commentaries on Genesis, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Daniel, Nahum, and Revelation. His books have been translated into 18 different languages. In addition, as a Hebrew scholar, he is one of the main translators of the popular New Living Translation, and has served as a consultant on other popular Bible translations, including The Message, the New Century Version, the Christian Standard Bible, and the Common Bible. He has also edited and contributed to a number of study Bibles and Bible dictionaries, most recently The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
He earned his BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, his MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary, and both his MPhil and PhD from Yale University. Dr. Longman and his wife, Alice, have three sons and eight grandchildren.