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2 0 1 0 E d i t i o n Dr. Thomas L. Constable
TITLE The title of this book in the Hebrew Bible is "The Proverbs of Solomon, the Son of David, King in Israel" (cf. 1:1). The Greek Septuagint called this book "Proverbs of Solomon." The Latin Vulgate named it "The Book of Proverbs." Translators of English Bibles place Proverbs among the poetic books (Psalms—Song of Solomon), whereas in the Hebrew Bible it is found among the "Writings," the third and final major section. There is some debate about whether 1:1 is the title of the whole book or just the title of the first major section (chs. 1—9). The first view has in its favor the fact that the Hebrew Bible took the verse as the title of the book. According to this view the references to Solomon in 1:1 are an indication that he was the primary author of the proverbs in the book.1 The second view is that 1:1 simply introduces the first major section of the book.2 The support for this view is that some succeeding sections begin with a similar caption (cf. 10:1; 24:23; 25:1; 30:1; 31:1). However, chapters 1—9 do not contain "proverbs" as such, but longer wisdom speeches. In either case, the book got its title from the proverbs it contains. The whole book is a book of proverbs, so the title is appropriate. WRITER Proverbs claims to be a compendium of the wise sayings of several different individuals. Only Proverbs and Psalms in the Old Testament claim composite authorship for themselves. Solomon originated some of the proverbs (10:1—22:16 and chs. 25—29 definitely, and probably chs. 1—9 as well).3 Unnamed wise men (sages) wrote other parts (22:17—24:34 definitely, and possibly chs. 1—9). Hezekiah's men copied some of Solomon's proverbs and added them to this collection (chs. 25—29). Agur and King Lemuel produced chapters 30 and 31 respectively. We do not know who the sages were who wrote 22:17—24:34, nor do we know the names of the men whom King Hezekiah instructed to compile some of Solomon's sayings. Agur and Lemuel are unknown to us also, though Lemuel seems to have been a non-Israelite monarch.4
Derek Kidner, The Proverbs, p. 22. Edward J. Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 328, who believed that 22:17 also contains a heading. 3See Andrew E. Steinmann, "Proverbs 1—9 as a Solomonic Composition," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 43:4 (December 2000):659-74. 4See my comments on 31:1.
Copyright © 2010 by Thomas L. Constable Published by Sonic Light: http://www.soniclight.com/
Dr. Constable's Notes on Proverbs
Some of the proverbs appear to have been copied from, or at least influenced by, earlier Mesopotamian and Egyptian books of wisdom.5 ". . . whatever the Spirit of God inspired the ancient writers to include became a part of the Word of the Lord. Such inclusions then took on a new and greater meaning when they formed part of Scripture; in a word, they became authoritative and binding, part of the communication of the divine will."6 DATE Solomon reigned from 971 to 931 B.C. and Hezekiah from 715 to 686 B.C.7 We do not know when the sages, Agur, or Lemuel lived. The earliest the Book of Proverbs could have been in its final form was in Hezekiah's day, but it may have reached this stage later than that. We have no way to tell. The contents of the book could have been in existence in Solomon's lifetime, though not assembled into the collection we know as the Book of Proverbs. GENRE AND DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERISTICS Proverbs are a distinctive genre (type of literature). The Hebrew word translated "proverb" (masal) essentially means a comparison. However, through usage it came to mean any profound pronouncement, including: maxims, observations, sermons (e.g., ch. 5), even wisecracks (cf. Ezek. 18:2), and revelations from God (cf. Ps. 49:4).8 Etymologically, the English word means "in place of (i.e., for) words." A proverb is usually a succinct statement that stands in place of a long explanation and expresses a truth about reality. "In its basic form, the proverb is an ancient saying that takes wisdom and endows it with youthful vigor. In a few, piquant phrases the proverb capsulizes a practical idea or truth in such a way as to lift the commonplace to a new level of mental consciousness. It reweaves the threadbare idea and shows the ordinary to be quite extraordinary. "Fundamental to the proverbial form [genre] is the fact that it bears a truth that has been tested by time."9
Allen P. Ross, "Proverbs," in Psalms-Song of Songs, vol. 5 of The Expositor's Bible Commentary, pp. 883-86. 6Ibid., pp. 885-86. 7Edwin R. Thiele, A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings, pp, 75, 78. 8For word studies of masal, see Allen H. Godbey, "The Hebrew Masal," American Journal of Semitic Languages 39:2 (January 1923):89-108; and A. S. Herbert, "The 'Parable' (Masal) in the Old Testament," Scottish Journal of Theology 7 (1954):180-96. 9C. Hassell Bullock, An Introduction to the Poetic Books of the Old Testament, pp. 155, 156.
Dr. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "To read straight through a few chapters of Proverbs is like trying to have a conversation with someone who always replies with a one-liner."10 "The Book of Proverbs has always been regarded as containing the concentrated deposit of ancient Israelite morality."11
In addition to proverbs of various lengths, this book also contains narrative material. Most scholars recognize that Proverbs is a book of poetry and didactic wisdom literature. "We're living in the 'information age,' but we certainly aren't living in the 'age of wisdom.' Many people who are wizards with their computers seem to be amateurs when it comes to making a success out of their lives. Computers can store data and obey signals, but they can't give us the ability to use that knowledge wisely. What's needed today is wisdom. "The Book of Proverbs is about godly wisdom, how to get it and how to use it. It's about priorities and principles, not get-rich-quick schemes or success formulas. It tells you, not how to make a living, but how to be skillful in the lost art of making a life."12 It has been said that the sum total of human information currently doubles approximately every year and a half. In view of this, T. S. Eliot's questions are more apropos today than when he wrote them: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"13 OUTLINE I. Collection 1: Discourses on wisdom chs. 1—9 A. Introduction to the book 1:1-7 1. 2. 3. B. The title of the book 1:1 The purpose of the book 1:2-6 The thesis of the book 1:7
Instruction for young people 1:8—8:36 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Warning against consorting with sinners 1:8-19 Wisdom's appeal 1:20-33 Wisdom as a treasure ch. 2 Divine promises and human obligations 3:1-12 The value of wisdom 3:13-35
J. Collins, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, p. 13. For more information on introductory matters, including title, text and versions, structure, ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature, authorship, forms of proverbs, theology, and bibliography, see Bruce K. Waltke, The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 1—15, pp. 1-170. 11Gerhard von Rad, Wisdom in Israel, p. 74. 12Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Skillful, p. 7. 13T. S. Eliot, Collected Poems 1909-1962, p. 147.
4 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. C.
Dr. Constable's Notes on Proverbs Teaching the love of wisdom 4:1-9 The two paths 4:10-19 The importance of persistence 4:20-27 Warnings against unfaithfulness in marriage ch. 5 Other dangerous temptations 6:1-19 The guilt of adultery 6:20-35 The lure of adultery ch. 7 The function of wisdom ch. 8
Wisdom and folly contrasted ch. 9 1. 2. 3. Wisdom's feast 9:1-6 The open or closed mind 9:7-12 Folly's feast 9:13-18
Collection 2: Solomon's couplets expressing wisdom 10:1—22:16 A. The marks of wise living chs. 10—15 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. B. Things that produce profit 10:1-14 Things of true value 10:15-32 Wise living in various contexts 11:1-15 Wise investments 11:16-31 The value of righteousness 12:1-12 Avoiding trouble 12:13-28 Fruits of wise living ch. 13 Further advice for wise living chs. 14—15
How to please God 16:1—22:16 1. 2. 3. 4. Trusting God ch. 16 Peacemakers and troublemakers ch. 17 Friendship and folly ch. 18 Further advice for pleasing God 19:1—22:16
Collection 3: Thirty sayings of the wise 22:17—24:22 A. B. Introduction to the 30 sayings 22:17-21 The 30 sayings 22:22—24:22
Collection 4: Six more sayings of the wise 24:23-34 Collection 5: Solomon's maxims expressing wisdom chs. 25—29 A. B. Introduction of the later Solomonic collection 25:1 Instructive analogies 25:2—27:22 1. 2. 3. Wise and foolish conduct 25:2-28 Fools and folly ch. 26 Virtues and vices 27:1-22
2010 Edition C. D. VI.
Dr. Constable's Notes on Proverbs A discourse on prudence 27:23-27 Instructive contrasts chs. 28—29
Collection 6: The wisdom of Agur ch. 30 A. B. C. The introduction of Agur 30:1 Wisdom about God 30:2-9 Wisdom about life 30:10-33
Collection 7: The wisdom of Lemuel ch. 31 A. B. C. The introduction of Lemuel 31:1 The wise king 31:2-9 The wise woman 31:10-31
then. and the thesis of the Book of Proverbs. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition Exposition I. p. hokmah) to the reader." Bibliotheca Sacra 136:543 (July-September 1979):234. 16Bruce K. truthfulness. vii. COLLECTION 1: DISCOURSES ON WISDOM CHS."16 14Ross. the second purpose is developed in v. Waltke. forgiveness. chastity. INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK 1:1-7 These verses set forth the title. Toy. p. It is this wisdom that the Apostle Paul commanded Christians to walk in (cf."15 This book claims to offer wisdom (Heb. A. kindness."14 "The purpose of all these sections [all the sections of the book] is the inculcation of certain cardinal social virtues. Eph. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Proverbs. 5. warning against the corresponding vices. The words "wise" and "wisdom" occur about 125 times in Proverbs. 5:15).6 Dr. Far from being a hodgepodge of miscellaneous sayings. The purpose of the book 1:2-6 "The Book of Proverbs has two purposes: to give moral skillfulness and to give mental discernment. H. righteous order to which the wise man submits his life. There are two groups that Solomon spoke and or wrote (possibly chs. an order opposed to chaos and death. 904. 1—9 and definitely 10:1—22:16). theological concept denoting a fixed. 1. The first purpose is developed in vv. 15Crawford . 6. Wisdom is "God's fixed order for life. "No longer can wisdom be defined simplistically as 'the practical application of knowledge. 3-4. the purpose. honesty.' Instead wisdom must be thought of as a broad. after a parenthetical exhortation in v. 1—9 The Book of Proverbs is a collection of at least seven separate groups of proverbs. and praise of wisdom as the guiding principle of life. thrift. 2. "The Book of Proverbs and Ancient Wisdom Literature. the book gives evidence of careful organization in this opening segment. The title of the book 1:1 Verse one introduces both the book as a whole and chapters 1—9 in particular. 238. discretion. such as industry.
demonstrate more wisdom than others. but the speculative wisdom. 31-56). Plaut. which is the ability to use knowledge. as important as education is."19 "When a man knows the right and does the right he is a wise man. the problem of good and evil. and the relationship between God and people. pp. 883. "Wisdom Literature. We also need wisdom. pp.'"17 ". Wise Up and Live. Wise men and women have the competence to grasp the meaning of a situation and understand what to do and how to do it in the right way at the right time. It's one thing to make a living. The New Bible Dictionary. . 20Paul E. 209-19. p. essentially."20 7 This is not to say that everyone who submits to God will be able to make equally wise decisions in life. 19Wiersbe. 232. s. 10-11. wisdom means being skillful and successful in one's relationships and responsibilities. pp. B. 4. It involves observing and following the Creator's principles of order in the moral universe. 333-36. p. pithy statements. but quite something else to make a life. Zuck. Book of Proverbs. Several commentaries contain helpful topical indexes to the proverbs (e. Nevertheless. It is the wedding of knowing and doing—it is the junction of the good and the true. Ross. This is another sense in which Proverbs uses the word wisdom. 22Ross. 12." in A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. uses lengthy monologues and dialogues to probe the meaning of life. see Kidner. . Hubbard.2010 Edition Dr. . . Cf. for example."18 "It isn't enough simply to be educated and have knowledge.21 "Proverbial wisdom is characterized by short. Larsen. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "'Wisdom' (hokmah) basically means 'skill. A. . 232-38. pp. one of the world's richest men said that he would have given all his wealth to make one of his six marriages succeed. "The pages of history are filled with the names of brilliant and gifted people who were smart enough to become rich and famous but not wise enough to make a successful and satisfying life." by D. 18Roy 17Ross. 36-38. such as Ecclesiastes or Job. and Zuck. pp. 897-903. Some Christians. including the shades of meaning the various Hebrew synonyms provide.g. 904. W. Before his death. "A Theology of the Wisdom Books and the Song of Songs. . G.v."22 The key words in verses 2 through 4 have the following meanings. p.. and Kidner. p. wisdom is a proper or skillful orientation toward God. pp. 21For a study of the subject of wisdom as Proverbs uses it.
23 Verses 2-6 set forth four objectives. others the foundational principle. 22:4. The riddles in view (v. 23:17. 24John 23See . Job 28:28. 10:27. Rather. 33. 24:21. 12:8. 14:2. "The Mosaic Law and the Theology of the Pentateuch."25 3. not just what we call riddles today (cf. 2b. It is an affectionate reverence that results in humbly bowing to the Father's will. 16:6. The thesis of the book 1:7 This verse enjoys almost universal recognition as the key statement not only in Proverbs but in all the wisdom literature of the Bible (cf. 17:2. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition Word Wisdom Instruction Understanding Righteousness Justice Equity Prudence Discretion Verse 2a 2a 2b 3b 3b 3b 4a 4b Meaning Skillfulness Child training Discernment Right behavior Correct decisions Moral integrity Sensibility in practical matters Thoughtfulness A second purpose of the book is to solve riddles: thought-provoking problems about life. 19:23. It is a desire not to sin against Him because His wrath is so awful and His love is so awesome. 2a) and to impart understanding of wisdom sayings (vv. "The Riddle in the Bible." Hebrew Union College Annual 1 (1924):125-49. 9:10. 3:7. 6) are any puzzles that are unclear and need interpreting. E. The verse contains a positive statement followed by its negative corollary. 25John H." Westminster Theological Journal 53 (Fall 1991):247. Sailhamer. 12:13). 3) and to identify the intended recipients of wisdom (v. 6). Hab. or something similar. 26-27. 14:12. 111:10. 15:16. "Fear" includes not only a correct way of thinking about God but a correct relationship with Yahweh. 2:6). Ps. Johnson." Bibliotheca Sacra 144:576 (October-December 1987):425-28. 2:5. God gave us these proverbs to impart an intimate acquaintance with wisdom and discipline (v. Ezek. 9:10.24 "The Book of Proverbs was not intended to be read as an exhaustive book of right actions but as a selective example of godly wisdom. 4). The "fear of the Lord" occurs at least 18 times in Proverbs (1:7. Judg. He also wanted to impart moral insight (v. Some people think of it as the motto of the book. Eccles. 1 Kings 10:1. 15:33. but then he or she can move away from it as from the starting line in a race. Num. "Beginning" does not mean that the fear of the Lord is where one starts learning wisdom.8 Dr. 8:13. others the major premise. 31:30). 29. "An Analysis of Proverbs 1:1-7. the Harry Torcszyner.
p. A third way was through an encounter with the transcendent God. In this section Solomon spoke to his son. the wisdom literature outside Israel did not contain advice to look to a personal relationship with a god as essential to obtaining wisdom. Leo G. One way was through observing nature and human behavior. "The Acquisition of Knowledge in Israelite Wisdom Literature. The Book . p. Crenshaw. INSTRUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 1:8—8:36 The two ways (paths. 27See. 97. on which one must build a life of wisdom. and numerals to mathematics. . W. 26Waltke. pp. "The Book of Proverbs and Northwest Semitic Literature. The fool despises God's revealed order for life and the instruction that would lead him or her into it (v. K. 152. and Waltke.27 However."29 The frequent recurrence of the phrase "my son" in this part of Proverbs indicates that the instruction specially suited a young person.. Even though many unbelievers have acquired much information without the fear of God. the fear of the LORD is to attaining the revealed knowledge of this book. creeds) and reality. "The Aramaic Proverbs of Ahiqar" (Ph. 92. 907. 28James L. 7:13-14). "What the alphabet is to reading. . Deut 6:7). 1974). 28-61. Story. worldviews) introduced in 1:7 stretch out before the reader (cf. pp. Gordon. This person's life lay in front of him. Babylonian Wisdom Literature. 29Ross.28 B. 7b). 222." Biblical Archaeologist 39 (May 1976):45. 24. . guiding him into God's way." Word & World 7:3 (Summer 1986):247-52. The demand for faith underlies the whole book. Lindenberger. for example. Lambert.. "The Royal Archives of Tell Mardikh-Ebla.D. true knowledge rests on a relationship to God that revelation supports."26 "Knowledge" is a relationship that depends on revelation and is inseparable from character. including 1:7. Cullen I. are unique and make this book distinctive and theologically relevant. The Hebrews believed people could acquire knowledge in three ways. . notes to reading music. James M. Other ancient Near Eastern countries produced wisdom literature in addition to what we have in our Old Testament. Only in a right relationship to the true and living God can one enter into God's foreordained. Edmund J. Giovanni Pettinato. Perdue. Another way was by drawing analogies between traditional beliefs (e.g." Journal of Biblical Literature 64 (1945):319-37. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 9 fear of the Lord is the controlling principle. Sumerian Proverbs: Glimpses of Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. "It derives from the idea that parents are primarily responsible for moral instruction (Prov 4:3-4. The references to fearing the Lord in Proverbs. pp. 28-31. "My son" was and is a customary way of addressing a disciple. dissertation. Johns Hopkins University. and he The Book .. . G. Wisdom and Cult.2010 Edition Dr. righteous order for life and find true success and happiness. We can learn the really important lessons in life only this way. the foundation. Matt. pp. 181.
when you read 'man' in Proverbs. as well as urban and agricultural concerns. cf.30 In Egypt. ". interpret it generically and read 'person. This instruction did not replace a formal education but supplemented it. p. but it was written in the context of a strongly male-oriented society. Cf. Frankfort. The instruction that follows was originally the type of counsel a courtier father gave his son or sons in his home. Proverbs isn't a sexist book. 31:1. ed. "The advice given in the section 'My son' can have had relevance for very few people. 178-79. 12:24. 4:3. pp. and probably also his other sons. . p. 49-52. especially among the ruling classes. 32Lambert. 12. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition faced major decisions that would set the course of his life from then on. Deut. desirous to let their children profit by their experience. Pritchard. the Book of Proverbs has a definite masculine focus because in the ancient Jewish society daughters usually weren't educated for the affairs of life. 33Wiersbe.. 172. 18:19. 54. Most of them were kept secluded and prepared for marriage and motherhood. there is advice for many situations a king would encounter and have to deal with effectively. 60. Consequently. behavior. 34Kidner did a subject study on the family in Proverbs. n. They appear as aged officials at the end of active and successful careers. p. Exod. Ancient Egyptian Religion. The Literature of Egypt.' whether male or female. . 26). 31Henri 30William . Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Though the whole Book of Proverbs gives help to youths. Akkadian officials evidently practiced the same custom. This suggests that we are to construe the text as being in the form of admonitions of some worthy to his son who will succeed him as vizier to the ruler. . chapters 1—7 address them specifically and can be of particular benefit to them. See pp. 4:9-11). there seems to be no reason to take these references to "my son" as anything other than what they appear at face value to be (cf. "The authors of the [wisdom] 'teachings' do not present themselves as priests and prophets. In some parts of the ancient world."33 In the teaching that follows."32 Other evidence exists that it was common throughout the ancient Near East for high officials to pass on this special instruction to their heirs.10 Dr. In Proverbs. leadership. These matters included the administration of justice. we have the record of what Solomon told his son Rehoboam. Gen. p.34 Kelly Simpson. . 6:20. p. 1. 1:8. For the most part. ed. This seems to have been a traditional form of ancient Near Eastern education. James B. the mother shared the duty of instructing the son with the father (cf."31 Earlier. .. for example. 96.
