Old Testament -- Ezra - Proverbs


    1—2 The return of the remnant.

    1:7-11 Separating the vessels to honor from the vessels to dishonor. 2 Tim. 2.

    2:28 Where Abraham built his altar and pitched his tent so long before.

    2:59 Uncertain as to their pedigree. 2:62 Certainty required.

    3 The work of rebuilding begun.

    3:3 The altar first!

    3:6 The house of God next.

    3:11-12 Young men are enthusiastic for the present and future. Aged men are apt to be retrospective.

    4 Opposition from the enemy.

    4:2 The enemy attempts to hinder—offer of amalgamation.

    4:4 Weakening the hands.

    4:5 Hiring counsellors against them.

    4:8-10 Opposition of the heterodox “societies” to the building of the Temple to the Lord alone.

    4:12 Misrepresentation. They were building the Temple.

    4:23 Stopping the work by force.

    5—6 The work resumed.

    5:1 The Books of Haggai and Zechariah come in here.

    5:5 A second letter that proved a boomerang.

    5:17 All Israel—even though so many scattered.

    7—8 Ezra’s return.

    7:10 Note the character of Ezra’s preparation. Contrast with King Rehoboam. 2 Chron. 12:14.

    8:21-22 Contrast Neh. 2:9. 8:29 “That good deposit keep.”

    8:33 The treasure weighed at the end of the journey, nothing lost on the way.

    9—10 Ezra’s ministry.

    9:1 In the right position but a wrong condition.

    9:5 Ezra’s prayer. Compare with Neh. 9 and Dan. 9.

    10:2 Shechaniah—this man had to join in putting away his own mother or stepmother—see v. 26.

    10:26 Jehiel—father of Shechaniah of v. 2.


An Exercised Man—Building the wall-Separation maintained.

    1 Jerusalem’s needy condition. Nehemiah’s call.

    1:11 The great king is but “this man” before God.

    2 Nehemiah’s commission to restore and build the city. “The failed testimony.”

    2:1 in the month Nisan—generally reckoned as Passover season B.C. 446, when the “command went forth to restore and build Jerusalem.”

    2:12 Conferring not with flesh and blood.

    2:19 Opposition on the part of the enemy. (1) Ridicule.

    3 Building of the wall.

    The gates of Jerusalem—note that both the gate of Ephraim and prison gate are not mentioned here. Ch. 12:39.

    3:1 The sheep gate.
    tower of Hananeel
    —a marked spot to be rediscovered in the last days. See Jer. 31:38; Zech. 14:10.

    3:3 The fish gate.

    3:6 The old gate. Through this the old way entered. See Jer. 6:16.

    3:13 The valley gate.

    3:14 The dung gate.

    3:15 Gate of the fountain.

    3:25 The court of the prison—discipline must be maintained.

    3:26 The water gate.

    3:28 The horse gate.

    3:29 The east gate.

    3:30 over against his chamber—evidently a lonely man in a room.

    3:31 The gate Miphkad—decisions.

    4:1-2 Opposition. (2) Mockery, intimidation.

    4:7-8 Opposition. (3) Open warfare.

    5:1 Opposition. (4) Internal dissension.

    5:14 Compare with Paul who labored for his support rather than use his right as an apostle.

    5:16 No real estate deals.

    6 Plots and snares.

    6:2 Opposition. (5) Plotting and slander.

    6:10 Opposition. (6) Attempts at intimidation.

    7 Restoring order.

    7:64-65 “The Lord knoweth them that are His.”

    8 The great Bible reading.

    8:4 Only place the word “pulpit” is found in the English Bible.

    8:17-18 Unobserved for 1,000 years, still it was in the Book.

    9 The Word and prayer.
    Note—Three ninth chapters are devoted to confession:
    Ezra 9—Daniel 9—Nehemiah 9.

    9:3 The Word to judge their ways. Result—confession.

    9:20 The Holy Spirit in the wilderness.

