Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Proverbs: Wisdom That Works” as Want to Read:
Proverbs: Wisdom That Works
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Proverbs: Wisdom That Works

(Preaching the Word)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  27 reviews
How exactly does one become wise? With the overwhelming flood of information and opinion in our times--much of it a mixture of spin, sound bites, and trivialities--it is crucial we turn back to the Bible and pay close attention to the deep insights that have stood the test of time.

Proverbs 1:20 tells us that "Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 31st 2012 by Crossway Books (first published March 7th 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Proverbs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Proverbs

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  185 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Proverbs: Wisdom That Works
Becky Pliego
Really good.

Some of my favorite quotes:

"Wisdom is the grace of Christ beautifying our daily lives." (p.17)

"Perceiving wisdom asks hard questions about life and understand God's answers. Acting wisdom guides us in our practical conduct every day. Communicating wisdom educates us in the school of sages..." (p.28)

"Wisdom does not theorize. Wisdom pays attention to the realities built into us by God our Creator... A wise person notices, picks up on the clues, cuts with the grain, tears along the p
Brian Pate
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: commentary
It's tough to read commentaries straight through (at least for me). But I am thoroughly enjoying Ortlund's book on Proverbs. Very well done. I am reading it as I teach through Proverbs to the teens at our church.

Excellent homiletical commentary on Proverbs.
Great example of preaching Christ from the OT.
Well-written, creative, relevant, imaginative.
Abby Tamkin
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Proverbs is a hard book for me. It is full of quotable sound bites, but they don't always seem true (1:33 "Whoever listens to me [wisdom] will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm). I understand that these are principles of how life works, not hard and fast laws of nature, but sometimes it's hard for me to take the book of Proverbs seriously. I need a hermeneutic, a framework to put Proverbs into.
I decided to start with this book, as it wasn't a straight commentary, and seemed to
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. Profoundly insightful, undeniably Christ-centred, and eminently helpful for preaching.
Jason Kanz
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
It says it's a commentary, though it certainly doesn't read like one. Perhaps more believers should consider taking in commentaries. This is a good one. Add to the list Luther's commentary on Galatians. Proverbs, written by Ray Ortlund Jr, shows the authors typical gospel focus and highlights the wisdom of Proverbs for gospel living. Highly recommended. ...more
Andrew Micah
Apr 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sublime—especially the chapters that cover the first ten chapters of Proverbs. Satisfied me again and again with its insight. Ortlund understands the necessity of exploring implications, and of appealing to the imagination; he does both of these with excellence.
Tim&Kelli Buczek
Practical and Pastoral

Practical commentary that helps you undertsand *how* to understand the proverbs. Each chapter reads like an article --- You can digest it in one sitting, you can use it for research, or you can read it devotionally.
Daniel Duerkop
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Relevant, powerful, Christ-centred. Scholarly and practical. Well spoken Raymond Ortlund Jr., had me desiring so much more of our wise and beautiful Lord Jesus.
Chad A. Pentecost
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good supplement

I was expecting a more expository book but this a good supplement to read before studying Proverbs. I received some good council from this book.
David M.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Ortlund. This was edifying on many levels.
Allison Greenwald
Simple wisdom

Amazing book written by an amazing man! Ortlund writes a deep but accessible guide to the Proverbs. This is one to mark up.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome and fantastic!

I love this author's presentation of the truths of Proverbs. His writing is fun to read and he communicates his concepts in effective and simple terms. Reading this book is like having a conversation with a wise friend. And he's pretty funny too! Highly recommend! Will be purchasing his other book on Isaiah.
Ryan Hawkins
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
REVIEW 1 - 2017

A really enjoyable read. He really is persuasive in wanting me to pursue wisdom, and really to cherish and follow Christ. It was a book full of quotable quotes, and inspiring lines. He did a fantastic job exegeting in preaching form the first 9 chapters of Proverbs, and then he categorized and explained a handful of topics from chapter 10 on.

In short, I would recommend anyone to read it. Not necessarily just to study Proverbs, although it is good for that, but this book offers muc
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love the book of Proverbs, but the biblical language can be perplexing at times so I consult commentaries--which can be equally perplexing. But, this! Love it! This commentary on Proverbs is actually a collection of sermons. It is devotional and captivating and very accessible. I am reading through it again with my 13 years old son. Dr. Ortlund reveals some technical information like Hebrew roots, etc. but also makes many literary and cultural references that enlighten and connect with the rea ...more
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've always been captivated by the book of Proverbs. As I've grown up in this impractical and illogical culture, its message of wisdom is a place of rest and security.