37Wiersbe. I note that many modern parents sacrifice time and money to help their children excel in music. I trust they're even more concerned that their children excel in knowing and obeying the Word of God. . that the second way does (vv. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this feature is an example of the adaptation of the Egyptian tradition to the peculiar situation in which the Israelite instructions were composed: a domestic situation in which the father and mother together shared the responsibility for the education of the child. . 104. 2. . as opposed to acceptance by one's peers."37 Verse 19 articulates the point of the comparison. "The Bible is the basic textbook in the home. and this throws into greater relief the one feature which is entirely unique in them: the mention of the mother." Journal of Biblical Literature 94 (1975):509-18. in the hustle and bustle of life. Wisdom's appeal 1:20-33 This is one of several passages in Proverbs where the writer personified wisdom. 482. p. H. Wisdom in Proverbs. Probably when Solomon recorded his counsel to his son. he adapted it to a more general reading audience."36 1. 15:27). but even if that were still true. Eventually all people profited from it. It was once the basic textbook in the educational system. Its only reward is goodness. vv. Merrill. sports. with a view to sharing them with people outside the family circle. Her call comes to people in the market. 42. in The Old Testament Explorer. 38See Phyllis Trible. or the excitement and hope of power. The phraseology of these sentences corresponds almost exactly to that of their Egyptian counterparts . . The Hebrew word translated "gains" (v.38 N. not in the seclusion of the home or sanctuary (cf. p. Warning against consorting with sinners 1:8-19 In this pericope. . 8-9) does not have the personal appeal. 19) implies a money-grabbing attitude (cf. p. "The principles articulated throughout the book are as helpful for living the Christian life as they were for providing guidance to the ancient theocratic community of Israel. namely: all the people of Israel."35 11 Archaeologists have found most of the documents that contain extrabiblical instruction of the "my son" type in excavated scribal schools. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "Here the father and mother are placed on exactly the same footing as teachers of their children. "Wisdom Builds a Poem: The Architecture of Proverbs 1:20-33. . 36Eugene 35R. the teachers preserved their instructions in writing. This suggests that what we have in Proverbs is not atypical. Whybray. v.2010 Edition Dr. the wise way (following the moral law in general. This suggests that even though the teaching took place in the home. 8). the Bible in the school can't replace the Bible in the home. 10-19). and social activities.
it is the daily discipline of a lifetime. 2 Chapter 2 is a discourse that sets forth the blessings that wisdom confers. ask Him sincerely (James 1:5). digests. Wisdom as a treasure ch. the scorner wears a sneer. many people are out of the habit 39Wiersbe. 17. They're gullible and easily led astray."39 2010 Edition It is clear here that people have a choice about which way they will go. 40Kidner. their problem is a lack of spiritual desire to seek and find God's wisdom."41 Verses 32 and 33 contrast the ultimate destruction of the unresponsive with the peaceful condition of the responsive. Proverbs with Commentary. she is hard to obtain. p. "Obtaining spiritual wisdom isn't a once-a-week hobby. 43For a synthesis of what the Book of Proverbs reveals about God. see Zuck. one should work harder to obtain it. Fools enjoy their foolishness but don't know how foolish they are! The outlook of fools is purely materialistic and humanistic. the way a miner searches for silver and gold. NIV). 30-31). . They hate knowledge and have no interest in things eternal. Their problem isn't a low IQ or poor education. Scorners think they know everything (21:24) and laugh at the things that are really important. mockers. p. in order to obtain spiritual rather than merely academic wisdom. The "fear of the Lord" emphasizes awe. not because she is hardhearted but because it is so absurd to choose folly (v. the scorners (scoffers. p. p. 41Ross. 238-39. While the simple one has a blank look on his face. If understanding does not come easily.40 Wisdom laughs at the fool's calamity (v. The person who wants her has to work hard for her (v.42 He or she must start with revelation.12 Dr. 55:6-7). 60. and study it diligently. and numerous 'made easy' books. you must listen to God attentively (Matt. But in this age of microwave ovens. The difficulty of obtaining wisdom 2:1-5 Even though Wisdom wants people to adopt her (1:20-33).43 "If you want wisdom. 26). fast foods. 3). 3. not by fate (vv. 26. Their lives are to a large measure the result of their choices. 42See Julius H. and seek Him diligently (Isa. pp. The fool is one by his own fault. 910. The simple are naive people who believe anything (14:15) but examine nothing. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "To whom does Wisdom speak? To three classes of sinners: the simple ones. and the fools (v. 13:9). "The figure of laughing reveals the absurdity of choosing a foolish way of life and being totally unprepared for disaster. and the "knowledge of God" stresses intimacy. Fools are people who are ignorant of truth because they're dull and stubborn. obey Him humbly (John 7:17). 22). Greenstone. 26).
p. It's no wonder fewer and fewer people 'take time to be holy' and more and more people fall prey to the enemies that lurk along the way. vv. their spiritual appetite is feeble and spiritual knowledge isn't 'pleasant to [their] soul' (Prov. p. 2:14). Heb. the adulteress uses flattering words."45 The word does not necessarily mean that she is a foreigner. 21-22) is the Promised Land of Canaan. 48Ross. Someone has said that flattery isn't communication. Constable's Notes on Proverbs of daily investing time and energy in digging deep into Scripture and learning wisdom from the Lord. their attention span is brief. 285. 7). 36. 44Wiersbe. thanks to religious entertainment that passes for worship. Proverbs: A New Approach. 17) seems to refer to her own marriage covenant (Mal. 45Toy. 2:10). This is another passage in which we can see the difference between Hebrew wisdom literature and that of other ancient nations. The fruit of moral integrity 2:10-22 Wisdom safeguards a person morally. Probably she is a stranger to the conventions of Israel's corporate life. it is manipulation. The "strange" woman (v. 914. 16) is one "outside the circle of his [a man's] proper relations. 7-9). The last part presents the temptations one can overcome as he or she seeks wisdom (vv. The first part of this pericope shows how God protects the wise (vv. 6). The knowledge of how to live comes with the knowledge of God (v. 37. loyal sons of the covenant). Thanks to television. the ways of the wicked will lose some of their attractiveness. hasidim. 7b-8).48 The "land" (vv. p. a harlot or an adulteress. 8. 12].46 "If the evil man uses perverse words to snare the unwary [v. rather than to the covenant law that prohibited adultery (Exod."47 The "covenant" she has left (v. cf. Solomon identified Yahweh as the source of wisdom. p."44 13 The giver of wisdom 2:6-9 The searcher for wisdom will find what God gives when he or she searches divine revelation (v. 20:14). 12-15 and 16-19). Only through relationship with Him can a person be truly wise and experience the blessings of wisdom. . 46William McKane. p. 46. that is.2010 Edition Dr. 10-11. 47Wiersbe. except in the most immediate sensual sense. Lovers of wisdom are godly (v. it's people telling us things about ourselves that we enjoy hearing and wish were true. The wise person will see that the adventuress who promises thrills is offering something she cannot give. When a person submits himself or herself to God and gains wisdom. The success in view is correct behavior (vv.
50Ross. "Kindness" or "love" translates the Hebrew word hesed."49 Verse 3 pictures devotion to kindness and truth (cf. Without trust.. 1:32-33). "Where it [torah] occurs unqualified (28:9. p.14 Dr. torah) means "law" or. 51Moses Stuart."52 "There are two sides to the matter of trust. Chapter 2 emphasizes moral stability as a fruit of wisdom. cf. the feeling that everybody is out to get you. . 6:8-9. and it leads to confident obedience (vv. "Repute" (v. p. but not identical with it. 167. p. though in Israel their instruction would have rested on the Torah of God. but it begins there. but my law. 5) are very close in meaning. There is the decision of trust and the habit of trust. 916. 5-6) comes from heeding sound teaching (vv. 'emet) refers to what one can rely on because it is stable. 21-22. Hesed in the Bible. Nelson Glueck. like the previous one. 1-4). 52Larsen. 29:18) it is clearly the divine law (it is also the Jewish term for the Pentateuch). p. Trusting means to put oneself wholly at the mercy of another (cf. Cf.' the second is called 'trust. more fundamentally. In the middle of our fears we make a decision to trust. "In the final analysis all government. but it concludes with another appeal to seek wisdom. all institutions and all marriages. all currency and banking. Ps. are fundamentally governed by trust. "instruction" or "direction. as in Psalm 111:10. p." Here the context suggests that the teachings of the parents are in view rather than the Mosaic Law. 55. 22:9b). Jer. "Trust" and "lean" (v. The fruit of peace 3:1-10 The trust of the wise son (vv. The first is called 'commitment. 4. 7-9).50 "Truth" or "faithfulness" (Heb. based indeed on the law. all economics. which says that God's law should receive the same devotion). 12:5b. which refers to faithfulness to obligations that arise from a relationship. It is a long poem that appeals to the reader to pursue wisdom.51 Together they may form a hendiadys: true kindness or faithful love. Heb. Divine promises and human obligations 3:1-12 This section is mainly about peace as a benefit of wise living. 4) connotes success. ends by contrasting the ends of the wicked and the righteous (vv.' Trust follows commitment. 63. all relationships between people. 12. not always right away. society deteriorates into paranoia. Deut. and then identifies the benefits of following wisdom. A Commentary on the Book of Proverbs. 1. This does not 49Kidner. etc. Leaning is not just reclining against something but relying on it totally for support. refer to the present maxims and to the home teachings. "Teaching" (v. 'thy mother's law' (1:8). Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition This chapter.
Johnson. not what is true without exception. Cf. 54Ibid. but that. This is the act of acknowledging God in all one's ways. while they claim to have Him. Proverbs are slices of life that picture what life is usually like. et al. . In the case of 3:5-6 we have the repetition of a promise made numerous times in Scripture that people who trust God will experience His guidance through life (cf. and 7b restates 6a (cf. If a proverb expresses a truth promised elsewhere in Scripture. It does not guarantee that one will never make mistakes. p.. 2:15) we must carefully distinguish proverbs that restate promises from those that do not and are only proverbs. We've got to 53Ibid..2010 Edition Dr. In our attempt to "handle accurately the word of truth" (2 Tim. It is not a promise that if you will eat an apple every day you will never get sick and have to got to a doctor. pp. 14. the proverb "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" teaches that eating fruit regularly will help keep you healthy. R.)."55 Verse 9 applies the principle of acknowledging God to the financial side of life. we know that we can rely on it being absolutely true. 11. 6b) means that God will make the course of such a person's life truly successful in God's eyes. 917. Verse 7a gives the converse of verse 5a."54 Verse 8 describes personal invigoration poetically. and it refers to the totality of one's life experience. 64. but if we will muster the courage to commit our way to God we shall soon learn to trust. not just to tip one's hat to Him. For example. "To 'know' God in our financial 'ways' is to see that these honour Him. "No wise man is ever arrogant. they still don't trust Him. A proverb is by definition a saying that accurately represents what is usually true."53 15 "Acknowledge" (v. Heb. 12:16). 6) means to be aware of and have fellowship with God."56 "The tragedy with many people is not that they don't claim to have God in their lives. Verses 7-10 suggest some of the ways that God will reward the commitment of verses 56. 25. This is a promise as well as a proverb. Constable's Notes on Proverbs immediately bring the habit of trust. A. "Scripture often uses the physical body to describe inner spiritual or psychical feelings. p. It includes obeying God's moral will as He has revealed it. 55Ross. 67-68. How can we tell if a proverb is a promise as well as a proverb? We can do so by consulting the rest of Scripture. The Vitality of the Individual in the Thought of Ancient Israel. Failure to distinguish proverbs from promises has led to confusion and disappointment for many readers of this genre. 56Kidner. p. The most significant telltale symptom of this lack of trust is that they never get around to honoring the Lord with their substance. p. The promise (v. Rom.
40. 256. p. What good is an expensive house if there's no happy home within it? Happiness. Mal. since the Lord has revealed that as Christians. 58Waltke. as the Creator intended. unless we really believe that God is our security."60 In verses 21-35 we can see the quality of love in the wise son." Journal of Biblical Literature 62 (1943):117-20. "It's good to have the things money can buy. 3:10). Lev. 59See Ralph Marcus. The tree of life figure (v. p. 13-20). Verses 27-30 deal with neighborliness. a person can obtain the best things God has to offer him or her."58 Long life. p. 10) was a promise to the godly Israelite (cf. The situation in view in verses 27-28 is one in which someone owes money. p. "Loathe" (v. The value of wisdom 3:13-35 "Sages reserve the laudatory exclamation blessed ('asre [v. .62 57Larsen. 11b) means to shrink back from (cf. Christians should recognize this verse as a proverb. 300. 44-46. Wisdom becomes a 'tree of life' to the believer who takes hold of her. . 13]) for people who experience life optimally. and peace aren't the guaranteed by-products of financial success. and this is a foretaste of heaven (Rev. pleasantness. The importance of continuing to seek wisdom 3:11-12 Even though the price one has to pay for wisdom (i. 60Wiersbe. we should expect persecution for our faith rather than material prosperity (2 Tim. pp. 28:1-14.16 Dr.59 The point is that by pursuing the way of wisdom. 3:12. and we don't add to the security by whopping off a hunk of it and putting it in the offering plate. God's discipline may not produce all that God desires if we respond to it improperly. 19:13). it is worth it (vv.e. 16). 11-12). and honor (v. 12:5-6). The point is: pay your debts promptly. 62McKane. 18) implies that wisdom is the source and sustainer of a long and beneficial life (cf. Heb. not one in which giving is an act of charity (cf. 16) were the rewards God promised the godly under the Old Covenant. "The Tree of Life in Proverbs. but they are guaranteed to the person who lives by God's wisdom. 12:1-11). 5). 31. 29-30). 22:1-2)."57 2010 Edition The prospect of material reward (v. 61Kidner also included a subject study on the friend (vv. Deut. The Book .61 We could apply verse 30 by taking it as a warning against hauling someone into court on flimsy accusations. rather than a promise. Constable's Notes on Proverbs make sure that the family has security.. . Heb. riches. provided you don't lose the things money can't buy. v. life within the will of God) includes submitting to God's discipline (vv. 5. Rejecting with the will and recoiling emotionally are opposite actions from trusting (v..
32)." Interpretation 26:2 (April 1972):131-57. Y. Solomon's instruction here was very positive. 10-13) and the way of folly (the way of the wicked. If we learn and practice God's wisdom as presented in Proverbs. The two paths 4:10-19 In verses 10-19. Bricker. 2) can also mean "law" (cf. because it was given to us by the God who made us. Rather than saying. and Daniel P. 4). 97. vv.2010 Edition Dr. . Do you want it? Come and get it. for a study of "the way" as a nuclear symbol in this section of Proverbs. 63Wiersbe. "Don't do this and that!" which he did elsewhere (cf. or our wider circle of friends and acquaintances. 3:27-31).65 Nonetheless this is good motivation. Verse 35 probably means that fools display dishonor because that is what they get for their choices—in contrast to the wise."63 17 Verses 31-35 warn against the temptation to resort to violence when we deal with neighbors. That is the issue in choosing the ways of the wicked or those of the upright. and motivation. who get honor. 3:1). "The Symbolism of Wisdom in Proverbs 1—9. James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 quote the Septuagint version of verse 34. the God who can teach us what we need to know about human relationships. the neighborhood.67 p. "Be willing to part with anything else you may have to get understanding. 67. "The Doctrine of the 'Two Ways' in Proverbs. The Hebrew word translated "instruction" (v. whether it's marriage. the job. each including the motifs of instruction. 64Ross." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 38:4 (December 1995):501-17. 67See Norman C. he wanted his sons to realize that by heeding his counsel they could find the best life possible. but there are exceptions. p. Proverbs-Ecclesiastes. p. we'll find ourselves improving in people skills and enjoying life much more. the family. One writer paraphrased verse 7a as follows: "What it takes is not brains or opportunity. This father structured formal times of instruction for his sons. Scott. 6."64 The first section of verses in this chapter shows how parents can pass along the love of wisdom: mainly by personal influence. 65R.."66 The second half of this verse probably means. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "The Book of Proverbs is the best manual you'll find on people skills." 7. B. p. His is not a bad example for other fathers to follow. 922. 66Ibid. Habel. One must decide if he or she wants to be odious to God or be His intimate friend (v. command. exhortation. Normally those who keep God's commandments live (v. 52. but decision. two paths again lie before the youth: the way of wisdom (vv. Teaching the love of wisdom 4:1-9 "This chapter is comprised of three discourses on the value of wisdom. 14-17).
