Cover image for Proverbs : a commentary
Proverbs : a commentary
Clifford, Richard J.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Louisville, Ky. : Westminster John Knox Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 286 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BS1465.3 .C57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Through translation, technical notes, and insightful commentary, Richard Clifford sheds new understanding on Proverbs. By focusing on the rhetoric of Proverbs, Clifford demonstrates how the book fosters a lifelong search for wisdom, and enables readers to see how the instructions and sayings are concerned with contemporary issues.

Author Notes

Richard J. Clifford is Professor of Old Testament at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Abbreviationsp. ix
Select Bibliographyp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
1. Date of Composition and Editingp. 3
2. Historical Contextp. 6
3. The Wisdom Literature That Proverbs Inheritedp. 8
4. Distinctive Ideasp. 19
5. The Background and Function of Personified Wisdom and Her Rivalp. 23
6. The Hebrew Text and Versions of Proverbsp. 28
7. The Influence of Proverbs on Later Literaturep. 30
8. The Meaning of Proverbs Todayp. 32
Introduction to the Bookp. 33
Lecture I The Deadly Alternative to Parental Wisdomp. 36
Wisdom Poem I The Risk of Spurning Mep. 40
Lecture II Seek Wisdom and Yahweh Will Keep You Safep. 44
Lecture III Trust in God Leads to Prosperityp. 49
Interlude: Wisdom's Benefits and Prestigep. 53
Lecture IV Justice toward the Neighbor Brings Blessingp. 56
Lecture V A Father's Examplep. 59
Lecture VI Two Ways of Living Lifep. 62
Lecture VII With Your Whole Being Heed My Words and Livep. 64
Lecture VIII The Wrong and the Right Womanp. 66
Interlude: Four Short Piecesp. 73
Lecture IX The Dangers of Adulteryp. 77
Lecture X The Deceptive Womanp. 82
Wisdom Poem II Become My Disciple and I Will Bless Youp. 90
Excursus I The Interpretation of Prov. 8:22 in Early Judaism and Christianityp. 98
Excursus II The Translation of 'amon in v. 30p. 99
Wisdom Poem III The Two Women Invite Passersby to Their Banquetsp. 101
The Proverbs of Solomonp. 109
The Words of the Wisep. 199
Further Words of the Wisep. 216
Further Proverbs of Solomon, Collected by the Servants of King Hezekiahp. 219
The Words of Agur, and Four Sorts of Scoundrelsp. 256
Numerical Sayingsp. 265
The Words to Lemuel, King of Massap. 268
Hymn to the Capable Wifep. 271
Index of Ancient Sourcesp. 279