    9:30 The Holy Spirit speaking through the prophets—2 Pet. 1:21.

    10 A new start.

    11 A willing people.

    12 Dedication of the wall.

    12:11 Jaddua—the high priest in the days of Alexander the Great.

    12:39 Gate of Ephraim and the prison gate.

    13 Vigilance vs. declension.

    13:4 An unequal yoke— “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?”


The Book of Providence—God’s secret care over Israel. See Isa. 45:15. Where do we find Esther in the law? “I will hide myself.”

    The name of God not found in this Book. 1 The royal feast and the divorce of Vashti.

    2 The choice of Esther.

    2:18 See the “according to’s” of Ephesians.

    3 The wrath of the Amalekite and the letter of doom.

    4 In sackcloth and ashes.

    4:3 [last part] Symbols of repentance.

    4:4 A change of habits will not deliver from the sentence of condemnation.

    4:16 No mention of prayer as the name of God is omitted.

    5 The scepter of grace—The banquet and the gallows.

    6 A sleepless night and its results.

    6:6 Pride goeth before destruction.

    7 The second banquet and the Amalekite’s end.

    8 The despised man exalted and the decree of grace.

    8:9 The post of mercy.

    8:14 Hastened on their way with the good news!

    9:1-19 The deliverance.

    9:20-32 The institution of Purim.

    10 Speaking peace.


“A righteous man learning his own nothingness” S.R. The Book of Repentance. Also the mystery of suffering.

    1—2 Historical prologue.
    The testing of Job by Satan.
    Job, an historical character. See Ezek. 14:14, 20; Jas.

    3—41 The drama. Job’s contention with his friends and the Lord’s answer.

    4:7 Note the philosophy of Eliphaz: the righteous are preserved from disaster. Such only comes upon the wicked!

    4:17 i.e., Men punish evildoers—so with God.

    5:17-18 All very true but not applicable to Job in these circumstances.

    6:22-23 Job asked no favor of them.

    9:2 Answered in the Epistle to the Romans.

    9:9 Astronomy known to Job. Ch. 26:13; 38:31, 32.

    9:13-15 Job would not have the presumption to plead his righteousness, as merit—but he feels God should shew mercy when he is not consciously guilty of any wilful sin.

    9:22 For a moment Job falls back on a hard fatalistic philosophy, but he cannot rest in this.

    9:29 i.e., Why should I care to justify myself, if I am a wicked, godless man?

    10:22 Description of Sheol as Job understood it. 11 Zophar, the stern legalist. “So much sin, so much suffering.”

    11:3 lies—“sophistries.”

    11:3-4 “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

    11:14-17 Zophar’s philosophy is very simple: be good and God will bless with all temporal mercies.

    12:6 It is not always the good who have temporal prosperity.

    12:14 Rev. 3:7.

    13:7 A Welsh collier was wont to say to his Bible class as they reasoned about the Scriptures: “Be careful, lads, that you keep the character of God clear.”

    13:15 Trust in God coupled with self-righteousness.

    15:20 This is often true of the godly also.

    21:7 The wicked not invariably recompensed in this life.

    21:13 “In a moment.” See 1 Cor. 15:52.

    22:15-16 The Antediluvians.

    23:10 Confidence where he cannot understand. A sense of moral integrity.

    24:12 Many who are guilty of the very offences charged against Job yet seem to be prospered by God.

    27:13-23 Job sums up all that they have declared to be the portion of the wicked—then proceeds to show that this cannot be applied to him.

    28:22 The wisdom of God displayed in the Cross.

    29—31 I, me, my, mine over 195 times. Job’s confidence before he saw the Lord.

    29:1-6 Job’s former estate in the home.

    29:7-10 Abroad.

    29:11-17 His benevolence extolled.

    29:18-20 His confidence.

    29:21-25 His philanthropy.

    30 Job’s wretched condition at the time his friends called upon him.

    30:1-8 Mocked.

    30:9-12 Scorned.

