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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Proverbs 29

 

 

Introduction

Section IV., Proverbs 25-29.—The title of this section adds to the tradition of a Solomonic collection of proverbs the further tradition of literary activity in the time of Hezekiah. The same general considerations hold good of this section as of Proverbs 10-24. (See Introduction.) It also shows signs of compilation, and falls into two divisions: (a) Proverbs 25:2 to Proverbs 27:22, and (b) Proverbs 28 f., separated by a discourse in Proverbs 27:23-27.


Verses 1-27

Proverbs 29:2. cf. Proverbs 11:10 f., Proverbs 28:12-28.

Proverbs 29:4. he that exacteth gifts: lit. "a man of presents."

Proverbs 29:9 b. Who is the subject? If it is the wise man, the meaning is that however he treats his opponent, seriously or lightly, he cannot end the matter. If it is the fool, the thought will be that he shows no decorum of manner. The proverb seems directed against a wise man's going to law with a fool.

Proverbs 29:11. Lit. "A fool sends forth all his spirit, and a wise man stills it backward." This is obscure. The general sense is that the fool cannot restrain any of his emotions, while the wise man does so.

Proverbs 29:13. A variant of the theme of Proverbs 22:2.—lighteneth the eyes—i.e. preserves alive—cf. Psalms 13:3.

Proverbs 29:18. The rendering "cast off restraint" rests on Exodus 32:25. The root may mean "to loose," and is used of the flowing locks of the warriors (Judges 5:2; cf. ICC). If RV is correct, the proverb seems to contrast the intermittent prophetic vision with the Torah as means of guidance. When the vision fails, the Torah still remains. Cf. the attitude expressed in Isaiah 50:10.

Proverbs 29:21 b. Uncertain. The word rendered "become a son" does not occur elsewhere, and seems to be an error. LXX has "he who lives in luxury from childhood shall be a servant, and in the end will come to grief for himself." Probably the proverb is connected with Proverbs 29:20, and refers to the unwisdom of too lenient a discipline for slaves.

Proverbs 29:24 b must be explained by Leviticus 5:1, where "to hear the voice of swearing" is the technical expression for to put a person on oath. The man is put on his oath, and does not reveal what he knows. Hence he runs the risk of Divine (or human) judgment for perjury.

Section V. The Appendix.—The section contains (a) a series of short collections of sayings (30): (b) a short collection of aphorisms for kings (Proverbs 31:1-9); and (c) an acrostic description of the Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10-31). Both the nature of these collections and their position in the book suggest that they are later than the other collections, and were added in the last stage of the editing. (See Introduction.)

First Division, containing the sayings of Agur, a series of tetradic proverbs, and a six-stanza aphorism on anger.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 29:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/proverbs-29.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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