1. The character of these proverbs sustains
the title (see Introduction).
also—refers to the former part of the
copied out—literally, "transferred,"
that is, from some other book to this; not given from memory.
2. God's unsearchableness impresses us with
awe (compare Isa 45:15; Ro 11:33). But kings, being finite, should confer
with wise counsellors;
3. Ye wisely keeping state secrets, which to
common men are as inaccessible heights and depths.
4, 5. As separating impurities from ore leaves
pure silver, so taking from a king wicked counsellors leaves a wise and
5. before—or, "in presence of," as
courtiers stood about a king.
6, 7. Do not intrude into the presence of the
king, for the elevation of the humble is honorable, but the humbling of
the proud disgraceful (Lu 14:8-10).
8. (Compare Pr 3:30).
lest … shame—lest you do what
you ought not, when shamed by defeat, or "lest thou art shut out from
doing any thing."
9, 10. (Compare Mt 5:25, Margin).
secret—that is, of your opponent, for
his disadvantage, and so you be disgraced, not having discussed your
difficulties with him.
11. a word fitly—literally, "quickly,"
as wheels roll, just in time. The comparison as apples …
silver gives a like sense.
apples, &c.—either real apples of
golden color, in a silver network basket, or imitations on silver
12. Those who desire to know and do rightly,
most highly esteem good counsel (Pr 9:9; 15:31). The listening ear is better than one
hung with gold.
13. Snow from mountains was used to cool
drinks; so refreshing is a faithful messenger (Pr 13:17).
14. clouds—literally, "vapors" (Jer 10:13), clouds only in appearance.
a false gift—promised, but not
15. Gentleness and kindness overcome the most
powerful and obstinate.
long forbearing—or, "slowness to
anger" (Pr 14:29; 15:18).
16, 17. A comparison, as a surfeit of honey
produces physical disgust, so your company, however agreeable in
moderation, may, if excessive, lead your friend to hate you.
18. A false witness is as destructive
to reputation, as such weapons to the body (Pr 24:28).
beareth … witness—literally,
"answereth questions," as before a judge, against his neighbor.
19. Treachery annoys as well as
20. Not only is the incongruity of songs (that
is, joyful) and sadness meant, but an accession of sadness, by want of
sympathy, is implied.
21, 22. (Compare Mt 5:44; Ro
12:20). As metals are melted
by heaping coals upon them, so is the heart softened by kindness.
23. Better, "As the north wind bringeth forth
90:2) or produces rain, so
does a concealed or slandering tongue produce anger."
24. (Compare Pr 21:9, 19).
25. (Compare Pr 25:13).
good news—that is, of some loved
interest or absent friend, the more grateful as coming from afar.
26. From troubled fountains and corrupt
springs no healthy water is to be had, so when the righteous are
oppressed by the wicked, their power for good is lessened or
27. Satiety surfeits (Pr 25:16); so men who are self-glorious find
is not glory—"not" is supplied from
the first clause, or "is grievous," in which sense a similar word is
28. Such are exposed to the incursions of evil
thoughts and successful temptations.