Jer. 72For a critique of this movement. morally and practically. 8. Matt. Isa. Rom."68 One writer restated verses 14-15 as follows. "Don't take the first step. Another writer commented on verses 16-17 in these words. among many in Scripture. appeal to verses 20-22 as support for their position (along with Exod. 7:13-14). "With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare. and the power of God to achieve it.72 The Book . 15:26. 3:35). Acts 5:16 and 10:38). the wisdom of God to plan it. Luke 6:17-19. 2:21-22. These verses give the reader a checkup on his or her condition. Alden. They help travelers stay on the proper part of the road so they do not have accidents. W. Sarles. detours. 14:21). Advocates of the "prosperity gospel. "A Theological Evaluation of the Prosperity Gospel. "How sick to find peace only at the price of another man's misfortune!"70 This section closes with another summary comparison (vv. . Ps."71 The main opposing elements set in contrast in verses 10-19 alternate between safety and danger. "The road metaphor does not depict life from the cradle to the grave. The Knowledge of the Holy. 30:17. 33:24. However. 11) are straightforward ways of behaving. . what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures. 70Robert L. 18-19. 47. for you may not be master of your destiny thereafter. p. 68Waltke. Our temptation is to leave these when we become adequately proficient and move on to things that we find more interesting and exciting. The Book of Job and the past earthly career of Jesus are two lessons. 1:32-33. and dangers."69 A person can become as zealous for evil as for good. Proverbs: A Commentary on an Ancient Book of Timeless Advice. 289. 16. but the road to eternal life versus the road to eternal death. this is upside down morality (v. Matt. Mark 16:16-18.18 Dr. that prove this view is incorrect. Success usually comes to those who keep concentrating on and perfecting the basics in their work. p. It offers the fewest potholes. 71A. but instead arrive safely at the right destination. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition "Upright" paths (v. God's commands are similar to the lines on modern highways. p. Tozer. 69Plaut. 69.. cf. 70. The importance of persistence 4:20-27 The last pericope of this chapter emphasizes the importance of persisting in the good practices that will lead to life. 23:25. 10:1. . 103:3. God's way is the best route to take (cf." Bibliotheca Sacra 143:572 (October-December 1986):329-52. see Ken L." who teach that it is never God's will for believers to experience sickness or privation. 4:23. and between certainty and uncertainty. p. cf.
Notes on Proverbs 5:2-3. and ultimate death (ch. but the bee stings'. 1-6). J. 76M. 7). The temptress comes with words that are sweet (flattering) and smooth (delightful. Knowing what is right and being able to articulate that with one's lips is really a protection against the power of the seductress's speech (vv. and this lady has a sting in her tail. though one can experience a living death as a result of following her. . Bouffier. 9. 77Kenneth T. Dahood. cf. Aitken. 63. v.74 Here the affections are particularly in view. eyes. 48. 5). 15-23). 4). 24) reflect his or her heart's affections. 119:37). 23) usually means "mind" (3:3. the will (11:20. gradual destruction (ch. Luke 6:45. 6:32a."78 73Ross. Even flirting produces this effect sometimes. 5 Chapters 5—7 all deal with the consequences of sexual sins: eventual disappointment (ch. 74See." Biblica 54 (1973):65-66. the teacher is exhorting the whole person to receive the traditions."77 Typically the seductress will lead a person down a path that takes him or her to death and the grave (v. 25." The Bible Today 52 (1971):249-51. 75Wiersbe. 2) contrast with those of the seductress (v. 26-27. "There is an old saying. cf. and heart. 3). Mark 7:15-23. too. 12:13). they make the person tempted by them feel bitter (ashamed) and wounded (hurt. p. helps us see that the life in view is not some prize that one gains all at once. Warnings against unfaithfulness in marriage ch. p. She has no concern with living a truly worthwhile life but only with gaining some immediate physical and emotional thrill (v. 6). v. We must also give attention to practical planning so we end up taking the steps we need to take to arrive at our intended destination (vv. and he didn't put the 'marriage wall' around sex to rob us of pleasure but to increase pleasure and protect it. but it has a much broader meaning that includes the emotions (15:15. et al. and even the whole inner person (3:5). One's words (v. R. 6). The danger of seduction 5:1-6 The lips of the youth (v. 1-6). It is rather a growing spiritual vitality that empowers the wise person and enables him or her to reach out and help others effectively (cf. 30). 'Honey is sweet. 7-14). Ps. Proverbs. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "By using ears. p. Then it clarifies the price of unfaithfulness (vv. Heb. 48. p. 925.2010 Edition Dr. 101:3."73 19 "Heart" (v. 3). 7:7b. Verse 23. "God created sex not only for reproduction but also for enjoyment. in conjunction with verses 20-22. "The Heart in the Proverbs of Solomon. "Honey That Drips. We must be single-minded in our pursuit of wisdom (v. 14:14).76 Nevertheless if swallowed. Finally it extols the wisdom of marital fidelity (vv. 5). John 4:14 and especially 7:38).75 Chapter 5 first reveals the ugliness under the surface of the attractive seductress (vv. 78Wiersbe.).
4:15). Song of Sol. broken homes. child support. he will hate himself (vv. "The influence of the faithful man (His 'springs') become a blessing to others.") rather than as a question. The Hebrew text favors taking verse 16 as a positive statement ("Let your streams . The Book . The issue is self-discipline empowered by God's Spirit. . and venereal disease. p. also translated intoxication in 20:1 and Isa. The same Hebrew word reads "go astray" in verse 23b." Most marital infidelity occurs because the parties involved continue to spend time together. . Matt. . p. The figures of a cistern and a well (v.20 Dr."81 Another view is that the springs and streams in view belong to the man being warned who might share them with a woman of the street. Infidelity dissipates all of one's powers (v. Strict faithfulness need not result in unhappiness or failure to experience what is best in life. 9b-10). The meaning of verses 17-18 then becomes. 2:22. 11b)—though that may be part of it in many cases—but total personal ruin."80 The importance of fidelity 5:15-23 Verses 15-23 point out a better way. a not uncommon accompaniment to marital unfaithfulness. . namely: fidelity to one's marriage partner. Gen. who satisfies desire. 928. and he will quite possibly suffer ruin in his community (v. The price of unfaithfulness is not just physical disease (v. Constable's Notes on Proverbs The price of unfaithfulness 5:7-14 2010 Edition The price of unfaithfulness is so high that it is unreasonable. 19. as in the NASB.. p. Here Solomon advised avoiding the company of a temptress (cf. but it shows that God approves sexual joy in marriage and it is a prophylactic against unfaithfulness (cf. 11-13). 11] underscores the fact that the whole body is exhausted. A man can either find his exhilaration (v.e."79 "The use of both 'flesh' and 'body' [v. as the world likes to try to make us think. hurt. Others will exploit him (vv. Verse 9b would fit a situation involving blackmail. Rather. 83Toy. jealousy. 39:10. the wife is viewed not as child-bearer but as pleasure-giver. 9a). 7:5. 80Ross. .. 9). . 15) refer to one's wife (cf. "Although sexual immorality today may not lead to slavery. lonely people. it still leads to alimony. sexual stimulation.82 ". 5:28-29). . i. 81Kidner. 14). 1 Cor. 82Ross. it guards us from the heartbreak and tragedy that accompany promiscuity. 70. 79Waltke. 28:7) in his wife or in another woman. 929."83 The erotic language of verses 19-20 may be surprising. p. Therefore one is wise to avoid tempting himself or herself by continuing to admire the "merchandise. 313. 2 Tim. 114.
Paucity of relationship is impoverishment of life.2010 Edition Dr. then his own iniquities will captivate him. 45. 1) together mean anyone. If one finds himself in it already he should do everything he can to get himself out of it before he discovers that he is in even worse trouble (v. and is sensible. This is a figure of speech called a merism in which two extremes represent the whole. . being untruthful (vv. These include assuming liability for the debts of others (vv. "Surety" (v. these two kinds of people are not the only ones in view. The writer did not command his son never to become surety for his neighbor. 84Larsen."86 "There is no 'free love'—only free exploitation. 87Larsen. Zuck. The advice in this section provides a good example of what prudence is. Paul offered to pay Onesimus' past debts. 6-11). And plenitude of relationship is fullness of life. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "We don't really understand the meaning of the phrase 'God is love' (1 John 4:8) until we understand that life is fundamentally relationships. for example. 86Ross. 1) means "security" in the sense of taking on another person's obligations as one's own. pp. Other dangerous temptations 6:1-19 Solomon singled out a few more serious errors to avoid in addition to marital unfaithfulness. . is circumspect. being lazy (vv." People usually do not become unfaithful to their spouses because they do not know better but because they do not choose better. 16-19). 239-43. as when a person co-signs a note to pay another person's loan. p. A prudent person can foresee the consequences of possible actions and behaves accordingly. for a summary of the revelation concerning man in Proverbs. The reader is not disobeying God if he or she becomes surety for a stranger. 3). and seven other practices that need no clarification (vv. A godly (wise) person can be prudent because God's revelation helps us see the usual consequences of our actions before we commit them. 12-15).85 ". v. This is largely what the Book of Proverbs helps us do. We often describe a prudent person by saying that he or she has common sense."87 10. p. but this proverb warns of the possible consequences and gives advice about how to avoid them. . 931. "Neighbor" and "stranger" (v. 85See p. A prudent person is one who is capable of exercising sound judgment in practical matters. Solomon strongly counseled avoidance of this obligation."84 21 "Lack of discipline" (RSV. he told him what to do if he had already done this so he could escape the consequences that typically follow such an act. 23a) is better than "lack of instruction. if the young man is not captivated [Heb. 1-5). but not his future ones (Phile. He or she is cautious and discreet in conduct. and he will be led to ruin. 39. 18-19). sagah] by his wife but becomes captivated with a stranger in sinful acts.
a robber. . Solomon regarded the instruction he was giving as an expression of God's law (cf. . pp."90 The person in view in verses 12-15 is one who. The guilt of adultery 6:20-35 This extended warning against one of life's most destructive practices is classic. 91Toy."94 88See Kidner's subject study on the sluggard. p. p. . We can profit from reading it frequently. the unchaste married woman brings on him destructive social (and possibly legal) punishment. will deprive a man of his money. the ordinary harlot is after subsistence. but not ruin him. Paul Larsen wrote the following. The latter practice is what Solomon urged his son to avoid. 18b). 125. 17a). 127. p. 90R. 16) implies that this list is not exhaustive of what God hates.22 Dr. He called such a mischievous prankster "worthless" and "wicked" (v. 11:2). 137. That is the place to weed out the temptation. cf. joking that hurts someone else. 937. 11) is a "highwayman.88 A "vagabond" (v. Commenting on verses 20-23. "Get hung up in your relationships with your parents and you'll never get in a right relationship with yourself. p. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition Verses 6-11 warn against laziness. action (17c." a word that became a name for Satan (2 Cor. The list in verses 16-19 repeats some of what Solomon mentioned earlier. Whybray." namely. 67. thought (18a).89 "In that society there were no technological controls or government social programs to serve as a safety net against poverty. v. 19a). 89Toy. 12). 94Toy. . A simple joke is different from joking at someone else's expense. Wealth and Poverty in the Book of Proverbs. when it is still small. and influence (19b). 92Larsen. speech (17b.91 These seven practices deal with attitude (v. The phrase "six . yes. Ps. 42-43. p. 23. though it is explicit."93 ". 6:15). 2 Sam. "Playing with temptation is only the heart reaching out after sin. 25. It may have been one whole proverb he added because it carried on the idea of other temptations to avoid. causes other people to experience inconvenience or suffering. "Worthless" is literally "of Beliel. 11. 93Ross. seven" (v. p. 31. for the amusement it gives him or her. 119:105). Verses 20-23 indicate the start of a new section and stress again the importance of the precepts that follow."92 The immoral act begins with the lustful look (v. .
27) at first. 97Waltke. not just the reception of it. "The picture of the adulterer as social outcast may seem greatly overdrawn.2010 Edition Dr. 2) is its most sensitive part (cf. . 12-20). p. pp. 12. "Touches her" is probably a euphemism for sexual intimacy (cf. Adultery brings inescapable punishment. 74-75.' some people argue. 1-5) again urges the adoption of this advice. Adultery is a practice good people look down on because it is never necessary. 1 Cor. since the lower story would typically have lacked windows as a precaution against theft. God gave you food to eat. 95Wiersbe. 32:10). Hebrew poetry sometimes employs hyperbole. 6:13. . NKJV). what others see. foolish innocently or deliberately. 7:1). p. The apple (pupil) of the eye (v. One may contain the fire (v. 20:6. 96Kidner. the adjustment that must be made is to say that in any healthy society such an act is social suicide.. He told a story that illustrates his point."96 Also. Gen.97 The youth is "naive" (v. Verses 6-9 describe the victim of temptation as one who has not adopted Solomon's counsel. given to us by God. 27) may imply outward reputation."95 Verses 30-35 draw another kind of comparison. 'Therefore. even if we're not married. preying on anyone foolish enough to encourage her.' Some of the people in the Corinthian church used this argument to defend their sinful ways: 'Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods' (1 Cor. The prologue (vv. If so. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 23 In verses 27-29 we have a series of physical analogies designed to illustrate spiritual cause and effect. but others will discover it if it continues to burn. Deut. It is always the product of lack of self-control. Verses 10-12 picture the huntress on the prowl for sensual gratification. But Paul made it clear that the believer's body belonged to God and that the presence of a desire wasn't the same as the privilege to satisfy that desire (vv. as often in Scripture. 5:6). the person viewing what was going on in the street would often have done so from a second story window. 7 This chapter dramatizes the arguments Solomon advanced in the previous section (6:2035). if you're lonely. The lure of adultery ch. It is this lack of self-restraint that seems to be the reason an unfaithful husband should not be a church elder (1 Tim. 54. 371. God gave you sex to enjoy. In Israelite culture. "His clothes" (v. "'But sex is a normal desire. namely. The Book . 7). we have every right to use it. . It's like eating: If you're hungry.
22) yielded. p. The function of wisdom ch. 102Ross. not its immediate effect. 1-5."102 13. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "The first step in coming to maturity is to develop a concept of deferred satisfaction. 19-20). 24-27). 100R. 99Plaut. guard your future (vv. The Book ."98 "Woe to the marriage whose partners cannot find values in their home and must constantly seek outside stimulation!"99 2010 Edition Verses 13-21 show her tactics: sensual assault (v. "A man's life is not destroyed in one instant. We are in danger when we begin to desire and long for an adulterous affair." in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary. . Do not go near or stay near someone who may want an adulterous affair. 25b). cf. "Proverbs. p. visualization of delight (vv. Second. the key to success (vv. flattery (v. 16-17). p. 13). Laird Harris. 26-27). Think seriously about the consequences of having an adulterous affair before you get involved. First." The idea is that she had made a peace offering and had some of the food that was her portion of the offering at her house where she needed to eat it. 101Waltke. as some people who fast during Lent do at the end of that season. p. This woman appears to be indulging herself after a period of selfsacrifice. It is quite clear that this woman knew exactly what she wanted. 25a). and morally stupid people see no connection between their sin and death (cf. guard your body (v. This seems to have been the case here. Wisdom would be every person's guide (vv. 7:11). 8 Chapter 8 is an apology (defense) of wisdom. ."100 Some peace offerings followed the end of a vow (votive offerings). 5:18." Evidently the youth hesitated. Gal. Solomon advised a three-fold defense against this temptation. She is morality's partner (vv. guard your heart (v. "Her refrigerator is full. The argument of this section develops as follows. 6:23. as we would say. Verses 22-23 portray the "kill. 942. 1:17-18. 14-21). but then "suddenly" (v. 50. 14). 384.24 Dr. Sin leads to death (cf. the principle of creation (vv. 102. justification of her intent (v. James 1:15)—along the same line. Fantasizing such an affair is one symptom that we are in this danger zone. 6-13). ."101 In the epilogue to this story (vv. p. 15). Third. "Stupid animals see no connection between traps and death.. and reassurance of safety (vv. Rom. 98Larsen. it is taken from him gradually as he enters into a course of life that will leave him as another victim of the wages of sin. proposition (v. 563. Hos. Solomon looked at the end result of the youth's action. 18). We should probably favor the marginal reading of verse 14: "Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me. 22-23).
490. "What has the voice of wisdom to say concerning the integration debate in Christian counseling? The wisdom literature of the Old Testament invites 103Merrill. insight). 1:7). Wisdom leads to joy because creation produces joy (vv. Wisdom is better than gold in two senses: the wise man is able to earn gold. p. . . unlike gold. 73. p. God counted wisdom most important. Wisdom and morality 8:6-13 Wisdom and godliness are practically synonymous (cf.103 Wisdom as guide 8:1-5 By personifying wisdom Solomon was able to illustrate two things about it in these verses. simple to the instructed. It does not take a superior intellect to be wise in the biblical sense. Verse 9 means that the person who already has walked down wisdom's path for a distance can appreciate the moral rightness of wisdom better than someone who has not. Wisdom is older than the universe. 163. Wisdom is available everywhere (vv. . This pericope speaks of the essential excellence of wisdom. but he is able to use wisdom to do more than he can with gold. Wisdom and success 8:14-21 Wisdom is the key to many material and immaterial benefits. That is the point. . Chapter 8 contains the longest sustained personification in the Bible. 32-36). learning and cleverness. 104Toy. Wisdom and creation 8:22-31 As Creator. Nothing came into existence without wisdom. Therefore it is very important that we obtain it. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 25 22-31). 30-31) both for the Creator and for the creature. 2-3) and to anyone (v. 5). God made and did nothing without wisdom. but that they commend themselves as true . and it was essential in its creation. Yet wisdom is available only to those who seek it."104 "The simplicity of integrity is the profundity of wisdom. wisdom is not something one can inherit. . both of which concern the guidance that is available in wisdom (understanding. .2010 Edition Dr. "What the verse says is not that Wisdom's words are clear. but mostly the latter type. 105Larsen."105 True wisdom is resourceful and discreet (v. intelligible. p. and the one essential necessity of life (vv. 13). Integrity is the moral dimension that separates wisdom from intelligence.
