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Products>The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

, 2004
ISBN: 9780802825452

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Over 25 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 literary criticism that has so strengthened biblical interpretation, 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.

Resource Experts
  • Verse-by-verse commentary
  • In-depth discussion of textual and critical matters
  • Introduction to the authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology of Proverbs

Top Highlights

“Wisdom’s saving voice is not at human disposal. It can be forfeited through prior rejection.” (Page 210)

“The headings (or superscripts) in Proverbs readily divide the book into seven collections (1:1; 10:1; 22:17; 24:23; 25:1; 30:1; 31:1).” (Page 9)

“In sum, a right relationship with God leads to a state of complete physical and mental well-being, not simply to the absence of illness and disease.” (Page 247)

“The early fathers based their identification of Wisdom and Christ on their preexistence and their assumed roles as agents in the creation (Prov. 3:19–20; 8:22–31; cf. John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15–16; Heb. 1:3). As I will show in the commentary, however, a grammatico-historical exegesis of Proverbs 8 does not support patristic exegesis.” (Page 127)

“In sum, the lectures and addresses of the prologue prepare the youth’s heart to accept the proverbs and sayings that follow in the rest of the book.” (Page 11)

Bruce Waltke’s Book of Proverbs is destined to become the outstanding commentary on this book of the Bible. For all who are bored with the apparent ‘stuffiness’ of religion and theology, the analysis of life and living as taught here will restore a good dose of realism all over again.

Walter C. Kaiser Jr., president emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Meticulous, insightful, illuminating, erudite, devotional, rich, thoughtful, and wise. All of these words describe this important commentary. Everyone who seriously studies Proverbs needs to read this work.

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

If serious students of Proverbs had to choose only one resource on the book of Proverbs, they would be wise to choose this magnificent commentary by Bruce K. Waltke.

Criswell Theological Review

Where is wisdom to be found? The book of Proverbs is an obvious answer, yet readers often find it a jumble of disconnected sayings, with little theological value. Having thought long and deeply about Proverbs, Bruce Waltke offers a wonderful guide through the book, elucidating many problems and showing how skillfully the work was composed. He explains each verse with care and authority, dealing with details of the Hebrew but giving pride of place to exegesis and exposition. Here is a realistic, wise, and godly commentary, better than Keil and Delitzsch for the 21st century.

Richard J. Clifford, professor of Old Testament, Boston College

Perhaps the most significant exegetical work on the Book of Proverbs in the last one hundred years. A testimony to [Bruce Waltke’s] interpretive insight and skill, and to his vast experience as an educator and preacher.

Bibliotheca Sacra

  • Title: The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15
  • Author: Bruce K. Waltke
  • Series: New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2004
  • Logos Release Date: 2009
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. O.T. Proverbs 1-15 › Commentaries
  • ISBNs: 9780802825452, 9780802827760, 0802825451, 0802827764
  • Resource ID: LLS:NICOT20PR1
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2023-05-17T01:28:00Z
Bruce K. Waltke

Bruce Waltke (1930– ) is an Old Testament scholar, distinguished professor of Old Testament at Knox Theological Seminary, and professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Regent College. He has also taught at Dallas Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Regent College. He has served as president of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Waltke was on the translation committee of both the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version. He is the author of numerous award-winning books like Genesis: A Commentary (co-authored with C. J. Fredricks) and An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach. Other books from Waltke include The Book of Proverbs (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament) and The Psalms as Christian Worship.


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  1. adam clinton dixon
  2. Anthony Habib

    Anthony Habib


  3. Peter Hui

    Peter Hui


  4. Hwang Jun Chul
  5. Mark Fan

    Mark Fan


  6. Avril Russell
  7. Bill Martin

    Bill Martin


    I've read several reviews of Dr. Waltke's 2-volume Proverbs commentary in which reviewers are frustrated with his seemingly over-technical approach and / or moralistic frame. I'd like to offer another opinion to set alongside these reviews and encourage serious Bible students to make use of these texts. My opinion was formed over the course of one year, as I daily referred to these two volumes in the context of a devotional study of the book of Proverbs, using Tim and Kathy Keller's "God's Wisdom for Navigating Life" as my devotional guide. Because I was following the Kellers, I was't reading Proverbs or Waltke straight through. Having read the introductory material years ago (when these volumes were first published), I decided that the commentary proper wasn't meant to be read that way. Instead, the commentary is best read like the Proverbs themselves, as individual pearls on a string. Consulted like that, this resource brought me deeper into devotion than a "surface read" of Proverbs. I was able for the first time ever to really let the text of Proverbs speak for itself, understanding its construction and modes of communication (the royal setting, moral and religious training and the cultivation of the virtue of wisdom over against foolishness, themes and motifs, figures and compositional strategies, etc.). Devotional insights must be gleaned from the author's interaction with the academic legacy of critical sources, bringing to the pages of this commentary a lifetime of work in philology, both of the Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern literature, and arguing for a more faithful, canonical reading than most mid-and-late-twentieth-century critical sources. Furthermore, Dr. Waltke embeds this technical analysis within the worldview of Proverbs, a worldview governed by The Fear of the LORD, and so allows the book of Proverbs to witness its unique approach to wisdom within its cultural and literary setting, wisdom that is impossible apart from faith in and relationship with the covenant LORD. To be clear, I've never considered NICOT or NICNT to be a "pastoral" commentary series, so I wasn't expecting much at the level of Christ-centered application. Indeed, one cannot get a Christocentric reading of Proverbs without the New Testament! We read backwards, as many have observed from John 5:46 and Luke 24:13-35. Only when we see Jesus, the (true) wisdom from God (1 Cor. 1:30), will we be able to fill out the moralism sketched in the outlines of Proverbs to reveal the full spectrum of the gospel and substance of Christ shadowed there. The Kellers point this out in their devotional, which was the companion I needed to truly make my study of Proverbs a devotional read rather than an academic one. Waltke's business here is with the text as such, not with going beyond it. Finally, as I daily consulted "The Book of Proverbs," either volume, I found many places where the author did bring nuggets of personal exhortation and discipleship insights. For example, in Vol. 2, on Prov. 16:3 (Commit your work to the LORD / and your plans will be established) Waltke gently prods the reader: <i>The faithful must not fret or worry about [the] effectiveness (of their planned deeds), or even their purity, for that assessment and their achievement depends upon God, not on the doer (Ps. 22:9; 37:5; 55:23; 1 Pet. 5:7). Secular man, who feels so self-confident, paradoxically is plagued with fear. Pious people, who know God’s sovereignty and their limitations, live in prayer and peace.</i> I found nuggets like this throughout the text, emerging from thorough exegesis and interaction. Much like taking a class with Dr. Waltke, one is overwhelmed with his erudition and experience, but his love for Jesus surpasses his scholarship and comes through at points not expected. I'd say that was my experience with this commentary as well.
  8. Valdis



  9. Faithlife User
  10. Scott S. Scheurich


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