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Heavenly Wisdom: Proverbs Simply Explained - Welwyn Commentary Series

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Evangelical Press
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The book of Proverbs is intensely practical. Here is ‘truth in street clothes’. It deals with everyday subjects such as laziness, pride, handling money and telling lies. Here we meet familiar folk such as the bargain-hunter, the neighbour you see too much of, the practical joker and the ‘morning person’ who forgets that others take a while to surface. Gary Brady shows that, above all, Proverbs points us to Christ who is, for believers, their wisdom. 

Here is an excellent place to begin to learn about Christ and about wisdom. It has been said that, as the Psalms give us Christ singing the law, so the Proverbs give us him meditating on it. Truly to understand him, we must get to grips with Proverbs. Truly to be wise, we must get to grips with Christ. 

Charles Bridges once said that of all Old Testament books it ‘is the one which we may think of as most distinctively educational’. This is its tone. A teacher speaks to his student, an old man to a young man and, chiefly, a father to his son.


Table of Contents: 

The Grammar (1:1-9:18) 

1. How to be wise – lesson one (1:1-7)

2. A first fatherly talk begun: A warning against sin – seducer and slayer of souls (1:8-19)

3. A first fatherly talk concluded: An open invitation (1:20-33)

4. A second fatherly talk: Seek and you will find (2:1-22)

5. A third fatherly talk: Five great promises (3:1-10)

6. A fourth fatherly talk: A warning, an encouragement, something to think about (3:11-20)

7. A fifth fatherly talk begun: Holding on in faith; letting go in repentance (3:21-32)

8. A fifth fatherly talk concluded: The Lord’s curse; the Lord’s blessing (3:33-35)

9. A sixth fatherly talk begun: Wisdom is supreme, so get wisdom (4:1-17)

10. A sixth fatherly talk concluded: Increasing light or deepest darkness? Time for a check-up (4:18-27)

11. A seventh fatherly talk: How to make a right moral choice (5:1-23)

12. An eighth fatherly talk begun: Three routes to hell and how to avoid them (6:1-15)

13. An eighth fatherly talk concluded: Seven things God hates (6:16-19)

14. A ninth fatherly talk: How not to waste your life (6:20-35)

15. A tenth fatherly talk: Choose wisdom; flee adultery, choose life (7:1-27)

16. A talk from wisdom itself: Listen to Wisdom’s call (8:1-21)

17. More words from Wisdom and a father’s concluding call (8:22-36)

18. Two pressing invitations: One from Wisdom, one from Folly (9:1-18)

Vocabulary (10:1-22:16) 

Proverbs collected by Solomon (10:1-22:16)

19. The righteous wise man and the wicked fool (10:1-14)

20. Life or punishment – which will be your pay? (10:15-32)

21. Forsake wickedness and be righteous – in Christ (11:1-13)

22. How to succeed in business and in life (11:14-31)

23. Let fantasies go; righteousness is what counts (12:1-12)

24. Attitudes and words under the microscope (12:13-28) 

25. Righteousness and wisdom, not riches and wealth (13:1-14)

26. Wisdom and righteousness – the way and the rewards (13:15-25)

27. How to be a wicked fool (14:1-19)

28. How a nation can be great (14:20-35)

29. Hearts and tongues and lives (15:1-15)

30. How to fear the Lord (15:16-33)

31. Serve your King and Judge with humble fear for ever (16:1-9)

32. The character and power of kings (16:10-15)

33. Pleasant words on wisdom and righteousness (16:16-33)

34. Flee superficiality and injustice and seek wisdom (17:1-28)

35. Sin, misery, hell and mercy – an argument (18:1-24)

36. Wisdom and folly contrasted (19:1-29)

37. Forsake superficiality; seek wisdom and righteousness (20:1-30)

38. How to escape eternal ruin (21:1-31)

39. Realize your danger; stop and take refuge in Christ (22:1-16) 

More vocabulary (22:17-29:27)

Sayings of the wise (22:17-24:22)

40. The perils of ambition (22:17-23:8)

41. Five more perils to flee (23:9-35)

42. Wisdom from heaven – your vital need (24:1-22)

More sayings of the wise (24:23-34) 

43. The judgement is coming, so get your priorities right (224:23-24)

More proverbs of Solomon (25:1-29:27)

44. Wisdom for rulers and for subjects (25:1-28)

45. The fool, the sluggard and other troublemakers (26:1-28)

46. Be wise in relation to your outlook and in your outlook on relations (27:1-27)

47. Wisdom for government (28:1-28)

48. Lessons in wise and righteous leadership (29:1-27)

Final lessons (30:1-31:31)

Sayings of Agur (30:1-33)

49. learning from Agur about God, about man (30:1-17)

50. Watch with Agur and grow in wisdom (30:18-33)

Sayings of King Lemuel (31:1-9)

51. Instructions for those dedicated to God (31:1-9)

Epilogue: the wife of noble character (31:10-31)

52. At home with Wisdom (31:10-31) 



Gary Brady has been the pastor of Childs Hill Baptist Church in north-west London since 1983. A native of South Wales, prior to studying for the ministry at London Theological Seminary he did a degree in English at Aberystwyth and later trained as a teacher in Cardiff. He is currently studying historical theology with the John Owen Centre. He is married to Eleri and they have five children, all boys.



"For twenty years Gary Brady has pastored an inner-city London congregation of all ages, inter-racial and multi-abilitied. This rich commentary on the book of Proverbs began its life in the regular sermons of the Lord's Day. It was written in the midst of all the pastoring, evangelism, committee work, editing and writing of an exemplary twenty-first-century minister of Jesus Christ. I stand in awe and admiration of him." - Geoff Thomas.


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