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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Proverbs 10

 

 

Introduction

Pro 10-12. 16. Second Section. The Proverbs of Solomon.—For the character and date see Introduction. The general plan of this Commentary requires that the paragraph and not the verse be taken as the unit of exegesis. But in this part of Pr., and, indeed, almost throughout the rest of the book, there are no paragraphs and very little indication of unity of purpose underlying the collection of aphorisms. Hence, as the scale of the Commentary precludes verse by verse annotation, the notes will be devoted chiefly to the elucidation of difficulties and obscurities, giving the renderings to be preferred, and the most probable emendations where emendation appears necessary.


Verses 1-32

Proverbs 10:2 (cf. Psalms 3:7). righteousness: the growth of the conception of righteousness is an important subject. As in the Pss., there is a specific class "the righteous" opposed to "the wicked." The righteous are generally synonymous with the poor and afflicted remnant, sometimes equivalent to the Hasidim of the Greek period. In general the tendency of the conception of righteousness is towards a specific moral character, rather than towards the fulfilment of legal duties. This is important in view of the implied contrast in the Synoptic Gospels between the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, and such a righteousness as our Lord taught to be the condition of entrance into the kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 5:20).

Proverbs 10:5. Proverbs on agriculture abound in this section, but afford no indication of date. They suggest, however, the popular source of many of the proverbs, the fruit of practical experience rather than of philosophic reflection.

Proverbs 10:6 b is repeated in Proverbs 10:11, where it is evidently in place; here it yields no satisfactory contrast, and has probably come in by mistake for the real contrasting clause, which is lost. For verbal parallel cf. Habakkuk 2:17,

Proverbs 10:8 b is repeated in Proverbs 10:10*, where it destroys the antithesis. It yields no satisfactory antithesis here. Possibly the contrast is that the wise man listens in silence and is saved, while the fool is too busy talking to heed the warning which would save him from a fall.

Proverbs 10:9. shall be known: some contrast to "walks securely" is required. Read "shall suffer."

Proverbs 10:10 b has come in by mistake from Proverbs 10:8. The LXX may preserve the original antithesis, "he who reproves openly makes peace" (cf. Proverbs 27:5 f.). If so, the "winking" in Proverbs 10:10 may not mean "stirring up strife "as in Proverbs 6:13, but rather conniving at wrongdoing in contrast to faithful reproof.

Proverbs 10:11. a fountain of life: Proverbs 13:14, Proverbs 14:27, Proverbs 16:22 (cf. Psalms 36:9).

Proverbs 10:12. love covereth: 1 Peter 4:8, James 5:20, give an independent version, possibly based on an Aram. original, and it may be ultimately a saying of our Lord's.

Proverbs 10:13 b occurs in Proverbs 26:3 in a much more obvious connexion.

Proverbs 10:14. lay up knowledge: this quite destroys the antithesis. Read "conceal their knowledge." The contrast between wise reticence and foolish licence in speech is the subject of many proverbs (cf. Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 11:13, etc.; Sirach 9:18; Sirach 20:5-7).—present destruction: better, "imminent ruin."

Proverbs 10:15. The power of wealth against the defencelessness of poverty is illustrated both in the legal codes and the history (cf. Isaiah 5:8, Nehemiah 5:5).

Proverbs 10:16. labour: read "wages." The contrast is between the reward of righteousness and wickedness.

Proverbs 10:18. The form apparently deserts the usual antithesis and presents a synthetic parallelism. LXX reads "righteous lips cover hatred," perhaps the original text.

Proverbs 10:19-21. Proverbs relating to the use of speech.

Proverbs 10:22 b may be rendered as RV, or with many commentators "labour adds not to it" (cf. mg.), an excellent sense, but hardly in harmony with the outlook of Pr.

Proverbs 10:23 b. Both the Heb. and the general sense are against the common rendering. Read "but for a man of understanding it is a matter of worth."

Proverbs 10:24 f. (cf. Proverbs 10:27-30) states the retributive theory of the moral government of the world, which is so passionately challenged in Job as contrary to experience.

Proverbs 10:26. One of the many aphorisms about the sluggard, it seems to interrupt the connexion between Proverbs 10:24 f. and Proverbs 10:27-30. Possibly it belonged originally, as its form suggests, to Proverbs 10:25 f.

Proverbs 10:30. dwell in the land: it was through the Exile that "to dwell in the land," Yahweh's land, came to be the expression of the highest hope of the pious Jew, and became a part of the Messianic hope. Cf. Hosea 9:3 for an early expression, and Isaiah 33:17 for a development of the idea. It is reflected in Matthew 5:5.

Proverbs 10:31 f. Connected in subject with Proverbs 10:19-21. The two groups

Proverbs 10:19-21; Proverbs 10:31 f., and Proverbs 10:24 f., Proverbs 10:27-30—may originally have formed separate collections.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 10:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/proverbs-10.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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