    30:13-15 Persecuted.

    30:16-19 Suffering.

    30:20-23 No answer from God.

    30:24-27 Absolute misery.

    30:28-31 Utter desolation.

    31 Job’s insistence on his own righteousness.

    31:1-12 Chaste and upright.

    31:13-23 Kind to all.

    31:24-28 Sound in faith.

    31:29-32 Friendly and hospitable.

    31:33-34 Straightforward and fearless.

    31:35-40 His challenge to God and man.

    32 God is holy and merciful—whatever our experiences may seem to prove.

    33:7-9 God’s purpose in chastening vindicated.

    33:13 God’s ways are inscrutable.

    34:12, 23 God’s dealings ethically right.

    34:31-32 Exercise under discipline. See Amos 7:9; Heb. 12:5.

    35:7 Man makes a great mistake when he makes himself the center of things—instead of God.

    35:14 Trust where you cannot trace!

    36:5-12 Elihu epitomises the teaching of Job’s three friends—and shows that Job himself has held the same philosophy and has actually justified himself rather than God.

    36:24 “Whatever else you do keep the character of God clear!”

    37:1 Thunderstorm is approaching!

    37:5 This should teach us humility!

    37:12 All nature under God’s control—yet all inexplicable.

    37:13 So with all His dealings with men.

    38—41 Jehovah speaks.

    A whirlwind comes across the desert and the voice of God speaks out of it. God asks Job 79 or 80 questions he cannot answer.

    38:22, 23 i.e., The wars of the elements—and God has at times used these very things for the defeat or victory of armies.

    38:31 Astronomy testifies to the power and wisdom of God. Ch. 9:9.

    40:4, 5 Job’s first answer to Jehovah’s challenge. 40:8 Shall man question God’s righteousness if affliction comes upon him?

    42:1-6 Job’s second and last answer—”The end of the Lord.”

    42:16 Job lived in the patriarchal age before life was shortened as now.


Book 1 Chapters 1 to 41
Divine Principles—The Genesis Book—The Counsels of God as to Christ.

    1—8 The anointed King—rejected by Israel—owned as Son of Man.
    Psalms 1, 2, 8 messianic.

    1:5 stand—Standing—ability to abide divine scrutiny. See Ps. 5:5.

    2:1-3 The voice of the world. 2:4-6

    The voice of the Father.

    2:7-9 The voice of the Son.

    2:10-12 The voice of the Spirit.

    9—15 Antichrist and the enemy of God—the eventual victory over the powers of evil.

    16—41 Christ in the midst of Israel—God manifested.

    Psalms 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 40, 41 messianic. The perfect meal offering. Christ as the Dependent Man here on the earth.

    16:5 my cup—See Ps. 23:5.

    16:14 Dwellers on the earth. See Phil. 3.

    18:17 His mighty power which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.

    19:1-6 The testimony of God’s works in creation. 19:7-14 The testimony of God’s Word.

    22 Psalm of the Cross—the sin offering—the Good Shepherd. Christ suffering at the hands of God.

    22:3 Who was praising but He, at this time of His soul’s sorrow?

    22:6 Tolaath—the scarlet worm.

    23 Psalm of the crook—the Great Shepherd.

    24 Psalm of the crown—the Chief Shepherd. 25—39 Experiences of the godly remnant.

    25:5 A great salvation for men whose iniquity is great, See v. 11.

    25:9 Guidance—Matt. 11:29, 30. See Hos. 11:3.

    25:11 We might have said, “It is not very great!”

    25:15 Guidance—Ps. 32:8; Num. 9:18-22.

    27:4 One thing—See Phil 3:13. The beauty of the Lord. See Isa. 53:2. See Ps. 29:2.

    29:3-5 A storm in the mountains moving on into the wilderness.

    31:1 See 1 John 1:9.

    32:7 Hiding in God instead of hiding from Him.

    33:7 as an heap—“in a bottle” correct text.

