Top Commentaries on Proverbs

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Proverbs are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Proverbs that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)



Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Proverbs



Proverbs (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Derek Kidner


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Note: The TOTC version (top) is out of print. The KCC version (bottom) is the same content and is in print. The latest version of Proverbs in the TOTC series by Lindsay Wilson is listed below.

Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Proverbs

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “packed with helpful insight and comments on the text…exegetically sensitive, theologically helpful, and orthodox”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Useful introduction section on the themes of Proverbs.”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Proverbs, “…this is an introductory level work, but it is probably the best of the introductory level works on the book.”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 1-15. and 16-31 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Bruce Waltke


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “the product of two decades of reflection and research…is theologically sensitive”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “The best evangelical commentary on Proverbs.”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Proverbs, “Bruce Waltke’s two-volume commentary is truly a gift to the church…Very highly recommended.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.



Proverbs (The Preacher’s Commentary) by David A. Hubbard


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “quite readable”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Proverbs, “While not as comprehensive as Waltke, Hubbard does not neglect addressing the difficult questions, all the while remaining clear and readable.”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version…Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.”



Proverbs (New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary) by Raymond C. Van Leeuwen


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “written from a progressive evangelical perspective, it is one of the best commentaries on Proverbs”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Proverbs, “There is more reflection on the theology of the book here than in most commentaries.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary offers critically sound biblical interpretations. Guided by scholars, pastors and laity representing diverse traditions and academic experience, this collection of commentary meets the needs of preachers, teachers, and all students of the Bible.” See more about the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary series.



Proverbs (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms) by Tremper Longman III


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Proverbs, “Longman deals not only with the details of the text, but also with literary and theological questions…It is quite readable.”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Practical guide to interpreting and applying biblical wisdom to everyday life.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “With Proverbs, veteran Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III offers an accessible commentary on one of Scripture’s most frequently quoted and visited books. With his deft exegetical and expositional skill, the resulting work is full of fresh insight into the meaning of the text. In addition to the helpful translation and commentary, Proverbs considers theological implications of these wisdom texts, as well as their literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions. Footnotes deal with many of the technical matters, allowing readers of varying interest and training levels to read and profit from the commentary and to engage the biblical text at an appropriate level. This built-in versatility has application for both pastors and teachers.” See more about the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series.



Proverbs (Word Biblical Commentary) by Roland Murphy


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “Murphy is a preeminent interpreter of Wisdom literature”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



Proverbs (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Michael V. Fox


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “Fox is a master interpreter”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



Proverbs (Concordia Commentary) by Andrew E. Steinmann


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “pays special attention to matters of gospel and law in the book”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.”



Proverbs (The Old Testament Library) by Richard J. Clifford


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “this commentary puts more emphasis on text criticism, philology, and ancient Near Eastern background”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



More Expository Commentaries



Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (New American Commentary) by Duane A. Garrett


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



Proverbs (A Mentor Commentary) by John A. Kitchen


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Mentor books are written at a level suitable for Bible College and seminary students, pastors, and other serious readers.” See more about the Mentor Bible Commentary series.



Proverbs (Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Allen P. Ross


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.”  See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



Proverbs (New International Version Application Commentary) by Paul E. Koptak


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



Proverbs (Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary) by Ernest Lucas


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Two features distinguish The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary series: theological exegesis and theological reflection…The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus.” See more about the Two Horizons Bible commentary series.



Proverbs (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries) by Lindsay Wilson


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.”



Proverbs (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary) by Christine Roy Yoder


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament. In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves. These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.”



Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Amy Plantinga Pauw


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Building on a wide range of sources from biblical studies, the history of theology, the church’s liturgical and musical traditions, contemporary culture, and the Christian tradition, noted scholars focus less on traditional historical and literary angles in favor of a theologically focused commentary that considers the contemporary relevance of the texts. This series is an invaluable resource for those who want to probe beyond the backgrounds and words of biblical texts to their deep theological and ethical meanings for the church today.”



Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (Brazos Theological Commentary) by Daniel Treier


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.



Proverbs (New Beacon Bible Commentary) by John E. Hartley


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Beacon Bible Commentary provides 21st-century scholars, pastors, theological students, and laity an academically competent, readable commentary in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Each volume features: Contemporary Scholarship from notable experts in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Convenient introductory material for each book of the Bible, which includes information on authorship, date, history, audience, sociological/cultural issues, purpose, literary features, theological themes, hermeneutical issues, and more.”



Classic Christian Commentaries



Proverbs (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by Charles Bridges


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Book of Proverbs, in Bridges’ view, ‘is not generally estimated at its just value . The author of The Christian Ministry does not favour a purely technical study of the text, but gives a homiletical and practical treatment. ‘The best work on the Proverbs’, was C.H. Spurgeon’s verdict on this commentary. ‘Whilst explaining the passage in hand, he sets other portions of the word in new lights’. Charles Bridges (1794-1869) was one of the leaders of Evangelical party in the Church of England in the last century.”



Proverbs (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.



Proverbs (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) by J. Robert Wright


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”



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