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The Book Of Proverbs: Chapters 1-15. (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) Hardcover – October 14, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Concordia Journal
"Waltke does a monumental job . . . in resurrecting the Book of Proverbs and wisdom generally to its rightful place in the exegetical and theological heritage of the church."

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

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

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

Richard J. Clifford, S.J.
"Here is Bruce Waltke's long-awaited full-scale commentary on Proverbs, a biblical book that has generated an unusual amount of interest in recent years. . . Waltke's learned and wide-ranging commentary reminds us why his judgments are valued and taken seriously by lay readers and scholars alike: his work displays a mastery of Biblical Hebrew, a deep knowledge of ancient Near Eastern literature, a serious interchange with others, and an admirable devotion to Proverbs as the word of God to the church."

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

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

Raymond C. Van Leeuwen
"Waltke brings to bear a lifetime of learning and expertise as a world authority on Hebrew grammar. His theological approach is conservative evangelical and intended to serve the Christian pulpit and laity."

Interpretation
"The best overall commentary on Proverbs available at this time. Its two volumes greatly enrich our understanding of an important biblical book."

Catholic Biblical Quarterly
"Will provide much material for the ongoing discussion and debate about Proverbs. . . . A rich resource for study."

Crux
"Waltke's desire that the commentary would serve both the church and the academy is clear. It is written in a manner commensurate with the author's own skill and piety. It is at once pious and penetrating, devotional and demanding, sacred and scholarly."

Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly
"This commentary is highly recommended as a resource for the study of the Hebrew text. It is an excellent tool for helping pastors get into this difficult and often neglected book of the Bible."

Westminster Theological Journal
"A monumental achievement that will serve as a learned and faithful guide for any serious student of Proverbs."

New Horizons
"An excellent resource for studying the book of Proverbs. . . . This commentary should be on the shelf of pastors and anyone else planning to study Proverbs. . . . It contains a wealth of valuable information."

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"A tremendous contribution to the NICOT series. . . . Waltke's work is indeed a wise investment for all who are seeking godly wisdom. Any student of Proverbs (whether serious layperson, pastor, or scholar) will want to consult this masterful work."
 

From the Back Cover

Over twenty-five years in the making, this much-anticipated commentary promises to be the standard study of Proverbs for years to come. Written by eminent Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke, this two-volume commentary is unquestionably the most comprehensive work on Proverbs available.

Grounded in the new literary criticism that has so strengthened biblical interpretation of late, Waltkebs commentary on Proverbs demonstrates the profound, ongoing relevance of this Old Testament book for Christian faith and life. A thorough introduction addresses such issues as text and versions, structure, authorship, and theology. The detailed commentary itself explains and elucidates Proverbs as btheological literature.b Waltkebs highly readable style -- evident even in his original translation of the Hebrew text -- makes his scholarly work accessible to teachers, pastors, Bible students, and general readers alike.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 729 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (October 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802825451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802825452
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. F Foster on June 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Bruce Waltke is an outstanding OT scholar, and one of the most respected. This 2 volume commentary on Proverbs is exhaustive and scholarly.

Waltke displays a brilliant command of OT narrative structures throughout this commentary. The average person picking up a Bible and reading Proverbs can easily conclude that Proverbs is little more than an extensive list of random sayings devoid of any real order or structure. Not so. Waltke repeatedly demonstrates how the chiastic structures that are found all over the place in Proverbs provide great order and reveal deep insights into what the writer was doing. Waltke's command of wisdom literature as a literary genre is also impressive, and adds "wisdom" to his commentary.

One can certainly read Proverbs and gain many insights without reading Waltke's commentary. But Waltke does a fantastic job in showing the structure of Proverbs and how its contents integrate with the rest of the Bible, particularly the OT. Waltke labored over this commentary for years, and the painstaking scholarship that went along with this is obvious from cover to cover. While a working knowledge of Hebrew would be a big help in digesting this commentary, even those with no training in the Hebrew language can still profit from the many insights Waltke provides. Pastors in particular should get this commentary, even pastors who aren't Hebrew scholars. Proverbs is a profound but too often misunderstood book. Waltke provides reliable and insightful guidance to the pastor who wants to responsibly preach out of Proverbs with the desire to edify his flock. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
As a young preacher, I recently began preaching through the book of Proverbs; this book was pointed out to me, and it has been an invaluable aid since I purchased it.