    34:16 Note that Peter omits the last half of this verse. 1 Pet. 3:12.

    36:8 The river of God. Ezek. 47:1-12.

    40 Psalm of the burnt offering.

    41:9 Judas—antichrist.
    Book 2 Chapters 42—72
    The Fallen State of Israel—Their ruin and redemption.
    Ps. 45, 55, 68, 69, 72 messianic.

    42—51 The King coming to reign. The hope of the needy.

    44:12 “Ye have sold yourselves for nought and shall be redeemed without money.” Isa. 52:3.

    45:11 Beauty. Ps. 29:2.

    45:13-14 See the bride in Rev. 19.

    45:17 See Luke 22:19; Jer. 16:7.

    48:14 unto—“over.”

    49:7-9 Redemption. See Lev. 25:48. Costly—so let it alone forever. 50:3 Isa. 65:6.

    50:15 A promise for him who observes v. 14.

    52—60 Soul exercises leading to deliverance.

    55:19 have no changes—“settled on the lees.”

    61—72 Deliverance through the Redeemer-King.

    62 Note the use of the word “only.”

    64:6 [first clause] “Love covereth a multitude of sins.”

    66:18 The one great hindrance to prayer.

    68:11 Feminine—a company of women.

    68:30 pieces of silver—redemption money. See Ex. 30.

    69 Psalm of the trespass offering. Christ suffering from the hands of men—result, judgment. Contrast with Ps. 22.

    69:4 [last clause] Christ Himself, making up for man’s wrongdoing.

    71:1-2 Save in righteousness. Rom. 1:17.

    72 A millennial psalm.

    72:16 The remnant of Israel.

    73—89 Book 3.—The Leviticus series. The sanctuary. God’s holiness maintained in His ways with Israel.—Psalm 89 is messianic.

    73—83 Holiness manifested in grace.

    73:17 their end. See 1 Pet, 4:17.

    73:24 Or, “after the glory, receive me.”

    74:5-7 Builders, or destroyers?

    74:8 Synagogues in the O.T.!

    75:2-3 Messiah tells how He will judge in righteousness.

    75:8 “Let this cup pass!”

    76:10 “Ye know what restraineth.”

    77:2 Hand was stretched out.

    77:3 was troubled—“I moaned.”

    77:7-9 Six questions of the troubled soul.

    77:10-15 Faith’s answer.

    78:29 Prayer answered in judgment.

    78:36 Flattering God!

    78:68 Zion—chosen in electing grace.

    79:9 Heb. 9—10.

    80:15 Christ: the Branch of the Lord—to take the place of the failed people. Isa. 11:1-2.

    83 Victory over the last assault of the enemy.

    84—89 Christ the Mediator maintaining the holiness of God.

    84 The sons of Korah—direct descendants of Korah the apostate. Num. 16 and 26. See 1 Chron.

    6:31. Saved from going down to the pit.

    84:3 “God’s pensioners.”

    85 Psalm of the peace offering.

    85:6 Conditions of Revival: facing facts, confession, restitution, prayer, work, obedience.

    88 Under the curse of a broken law.

    89:14 The cherubim. Ps. 97:2.

    89:30-32 Divine discipline following disobedience.

    89:37-38 The covenant not abrogated though the house of David no longer is in evidence. See Acts 15:16.

    90—106 Book 4.—The first man replaced by the Second Man. The numbers Book. Experiences of the remnant as scattered among the nations. Psalms 91, 102 messianic.

    90—93 Christ linking the Creator and His creation after sin had come in.

    90:17 Ps. 27:4. The beauty of the Lord. See Ps. 96:6-9.

    94—100 Salvation by Judgment.

    94:9 “Mine ear hast Thou digged.”

    95:5 The sea—Rev. 21:1-3; Ps. 104:25.

    97:11 gladness—”a festival of joy.”

    99:8 Grace and government.

    100—106 Salvation realized.

    102 A Gethsemane psalm.

    102:25 The Father’s answer to the prayer of the Son. See Heb. 1.