Ray Ortlund Jr's Proverbs: Wisdom that Works is a fresh way to re-read the book of Proverbs. Mr. Ortlund effectively bridges the gap between our impractical modern culture and the practical wisdom shared in Scripture.

Proverbs: Wisdom that Works is a collection of manuscripts from a sermon series on Proverbs. It reads much like a
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
If the quality of a book is measured by the number of Kindle highlights it receives, this one is off the charts. I really enjoyed this collection of sermons on Proverbs by Ray Ortlund, Jr. His tone is very pastoral and his applications are quite helpful. In structure, Ortlund preaches through the first nine chapters of Proverbs sequentially; the remaining chapters of the book are devoted to various topics that show up throughout Proverbs (money, humility, family, etc.). This would make a great c ...more
Mark A Powell
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom on issues ranging from money to sex to speech. However, as Ortlund skillfully demonstrates, the book of Proverbs is also about Christ. Ortlund deals with the first nine chapters as they are, then as he turns to the actual proverbs (chapters 10-31), he groups them by topic rather than verse-by-verse. An insightful, pastoral commentary that can be easily used for personal growth (and, thus, sermon preparation as well).
Peter Krol
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: commentaries

I highly recommend it if you're interested in understanding the book of Proverbs. It's very readable, and it's not too long.

My favorite quote:
"Wisdom is the gospel of Christ reshaping us for royalty, as God places us on his anvil and we trust him enough to stay there until his work is done" (Kindle Loc. 272).
PJ Wenzel
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
I read sections of Ortland's book in preparation for a sermon I delivered a few weeks ago, and still have it handy for further reference as I track our church's Proverbs sermon series over the summer months.

Ortland is really a fantastic theologian and writer, and I feel this volume really helps illuminate many key truths about the book of Proverbs.
Stephen Altrogge
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The best commentary on Proverbs I've ever read. ...more
Chola Mukanga
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
It has been an excellent read every Sunday over the last couple of months.
Mike Jorgensen
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
By no means an academic or scholarly work, although it is well-suited for bible studies and preaching. It provides good insight and breaks it into manageable chunks.
Micah Lugg
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: commentaries
A great expositional commentary showing how the message of the gospel helps bring the instruction of Proverbs home for us.
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book on Jesus and wisdom

Great insights on to what real wisdom is and how to apply in different areas of life. And all about Jesus!
Joel Rockey
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! More of a devotional commentary, but still very helpful in the study of Proverbs. This is the first book I've read in the Preaching the Word commentary series. It won't be my last. ...more
Jake Welchans
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal and applicable commentary on the book of proverbs. Worth studying alongside the actual scripture or reading on it's own. ...more
Joey D
Excellent for those seeking wisdom

Nicely written. Weaving good technical analysis of the text with an easy to read flow in each chapter. Will be reading this one again!
rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2014
Gregory C. Sund
rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2021
Tyler Ensminger
rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2021
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
  • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23
  • The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
  • Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible: A Fresh Look at What Scripture Teaches
  • The Good Book: 40 Chapters That Reveal the Bible's Biggest Ideas
  • The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture
  • In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character
  • The Life You Long for: Learning to Live from a Heart of Rest
  • The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
  • Gunning for God: A Critique of the New Atheism
  • The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God's Mercy
  • Deep Discipleship: How the Church Can Make Whole Disciples of Jesus
  • 1 Corinthians: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible)
  • Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God
  • A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream
  • In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership
  • The Four Loves
  • ESV Study Bible
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Pastor Ray Ortlund received a B.A. from Wheaton College, Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, M.A. from The University of California, Berkeley, and Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Pastor Ortlund served as Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, from 1989-1998. He was ordained by Lake Avenue Congregati ...more

Other books in the series

Preaching the Word (1 - 10 of 40 books)
  • Genesis: Beginning and Blessing (Preaching the Word)
  • Exodus: Saved for God's Glory
  • Leviticus: Holy God, Holy People
  • Numbers: God's Presence in the Wilderness
  • 1 Samuel: Looking for a Leader
  • Ecclesiastes: Why Everything Matters
  • Isaiah: God Saves Sinners
  • Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope (Preaching the Word)
  • Daniel: The Triumph of God's Kingdom
  • The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom

News & Interviews

We all want to spend more time lost in the pages of great books. That's the idea behind our annual 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge! It's...
43 likes · 5 comments
“We get into wisdom the hard way, through the Lord’s instruction and discipline, through being chastened and corrected.” 0 likes
More quotes…