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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Proverbs 15

 

 

Verses 1-33

Proverbs 15. This chapter makes no new departure. Proverbs concerning the moral government of the world again occupy the chief place. One (Proverbs 15:11) is noteworthy as showing an extended conception of the sphere of God's government. Earlier Heb. religion regarded Sheol as outside the kingdom of God; there the dead do not praise or remember Him. We have also some more psychological proverbs dealing with the value of cheerfulness.

Proverbs 15:2. uttereth aright: paraphrase rather than translation, lit. "makes good." Read "drops" (as Deuteronomy 32:2, Job 29:22), a more natural contrast to pours out "in Proverbs 15:2 b.

Proverbs 15:3. The conception of God's omniscience and omnipotence begins to appear clearly in the later Wisdom-literature (cf. Job 24:21, 2 Chronicles 16:9). The earliest occurrence is in Jeremiah 32:19.

Proverbs 15:7. disperse: elsewhere only in a bad sense. A change of one letter gives "preserve," which suits the context better.—doeth not so is poor sense, as the mind cannot be said to scatter or disperse knowledge. RVm, though possible, gives no contrast. Read "does not understand."

Proverbs 15:11. See above. "Abaddon" occurs in OT, principally in Wisdom-literature (cf. Proverbs 27:20; Job 26:6; Job 28:22; Job 31:12; also in Psalms 88:11). In each case it denotes a region of the underworld, and is apparently a synonym for Sheol. In Revelation 9:11* Abaddon has become the name of the angel who rules the abyss, and is identified by the writer with Apollyon. The same conception is found in Rabbinical literature. Vlter, in his commentary on Rev., identifies Abaddon with Ahriman, suggesting that the change from the conception of Abaddon as a place to that of an angel is due to Persian influence, the source of much of later Jewish angelology.

Proverbs 15:17. dinner: elsewhere only in 2 Kings 25:30 = Jeremiah 52:34. It means primarily a portion for a journey, hence here a slender, frugal meal. A "stalled ox" is a fatted ox, one kept in the stall and fed.

Proverbs 15:19 a. Read "is hedged with thorns."

Proverbs 15:19 b. We expect the contrast of "diligent" with "sluggard," hence emend "upright" to "active" or "diligent" (LXX).—an highway: cf. Isaiah 57:14. The road is prepared for a great person in the East by casting up stones and earth to form a raised way.

Proverbs 15:25. The ease with which boundaries can be altered in the East is reflected in early legislation (Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17).

Proverbs 15:26 b is clearly in disorder, as the VSS show. Transpose the first two words in the Heb. and understand "to him," reading "the words of the pure are a pleasure to him."

Proverbs 15:30. the light of the eyes: may be taken (a) lit. as the light of the sun (cf. Ecclesiastes 11:7) and regarded as a comparison with Proverbs 15:30 b or (b) symbolically as good news which is reflected in the lighting up of the face.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/proverbs-15.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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