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Further Wise Sayings of Solomon

25

These are other proverbs of Solomon that the officials of King Hezekiah of Judah copied.

 

2

It is the glory of God to conceal things,

but the glory of kings is to search things out.

3

Like the heavens for height, like the earth for depth,

so the mind of kings is unsearchable.

4

Take away the dross from the silver,

and the smith has material for a vessel;

5

take away the wicked from the presence of the king,

and his throne will be established in righteousness.

6

Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence

or stand in the place of the great;

7

for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”

than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

 

What your eyes have seen

8

do not hastily bring into court;

for what will you do in the end,

when your neighbor puts you to shame?

9

Argue your case with your neighbor directly,

and do not disclose another’s secret;

10

or else someone who hears you will bring shame upon you,

and your ill repute will have no end.

 

11

A word fitly spoken

is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

12

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold

is a wise rebuke to a listening ear.

13

Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest

are faithful messengers to those who send them;

they refresh the spirit of their masters.

14

Like clouds and wind without rain

is one who boasts of a gift never given.

15

With patience a ruler may be persuaded,

and a soft tongue can break bones.

16

If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,

or else, having too much, you will vomit it.

17

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,

otherwise the neighbor will become weary of you and hate you.

18

Like a war club, a sword, or a sharp arrow

is one who bears false witness against a neighbor.

19

Like a bad tooth or a lame foot

is trust in a faithless person in time of trouble.

20

Like vinegar on a wound

is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Like a moth in clothing or a worm in wood,

sorrow gnaws at the human heart.

21

If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;

and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;

22

for you will heap coals of fire on their heads,

and the Lord will reward you.

23

The north wind produces rain,

and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

24

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop

than in a house shared with a contentious wife.

25

Like cold water to a thirsty soul,

so is good news from a far country.

26

Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain

are the righteous who give way before the wicked.

27

It is not good to eat much honey,

or to seek honor on top of honor.

28

Like a city breached, without walls,

is one who lacks self-control.


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Pr 25:1-28.

1. The character of these proverbs sustains the title (see Introduction).

also—refers to the former part of the book.

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 beneficent government.

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 embroidery.

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 given.

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 deceives.

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 (Ps 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 destroyed.

27. Satiety surfeits (Pr 25:16); so men who are self-glorious find shame.

is not glory—"not" is supplied from the first clause, or "is grievous," in which sense a similar word is used (Pr 27:2).

28. Such are exposed to the incursions of evil thoughts and successful temptations.




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