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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 25

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Chapter 25

Now in chapter 25. These proverbs were gathered by Hezekiah when he became king, and they were added to the books of proverbs by Hezekiah's scribes. During the period of Hezekiah's reign, it was a period of national revival. Prior to Hezekiah, the kingdom had reached a low point. As Hezekiah began to reign, there was a real spiritual revival, and it was a national movement among the people. And as is true in all spiritual revivals, there is an interest, a concern and a returning to the Word of God. Where you see people really interested in the Word of God, you know that there is a revival that is happening, because a revival always brings a renewed interest in the Word of God. And so Hezekiah's scribes began to search for the Word of God, search for the scriptures. And they found these proverbs and they added them to the book of Pro 25:1 explains it all.

These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied ( Proverbs 25:1 ).

So they found these and they copied them and added them to the book of Proverbs, proverbs of Solomon.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter ( Proverbs 25:2 ).

How much God has concealed of His own wisdom and understanding and power and might. The secrets of the universe concealed by God. Yet the honor of the king is to search out a matter.

The heaven for height, the earth for depth, and the heart of the king is unsearchable ( Proverbs 25:3 ).

Four and five stand together.

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness ( Proverbs 25:4-5 ).

So the removal of the dross. Now we know that the day is coming when God is going to test our works by fire and the dross to be purged as we stand before the King. And He will establish then His kingdom in righteousness. All of the dross will be taken away.

Put not forth thyself in the presence of a king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than you should be put in the lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen ( Proverbs 25:6-7 ).

Now this was referred to tonight by Hal, and Jesus said, "When you're bidden to come to a feast, don't go and take the most honorable table and the honorable chair. Sit in a lesser place. It's much, much better to have the host come and say to you, 'Oh, come up and sit up here,' rather than to be sitting in the place of prominence and the host come up and say, 'Hey, buddy, you're in the wrong place. Get down there, you know.'" So Jesus really is more or less taking from Solomon. "Better it be said unto thee, 'Come up hither,' than you should be put in the lower place in the presence of the prince."

Don't be in a hurry, don't go out quickly to strive, lest you know not what to do in the end thereof, when your neighbor has put thee to shame. Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself; and discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and your infamy turn not away ( Proverbs 25:8-10 ).

Verse Proverbs 25:11 . Very picturesque.

A word that is fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver ( Proverbs 25:11 ).

Now I don't know if that's Golden Delicious apples in a silver picture, but that would look awful good, you know. But a word fitly spoken. Some people have the gift of saying the right thing at the right time. You know, you can have a very explosive kind of a situation. Everybody is tense. And somebody with this gift just comes along and says the right thing and it just diffuses the whole thing. And you think, "Oh, you know." You're just expecting the whole thing to go and this word that is fitly spoken. How glorious it is. God grant to us this gift of saying the right thing at the right time.

Now, I don't know why it is that so many times, though we know the right thing to say, it's hard to say it. Now what kind of a perversity is that when I know to say the right thing and yet I have difficulty saying it? Now even with my own wife, I oftentimes have difficulty in saying to her what I know I should say. And I don't know why I have this difficulty. It's some kind of a block of the inability to say the right thing at the right time. There are so many times when we could change the whole atmosphere if we would just say the right thing. "A word fitly spoken." How glorious it is. And yet many times even when we know that word, we don't say it. Now that's no virtue. In fact, that's probably evil to let something simmer when you, by a word fitly spoken, could stop it. Dumb perversity of our own hearts, I don't know. But God loves me and I like that. But I get so angry with myself sometimes because I know what I should do but I don't.

An earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover to an obedient ear. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is the faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refreshes the soul of his masters. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. And by long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. Have you found honey? eat as much as is sufficient for thee, lest you be filled, and vomit it ( Proverbs 25:12-16 ).

Here's an interesting one.

Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee ( Proverbs 25:17 ).

You know, you just sit there and sit there and sit there, and they've got things that they want to do and you're not moving. "Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor's house."

A man that bears false witness against his neighbor is a maul, a sword, and a sharp arrow. Confidence in an unfaithful man in the time of trouble is like a broken tooth, or a foot out of joint. He that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart ( Proverbs 25:18-20 ).

You ever put vinegar in... what is it we used to pour vinegar in? Baking soda, right. You know it. "Vinegar upon nitre, so is he that sings songs to a person with a heavy heart."

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat ( Proverbs 25:21 );

Paul quotes this in Romans, chapter 12, or not chapter 12. Yes, Proverbs 12:15 . "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat" ( Romans 12:20 ).

and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee ( Proverbs 25:21-22 ).

Now what does that mean? I am certain that the heaping of the coals of fire is not a bad thing. There's probably something that has to do with their customs that would give you a better understanding of what it means to heap coals of fire upon their head. But it doesn't mean to really crown them with hell, you know. Some have suggested that it will cause them to burn with shame. In other words, if your enemy is hungry and you feed him, if he is thirsty and you give him a drink, you cause him to burn with shame. The Lord will reward you. My motive for doing it shouldn't be that I really heap coals of fire upon his head, you see. My motive in doing it should be really kind and generous.

The north wind drives away the rain: so does an angry countenance a backbiting tongue ( Proverbs 25:23 ).

Someone is backbiting, just give them a dirty look. It'll stop them. Angry countenance a backbiting tongue, drives it away.

It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house ( Proverbs 25:24 ).

Now we already dealt with that one, but these men who were scribes copied it. They evidently got a kick out of that one.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory ( Proverbs 25:25-27 ).

And then the last one.

He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, without walls ( Proverbs 25:28 ).

A man that has no rule over his own spirit. A man who is always losing his temper. He's like a defenseless city, a city that is broken down, without walls. Oh God, help us to rule over our own spirits. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 25". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-25.html. 2014.
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