the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments Sutcliffe's Commentary
by Joseph Sutcliffe
THE BOOK OF PROVERBS.
The proverbs of all nations are maxims of wisdom and experience reduced to short and striking sentences, mostly clothed in poetic, and always in perspicuous language. In a general view they contain severe satires on human nature, and are highly cautionary against imprudence and imposition. But the Proverbs of Solomon rise higher in character. They level the most pointed shafts at vice; they inculcate virtue by irresistible arguments, and convey a cloud of instruction to the church of God. Hence they have ever been regarded as a most sacred treasure of Hebrew wisdom and literature; and they have the fairest claims of having been written under a divine influence. They have been approved by the holy prophets, and cited by St. Paul. They are free from the unhallowed mixture which has always defiled the apothegms of the wise men of Greece and Rome. Hence there has been no dispute in the church concerning either the author or the divine authority of this book. From the twenty fifth to the thirtieth chapter, are the Proverbs of Solomon, as found in the time of Hezekiah. The thirtieth chapter is a postscript, the production of Agur; and the thirty first was added from Samuel, or rather by LEMUEL, another name of Samuel, or child asked of God, as was Samuel. But there are many proverbs scattered in the Septuagint, which are not in the Hebrew, and some in the Hebrew which are not in the Septuagint.