The 10 Best Commentaries on the Book of Proverbs

The Bible is not always the easiest to understand an apply. Sometimes we need help to uncover the meaning of different text. Wisdom books can specifically be difficult. If you struggle to understand the meaning of the book of Proverbs, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will provide you with the 10 best commentaries on the book of Proverbs. 

Below you will find a few commentaries by many Biblical scholars. These scholars have done extensive research into the meaning of the text. They have done thorough study of Proverbs to communicate the meaning behind the passages. 

Best Overall Commentary: Exalting Jesus in Proverbs by Jonathan Akin

Jonathan Akin wrote the best commentary on the Book of Proverbs. It sheds fresh light on the Word of God, and is perfect for personal study and Bible studies. 

It has a long list of editors who reviewed and verified the information that Jonathan wrote about. Furthermore, it is rather inexpensive. Many commentaries are expensive, because of the time that they take to create. However this commentary provides in-depth analysis at a great price point. 

As far as reviews go, audiences loved it. There was not a single negative review for this commentary on Amazon. Countless Pastors and Christians reviewed this book and verified that it is worth the read. There is a clear consensus that this is the absolute best commentary. 

This commentary is both an accessible commentary and an insightful one. It also reaches the top of our list of the best commentaries on the book of Proverbs. 

That is why it is at the top of our list as the best commentary on the book of Proverbs. Akin takes a chapter-by-chapter approach to this commentary. Many commentaries go verse-by-verse, but Akin finds a way to go into depth without getting bogged down by every single verse. 

This makes for an easy, but insightful read. If you haven’t checked out this commentary you should. Check out a full review here. 

Pros:

  • Simplicity
  • Reviews
  • Insight 
  • Gospel focused 

Great for Non-Pastors: Be Skillful (Proverbs): God’s Guidebook to Wise Living by Warren Weirsbe 

Warren Weirsbe unpacks the book of Proverbs excellently. He reviews the book of Wisdom with great insight. His commentary is simple, but helpful. 

Although it might not be the best for pastors for it’s simplicity, it is great as an every-day devotional for the general reader. If you want to know more about the book of Proverbs without being overwhelmed, this is the perfect choice for you. 

Reviewers also loved this project. They raved about it’s simplicity, and ease of read. One person even praised Dr. Wiersbe for adding cross references from scripture. They said that it helped break up the monotony of the book. 

Proverbs can be a difficult and repetitive read at times, so pairing a commentary with it is a great option. This commentary is a great choice for Christians who want to go deeper into the Biblical text. 

When analyzing an ancient text, it can be difficult to understand, but Weirsbe explains well.

It is more expensive than the previous suggestion, but it would make a great pair with it as well. 

Pros: 

  • Simplicity 
  • Cross Referencing 
  • Clarity of Application

Cons: 

  • Price compared to “Exalting Jesus in Proverbs”

Best For Students: The Book Of Proverbs: Chapters 1-15 by Bruce Waltke

Bruce K. Waltke also created a commentary on Proverbs. He did an excellent job revealing the truth of the text. 

Dr. Waltke gives a true, in-depth analysis of the book of Proverbs. He gets into the details to provide clarity to the meaning of the passages. 

Reflected in it’s length, this commentary covers everything. Students who need analysis for projects, papers, and learning will enjoy the depth of this analysis. 

One complaint about this commentary, however, is it’s lack of relation to the gospel. Waltke does not draw a clear line to where this book fits into the Gospel narrative. Waltke’s massive two-volume set allows him to do this well. 

Although it is expensive, Waltke breaks down individual proverbs with Biblical accuracy and application. Waltke’s work is evident through his commentaries. He elaborate on the people of Israel and what the wisdom text would have meant to them. 

For any student studying Biblical studies, this is a great book. 

Link below will be the first of a two-volume commentary from Waltke. The first volume covers chapter 1-15 while the second covers the rest. 

Pros:

  • Most in-depth analysis 
  • Clarity of teaching
  • Best detailed commentary

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No clear line to the New Testament. 

Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary by Lindsay Wilson 

As a part of the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series, this is also a great choice. The TOTC series is a well-known commentary series that has a great reputation. Commentaries in this series are known for their quality and clarity. 

Dr. Wilson gives great insight into the theological purpose of Proverbs. Explaining the theology of the book is important, as it helps reveal truth about God. Many commentaries do not discover this. In doing so, Wilson draws a clear connection to the Gospel. 

Pros:

  • Connection to the Gospel
  • Good Reviews

Cons:

  • Not as “in-depth” as other option on the list 

Best for Women: Proverbs by Alice Ogden Bellis

Alice Bellis submitted a great commentary on Proverbs too. She wrote a commentary that covers Proverbs as a whole. Some commentaries are split into volumes, but Bellis takes a holistic approach to the commentary. Bellis gives great insight on the Old Testament wisdom found in proverbs.

In this very good commentary, the author explains the work well. She give introductory comments and expounds upon the thoughts that she delivers. 

Bellis focuses on the entire book, while focusing on it’s comments about women. She also gives insight into the other words of Wisdom this book provides. 

Best Illustrated Commentary: Proverbs by Katherine Hayes

Katherine Hayes also created a great commentary. Her commentary is illustrated and contains pictures to help describe the message of the text. 

The format of the commentary creates an enjoyable reading experience, and the resulting work is an excellent commentary. She explains the way a wise person should live based on the book of Proverbs. 

Although this might seem niche, it is a great quality. For visual learners, this commentary is great. It provides insight and imagery, two things that are important to learning. This unpacks the wisdom of Proverbs from a new perspective. 

If you are an artist or visual learner, this commentary is perfect for you. 

A Few Honorable Mentions

Although not every commentary could make our list, here are a few honorable mentions 

Closing Thoughts 

In the field of Biblical wisdom literature, Proverbs is an incredible book. It is full of practical application for life, and I hope one of these commentaries provide an appropriate level of insight and depth. 

Although, we believe the first option on this list is the best work, all of these commentaries are great for modern readers who want to know more about the book of Proverbs.

If you are interested in other commentaries, be sure to check out our articles on commentaries for the books of Luke & Ezekiel.  

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