"110 W. Again. just as Proverbs presents the personification of the attribute. 106John . it is unlikely that wisdom here is Jesus Christ. 54-55. 2:3) and affirmed that Christ became our wisdom in the Crucifixion (1 Cor 1:24. 943. "Observations on the Creation Theology in Wisdom. 22) probably refers to the beginning of His creative work (Gen. including his wisdom. "Wisdom in Creation: The 'AMON of Proverbs VII 30. Y. wise counselors recognize that the Bible is the only perfect authority for guiding faith and practice. but in all aspects of life. At the same time.108 Verse 30 pictures wisdom as God's constant and intimate companion. especially in the face of life's most severe experiences. 1). but those who lack wisdom begin to die. Wisdom also exemplifies the use of methods that neither emerge exegetically from the Bible nor utilize the words of Scripture itself. Paul saw the fulfillment of wisdom in Christ (Col 1:15-20. But because wisdom appears to be a creation of God in 8:22-31. "Many have equated wisdom in this chapter with Jesus Christ. So the bold personification of wisdom in Proverbs certainly provides a solid foundation for the revelation of divine wisdom in Christ. He even personified wisdom in a way that was similar to Proverbs (Matt 11:19. pp. Scott. This connection works only so far as Jesus reveals the nature of God the Father. "Old Testament Wisdom and the Integration Debate in Christian Counseling. Even when Scripture is used. and change from sources outside the canon of Scripture as well as in Scripture itself. 43-47. Irwin. Luke 11:49).26 Dr. 30). wisdom calls for a deeper reverence for God in conforming one's life to the Creator's design. a heart of adoration and submission to God is the foundation for skillful living. B. 109R. wisdom often dictates which texts are most appropriate for a given situation and how application needs to take shape. since that is what Solomon described in the verses that follow. p." Vetus Testamentum 10 (1960):211-23.107 Wisdom always existed as an attribute of God."106 2010 Edition "The beginning of God's way" (v. Not only in counseling. Hilber. Since the essence of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Jesus' claims included wisdom (Matt 12:42) and a unique knowledge of God (Matt 11:25-27). 107See Hans-Jurgen Hermission.109 The appeal to gain wisdom 8:32-36 On the basis of all that precedes. Constable's Notes on Proverbs the study of human nature. "Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?" Journal of Biblical Literature 80 (1961):142. One writer concluded that wisdom is a link or bond between the Creator and His creation." in Israelite Wisdom: Theological and Literary Essays in Honor of Samuel Terrien." Bibliotheca Sacra 155:620 (October-December 1998):422. As such we should value it highly. wisdom leads to life. Solomon exhorted his sons to live by his words and thereby gain wisdom. behavior. 108William A. 110Ross.
7-12) as the most important in the chapter. p. 5) sounds like a gospel invitation (cf. Verses 1-6 correspond to verses 13-18 remarkably. 93. and we can't borrow character from others or give our character to them. The parallel between wisdom and walking in God's ways (godliness) is again clear in this pericope. . 113See Rick W. This is an individual matter that involves individual decisions."112 Verse 12 is a strong statement of individual responsibility. Belonging to a fine family. 1) may represent a typical banquet pavilion. The wise life equals the righteous life (vv. 22:1-14. They develop a pattern of life that ends in either death or life. Verse 10 restates 1:7. If a person is open to God and teachable. he will become wise. 1. The person who tries to help a fool by correcting him will get no honor from the fool. 55). or they may be an allusion to the cosmos (cf. This chiastic form of presentation sets off the central verses (vv. p. Some of the ancients envisioned the world as resting on seven pillars. "The Structure and Significance of Prov 9:7-12. or studying in an excellent school can't guarantee the building of our character. 7-8. Character is built on decisions. Constable's Notes on Proverbs C. 8:22-31) that God made in seven days. and bad decisions will create bad character. The open or closed mind 9:7-12 People do not usually live or die because of only one decision. "Until we take seriously the wrath of God. he becomes a fool. The "seven pillars" (v. we shall not really be solaced by the love of God. Wisdom's feast 9:1-6 The parallel between wisdom's invitation and the one Jesus Christ extended to everyone to come to His feast illustrates the connection between wisdom and responding positively to God's Word (Matt. 2 Pet. A wise man will continue learning from God all his life (v. Luke 14:15-24). Matt.113 "Verse 12 reminds us that the Lord wants to build godly character into our lives. Skehan. 9-11). Byargeon. but if he does not accept this instruction and closes his mind. 9 27 This chapter contrasts wisdom and folly in a very symmetrical structure. 114Wiersbe. John 6:51. cf. 9. 13:12-16). 9-14.2010 Edition Dr.111 "Seven" to the Jews indicated perfection. 2. Wisdom's invitation (v. cf. It stresses that the person himself or herself is the ultimate loser or winner in his or her decision to choose wisdom or folly (v."114 111Patrick W. This section helps us see the outcome of these styles of life. 112Larsen. The fool's folly has closed his mind to correction (vv. attending a faithful church. 3:18). 32. WISDOM AND FOLLY CONTRASTED CH. pp. Studies in Israelite Poetry and Wisdom." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 40:3 (September 1997):367-75. 12). Possibly the seven pillars refer to seven sections of text in chapters 2—7.
This group represents only a few of the 3. submits to it. L. 1—5 and 6—8. we begin the part of the book that sets forth what "the wise way" is in a variety of life situations. or truth. The Book .118 A maxim is a succinct or pithy saying that has some proven truth to it." In chapters 16—22. wrote urging his son to choose the way of wisdom for his life. II. probably Solomon. It has little to do with intelligence but everything to do with commitment. p.g. they are couplets. In chapters 10—15. 196. there are more 115Kidner. 10:1 would read. as we have seen. In view of what God has revealed so far about wisdom. . and lives by it the best he can."117 There are 184 maxims in chapters 10—15 and 191 in chapters 16—22 for a total of 375."115 At 10:1. The second line contrasts.. and then the daily life he should live is described [e. if he rejects God's Word and decides to live his life with no regard to what God has said. most couplets contain antithetic parallelism. 116Irving p. "Until now the book of Proverbs has been identifying the truly wise man. 22. p. 65.000 proverbs Solomon wrote (1 Kings 4:32)."116 "The main thought is that moral goodness and industry bring prosperity. 117Toy. p. Kidner believed that if Solomon had written the first nine chapters. contain discourses that someone. Rom. If a person recognizes divine revelation as such and decides to understand it. compares. Waltke wrote that the Book of Proverbs contains 930 sayings. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 3. and wickedness and indolence adversity . The end of this book contains another picture of a wise woman (31:10-31). From this point on. 119Waltke. Proverbs. it will describe how such a man should conduct his life from day to day. On the other hand. he is wise. 1—3 and 4—6]. Verses 4 and 16 are almost identical invitations. any person can determine just how wise or how foolish he or she may be. or completes the idea expressed in the first line. This logical topical order appears in many New Testament epistles. Jensen.119 Most of the proverbs in this section are one verse long and contain two lines each. . "These also are proverbs of Solomon. where the saved person is first identified. This is not a mystery. 64. The key word is "but. This is Hebrew parallelism. principle. Eph. . COLLECTION 2: SOLOMON'S COUPLETS EXPRESSING WISDOM 10:1— 22:16 Chapters 1—9. The contrasts between these sections are full of nuances. Folly's feast 9:13-18 2010 Edition Verses 1-6 personify wisdom in the figure of a lady preparing a feast and issuing invitations. he is a fool. p. 118Jensen. However. . xxi. . a general rule.28 Dr.. Verses 13-18 personify folly in the guise of a harlot doing the same thing.
" There are also continuous sentences in which the second line continues the thought of the first line (e. 57-59. See also p. 123Kidner. 22. incisive wording are all that is required to give a fresh appeal to the truth of familiar viewpoints..120 Is there any logic to the arrangement of these seemingly unrelated proverbs? In some places there is a general association of ideas. 120For further discussion. and "Yahweh" in 16:1-7). 10—15 Solomon advocated choosing things that benefit and things that have true and lasting value. He urged making wise investments. pp. I have commented only on those proverbs that appear to me to need clarification in the NASB. p. . many of these couplets have no logical connection with what immediately precedes or follows in the context. 16. . 226..g. 14:26). this is a misconception based on the modern-day viewpoint of life."122 Why did the Holy Spirit not arrange these proverbs topically so we could study all of them that deal with one subject together? Perhaps He did so because the method He chose is "a course of education in the life of wisdom. see R.g. A. p.. . What Solomon wrote is more like a kaleidoscope than a stained-glass window: We never know what the next pattern will be. . He also pointed out the fruits of wise living and concluded this section of the book with further advice for wise living. Just as the Bible itself isn't arranged like a systematic theology. the Spirit of God has the freedom to teach us about many subjects.' which is . 61. neither is Proverbs. valuing righteousness. N.."123 "As we read Proverbs chapter by chapter. 121Frankfort. 59.g. Some contain a statement in the first line followed by an explanation in the second line (e."121 "It is also surprising to find lofty precepts mixed with more 'trivial' apothegms. and in some places there is a recurring key word (e. "The absence of a systematic arrangement is due to the traditional character of the contents. Viewed from this perspective no sentence is trivial . striking images. From the sages' perspective each proverb is an expression of 'wisdom. The Book of Proverbs. Whybray." p. There is no need of a closely knit argument. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 29 synonymous parallelisms marked by the conjunction "and. . He pictured wise living in a variety of contexts. . . Of course.2010 Edition Dr. "king" in 16:12-15. 122Waltke.g. However."124 In the notes that follow (on 10:1—22:16). MARKS OF WISE LIVING CHS.. 124Wiersbe. the fixed order of reality. This anthology style is typical of other ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature. and we never know from day to day which topic we'll need the most. Some couplets contain comparisons in which the relative value of two things is set forth (e. "The Book . 20:2). 11:31). and avoiding trouble. p.
regardless of their financial condition. Similarly the words of a fool. . When we speak too much. the power of words is greater than that of "shifty signs. on the other hand. desires. Transgressing means breaking across. 954. not just the immediate consequences of an act or condition. p.30 Dr. simply because they are righteous. The righteous person will never be permanently or ultimately shaken. The winking eye is a clue to insincere speech or behavior. we break across into an area where we should not go. The righteous will not lack what is most important in life. The alternative was exile from the land. which cannot be transformed into practical attainment. Some people transgress when they engage in inappropriate transparency. This can happen in private as well as public speech. However. 426. We should only share our lives with people to the degree that they have committed themselves to us. Things that produce profit 10:1-14 10:2 2010 Edition At face value both statements in this verse may seem untrue. though he or she may experience hardships. though they may lack food. and sorrow will cover their faces."125 10:3 10:6 The righteous receive blessings from God and other people. conceal violence within themselves. However. God will not meet the deepest cravings of the wicked because they have rejected His ways. the wicked will not experience God's blessing in the end."126 2. will result in his or her own destruction eventually. Dwelling in the land of promise was the wandering Israelite's hope of eventual divine blessing. "The wicked are condemned to live forever with their unfulfilled. it still can result in security— and its absence can result in poverty. Things of true value 10:15-32 10:10 10:15 10:19 Even though wealth is not most important. 10:30 125McKane. The righteous escape death in that they have greater true riches (as God's beneficiaries) than the wicked. lies in remembering that Solomon had the whole course of a life in view. As a tiny gesture. and so sterile. so people should not despise it. p. as well as the solution to many that follow. 126Ross. though small. it can do greater damage than many larger overt acts. The solution to this puzzling proverb. The wicked. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 1. Conversely.
17. 11:2 A proud person refuses to accept instruction from God. 129Whybray. . 131Ross. 130Larsen. John 10:10). 26:18."128 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of God's wrath (cf. Job 15:2. .129 The wicked do not experience deliverance from trouble ultimately.127 "The wicked invite pride to come as their guest. Zeph. p. if he or she would follow it. and that is their wisdom.. 113. 483. Jer. . . especially verses 1-21. Constable's Notes on Proverbs Speech indicates character. 4. but finally they go to the place reserved for them—forever. 17. . p. 1:18).'"130 "Despises" means "belittles" (RSV). The Book . 136. which. It may also imply something bad and destructive such as the dreaded Palestinian sirocco (cf. something that cannot be grasped (27:16. 3. would result in his or her receiving honor. "Fitting" (NIV) is better than "acceptable." and "perverted" means inappropriate. . 67. Josh. "Henrietta Mears used to say. The Book . like an inseparable twin. p. 'Life' and 'death' describe the vicissitudes of this life but can also refer to beyond the grave. Isa. . Mic. 2:11).2010 Edition 10:32 Dr. righteousness must be pursued. 7:19. 963. 1:14. "Since life and death result from moral choices. 128Waltke. not just the possession of life. . disgrace comes along with her as an uninvited guest. Wise investments 11:16-31 11:19 The full quality of life is in view in this proverb (cf. but. Eccles.. v. but the devil made the small town. 'God made the country. p. p."131 11:29 "Wind" here probably represents being left with nothing. Job 21:30. man made the city. 7:26). Wise living in various contexts 11:1-15 31 Things that are abhorrent to the Lord concern much of chapter 11. The humble take God's advice. The foolish man who mismanages his accounts may also have to sell himself as a servant to the 11:8 11:11 11:12 127See Plaut. Ezek. 5:13.
pp. soul-winning is not all that this verse is talking about. 249-50. Toy. 15:6). 138McKane. The value of righteousness 12:1-12 12:6 The words of the wicked. Fields. which includes turning to God for salvation. p. he or she captures others with ideas or influence (cf. 136Ross. p. whereas. 4:18. they could have some of the conveniences of life. 11:30 A righteous person exercises a life-giving influence. The Book . Snell. 4:18). 135Cf. and Ross.133 No one sins with impunity. also Lee M. The wicked want to gain from the work of other evil people (e. a servant. skimming money off the top of a gambling operation).g. p. Barr.135 A better translation is."136 12:12 The contrast appears to be between two kinds of people. A fool's reaction is "like an injured animal and so his opponent knows that he has been wounded. 137Cf."138 A fool brings dishonor on himself and becomes vulnerable by making a big deal out of some insult that he received.. 1:18).g. That is. "The point seems to be that some people live beyond their means in a vain show . An example would be a person who gets too far in debt and has to sell all his possessions to pay off his creditors. The idea here is that wise people influence others to follow the way of wisdom. a wise person wins others to wisdom. 970. the righteous are content to earn wages from their own honest toil." Vetus Testamentum 33 (1983):362-65. Whybray. Furthermore. "Better is a man of humble standing who works for himself than one who plays the great man but lacks bread" (RSV). 134See J. but the words of the upright are straightforward and sincere (cf. "'Taking Souls' in Proverbs 11:30. 133See 132See . Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition wise person who is a better manager. 11:31 and 1 Pet. 1 Peter quoted this proverb (1 Pet. 969. On the other hand. e. Avoiding trouble 12:13-28 12:16 A prudent person "ignores an insult" (RSV). The insult is dishonor to himself or herself. . "b'rs—molis: Prov. 11:31 12:9 Daniel C.. .137 6. "Proverbs 11:30: Soul-Winning or Wise Living?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50:3 (September 2007):517-35. .32 Dr. 442. 2 Sam. are an ambush. particularly their false accusations. 73.. p. if they lived modestly. God will judge every sin.132 While it is true that evangelistic soulwinning is wise work.134 5. ." Journal of Semitic Studies 20 (1975):149-64.
Emerton." Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 76 (1964):191-93. Transparent sharing can wound the speaker.144 The lazy man does not finish his projects."140 33 12:21 ". . but taken rightly. 144Cf."145 12:25 12:26 12:27 my comments on 10:19. Contracts are useless. Solomon was evidently general deliberately. decent people do not have frequent trouble of their own making . 141Ross. 139See . Constable's Notes on Proverbs Thoughtless or critical speech can wound others."143 What is the "good word?" It could be any word that gives encouragement. the person who has mastered diligence and finishes his task has a precious tool at his disposal. precious in adversity. 98. However. promises are vain. 142Kidner. A. p. and now they were selling their valuable language tools and thereby wasting their gains. no more Greek and Hebrew!' They had spent several years learning to use the Bible languages. pp. p. . and all personal relationships are suspect. and he avoids speech which creates bitterness and erects barriers between himself and others. p. as well as before. The antecedent of "them" in 26b is "the wicked" (plural). "I recall hearing some of my student friends say at seminary graduation. 64-65. but we must practice it wisely.2010 Edition 12:18 Dr. he does not roast and eat the game he has hunted. 140McKane. J. "The sage is not primarily interested in winning debates.139 Wise people do not cause harm by their reckless talk. "A Note in Proverbs 12:26. Transparent sharing is good. 145Wiersbe. 50:20)—cheaply held in prosperity. "The rigid application of this law was the mainstay of Job's comforters. He throws away his chances for something better by quitting too soon. 'Thank the Lord. 446. then society starts to fall apart."142 12:22 "When words can't be trusted. p. . 143Wiersbe. 972. it is a stimulating truth as valid for Paul (Rom. . 8:28 with 36. 37) as for Joseph (Gn. namely: perseverance. the judicial system becomes a farce."141 The verse is also true when one considers what happens to people after death. 118.
"149 13:11 13:19 Even though it is pleasant to hope for something better and then see it happen. 149Ross.) In reality the 146Franz 147Toy. originally the sign of animal and vegetable health and vigor. The more money a person has the more financial obligations become his. 13:1. p. "In spite of the sweetness of good desires accomplished. Mark 3:4. a fool will not do so because he would rather continue practicing evil. A poor man is not the target of robbers and kidnappers because he has little money. 5:23. 1:272. . in that: though it is "easy come. p. 9:56." "This is a warning against wild speculation. 977. Both can bring ruin to the speaker. fatness. The "soul" stands for the whole person (cf. 148McKane. the industrious gain. 13 13:3 13:4 2010 Edition This caution applies to inappropriate transparency as well as verbose communication. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 7. . Fruits of wise living ch. but in vain. 458. 5:20). 1 Thess.34 Dr. . ." it is also "easy go. Fools characteristically do not hope for higher things. p. since the object is not gained but only lost by doing nothing. but a poor man is free of these distractions. 16:24-27.' This common maxim (a one-size-fits-all approach to child discipline) is often wrongly attributed to the Bible."147 13:8 The idea in this contrast is that a rich man may lose his money by having to buy himself out of trouble. but his desire remains unsatisfied. Biblical Commentary on the Proverbs of Solomon. James 1:21. is used as general symbol of prosperity. and that richly. Another view is that the poor man cannot buy himself out of trouble since his means are limited. Rom. "The slothful wishes and dreams of prosperity and abundance . 262. 150T. fools will not forsake evil to attain it. Perowne. The Proverbs. p. what the slothful wishes for.148 Wealth obtained by fraud would be money gotten by not working for it. They only want to continue in evil."150 13:24 "'Spare the rod and spoil the child. (This maxim comes from a poem written by Samuel Butler in 1664. 103. Delitzsch. T. Matt. Luke 6:9."146 ". This kind of income dwindles. .
