The Book of Proverbs
The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 1–15
The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 15–31
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- First Commentary Set by Brian LeStourgeon
- Recommended OT Commentaries by Denver Seminary Journal
- Tremper Longman's 5-Star Commentaries by Tremper Longman III
- Ultimate Commentary Collection: OT Technical by John Glynn
- Favorite Advanced OT Commentaries by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- Essential OT Commentaries for a Preacher's Library by Derek W. H. Thomas
- Old Testament Advanced Commentaries by Moore Theological College Journal: Societas
- Basic Library Booklist by Detriot Baptist Theological Seminary
- Building an OT Commentary Library by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation (Kostenberger & Patterson)
The clear consensus among the experts is that Waltke’s massive two-volume set is the absolute best commentary on Proverbs. Derek Thomas refers to it as “a definitive work” and “a lifetime achievement.” It is the result of two decades of thoughtful reflection and the introduction alone is worth the cost of the set. It’s the place to begin for Proverbs and a must-have for any pastor. [Full Review]
The embodiment of God’s wisdom for everyday living, the Book of Proverbs has been quoted by Jews, Christians, and Muslims for centuries. These maxims, born out of personal experience, are passed on from father to son, from teacher to student. They warn of manifold dangers to avoid, point out simple truths to be remembered. Anyone who follows these adages will evince a maturity beyond his years. Waltke, who has been researching the text for over 25 years, is fully abreast of the most recent archaeological, literary, and textual discoveries. His commentary is filled with penetrating details for scholars, yet it is his unpedantic style which will appeal to pastors and general readers. This mammoth study, one of the most comprehensive on the market, will retrieve from relative obscurity the wealth of Israel’s ethical treasure. [Full Review]
Waltke really knows his stuff. This commentary was very thorough and analytical. I really appreciated how he showed the interconnectedness of Proverbs and how sensitive he is to the literary devices in the text. This commentary was pretty heavy on Hebrew and theological and literary lingo. It's not an easy read, but would mostly be useful for looking up particular questions one has. I wanted to read through this entire first volume, just to do it. It was a lot of fun on chapters 1-9. But chapters 10-15 was very, very tough going (because of the erratic nature of the individual proverbs). I also have Waltke's second volume, but I don't think I'll read it through. I'll just save it for when I study particular sections of Proverbs in the future.
These two volumes are absolutely fantastic for really digging into and understanding how Proverbs and wisdom literature function. His introduction in volume 1 is outstanding - he gives a great background, connections to ANE literature, and a methodology for understanding the overall framework of Proverbs. I especially appreciate his reminder that the foundation of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Moreover, his definition of a righteous person - someone who inconveniences himself for the sake of the community - has really driven into me to this day. I also had to privilege of taking a class from him on this very book, and it was a huge blessing.
Sometimes recommending the best commentary on a given biblical book is difficult. In the case of Proverbs, it is simple. Bruce Waltke's two-volume commentary is truly a gift to the church. The introduction in the first volume thoroughly covers issues such as genre and the theology of the book. The commentary proper reveals Waltke's comprehensive grasp of all of the issues related to the interpretation of this inspired book. Very highly recommended. [Full Review]
A lifetime achievement. This historio-grammatical commentary is sure to set the standard for commentaries on Proverbs for years to come. A definitive work.
This is a magisterial treatment of Proverbs from an established conservative OT scholar dealing with both unit meaning and overall structure. This is the best commentary on Proverbs.
Watlke’s commentary of more than 1,200 pages is by far the most technically thorough work on Proverbs available to date. His lifetime of studying Proverbs makes this work worthy of all of the praise it gets. Watlke typically offers 2-3 pages of background, syntax, textual criticism, and lexical studies for each individual proverb. However, while Watlke is a must have for academic work, sometimes the sheer amount of detail he gives obscures the basic meaning and interpretation of many of the proverbs. When preaching through proverbs, I usually find other works such as Clifford’s better for understanding significance and meaning.
Evangelical with excellent linguistic and structural discussion of each part of the book, and a strong introduction. [Full Review]