    103:7 Note the difference between His ways (counsels) and His acts.

    104:2 The Invisible God. “The radiant light is the shadow of God.”—Plato

    104:15 Wine to cheer, bread to strengthen.

    105:25 We might have thought the devil did it!

    106:15 Prayer answered in judgment.

    106:33 A provoked spirit: a wrong state because of occupation with evil.

    107—150 Book 5.—The Deuteronomy section. Israel restored to God. The conclusion of His ways with men.

    Psalms no, 118 messianic.

    107—113 Divine principles.

    107:20 Healing in the Word.

    109:4 “I am prayer.” It is He who is the Great Intercessor.

    109:8 Spoken prophetically of Judas the traitor.

    111—118 Called “the Egyptian Hall-El” or “Little Hall-El.”

    111:9 Only place reverend is found in the English Bible.

    114—119 God known as the Saviour.

    116:8 Threefold deliverance. 2 Cor. 1:10.

    116:16 Service that springs from deliverance through redemption.

    118:22 The rejected stone.

    118:24 The Lord’s Day.

    118:26 The entry into Jerusalem.

    118:27 The Cross.

    119 The golden alphabet—The law written upon the heart.

    119:5 directed to—made so direct that I might.

    119:9 “The washing of water by the Word.”

    119:30 Blessed choice!

    119:44-45 The perfect law of liberty. See Jas. 2:12.

    119:63 David’s denomination, v. 94.

    119:67 Blessed use of affliction.

    119:100 Understanding the mind of God and obedience to His Word go together.

    119:108 Fruit of the lips—See Is. 57:19; Heb. 13:15.

    119:160 True from Genesis. See Isa. 46:9-10; 34:16.

    120—134 The psalms or songs of degrees.

    135—150 Salvation celebrated. Review of God’s ways.

    136:26 God of heaven—the name used in the postcaptivity Books, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, and in Daniel.

    137:7-9 Divine judgment to fall on Edom: type of the flesh—See prophecy of Obadiah. Also on Babylon. See Jer. 50, 51.

    139:1-6 The divine omniscience.

    139:5 “Thou art around me on all sides and Thou art holding Thy hand over me.” Lit. trans.

    139:7-12 The divine omnipresence.

    139:13-18 The divine omnipotence active on man’s behalf.

    139:16 [last part] True of the mystical Body of Christ, as of the human body.

    139:19-24 The Divine Judgment.

    141:2 Incense—typical of prayer. See Ex. 30:34.

    146—150 “The Great Hall-El.”

    147:4-5 He numbers the stars but His understanding cannot be numbered.

    149:6 a two-edged sword—the Word—see Eph. 6:17 and Heb. 4:12.


The wisdom that created the heavens now deigns to show a safe path through the world. Note:

Throughout it is family instruction; the teaching of the father, the law of the mother. Each proverb illustrated in the Bible or corroborated by direct teaching elsewhere,.

    1—9 Wisdom and folly contrasted.

    1:7 “Knowledge and wisdom far from being one
    Have oft-times no connection. Knowledge dwells
    In heads replete with thoughts of other men,
    Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
    Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much.
    Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.”—Cowper

    1:23-31 “These are the verses used by the Spirit of God to awaken me as a lad of 14, and I found peace in John 3:18.”—H. A. Ironside

    2:1-5 receive, hide, incline, apply, criest, lift est up, seekest, searchest—the only way to get the mind of God. See Ezra 7:10.

    3 Personal piety and consistent living. Mercy and truth: consideration for others and integrity of heart before God and man.

    4 Wisdom as a guide for human life.

    4:12 “As thou goest step by step, I will open up the way before thee.” Heb. trans.

    4:23 Circulation of the blood implied.

    5 Wisdom preserving from uncleanness.

    8:12 Wisdom personified. “Christ the Wisdom of God.”
    “God hath made Him to be unto us—Wisdom.” 8:23 set up—anointed.