See also Waltke. David's statement that he had never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread (Ps. 574. 6:33. but then I discovered that it was leaning against the wrong wall. As someone once told me. Matt."153 "What people say has a great bearing on how they are received. It expresses a condition that is generally true in this life—all other things being equal. . Further advice for wise living chs. 14—15 These proverbs are more difficult to group together under a general heading because there are fewer common ideas that tie them together.2010 Edition Dr. 7:1314) because their destination is wrong. Wegner. ."152 35 13:25 This proverb illustrates the difference between a proverb and a promise. not a guarantee that God will always provide all the physical needs of all the righteous. "Discipline in the Book of Proverbs: 'To Spank or Not To Spank?'" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 48:4 (December 2005):715-32. . . God never promised that He would keep every righteous person from starving to death (cf. p. However. 14:1 This verse makes better sense if for "house" we read "household. encourages its readers to use multiple levels of discipline ranging from pointing out improper behavior to the use of corporal punishment. 152Toy. . The Book .. Matt. 14:3 151Paul D." Either translation is legitimate. 16:25. p."151 "The proverb simply commends bodily chastisement as a means of training. Salvation by works is one example of this. when taken as a whole. 278. 983. Lev. The antecedent of "them" (3b) is "the wise" (plural). p. Nevertheless. 37:25) was a personal testimony. 8."154 14:12 Without the additional light of divine revelation we might conclude that any number of courses of action will lead to good ends. Constable's Notes on Proverbs book of Proverbs. 106. "I was climbing the ladder of success. details are left to the judgment of parents ." This proverb warns that apparently good roads may prove fatal to the moral life (cf. 153Kidner. "Words come back to roost. God's Word helps us see the end of some of these paths so that we can avoid them. p. 26). 154Ross. 7:27.
"157 14:24 14:28 It is a credit to a ruler when he rules over many people and they prosper and increase. Buzzell. v. Constable's Notes on Proverbs ". Cf. This proverb deals with responsible speech. p. 111. p."160 p. This is so because part of a governmental leader's responsibility is to generate prosperity. 3:16. and McKane. Consequently what the wise says is "acceptable" (lit. "The wise are crowned. 14:31 14:33 The influence of human speech occupies much of chapter 15. you end up with four important propositions: (1) speech is an awesome gift from God. ibid. 22:4) because of their diligence (14:23). but foolish conduct results not in blessing but in more folly (cf. 174. Luke 10:31).. "Proverbs. (2) speech can be used to do good. backslider conveys the wrong impression of an apostate. p. not just someone who may live nearby (cf.36 14:14 Dr." in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament. one who declines from or abandons his own previous position of moral right. the Hebrew expression here implies simply non-adherence to the right. . blessed with wealth (cf. 8:18. 296. 111-12. a fool does. Toy."159 Fools may have knowledge but not biblical wisdom."158 A paraphrase of this verse could be. 293. but it is a discredit to him when his people decline in number and wealth. (4) only God can help us use speech to do good. 160Wiersbe. 159Kidner. "When you summarize what Proverbs teaches about human speech. (3) speech can be used to do evil. 15:6. p. . 936. 21. 15:2 The contrast here is not between the quantity of words that the wise and the fool utter. 290. that is. It is the fact that the wise man considers what he says before he says it. 156See 155Toy. .156 The ends of the wise and the foolish are in view. 158Larsen. "Loving evangelism is the foremost road out of poverty. and. 157Sid S."155 2010 Edition 14:20 "Neighbor" refers to any person with whom we come in contact. p. 466. "A wise man does not parade his knowledge. 18). p. but the fool does not. "good") and what the fool says is "folly" (unwise). pp.
the foolish laughs at and saddens his mother. 2:4. However." 161Toy. whereas those in chapters 10—15 had living successfully more in view. 311. the humility in the context (33a) is the fear of the Lord. Living wisely tends to prolong life. "We may at least say that the language [of this proverb] anticipates what later Scripture will clearly teach about the ultimate destination of the way of life. Trusting God ch. Solomon expressed the earlier proverbs (chs. 1 Cor. p."163 37 15:22 15:24 15:30 Happy people and good news both have a heartwarming effect.162 A person who makes his or her plans without asking for advice or comments from other people shows that he or she is excessively selfconfident. 10—15 and 16:1—22:16). "The wise son honors and gladdens his father. Col. the wise avoid Sheol as long as they can by being wise. To fear the Lord amounts to being wise in one sense. Both ends are present in both sections of the book (chs. . HOW TO PLEASE GOD 16:1—22:16 15:33 There is a shift in emphasis in Solomon's anthology here. 9:10). Gen. Everyone goes to Sheol (the grave) eventually (except believers who experience translation at the Rapture and do not die). 1 John 3:22) becomes a greater factor in the proverbs that follow."161 It may imply that the fool is callous toward his mother. 16 In this chapter. Nevertheless. 7:33. p. The fear of the Lord is the willingness to humble oneself before God and to let His Word guide us. 52:7-8). someone who consults others and asks for their advice shows that he realizes he may be overlooking some factors and is not entirely self-confident (cf. Constable's Notes on Proverbs The full thought behind this verse seems to be. 116. 11:14). However.2010 Edition 15:20 Dr. Pleasing God (cf. 163Ross. Though 33b presents a universal truth. though it is the foundation for wisdom in another (1:7). p. B. 1:10. 162Kidner. It is also the whole path of wisdom. but the proverbs in this section are mainly synonymous and synthetic parallelisms. 1. Instead of the key word being "but" it now becomes "and. 999. 17:22. 1 Thess. 25:25. 10—15) mainly in antithetical parallelisms. this is only a change in proportion of emphasis. Good news also uplifts people. Healthy bones (lit. Isa. The fear of Yahweh is not just the foundation of a wise life (1:7. there is also a slight change in the form of the proverbs. 45:27-28. fat bones) represented health and prosperity to the Jews (cf.
p. cf. . This proverb is not a denial of our need for God's atonement. . "The admonition commit to (gol 'el. Acts 4:19-20). "Man proposes. and a falling in with the revealed plan of salvation. Consequently it is very important that the ruler not err in his judgment. as God covers our sins. 22:8. we can and should cover (atone for) the mistakes of others lovingly and truthfully (1 Pet. 165Waltke. lit. 168See W. . Man plans his words. 1:339. in the end he only fulfills the will of God by what he says. when someone is trying to speak before others. 5:7)." but the idea is the same. "The Motif of the Wise Courtier in the Book of Proverbs. but "folly" is a source of discipline for a fool. Lee Humphreys. 1002." is a common equivalent. God disposes.168 "Understanding" (good sense) is a source of life for a wise person. 'roll to/upon'. He will arrange our plans. 166Delitzsch. However. What will keep us all away from evil is the fear of Yahweh. but what really comes out takes place because God sovereignly controls. Davies. "The Meaning of qesem in Prv 16:10. Gen 29:3. 167For the meaning of "divine decision" or "oracle. 10. Ps. Proverbs has little that is positive to say about a fool." Biblica 61 (1980):554-56. roll) our cares on God (1 Pet.. The AV and RV have "thoughts" for "plans. 8. "The fear of Jahve is subjection to the God of revelation. Thus a person's wisdom or lack of it determines his or her prospects in life. roll it unto the LORD and leave it there. Even though man has freedom to plan."164 16:3 When we cast (lit. "It is highly unlikely that Solomon would accept the idea that all men are created equal and thus deserve education at government expense. The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 15—31." in Israelite Wisdom: Theological and Literary Essays in Honor of Samuel Terrien. 164Ibid. 37:5) connotes a sense of finality. the Lord directs the words according to his sovereign will. ". 4:8). 177-90."169 16:22 p. 169Alden. 11." see E. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition The meaning of this proverb is similar to that of 16:9. This proverb stresses the importance of depending on the Lord. cf. W.167 His ordinances are the will of God for them (unless he commands contrary to God's revealed will.38 16:1 Dr. p. pp."166 16:10 A king's edict becomes law for his people. 129."165 16:6 We do not atone for our own iniquity by being loving and truthful.
and so to make it high is to say lofty things—he brags too much (see 1 Sam 2:3. the gate is the mouth. Prov 18:12. 173Ross. A bribe is an effective tool."173 17:24 A man of understanding concentrates on wisdom.170 The idea here is that it is foolish for a fool to try to buy wisdom when he does not have the sense to comprehend it. 341. 174McKane. . . more splendid door for the sake of impressing others.171 or does not intend to follow that wisdom. p. 1019. His mind roams everywhere. 18 18:1 Evidently the intent is. ."174 3. 17 39 17:8 The owner of the bribe is the person who gives it. Why go to school and pay good money for tuition if you do not plan to put into practice what you are learning? "It is possible to be educated and to have no heart for truth. It works like a charm. 172Larsen. God's view of bribery becomes clear in 17:15 and 23. and his condition is expressed by a hyperbole. p. 171McKane. ". so the person who loves to display his wealth is setting himself up for destruction. Friendship and folly ch. Peacemakers and troublemakers ch. for he is fascinated by her instruction and is a picture of unbroken concentration. Just as a person who loves transgression thereby sets himself up for strife. His door publicizes his wealth and attracts the interest of burglars. "He who separates himself [from other people]" does so because he wants his own way and does not want others to restrain 170Toy.2010 Edition Dr. As a student who is hearing nothing of what his teacher says might let his eyes rove to every corner of the classroom. 189. 505. This proverb is not advocating bribery. 504. but a fool lacks concentration. only acknowledging that money talks. for truth has a moral dimension which education cannot provide. but building a higher. p. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2. The kesil [fool] has the wandering eye and the vacant distracted mind. p."172 17:16 17:19 "Raising the door" does not mean opening it. "The eyes of the mebin [discerning man] are riveted on the teacher. 29:23). so the fool who is inattentive to the instruction of Wisdom is said to have his eyes on the ends of the earth. p. Some interpreters take the gate figuratively.
176Waltke. "as anyone who has faced a terminal illness knows. . Cf. but one may falsely imagine it a higher safeguard against calamity than it really is. 31:10 makes a similar comparison."180 18:16 18:20 18:21 The antecedent of "it" is "tongue.. Gen. It can be an innocent courtesy. "Satisfied" does not mean happy but filled. p. . p. above rubies. 13:11). strikingly resembles that of 8:35. 21:14) is not the same as the one translated "bribe" in 17:8 and 12 (sohad). . .175 ". 43:11). It means what a person gives to someone else (cf. "The wording. . p.40 Dr.. the best of God's blessings is a good wife. p. Many words can produce much destruction as well as much blessing."176 18:11 and unreasonableness are Wealth does provide some security. Much talk will produce death and life. Waltke wrote that mattan describes a gift given for selfish reasons to gain an advantage over others. The sense here is that we will have to be content to accept the consequences of what we say. Gen. whether beneficial or harmful. .178 Therefore it seems legitimate to apply it to one's personal abilities (gifts) that he or she uses in the service of others as well as to material presents."179 "The oxymoron forces the thought that whatever a person dishes out. 69. . 130. 31. p." The Hebrew word here (mattan. unfriendliness inseparable. he himself will feed on to full measure through what his audience in return dishes out to him."177 "Gift" is not necessarily a "bribe. 178Ibid. 77. especially in the Heb. p. except in 19:6. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition him. like wisdom's (8:11). It is unwise to be antisocial in the schismatic sense of that word (cf. 354. 81. putting her price. 85. so be prepared for both if you talk a lot. 181Kidner. Gen. 2:18.. The Book ." and "its fruit" refers to "death and life."181 18:22 175Toy. 15:27. Such an approach runs counter to sound wisdom because we all need input from other people to make wise decisions. 179Ross. and so suggests that after wisdom itself. 177Ibid. cf. Yet "productive speech is satisfying. The favor God bestows is His blessing. p. The Book . 1028. 180Waltke." This proverb is a warning to the talkative. 31.
"The significance of friends is found in their quality. John 15:12-15. 38:22). The Book . Further advice for pleasing God 19:1—22:16 As was true in the chapter 10—15 section. "Better the child is corrected by a parent than by a law enforcement officer in a correctional institution. . their friends do. 14-18). 41 18:24 The NASB translation of 24a is more true to the Hebrew than the AV that reads. willing for him to die. . 184Wiersbe. because there are fewer groupings of proverbs. If a parent does not discipline his child while there is hope of correcting him. Even their own overtures of friendship are ineffective (7c). The implication is that it is futile to bail such a person out of the trouble he gets himself into with his temper. only a good wife is (cf. 2:11. p. Jer. "A man (who hath) friends must show himself friendly." Why is it unwise to have many friends? Probably because when one has many friends the possibility that some of them will be false friends is greater (cf. 19:18 182Waltke. Solomon's point was that in contrast to false friends (24a). 19:13. Such a friend is a true treasure. he is really. While that is appropriate." The RV is perhaps the easiest of all to understand: "He that maketh many friends (doeth it) to his own destruction.2010 Edition Dr."184 19:19 An uncontrolled temper will repeatedly send its owner into fresh trouble. It is better to have one or two good friends than many false friends. 31. 97.. . some friends can be more faithful than our closest blood relatives. 14). 110. p. "Discipline" (Heb. 19:7 The first part of this verse is hyperbole."182 Christians have often applied the second part of this verse to Jesus Christ (cf. The child's folly will lead to his death if his parents do not curb it with discipline. 183Whybray. p. though perhaps not consciously. 105. The point is that people avoid the poor—their relatives do. . not quantity. yasser) includes chastisement as well as instruction. . Heb. 4. Constable's Notes on Proverbs Not just any wife is a good thing though. and even more. The Book . this one (16:1—22:16) also becomes more difficult to outline as it ends.183 Some parents allow their children to go astray out of neglect.
This warning is applicable to those who are too lazy to finish the projects they begin. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "Whereas the son is corrected by parental discipline. upon reconsidering. In either case. p.. "To Pawn One's Cloak. Dahood. argued for this limited meaning. cf. 1047. . 186Whybray. . such as his garment or some other pledge. 190Ross. 116. they then try to go back on their word. 4:12). the consequence is often lack of divine blessing. . The Book . If you lend to him. . Such a stranger is a bad risk. The proverb encourages us to hold people to their obligations. so he will repay you.187 The inheritance in view evidently comes prematurely—by request or by dishonesty (cf. nishmat. Solomon compared our "spirit" (lit. 5:5." Heb. 19:26. until one thinks through the implications of the decision carefully. p. The Book . Ironically. 185Waltke."188 20:16 20:21 20:25 The situation in view here is that of a person who impulsively pledges something to God and then. Heb. 187M.189 "Too many people will make promises under the inspiration of the hour only later to realize that they have strapped themselves." Biblica 42 (1961):359-66. p. 26:15). 188Buzzell. The wise father does not interfere in the operation of the cause-consequence of the divinely established penal and remedial moral order. 113. we should avoid all unconsidered action. the hothead must be corrected by allowing the consequences of his own foibles to punish him. . . the person who 'rescues' the hothead becomes caught in the unhealthy dynamics of his way. Eccles."190 20:27 God searches out our innermost thoughts and feelings. Mark 7:11). 27:13). "breath. The Book . wishes that he had not done so (cf.. 31. cf. "Such wealth may be squandered and often squelches initiative and work. Much more than simply giving a pledge for a prostitute must be in view. make sure you have some collateral. 189Whybray. In a larger application. . Here the spirit is almost equivalent to the conscience (God's Word also searches. 2:7) to a lamp God uses to investigate all the darkened crannies of our being in this very graphic proverb. p.42 Dr.186 Solomon advised that a person who takes on the obligations of another person who is a stranger or a foreigner to him—is not very wise (cf. 949."185 19:24 2010 Edition This humorous picture is of a person so lazy that he cannot even lift his food from his plate to his mouth (cf. It is better to wait to make the pledge. Luke 15:12). The point is that a lazy person will bear the consequences of his own laziness. p. Gen. 111.
It is better to live alone outside. 20:27). p. . moral evil must be put away by severe chastisement. on the other hand. than in the sheltered. 191R. p. and in doing so He sets the righteous free. but the second person listens. comfortable interior of one's house if one has to share the inside with a scolding woman. the man who listens (Is.196 The upright."194 Ross believed that the verse teaches that "false witnesses will be discredited and destroyed. and applies. and the person who listens to the truth and repeats it. God delivers the righteous by punishing the wicked who oppress them. Van Leeuwen. His bold face reflects a hard heart that holds the opinions and views of others in contempt. not to grind some axe. 194Kidner. Cf. 5:188. 193Ibid. "Rest" is the poetic equivalent of "dwell. The first person has little concern for listening carefully. 11:8). p. and that these are sin. "The Book of Proverbs..2010 Edition Dr. . their conscience (cf. 50:4) is the man worth listening to. This proverb makes sense if we keep in mind that roofs in the ancient Near East were flat and people used them as patios."195 21:9 21:16 21:18 21:28 21:29 A wicked man puts up a show of confidence. If this is so. Heeding the truth makes all the difference. but it also comes out as wisdom and words. the verse is saying that arrogance and pride are the sum and substance of the life of the wicked. does not need to pretend to be something he is not because he is walking on the right path."193 A ransom is a payment given to free a person from some penalty he has incurred. C." in the New Interpreter's Bible. p. 224."192 The "lamp" of the wicked seems to be their life (cf. The contrast is between the person who listens to falsehood and repeats it. McKane. Such would be the case if the wicked were oppressing the righteous (cf. 404. . similar to posting bail to get out of jail. Spartan conditions with peace are better than physical comforts with strife. In this case. 196Plaut. p. 397. . . but it is a bluff. "The key phrase is a man who hears: his first aim is to know and understand. it appears that God punishes the wicked. 13:9b) or. . 146. giving life. exposed to the elements. learns. 556. 192Toy. p. 1058. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "Breath typically goes in and comes out of a person."191 43 20:30 21:4 ". 195Ross. more particularly.
or stage in life. It is generally true. On the other hand. under the influence of godly parents who teach and live God's standards (cf. Archer. "A proverb is a literary device whereby a general truth is brought to bear on a specific situation. responses. 16. 3:2). p. 953. pleasure-seeking culture. . Kidner. 415. not one's personality. For example. verses 3-4. Dan.198 "In the way he should go" is literally "according to his way. p. pp. 1 Kings 8:63. character and reputation have a way of being ignored if not actually denigrated. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "In our modern. that most children who are brought up in Christian homes. 495. Eph. "Way" in Proverbs usually means the path a person takes through life. Deut. temperament. the verse is saying the parent should train up a child in the way of wisdom. follow that training. 2 Chron. occasional exceptions may be noted. and Greenstone. True value must be seen. A good name is an asset whose currency is unaffected by the boom or bust of the material world. however. 198Gleason . however. However the context favors the latter view. Though the proverbs are generally and usually true. This may be because of the selfwill or deliberate disobedience of an individual who chooses to go his own way—the way of folly instead of the way of wisdom . 20:5. 1061-62. 7:5. That guidance might include dedicating him or her to God and preparing the child for future responsibilities and adulthood.. It has the idea of narrowing and in this verse implies channeling the child's conduct into the way of wisdom. Many of the proverbs are not absolute guarantees for they express truths that are necessarily conditioned by prevailing circumstances. McKane.199 The second part of this verse has challenged the faith of many a godly parent. not in what one has but in what he or she truly is.e. Toy. 564. it could mean the way in which he ought to go. 147. p. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. The explanation for this seemingly broken promise lies in a correct understanding of what a proverb is. 6:4). 252. 9. i. The Hebrew grammar permits either interpretation. 200Buzzell. 199Ross. p. to live in the fear of God."197 2010 Edition 22:6 "Train" (Heb. Obviously many children who have received good training have repudiated the way of wisdom later in life. . p.44 22:1 Dr." It may mean according to his personality. 11. 29 do not express promises that are always binding. p. L. p. 234. or stage in life. disposition. hedonistic. Consequently."200 197Merrill. hanak) means to dedicate (cf.
