Proverbs (TOTC) by Lindsay Wilson

book proverbs totc

Lindsay Wilson has produced this replacement volume in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary (TOTC) series. It replaces the much-beloved volume by Derek Kidner. Since IVP is reprinting most of Kidner’s volumes as classic commentaries, we can embrace this new volume by Wilson without forsaking the old Kidner standby. Lindsay has turned out a well-written, up-to-date commentary that will explain the Book of Proverbs. In case you’re wondering, it’s substantially thicker than the Kidner volume.

The Introduction is as substantial as any that you will find in the highly respected TOTC Series. After a bibliography of several pages, Wilson jumps into historical issues. In that section, he succinctly discusses authorship, date of writing, and its relation to ANE literature. In the section on literary issues, he answers the question of what kind of literature we have in a proverb, and delves into parallelism. I thought that section covered the bases well, but got straight to the point. The next section was on structure. As you would expect, he looked at the structure in chapters 1-9, then in chapters 10-22, followed by chapters 22-31. The conclusions in all these sections were thoroughly conservative.

Wilson gave several pages to discussing theological issues. He began by making a case for Proverbs being a very theological book. Then he discussed subjects like retribution, the fear of the Lord, God’s active kingly rule in everyday life, and Proverb’s connection to biblical theology. The theological emphasis continued in the section about thematic issues. There he discussed wealth and poverty, family and marriage, friends, speech and words, work and laziness, the good life, and the heart. The Introduction ended with an interesting section entitled ministry issues. That whole section was an attempt to offer suggestions for teaching and preaching the book of Proverbs. It was helpful.

The commentary proper was both thorough and enlightening. It can take its place beside Kidner without shame. To my mind, it’s one of the better volumes in the already highly- rated TOTC Series. Make a point to look this one up!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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