Waltke demonstrates that he has thought long and passionately about God's book of wisdom. He brings to the reader solid exegesis, wide personal reading, and (most importantly) a belief in what the Bible says.

Although it may be too technical for those wanting an introductory commentary (you might do better looking at Derek Kidner's Tyndale contribution), Waltke's work will, on my bookshelf, set the standard for Proverbs commentaries.

...Can't wait until the second volume is published!
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Bruce Waltke's commentary on Proverbs (2 vols.) provides indepth linguistic and theological insights into the text. We often read the individual proverbs as simply neat insights into life. The proverbs can be much more than this, though. The proverbs are the product of community reflection upon biblical teaching and everyday life. Waltke's treatment of the text helps the reader to look deeply into the use of specific words, including how they are used in other OT passages, and into the deeper theological meaning. I highly recommend both volumes.

Since this is a 2 volume treatment, there is sometimes more information than a reader might want. For a briefer treatment, but one that is also very helpful, I recommend Dave Bland's commentary on Proverbs published by College Press (Bland's text also includes Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs).
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Format: Hardcover
This book is very thorough. Perhaps even too thorough? I found the book a really solid study. Two things - lack of pastoral insights and lack of Hebrew - keep me from giving it 5 stars. Let me address the 2nd point - he transliterates the Hebrew text rather than actually using a Hebrew font. Seriously, a two volume commentary on Proverbs that is intensely intersted in subtle nuances of Hebrew and then uses only transliteration? I find myself having to translate Waltke back into Hebrew in order to find where he's going in the text.

Essentially, it's an excellent book, yet more difficult than it needs to be on this point.
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Format: Hardcover
Waltke's commentary is the magisterial work on Proverbs. His exhaustive exegetical notes and detailed exposition is unparalleled in the plethora of commentaries on Proverbs. The tone of the commentary is decidedly academic - his discussions of parallelisms and his dedication to in-text exposition (albeit transliterated) would frighten away the casual reader. However the rich theology and exhaustive exposition make this commentary a must-read for any serious students of Proverbs. Waltke frequently strains out key principles; somewhat less regularly, he introduces relevant applications. In summary, scholars must own this commentary; pastors and serious students should own this commentary. In the immortal words of Sheriff Woody (out of context), "If you don't have one, get one!"
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I had heard this entire series on the internet, what a privilege to have it in print and be able to go over the material again. Waltke's approach to the first 10 chapters is unique. Parents would do well to digest these chapters in raising their kids in a Biblical way by giving them instruction as to what they will face in the world around them.
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Format: Hardcover
I often challenge Christians to tell me where in proverbs is the the well know saying "Cleanliness is next to godliness" they think for a moment and admit their ignorance. I will then reveal my trickery and they are surprised to learn that this well known adage is not a biblical precept. The majority of Christians today have little familiarity of the book of Proverbs. Sure we have a few verses in the quiver of our minds from this ancient text but when it comes to understanding the book as a whole how are we to grasp such bothersome texts written to a culture we can not relate to and which seem to teach health wealth and prosperity contrary to the instructions of the New Testament. A grammatical grasp of the teachings of Proverbs is also insufficient when the context of the book is written to an ancient time far removed from the culture of the expositor. We need a historical and grammatical understanding of this sacred writ to which I recommend to you, scholar, pastor, and bible lover this excellent commentary by Bruce Waltke. Few books of the bible prove more difficult to understand for the average reader and even more difficult for the scholar to interpret. As Americans we don't understand poetry which is absent of rhyme and proverbs relating to ancient Palestine but if 2 Timothy 3:16 is true (and it is) then surely we must be reading Proverbs and I can't recommend more highly that you let this commentary help you to better understand it.

A Word About the Introduction
If you are like me and prefer to jump into the heart of the book the temptation is to skip over the author's note or preface shoot past the introduction and get started with the meat of the text. To skip over the introduction of this book would land you 132 pages into this 2 volume commentary.
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