"203 22:8 This verse provides encouragement for the oppressed. "The verse may be referring to the apparently common practice of Israelites selling themselves into slavery to pay off debts (see Exod 21:2-7). He does not force them to do what is right (cf. the revelation of Scripture elsewhere is that God allows people to make their own decisions. not out of love for them (cf. 202Wiersbe. we must be careful not to mistake presumption for faith. 1062. Deut. "While a certain amount of honest debt is expected in today's world. . 22:16 201Waltke. 2:11-15. Constable's Notes on Proverbs This proverb clearly does not state a Scriptural promise. The gifts given to the rich are to secure their favor. 31. 23:20). 93. Ezek. though the Israelites could charge foreigners interest (Deut.'"202 This verse warns the borrower that he puts himself in a vulnerable position by borrowing. Rather."201 45 22:7 This verse does not forbid borrowing. The last line assures the sufferer that God will eventually break the oppressing rod of the person who sows iniquity. "In sum. but the borrower should be aware of this possibility. The Mosaic Law permitted this but condemned charging other Jews interest (Exod. 'When your outgo exceeds your income. p. As the familiar adage puts it. 5:11-14. The Book . 203Ross. Most lenders will not take unfair advantage of someone who borrows from them. p. An unscrupulous lender might take advantage of him. 18:20). 14:31. . The New Testament does not forbid borrowing either. but it is going too far to say that the Bible condemns going into debt. He becomes dependent on another or others by borrowing. 206. and everybody wants to achieve a good credit rating. It may be unwise to go into debt in some situations. the proverb promises the educator that his original. In Israel the Jews borrowed from one another. 28:3). 44). though it forbids not paying debts (Rom.2010 Edition Dr. But that is not the whole truth about religious education. moral initiative has a permanent effect on a person for good. 22:25. and early. 28:12. . p. 19:17. It is not appreciably different from the modern debtor who is working to pay off bills. 13:6-8). then your upkeep is your downfall. 23:19.
The proverbs lengthen out again from the typical one-verse couplet that characterizes 10:1—22:16 (cf. 24:23-34). sages points to the existence of a special class of wise men. . . This design includes an introduction stating why the writer gave the instruction followed by 30 independent sections of sayings on diverse subjects. pp. 555-57.). . "The plur. Also. For an introduction to other similar ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature. as in chapters 1—9. 28-31. Both sets of proverbs contain 30 sayings each. pp. "Have I not written to you excellent things . 1558-1085 B. the 30 sayings of the wise. we read in 22:20 (in the Hebrew text) that a group of 30 sayings will follow. or Waltke. part of which is preserved in the Book of Proverbs . Third.. is on the importance of applying the instruction previously given. 451. However. The Book . which includes the fourth collection of proverbs (six more sayings of the wise. "These also are sayings of the wise [or sages.205 The Instruction of Amen-em-Ope is a piece of Egyptian wisdom literature that scholars have dated in the New Kingdom period (ca. . and The Instruction of Amen-em-Ope. and six more "sayings of the wise" (24:23). wrote the proverbs in 22:17—24:22. The utterances of these men formed a distinct body of thought. EMPHASIS The value of wisdom The examples of wisdom The application of wisdom SECTION chs. 1—9 10:1—22:16 22:17—24:34 The reason many scholars believe Solomon did not write the 36 sayings of the wise (22:17—24:34) is this: The title. who were oral teachers or writers. the phrase "my son" appears again. The NASB translators rendered this verse. Many scholars have called attention to the similarities between Proverbs 22:17—24:22. suggesting that these sages. plural]. a difference p. chs. . .g. and both follow the same structural design. 369-74. 1—9). 204Toy. The 36 sayings divide into two groups: "the  words of the wise" (22:17).. This is clear from several indicators. who cited eight other similar pre-Solomonic Egyptian texts.46 Dr.C."204 The word "also" in 24:23a apparently refers to the similar title in 22:17. 205E. . both use the "my son" terminology. COLLECTION 3: THIRTY SAYINGS OF THE WISE 22:17—24:22 2010 Edition A third major section of the Book of Proverbs begins with 22:17. not Solomon. see Harris. Constable's Notes on Proverbs III. McKane." The emphasis in 22:17—24:34." in 24:23a suggests several writers rather than one. pp.
"The Book ." pp. evidently not Solomon. and "30 sayings" (RSV. in order that his religious life may be firmly established. slswm) has also been rendered "heretofore" (RV margin). As mentioned earlier. 221-38. litigation. 210Waltke. p. 211Ibid. Amen-em-Ope expressed no such hope or any belief in a personal God. . 223. THE 30 SAYINGS 22:22—24:22 Waltke titled the first 10 sayings "a Decalogue of sayings about wealth. The Book . p. that seems to be the best option for translation.2010 Edition Dr. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 47 between these two collections is significant. see Waltke. 20. Since 30 sayings follow. 424-25. . said their purpose was that the readers' "trust may be in the Lord" (22:19). there is a call (v."209 "Even the most brilliant moral sayings are powerless without personal application. 149. ."207 First. litigation. 31. "Notwithstanding the difficulties of the text. violence. who may have been his father. 17) followed by three motivations: a pleasing store of wisdom (v. and that he may be able to give wise counsel to those who seek advice. "This extended introduction reminds us that the wise sayings were not curiosity pieces. 1065. p. 20-21).. and revelation demands a response. a deeper trust in the Lord (v. The reason the writer gave the following proverbs introduces the 30 sayings. INTRODUCTION TO THE 30 SAYINGS 22:17-21 As in chapters 1—9. pp. the general thought of the paragraph is plain: the pupil is to devote himself to study. . 207Ross. The writer or writers of the biblical proverbs.206 A. 206For an introduction to the study of comparative ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature. NIV). "Him who sent you" (v. 19). 209Toy. However. Vulgate). 208Kidner. 225."210 B. they were revelation. the writer began this section of the book with an exhortation to hear and give heed to the words of wisdom that follow. and a greater reliability (vv. 18)."211 22:22-23 Note the chiastic structure in these four lines that unifies the thought of the passage: violence. the biblical writers' purpose and faith distinguish the Book of Proverbs from all other ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature. The point of this first saying is that God will avenge the poor on those who oppress them.. . p. 21) is probably the original reader's teacher. "triply" (Septuagint.208 The Hebrew word translated "excellent things" (v.
which in time could add up to a sizeable land grab.48 22:24-25 Dr. Luke 12:20. 2:104. control himself). 6:7-10). this was also a sin against God. "The Book . resulted in individuals losing and gaining property and wealth. curb his appetite. 215Harris. 213Kidner."216 23:4-5 Wealth is just as illusive as social prestige (cf. "What is before you" (v. 15:1). 19:14. Solomon previously warned of the folly of making promises to cover the debts of others (6:1-5." pp.. 150. 20:16). usually marked by stone pillars or piles of stones (cairns). 14:17. The warning is against appropriating someone else's property. will ultimately determine how his career progresses. 1) is better than "who is before you.e. . He may want something from him or be evaluating him. not disrespecting historical markers."212 22:26-27 22:28 22:29 The quality of a person's work. 29. 1 Tim. 17:18. p. 27:17. 237-38. p. "Anyone who puts his workmanship before his prospects towers above the thrusters and climbers of the adjacent paragraphs. This is a good way to lose what one has. The host may simply be getting him in a good mood for his own selfish reasons. since God owned and apportioned all the land (cf."213 23:1-3 The point of this advice is to be humble and restrained in the presence of a prestigious host. 216Waltke.. p."215 The fact that the host serves delicacies may not indicate that he esteems the guest highly. not his bribes or flattery. 11:15. . . Therefore. In Israel. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition The influence of a hothead can prove detrimental (cf. 1:10-19. people should not wear themselves out trying to get rich. Job 24:2).. 235. 575. 214Delitzsch. The guest should put a knife to his throat rather than to his food (i. "Probably the boundary stone was moved annually only about an inconspicuous half-inch. Therefore a person should seek to improve his or her skills.214 "Threaten your appetite with death. Moving boundaries in fields. Deut. 212Ibid.
rather than a human kinsman-redeemer (Heb. for they are a false security. Job 19:25. .219 In either case. Job 19:25. Here it is evidently God who is in view. . As always in Proverbs. 23:15. prohibiting the quest for riches. it is a general admonition to apply these wise declarations to life. 48:16. "The idea is that discipline helps the child to live a full life. and 26. It is simply one form used here as a poetic parallel to discipline (Heb. The Book . Beating with a rod is not the only form of discipline advocated in Proverbs. . . . pp. 151. if he dies (prematurely).2010 Edition 23:6-8 Dr. 16. We should probably take verse 12 as an exhortation added to the tenth saying. 432-33. These verses assure the parent that the child will not only survive the discipline. you will only have a miserable experience." One should not try to speak words of wisdom to a fool.) may be more appropriate in some situations with children of differing ages and temperaments. 23:10-12 23:13-14 The sage again advocated discipline. Here the writer added a reason to the warning in the fourth saying (22:28). p. At their center stands the eighth saying [23:4-5]. All three sayings warn that things are not as they appear. . temporary isolation. Kidner paraphrased verse 8 as follows: "It takes away the relish . The words spoken on this occasion are in harmony with God's since they are words containing wisdom. to have one's grudging host . 219Toy. if you accept. God is the rescuing avenger of the defenseless (in Genesis 28:16. 31. 6:6. Some scholars have viewed it as an introduction to the remaining 20 sayings in view of its similarity to 22:17. However. Isa. goel. the fool is one who rejects God's words. Exodus 6:6. God can change people's minds about divine wisdom. p. doing mental arithmetic (7a) with each dish. Trying to teach someone divine wisdom when he or she rejects divine wisdom is a waste of time. but he or she will survive because of it. and many times in Isaiah 41—63). 41—63). 19. Exod. Constable's Notes on Proverbs It is better to decline a dinner invitation from a miser because. moral correction)." etc."217 "The seventh saying [23:1-3] warns about the greed of the gluttonous guest and the ninth saying [23:6-8] about the greed of the stingy host. But this proverb deals only with natural response. "grounding. Other forms of discipline (reproof. 218Waltke. it would be a consequence of not 217Kidner. cf. . 237. Gen. musar."218 49 23:9 "The hearing of a fool" is literally "the ears of a fool. This is another warning against taking unfair advantage of a defenseless person.
and respect for the youth."221 23:15-16 2010 Edition This saying balances the previous one. The affectionate "My son" adds a warm touch and removes any inference that the writer enjoyed whipping his child. but it is necessary for them to become wise. painful loss. who frequently prosper in this life. 4:1-9). Submission to parental authority makes submission to divine authority easier (cf. Our culture glamorizes sexual promiscuity. p. However. 241-42. We should always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. This father's greatest concern was that his son should learn wisdom."220 "Severe discipline is not cruel. The long view—even beyond death—is essential in order to avoid envying the wicked. It is especially important. Heeding wise parental instruction is hard for some children. Warmth and affection. . Children who follow God's way of wisdom not only bring joy to themselves but also to their parents. affection. The child's choice is as vital as the parent's discipline. p.224 It does not necessarily mean obeying their instructions. 252. .50 Dr. constraint. then laziness. 1070. the cleansing rod must be applied with warmth. Constable's Notes on Proverbs being trained. 224Toy. p. but to withhold it from callous youth is. characterize the father's lectures (cf. 223Plaut. In Proverbs such a death might be moral and social as well as physical. Parents rejoice when they observe their children making wise choices. 152.222 Overindulgence in food and drink can lead to sleepiness. 2 Tim. 17) and looking ahead (v. By listening to and obeying his or her parents. p. then poverty. Excessive eating and drinking are often symptoms of deeper problems. . 221Waltke. . . pp.223 This saying also implies that the influence of bad companions is strong. Note again that righteousness and wisdom were synonymous in the mind of the writer (v. but these verses reveal its true consequences: entrapment. 222Kidner. Another exhortation to apply what follows prefaces this saying. 31. Parents who brutalize their children cannot hide behind the rod doctrine of Proverbs. the child learns to listen to and obey God. 23:17-18 23:19-21 23:22-23 23:24-25 23:26-28 220Ross. Honoring parents here means listening (paying attention) to their instructions. not steely discipline. . 24). The Book . We should avoid the constant companionship of people marked by these characteristics. 436. Looking up (v. 18) can help us avoid envying sinners. 3:1-4).
As Christians. 27). If it takes wisdom to build a house. etc. (cf.2010 Edition Dr. 24:7 Wisdom is beyond the fool's reach."226 24:3-4 24:5-6 Again we see that the wise person is not completely self-reliant. Wisdom is essential for all domestic enterprises. his business. Therefore he does not. Two types of harlots are in view: the unmarried (Heb. Constable's Notes on Proverbs and treachery. seek to give advice in the decision-making places of his world. it takes even more wisdom to build a household. zonah. 247.227 225Ross. The house in view is probably one's life experience—including literal houses. p. we need to overcome the obstacle of understanding the meaning of Scripture before we can apply it to our own lives and explain it to others. "While alcoholism is a medical problem. He recognizes his own imperfection and looks to others to supplement his own personal deficiencies. Matt. 1072. For this. "adulterous woman" or "wayward wife. 227See Kidner's subject study on the fool. it is their essential character that is the basis for the same advice. The Christian is a fool who does not listen to these counselors by reading what they have written to supplement and challenge his or her own study and understanding of the text. "Wage war" means to seek to overcome any obstacle one may face in life." v."225 24:1-2 Previously the writer cited the ruinous end of evil companions as motivation to avoid their company (23:20-21). it is also a moral problem because it involves choices and brings danger to other people. 226Plaut. p. 7:24-27). "The replacement of book shelves by television sets and of the study by the 'den' in modern homes (regressing from human to bestial habitats!) is a sad commentary on our times. 39-42. Here. if he has any wisdom at all. . The father urges his son to remember how too much drinking will end—so its present enjoyment will not captivate him. "harlot" or "prostitute") and the married (nokriyah. pp. God has given us a multitude of counselors in the writers of commentaries and other Bible study aids. Wise strategy is always more important than mere strength. one's household. 51 23:29-35 This classic description of drunkenness ironically illustrates the folly of that vice.
The Book of Proverbs. . 24:5a). which is a fruit of possessing wisdom (cf. 229McKane."233 24:15-16 To make a point."228 24:8-9 2010 Edition Other people will despise the person who dreams up plans that end in evil. but also the additional characteristic of a pleasure that lasts for eternity. Malbim. .' This figure goes back to the Egyptian god Thoth. "Wisdom has all the immediate sweetness of honey. This includes warning and teaching those who are hastening to destruction. the speaker spoke to his son as though he were addressing a wicked man in this saying. ."232 The concept of God weighing the heart was also very old in Israelite theology going back as far as the Garden of Eden (Gen. 233M. L. 273. 231Toy. p. 228Waltke. "The Book . The Book . Fools are not necessarily unintelligent.229 The day of distress is a day when trouble comes. 399." p. We have a responsibility to help such people.52 Dr. we need to remember that God knows the true condition of our heart and will requite us accordingly. Weak people plead adverse conditions so they can justify quitting. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "This saying inferentially commends becoming competently wise by warning against being an incompetent fool. p. 31. This device gives the warning more force since the wicked man's main concern is his own self-interest. 445. Widsom prepares for the future.230 The people carried away in verse 11 are evidently innocent captives or oppressed individuals. We never know our true strength until we find ourselves in situations that demand much from us. 24:10 24:11-12 24:13-14 The writer pictured the pleasantness and desirability of wisdom in this saying. 248. .. 237. 230Kidner. . If a person does not persevere but quits under the pressure of trouble. 232Waltke. 3:17-19). he shows that he does not have strength of character. but their plans often result in sin. Such planning is sin and the work of a fool. p. 154. who is often represented as standing at the judgment of the dead beside the scales with the human heart. p. p. If we claim ignorance of their condition as a reason for not helping them. We are responsible to rescue those who are in mortal danger.231 "In Proverbs 24:12 Yahweh is represented as one 'who weighs the heart. Folly does not.