    (1) Christ, the Anointed from eternity.
    (2) When born into the world.
    (3) At His baptism.
    (4) In His Resurrection.

    9:1-12 Wisdom’s invitation.

    9:13-18 Folly’s invitation.

    10—24 Proverbs set in order by Solomon. The walk through this world of the one who is a disciple of Wisdom.

    10:27-32 Righteousness and lawlessness contrasted.

    11 Righteousness and lawlessness contrasted.

    11:4 See the rich fool.

    11:6 righteousness—hypocrite. See Job 8:13.

    11:8 See Haman and Mordecai, Daniel and his accusers.

    11:24 “A man there was, though some did count him mad;

    The more he cast away the more he had.
    It never was loving that emptied a heart
    Nor giving that emptied a purse.” See ch. 13:7.

    12—13 The love of knowledge in contrast to hatred of reproof.

    12:9 he that honoureth himself—How many are of this type!

    12:20 Note why people imagine evil concerning others.

    14 The wise and the simple contrasted. 14:1 See the prudent woman of chapter 31.

    14:14 Only place “backslider” is found in Bible.

    14:32 The hope of immortality.

    15 The tongue.

    15:2 Wisdom, the ability to use knowledge aright.

    16 The divine sovereignty—“Man proposes, God disposes.”

    16:15 The latter rain, a special blessing. See Jer. 3:3.

    17 Divine principles.

    17:1 Amen! sacrifices—i.e., peace offerings.

    17:17 A friend—ch. 18:24; ch. 27:10.

    18 Warnings against folly in speech.

    18:1 The self-seeking schismatic. Separation after a carnal order. Jude 16-17. intermeddleth with all wisdom— or, rageth against all sound wisdom.

    18:10, 11 Contrast these two verses.

    18:22 A wife, not merely a woman.

    19 The path of truth and the way of self-will.

    19:7 Job and his friends.

    19:17 Loans that pay big interest!

    20 Warnings against evil habits, vice, etc.

    20:6-12 The test of purity.

    20:17 There is nothing covered that shall not be manifested—then the bitterness!

    20:24 See Jer. 10:23, 24.

    20:25 and after vows to make enquiry—i.e., he does as his appetite dictates—then inquires of God afterwards.

    20:27 Personality of the spirit in man. Ps. 78:8; Rom. 1:9.

    21 The moral government of God.

    21:13 1 John 3:17. Active benevolence a condition of answered prayer.

    21:18 On the Cross it was just the opposite.

    21:31 The horse as a type. See Job 39:19; Rev. 6. 22—24:22 Exhortations to integrity and subjection to God.

    22:6 Train up—dedicate, or initiate—Same word as in Deut. 20:5 (twice); 1 Kings 8:63; 2 Chron. 7:5.

    22:17-18 Importance of studying the Word of God—2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16; Luke 1:1-4.

    24:11-12 Responsibility for men who know not God. Contrast Isa. 58:10.

    24:23-34 An appendix to the division.

    24:30-34 The field of the slothful. A fitting epilogue to this division.

    25—29 Division 3—Later proverbs arranged by the men of Hezekiah. See 1 Kings 4:32.

    25:7 Used by our Lord in Luke 14:8, 10.

    25:21-22 Quoted in Romans 12:20.

    25:25 The gospel likened to water. Rev. 22:17.

    26 Fools and sluggards.

    27:1 See Pharaoh in Ex. 8:10. Tomorrow—reasons for not delaying:
    (1) Death may ensue.
    (2) The Spirit may cease to strive.
    (3) The Lord may return.
    (4) We add to what we can never undo.
    (5) We lose time we can never make up.

    27:16 Impossible to shield her for she invariably betrays herself.

    27:23 A word to pastors.

    28:9 When it is no use to pray. See Isa. 1:15.

    30 Division 4—The words of Agur.

    30:24-28 Four Wise Things.

    31 Division 5—The words of Lemuel.