23:17. p. The Book . Rom. IV. 24:1)."235 24:19-20 "Fret" (Heb. 156."238 24:27 The farmer must pay more attention to the cultivation of his fields than to his personal comfort. . 959."237 Truthful speech is a mark of friendship. "In truth the proverb teaches that the LORD will not promote further moral ugliness by maintaining the situation that exacerbates it. See Waltke. . so an honest (and perhaps straightforward) answer shows a person's concern and therefore is welcomed. for information about kissing customs in the ancient Near East. 22) refers to God and the king. 2:17). 24:21-22 This concludes the so-called 30 sayings of the wise.2010 Edition Dr. 1 Pet. like a kiss on the lips. 285. The wicked are doomed. Other wise men (lit. The Book . 31. 13:1-7. 234Whybray. . The "lamp" is the life of the wicked. as is clear from 24:23a. Matt. People should fear God and the government because they both punish rebels (cf. The Book . tithar) means to burn up emotionally. The sage again addressed the problem of envying wicked people who enjoy temporary prosperity (cf. 293. . 236Toy." Gloating over someone else's misfortune is a practice God disapproves—even if the other person is the adversary of the righteous (cf. 140. 237Knox cited by Kidner. God defends the righteous. The phrase "both of them" (v. p. Constable's Notes on Proverbs The point is that the righteous is resilient because he trusts in God. The structure is again chiastic to emphasize the central thought of the proverb.234 53 24:17-18 To complete the thought. 5:44). "As a sincere kiss shows affection and is desirable. they will have no good outcome for their lives. COLLECTION 4: SIX MORE SAYINGS OF THE WISE 24:23-34 The first sentence in 24:23 indicates that what follows was not part of the collection of 30 sayings that preceded. It is particularly relevant for judges of all kinds. p. Fear of God's displeasure should warn the wise away from this attitude and activity. One paraphrase of this verse is as follows: "The right word spoken seals all. . p. 31. 24:23-25 24:26 This saying advocates justice and straight talk. 238Buzzell. Furthermore. 235Waltke. . p. p.236 The change in view is deviation from the will of God or the laws of the king. . Likewise everyone should put a well-ordered life. p.. sages) evidently provided these proverbs. 449. Virtue triumphs in the end. we might add at the end of this saying: "and turn it on you.
so." in that it overtakes the sluggard surprisingly. Solomon ruled from 971-931 B. In a broader application. 28—29).. Keep quiet unless your testimony is necessary. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition including a measure of financial security. . Rom. . though not every poor person is a fool. chapters 28—29 are similar to chapters 10—16. and or suddenly. This verse introduces chapters 25—29. . INTRODUCTION OF THE LATER SOLOMONIC COLLECTION 25:1 A group of scholars who served during King Hezekiah's reign (715-686 B.) added more of Solomon's 3. This gives us 120 proverbs in this major section of the book if we exclude the discourse on prudence in 27:23-27." In all these chapters there are mostly couplets but also some longer proverbs." Chapter 27 is a mixture of comparative and antithetical proverbs. The Book .000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32) to the former collection (1:1—22:16). V. we should keep first things first. 25—29 We return now to consider more proverbs of Solomon (cf. expresses the opposite of the golden rule (cf. p. I counted 66 proverbs in the group of analogies (25:1—27:22) and 54 in the group of contrasts (chs. 22:2223. Chapters 28— 29 contain maxims that are mainly contrasts marked by the word "but. and keep truthful when you do speak. 5:43-45. p. 153. COLLECTION 5: SOLOMON'S MAXIMS EXPRESSING WISDOM CHS. A. but chapters 25—27 differ in having few references to God. 20:22. 24:29 24:30-34 These sections of 36 wise sayings begin and end with a reference to the poor (cf. .239 24:28 Being a witness against a neighbor means testifying against him. which the sage advised against. 1:1—22:16). 25—29. Matt.C. 12:9)."240 I shall again (in chs. "The proverbs in these chapters differ in that there are more multiple line sayings and more similes.54 Dr.C. Poverty has some obvious connections with folly. 24:30-34). Chapters 25—26 contain proverbs that are mainly comparisons. "Poverty comes as a robber. These men lived about 250 years after Solomon. The key words in these chapters are "like . 239Whybray. ahead of getting married and starting a family. . Continued laziness typically leads to poverty. as in 10:1—22:16) comment only on those verses that seem to me to need clarification. The quotation in this verse. 240Ross. 1078.
1. to the precious metal.. 9) and give the plaintiff a bad reputation (v. 157." That is. We should be cautious about sharing privileged information. "By forbearance [of speech] a ruler may be persuaded. p. "Calm and patient speech can break down insurmountable opposition. "Settings" suggests an appropriate background such as an attractive basket or frame. The Book . 258. This may lead to embarrassment (v. This proverb advises us to settle disputes out of court whenever possible. and does not make his decisions on the basis of superficial understanding. probably. . 6:1-8). the idea of this verse becomes clearer. 244Ross. However. Deut. 243Cf. 1082. Constable's Notes on Proverbs B. cf. "To run to the law or to the neighbors is usually to run away from the duty of personal relationship—see Christ's clinching comment in Matthew 18:15b. p. Wise and foolish conduct 25:2-28 25:2 The fact that God has chosen not to reveal everything human beings want to know has resulted in our holding Him in awe and glorifying Him (cf. 242Plaut. It is not wise to drag someone hastily into court to argue. 10. We should not divulge secrets to clear ourselves in arguments or we may ruin a friendship. .243 By adding a few words. The point is that just the right words spoken at the right time in the right way can be as pleasing as a beautiful piece of fruit in a suitable container. 1 Cor."244 25:8-10 25:15 241Kidner.2010 Edition Dr. a king's subjects hold him in awe and glorify him when he diligently investigates a matter. do not speak too long. 8)."242 25:11 "Gold" may refer to the color of the fruit or. if the picture of an apple is in view."241 "There is no success which is achieved at the price of your own integrity or someone else's hurt. INSTRUCTIVE ANALOGIES 25:2—27:22 55 The emphasis in this section continues to be on wisdom and folly and their accompanying virtues and vices. The plaintiff should debate his case with his neighbor out of court. 29:29). Then the point of disagreement will not become public knowledge (v. Whybray. p. A gentle tongue can be very powerful. . p. 148.
not nausea. . the person who receives good in return for evil feels somewhat uncomfortable even though he receives a good gift. it also convicts the wrongdoer of his ways (v. 22b). "Since Eden. realizes that the benefits he was about to reap from his work are suddenly ruined. Song of Songs. can become distasteful and repulsive. and fracturing the bones here refers to breaking down the deepest."247 25:23 25:27 Both practices in this verse are pleasant for the person who engages in them. 22a) in a gentle way. 333. Fools and folly ch. 246Kidner. Likewise. p. His discomfort arises over his guilt for having wronged his neighbor in the first place. When a person's fire went out at home. most hardened resistance to an idea a person may possess. as though beyond God's 'enough' lay ecstasy. Constable's Notes on Proverbs "The bones are the most rigid body parts inside of a person. Proverbs. 159. Rom. even the most desirable of things. . These are inevitable results. when he hears the slander. So returning good for evil not only secures the blessing of God (v. what does "heaping burning coals on the head" of the abuser mean? Evidently this clause alludes to an ancient custom. 245D.56 Dr. 26:1. 2. 26 The analogies in chapter 25 dealt with both wise and foolish conduct. A."246 25:21-22 Clearly the point of this proverb is to return good for evil (cf. "An untimely. Garrett. p. but those in chapter 26 deal mainly with fools and folly. 207. . 247Waltke. man has wanted the last ounce out of life."245 25:16 2010 Edition Anything overindulged. Sly words can infuriate people just as a northerly wind brings rain. p. icy blast of rain from the north takes the farmer aback and ruins his crop (cf. So also the unaware victim. 5:4046. The Book . 31. Carrying the coals in a pan on the head involved some danger and discomfort for the person carrying them. The angry countenance belongs to the person who is the target of the backbiting (slanderous) tongue. Matt. Such conduct will bring blessing from God and remorse to the evildoer. but they were an evidence of the neighbor's love. he or she would go to a neighbor and get some live coals to rekindle the fire. 12:20). Still. Ecclesiastes. 28:3). but they can affect him adversely if he pursues them to excess.
. 2 Cor. p. 5)."248 57 26:4-5 These pieces of advice do not contradict each other because each is wise in its own way. . Verse 5 means that one should correct a fool so he will not conclude that he is right (e. but a fool does.. Balaam could not curse what God had blessed. 152. The Book . so to speak. even some things that are valuable. Similarly one who expects a fool to accomplish something honorable does not know how things work. Those who have much do not appreciate some things.. .g. by promoting him to a position of greater responsibility. Cf. the word was effectual. People did not bind stones in slings but simply laid them in the sling so when the sling was slung the stone would fly out. The Word of the Lord is powerful because it is the word of the Lord—he will fulfill it. It will not attach itself to the person cursed. 6:8. Num 22:38. Job 2:9-10). In unimportant matters one should ignore the foolish comment. "It was commonly believed that blessings and curses had objective existence—that once uttered.g.g. This can happen.2010 Edition 26:2 Dr. Num. Verse 4 means that in replying to a fool one should not descend to his level by giving him a foolish response (e. 12:11. Constable's Notes on Proverbs If someone curses another person who does not deserve it. 2:22).. the curse will not be effective (cf. 3. but in important matters one needs to respond lest others conclude that the fool is correct. for example. 23:8). Similarly a dog returns to eat its vomit. 250Whybray. Neh. 266. 23:8). The figure of binding a stone in a sling seems to suggest that the person doing the binding did not know how to operate a sling. 11:16-17. Virtues and vices 27:1-22 26:8 26:11 Many of the analogies in this pericope deal with virtues and vices that are characteristic of the wise and the foolish. A fool behaves like a dog rather than like a man when he repeats his folly (cf.249 By giving honor to a fool one arms him to do damage. but others require one (v. cf. 2 Pet. p. a person with little tends to appreciate even the 248Ross.250 A wise man does not repeat his folly.. On the other hand. but a man does not. 249Plaut. Some of a fool's comments do not deserve a reply (v. 27:7 The point of this proverb seems to be that the quantity of a person's material possessions affects his attitude toward them. 1087. 2 Kings 18:36). This proverb underscores the correction of superstition. Scriptures make it clear that the power of a blessing or a curse depends on the power of the one behind it (e. 4). p.
These are the basics for wise living in practical daily work. For example. A DISCOURSE ON PRUDENCE 27:23-27 This poem recalls the earlier discourses in chapters 1—9. 487. 253Ibid. 10a). If you want to see what your face looks like. Solomon gave some basic and practical advice designed to assure success in the context of Israel's most common occupation: animal husbandry. "Do not go all the way to your blood brother's house in a crisis if he lives far from you. In this one. a person who receives much praise may find it nauseating. p. look in a placid pool of water. "The teacher is held responsible for the faults of the pupil. If you want to see what a man is really like. for example by praising him unusually loudly at an unusually early hour. One's manner of blessing others will be shown to be hypocritical if he does it in excess. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition comparatively insignificant items he receives or owns. 27:11 27:13 27:14 27:19 251Ibid. The thought seems to be. 483. . will receive a curse from other people. hard work. Jesus taught that what a person says reveals what is in his or her heart (Matt. The second statement is not as clear." The third statement gives the reason for the second.. That is. The essentials stressed here are the care of one's resources. find out what he loves and values and you will know what kind of person he is."252 27:10 The first statement makes the point of the proverb: friends are important allies that we should retain if possible (v. C. sincerely rather than hypocritically. One's thoughts reflect his or her true character. and a recognition and appreciation of God's provisions. The reader should apply these essentials to whatever occupation he or she may pursue. A friend nearby who is not a blood relative can be of more help than a close relation who lives farther away. 12:34).251 "Hunger is the best sauce. look in his heart. We should hold people to their obligations. Therefore one needs to be careful to do good things in the right way and at the right time. 252Toy.58 Dr. The person who hypocritically blesses his neighbor. A friend nearby should be more advantageous than a brother who lives miles away. but someone who gets very little praise may savor what little he gets."253 The point of this parable and the one in 20:16 is the same. p.
257 The person in view here fails to look far into the future when he will be in need before God. to advocate preserving one's income. The Northern Kingdom of Israel is a prime example. "To continue in office the son must uphold what is known to be right and not tolerate legal offenses either in himself or in his subjects. 494.256 The contrast of hardening the heart supports this view. if not before men. 255Waltke. and they bring him to justice. In this case it is a selfish desire to get rich. Fearing sin is in view here. 28—29 59 27:27 Most of the proverbs in this section are couplets. . a man needs to know what he owns. the staples of food were bread.. 1106. . INSTRUCTIVE CONTRASTS CHS. p. there is usually a high rate of turnover in the leadership (v. 1 Tim. fruits. God blessed the Southern Kingdom of Judah with relative stability because of David's godly leadership. 408."255 28:8 When authorities discover a person who gets rich by charging exorbitant interest. . 28:11 28:14 28:22 254Ibid. 257McKane. Avarice leads to poverty. p. and the products of the dairy. a single wise ruler can bring stability to a land (v. 6:17). Verses 24-27 go on. This illustrates the fact that a person who amasses a fortune dishonestly often loses it eventually. to lead wisely."254 D. 31. not having a timid disposition or fearing God. The evil eye represents the wicked purposes or intent of a person. The person with the evil eye is misanthropic. 28:2 When wickedness abounds in a land. The Book .2010 Edition 27:23 Dr. Sometimes rich people think they are wise because they have accumulated much money (cf. and most of them set forth a truth by means of a contrast. Moreover. poetically. and what condition his possessions are in. 2a). Nevertheless. Constable's Notes on Proverbs As the family manager. p. he needs to care for what he owns in order to preserve his livelihood. 256Ross. 2b). whereas the person with the good eye (22:9) is philanthropic. However a wise person. p. 627. even a poor wise man. honey. "Meat was rarely eaten. they usually turn his money over to others who are trustworthy and less greedy. can see that that is not the ultimate reason he is rich.
260Cf. makes slaves disrespectful. the relationship essential to the effective operation of the business will suffer. p. 29:11 29:13 29:16 29:18 29:21 29:24 258Ross. p. To bring this parable over into modern life. but if he says nothing (or pleads the fifth amendment). but generally the principle holds true. We may supply the idea of blessing to the first statement legitimately. since the contrast is with curses in the second statement. The "vision" (Heb.. It means "cast off restraint. ." Without the guidance of divine revelation people abandon themselves to their own sinful ways.60 28:27 Dr.g. The Hebrew verb translated "perish" (AV. Both owe God their sight and really all the common blessings He bestows on everyone. the accomplice finds himself in a "no win" situation. A slave is not a son. The idea is that fools customarily vent their feelings ("let it all hang out"). the point is that pampering. However. he shares his guilt. 1 Sam. The AV translation has resulted in misunderstanding of this proverb. Thus "a nation's well-being depends on obedience to divine revelation. which is God's blessing. If he defends his partner. and the authorities haul his partner into court. They are opposites in this regard. whereas wise individuals control themselves. as opposed to disciplining."259 There must be knowledge of divine revelation through preaching for there to be obedience to it. this verse sounds as if it is a wise thing to pamper one's slave. hazon) does not refer to some dream of success a person may have but to a prophetic vision that was a revelation from God (cf. and those who keep it are happy. The righteous will prevail. and the oppressor is the rich. eventually. The bad thing about being a thief's partner. p. Giving light to their eyes may mean giving them life (cf. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition Those who give to the poor will not lack what they need. The poor man is the oppressed. 1116. para) does not mean "die in their sins" (e. 3:1).. is that when the thief gets caught. If he does. because someone did not see the "vision" of the importance of evangelism). and the wicked will fail. Many a businessman has discovered this to his sorrow. 13:3). Ps. God's Word restrains human wickedness. 1114.260 On the surface. his accusers assume he shares his guilt. "Always" is a poor translation. Job 33:30.258 We must take the divine perspective here as in all the proverbs. 202. 259Ibid. an employee should not normally receive the same privileges as a son. Alden. They may also receive the blessing of other people and material benefits that God promised generous Israelites. Some individual cases may not fit the principle.
"The purpose of such a device may be simply to indicate that the list is not exhaustive. wrote them. The most distinctive features of Agur's proverbs are his numerical style of grouping similar items. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 61 VI. 21. Prov. nor the unnamed sages (22:17—24:34). Agur confessed his own limited understanding. Some expositors speculate that because these men's discourses occur at the end of the book. 1:1b. 18. Job 38—41. 517. Agur humbly regarded his own discernment as limited. "Wisdom" in Proverbs means understanding as well as godliness (e. but he did not claim to be a fool. 30 Chapters 30 and 31 form a distinct section in Proverbs.2010 Edition Dr. 30:2-4 Behind this ironical section. 8:24-29). He is the only One with perfect understanding."262 A. WISDOM ABOUT GOD 30:2-9 Agur began with three declarations. and the Hebrew word. "There are three things . whose names the text records.264 Ithiel and Ucal may have been Agur's sons. et al. 262Jensen. At least one writer felt he may have been a contemporary of Solomon. vv. Zech. 105. . because neither Solomon (1:1— 22:16. and a unique phrase he used. 264Ross. 24.. 2:2. 9:1). the writers probably lived later than the men of Hezekiah. Toy. 6). THE INTRODUCTION OF AGUR 30:1 Scripture does not refer to either Agur or his father (or ancestor) Jakeh elsewhere. how could Agur say he had not learned wisdom but he knew God (v. "Do you fully understand Him?" In the 261E. p. 3)? In view of the context (vv. even four. "What is His name?" implies. p. 2. his picturesque speech.). massa. remain mysteries. 263Kidner. he probably meant that he had not reached a high level of wisdom. cf. while at the same time making it clear that those he addressed knew no more than he did.263 An "oracle" is a weighty message from God (cf. chs. p. 1119. 15. COLLECTION 6: THE WISDOM OF AGUR CH.261 Nevertheless who Agur and Lemuel were.g. The only Person who meets Agur's qualifications in verse 5 is God (cf. The subject of each is God. Or the purpose may be to emphasize the fourth item on the list. If wisdom is essentially a proper orientation to God. 25—29). ." occurs with minor changes five times (vv. p. 178. Two other wise men. may refer to a place. . did. 4). This phrase.g. B. as well as when and where they lived. though specific (see Amos 1:3.. 11-14). one can perhaps imagine Agur's sons claiming to be wiser than their father. 29.
"Has He imparted His nature or attributes to any other who may in any sense be called His Son?"265 In the fullness of time. 12:6). WISDOM ABOUT LIFE 30:10-33 Though his view of and awareness of God are very much behind what Agur said in the rest of this chapter. Rev. Abundance tempts us to feel unrealistically self-sufficient (cf. The question about His Son's name evidently means. He had demonstrated humility himself (vv. . noted similar structure and theology in the Lord's Prayer. John 15:5). his counsel deals primarily with practical prudence from this point on." Vetus Testamentum 14 (1964):368. 10b) refers to the master. Agur sketched four verbal pictures and simply placed them side by side in these verses to illustrate the folly of arrogance. 30:5-6 Agur treasured the revelation that God had given. not just knowledge (v. p. The Book . but it is more likely that the master would investigate the charge and discover it false. 2-4. the only prayer in Proverbs. 5b). 4:2." purified (cf. 478. continues his autobiography and functions as a janus [transition] to his numerical sayings. 7-9. 180. . 8:11-14. 265Perowne. Glück. J. and closeness to him. "Tested" means "smelted. He had more concern for his purity before God than about his place among people. 1121."266 C. "Agur's exemplary prayer in vv. It was trustworthy. Matt.268 30:7-9 30:11-14 p. 31. Probably "he" (v. Ps. 267Ross. The case in point in this couplet is falsely accusing a slave to his master. 266Waltke.267 The numerical sequence creates a cumulative effect. Byargeon. God sent His Son to reveal His character and nature more completely than anyone had known them previously (Heb. .62 Dr. Deut. p. "Echoes of Wisdom in the Lord's Prayer. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition ancient world. 6:13). 6. Agur asked God not to lead him into temptation (Matt." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 41:3 (September 1998):353-65. "Proverbs xxx 15a. knowledge of a god's name implied understanding of his characteristics. 11:16). Need tempts us to stop trusting God and to resort to acts that harm others. 1:1-2). a feeling of growing intensity. Each thing listed begins with dor ("generation") meaning a class or group of people (cf. 268J. namely. 30:10 It is unwise to meddle in the domestic affairs of other people. Deut. power over him. The slave might never discover that someone had slandered him. 22:18). R. at least as strongly. Agur warned against adding to God's revelation because that is a serious offense (v. 7-9). W. cf. Agur correctly regarded the aim of revelation to be the promotion of trust in God. Poverty and wealth both bring with them certain temptations that the middle-class citizen does not face.
22a). 24-28) are sometimes wiser than humans (vv. if for no other reason. Whereas we should obey our parents as long as we live under their authority. The basic contrast. That is. S. 487. however. . . 2123). One writer saw Adolph Hitler as an example of the kind of servant who became a king that the writer envisioned (v. 271Greenstone. This proverb warns that severe punishment awaits those who disrespect their parents.2010 Edition 30:15-16 Dr. Sheol ever yearns to end life. 31. argued that the two daughters are the two suckers on the leach. North. "The Four Insatiables. v. . Job 38—41). 324. The Book ." Vetus Testamentum 15 (1965):281-82. 15). The sage could have said the same of some men. p. Constable's Notes on Proverbs Here the warning is against greediness. who are made of the same stuff as their mother—other people's blood. 16). 15] can be taken as the names—with more pointed wit than as the cries—of these identical twins. derek) have several things in common that make each of them remarkable. each remarkably effective and successful. Agur's graphic descriptions visualize the terrible consequences of this folly. and the barren womb ever yearns to produce it. F. The mention of the woman in verse 19 seems to have triggered this pigtail comment about another unexplainable phenomenon. 270Waltke. The point of these four snapshots seems to be. "'Give! Give!' [v. how some women can commit adultery as easily as. 30:18-19 30:20 30:21-23 30:24-28 p. and without any more remorse than. non-traceable. We should do so simply because they have given us physical life. they can eat a meal.270 63 30:17 Disrespect for one's parents is as bad as arrogance and greed. arrogance is absurd and humility only reasonable (cf. They picture upside-down social situations. that in view of remarkable phenomena such as these. All are mysterious (inexplicable).271 In contrast to the arrogant."269 Greediness is not just silly (v. The small are often more effective than the large. 180. it is dangerous ("Sheol" and "fire. 269Kidner. is between humility and arrogance. effective in their element. p." v. here are four examples of humble creatures functioning as God created them to. and aggressive. These four "ways" (Heb. we should honor them all our lives. "The way of a man with a maid" refers to the process by which a woman comes to love a man. Animals (vv. 16) and pathetic (being childless and parched. These are four more pictures of arrogant folly.
Lemuel was Solomon and his mother was Bathsheba. 31. p. According to Jewish legend. 273Leah 272Ross. ". COLLECTION 7: THE WISDOM OF LEMUEL CH.273 "Since such a king is unattested in Israel's history. 31 Some commentators have regarded only the first nine verses of this chapter as Lemuel's writing.. . he is probably a proselyte to Israel's faith.275 In chapter 31. vv.276 There is no factual basis for this tradition. 274Waltke. . 276Greenstone. Agur produced four more illustrations of stately noble behavior. THE INTRODUCTION OF LEMUEL 31:1 King Lemuel was evidently not a king of Israel or Judah. . the intent of this concluding advice is to strive for peace and harmony through humility and righteousness.e. we have King Lemuel's recollections of the instruction he had received from his mother earlier in life. 275See my comments on 1:8-19. ."272 30:32-33 VII. Brunner. 21-23) and false humility (cf. 25—29). or gave him other teaching not recorded here. These stately things demonstrate that proper bearing in life comes neither from exalting nor from depreciating oneself. No king by this name appears in Kings or Chronicles. sincere). 329. 24-28). as previously mentioned. The Book . Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition To keep us from concluding that little is always better than big (in view of vv. Yet this is the only reference to a king by name in Proverbs. vv. 503. These verses call for personal application of this counsel as necessary. an unusual feature in wisdom literature from the ancient Near East. . "Devoted to God") may have been a pen name for Solomon. the Hebrew text implies that Lemuel wrote the whole chapter since it connects these two sections.64 30:29-31 Dr. Proverbs generally contains the counsel of aged courtiers to the sons who were in line to succeed them as government officials. Perhaps his father had died."274 The use of foreign loanwords in this poem supports this view. There is no evidence for this. L. Some scholars have suggested that "Lemuel" (lit. A. or was unable to instruct him." Dor le Dor 10 (1982):210-19. 24-28). the key virtue in this chapter. 1126. Peaceable behavior manifests humility. "King and Commoner in Proverbs and Near Eastern Sources. However. One reason for this is that the Septuagint translators separated verses 1-9 from verse 10-31 by five chapters (chs. p. It comes from functioning as God created one to function (i. p. to be oneself. He showed the balance between groundless pride (cf. however. We have also noted that both parents normally shared the training of these young men.
"'The Woman of Valor' in Jewish Ritual [Prov. a king should uphold justice. Her counsel was that it is not wise for a king to make himself dependent on women (v. p. and admirable. Pss 45:3-5. to point out the uselessness of intoxicants."280 "I think verses 6-7 are spoken in irony and not as a commandment. obsession with women has the same effect as obsession with liquor (v. those who are left desolate by the cruelties of life (see 2 Sam 14:4-11. Jewish husbands and children traditionally recited this poem at the Sabbath table on Friday evenings. 507. p. 182."281 C. "It is the responsibility of the king to champion the rights of the poor and the needy.279 Positively. .. 1 Kings 3:16-28. 72:4. because nobody's problems are solved by forgetting them. "What. and who wants to spend his or her last minutes of life on earth drunk? [cf. She had borne him." Beth Mikra 31 (1985-86):339-47. p. 278Waltke. wise. 8—9). 27:33-34]. Such a device not only 277Kidner.2010 Edition Dr."278 The advice in verses 6 and 7 is probably sarcastic. 4-7). and Solomon's many sexual partners made him callous toward pure and undefiled religion and incapable of real love. Isa 9:6-7).282 The form of this discourse is an acrostic poem. Each of the 22 verses in the Hebrew Bible begins with the succeeding consonant of the Hebrew alphabet. 31. THE WISE WOMAN 31:10-31 31:3-9 There is much in Proverbs about unwise women. pp. The Book . In other words. 5). Solomon personified both wisdom and folly as women earlier (chs. Constable's Notes on Proverbs B. . 281Wiersbe. 8-9). 149. "David's lust for Bathsheba made him callous toward justice and cost Uriah his life. Matt. THE WISE KING 31:2-9 65 31:2 The unusual address. especially for those whom other people might take advantage of (vv. 280Ross. . 279Ibid."277 She was getting his attention and appealed to him strongly to give heed to her words for two reasons. and he had some connection with vows she had made to God. 1128. p. 282Y. 3) or wine (vv. 31:10-31]. O my son?" is "affectionately reproachful. Perhaps God wanted us to finish reading this book— assured that women are not essentially evil or foolish—but that they can be very good. 508-9. Levin.
Furthermore. "The Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31:10-31. He did not mention her relationship to God or to her husband. and charity. 285Tom R. that even those who hold this symbolic view occasionally speak of the woman in this poem as a real woman. However. The woman in view seems to be a role model who epitomizes wisdom. and Aitken. "The woman here presented is a wealthy aristocrat who runs a household estate with servants and conducts business affairs—real estate. Hawkins."286 Lemuel said nothing of her intellectual interests or pursuits because those things were not significant for his purpose." Bibliotheca Sacra 153:609 (January-March 1996):12-23. That is not the case here. I believe this view is too extreme. not only succeeding herself but enabling her husband to succeed as well.. vineyards. They did not use particular individuals as examples. 158.g. positively or negatively. The poem presents the height of female effectiveness. 9:1. . 1128-30. Lemuel's mother seems to have been describing the eminently wise woman. It is idealistic. They provide a standard of godly wisdom for women. Within the sphere of the household we see that the wife has opportunity for great influence and achievement. The absence of her husband's involvement in domestic matters fits her station in life as an aristocrat. this standard is not within every woman's reach. Some scholars believe this chapter does not describe women at all but deals with wisdom personified as a woman.285 In this chapter. 284E. which was to stress her wisdom. 13). 286Ross. and merchandise—domestic affairs. but also aided the Hebrew reader in memorizing this passage. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition made for more interesting and beautiful reading. p. the wife in view does the things that the wife of a prince or courtier in the ancient Near East would do. since it assumes certain personal abilities and resources that are not available to all.66 Dr. This seems clear from the fact that the writer described her impersonally in verse 10 as "an excellent wife. 8:1. He would have been busy with public affairs in the ancient Near East.283 The woman in view in this passage is probably no single historic individual." Vetus Testamentum 38 (1988):446-57. p. 283A. Wherever a writer personified wisdom elsewhere in the book it is always clear to the reader that he was using personification as a literary device (cf. however. Wolters. pp. It would be quite a task for any woman to emulate this pattern. 1128. Ross. Probably Lemuel's mother intended the qualities and characteristics that follow to be a guide to him as he considered marrying. The genre of this section is perhaps a heroic poem.284 It is interesting. throughout Proverbs the writers described people generally. not just Wisdom as a woman. "Proverbs XXI 10-31 as Heroic Hymn: A Form-Critical Analysis." rather than as Lemuel's mother or some other specific lady.
18. However. She is thrifty. rather than her relationship with God and her family members. and she augments her husband's income (v. 12. Eastern culture is again obvious in these verses. 19). She is generous rather than selfish (v."287 She will not bring her husband to ruin by overspending (v. Leeuwen. 11b).2010 Edition Dr. Furthermore she is not contentious (v. The "spindle" was the stick the spinner twirled between her fingers that took up the spun wool (v. Is the income essential to meet needs or wants? Is she doing the work to avoid her other higher priority responsibilities? Is she hoping that her job or career. 24:20). wealth. She dresses in quality garments (v. 20:20. She is self-sacrificing (v."288 She provides security for her family by providing them with clothing that is both warm and attractive (v. but. almost exclusively. 31:10-12 The Hebrew word translated "excellent" (v. husband and wife should agree that this is best for the family. virtuous. "In delight" reveals her positive motivation. The sense of verse 10 is "a good wife is not easy to find. valor. It denotes strength. 10. cf. p. . 13:9. 16). will satisfy her needs? She is industrious (not an amazon. 22). Cf. Eph. 17). 288Van p. She puts the needs of others in her household ahead of her own comfort and convenience. 31:19-22 The "distaff" was the rod that held the raw wool while spinning. ability. 14). 34). 4:28. when found. 13a). Today. Women can manifest them in any period of history and in any culture. v. 31:13-15 31:16-18 287Toy. she wisely shops for what is best that she can afford (v. in the largest sense. "The hands that grasp to produce open wide to provide. 21). She should make sure her motives and priorities are in order before committing herself to such a job. and she works hard. "Wool and flax" reflects the eastern economy. 543. It also advocates characteristics that women can demonstrate in many different contexts in life. It simply addresses a certain kind of woman in a particular social and historical context whose arena of activity was domestic. cf. v. supplementing her family's income may be a possibility for her (cf. she is industrious (v. and fine. with the result that she is prosperous (v. 262. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 67 I do not believe we should interpret this poem as denigrating a woman's work outside the home. 20). She has a legitimate sense of self-respect. 15). Rather than using whatever is handy. 27:15). hayil) means noble. and dependability. she is of inestimable value. She also tends to her own appearance.
assuming he is of normal intelligence. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition The implication of verse 23 is that she helps her husband advance. 1 Pet. 25a). and praise her (vv. 25). Moreover. Though she does not fear the natural elements (v. others care for her. Charm can be misleading because it promises a lifetime of happiness but cannot deliver. 25b). Her husband. 31). her husband will also cherish and honor her (Eph. will value. "Strength and dignity" are the outstanding qualities that people see when they observe her—dressed in the high-quality clothes she fashioned with her own skillful handiwork (v. she manages her home well (v. She is able to speak of wisdom because she has learned it (v. She is a kind person because she wisely realizes the importance of that virtue (v. she does fear the Lord. unless he is a fool. as a result. She is a credit and an ornament to him (cf. She gives her household high priority. but verses 27 and 28 show that. appreciate and praise her for her many excellent qualities. and physical beauty is only temporary. 28b. 27). Her husband and children. 10. those who know her best. 31). 5:28-29. 31:25-27 31:28-29 31:30-31 A wise woman will enjoy many benefits. . 26a). 24). Such a woman deserves to share in the fruits of her labors and to receive public recognition for her greatness (v. She is also optimistic about the future because she has prepared for it (v. 12:4).68 31:23-24 Dr. Here is the key to her greatness (v. This poem pictures her caring for others. Moreover. 21). She is both thrifty and industrious (v. 3:7b). bless. But the fear of Yahweh is the indispensable core of a woman like this. She will be secure (v. 26b). 30).
Constable's Notes on Proverbs 69 Conclusion The quality of wisdom that Proverbs presents is much more than the ability to apply knowledge to various situations in life effectively. Recognize the various literary forms and devices (the "building blocks" of the individual passages or proverbs) as clues to the context. it is doubtful that any biblical book is viewed with less enthusiasm by the preacher." Bibliotheca Sacra 150:598 (April-June 1993):151-70. "With the exception of Leviticus. It also involves submission to the way of God that is the order of life God has revealed as best for men and women. Cf. The Book of Proverbs deserves more exposition by preachers and Bible teachers than it gets. 10—31). 3. Thomas G. He closes his ears and his mind to God's revelation. Proverbs begins with appeals to listen and submit to God's revealed wisdom (chs. W. Waltke. Parsons. 165:658 (April-June 2008):131-44. Realize that some proverbs are unconditionally true. It is possible for people to think correctly and to speak and act wisely with no direct knowledge of divine revelation. Interpret the Book of Proverbs in light of the historical-cultural context of extrabiblical wisdom literature. p. He realizes his own limitations and his need for divine guidance. . 5. However.2010 Edition Dr. The foolish person believes he does not need God's help. 1. Beware of the erroneous assumption that proverbs are unconditional promises. 165:659 (July-September 2008):259-67. "Guidelines of Understanding and Proclaiming the Book of Proverbs. Interpret individual passages in light of the overall structure. and "motto" of the Book of Proverbs. 2. 290Greg 289Collins.290 Hermeneutical guidelines 1. while the fool suffers destruction. He goes his own way."289 One writer suggested these hermeneutical and homiletical guidelines for interpreting and proclaiming Proverbs. p. Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible." Bibliotheca Sacra 165:657 (January-March 2008):3-12. The wise person becomes a success eventually. He listens to and applies what God has revealed to his own life. The wise person is one who takes God into account. See also Bruce K. 165:660 (October-December 2008):387-96. people of this type possess only limited wisdom. "Fundamentals for Preaching the Book of Proverbs. 4. 1—9). Then the writers cite particular cases of wise and foolish behavior to help us live wisely (chs. 53. Long. purpose.
Utilize the characteristics and nature of proverbial wisdom as a foundation for graphic communication of timeless principles. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 2010 Edition In seeking to apply a proverb. 2.70 Homiletical Guidelines 1. 3. . be sure to validate the application through the context of the Bible. Explore the creative use of proverbial characters. Dr.
Sidlow. Lee Humphreys. 1960.2010 Edition Dr. Chicago: Moody Press. Morgan. Constable's Notes on Proverbs 71 Bibliography Aitken. "The Doctrine of the 'Two Ways' in Proverbs. 6 vols. Proverbs. "The Heart in the Proverbs of Solomon. J. Rick W. A. Daniel P. Cohen.. New York: Union Theological Semianry.. "Proverbs. C. Brueggemann. Gleason L. 1986. J. "Israelite Perceptions of Wisdom and Strength in the Light of the Ras Shamra Texts. J. Ecclesiastes. Proverbs." Dor le Dor 10 (1982):210-19. Bullock. London: Soncino Press. Brunner. "Echoes of Wisdom in the Lord's Prayer. "The Structure and Significance of Prov 9:7-12. Collins. Leah Leila. . Robert L. London: Marshall. 1980." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 40:3 (September 1997):367-75. pp. Victor Books. 1978." The Bible Today 52 (1971):24951. Explore the Book. An Exposition of Proverbs. Barr. Gammie. and John M. R. Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications. Alden. An Introduction to the Poetic Books of the Old Testament." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 38:4 (December 1995):501-17. Baxter. "King and Commoner in Proverbs and Near Eastern Sources. Charles. pp. 4:18. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. Sid S. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. 25-33. 1979. Jr. Zuck. John J." Journal of Semitic Studies 20 (1975):149-64. 11:31 and 1 Pet. Proverbs. Caquot. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. and Scott. Bricker. 1984. Buzzell. Hassell. W. Atlanta: John Knox Press." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 41:3 (September 1998):353-65. reprint ed. 1946. Edited by John G. 1985. Archer. "b'rs—molis: Prov. Andre. Edited by John F. _____. Byargeon. Bouffier. 1982. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. 901-74." In Israelite Wisdom: Theological and Literary Essays in Honor of Samuel Terrien. London: Banner of Truth. 1846. Bridges. Walvoord and Roy B." In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament. Walter A. Ward. Kenneth T. 1965. Proverbs: A Commentary on an Ancient Book of Timeless Advice.
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