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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 25

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1



(Proverbs 25:1 to Proverbs 29:27)


Verse 1 certifies the existence of earlier Proverbs of Solomon and affirm that those beginning here are also Proverbs of Solomon (1 Kings 4:32) which were collected and copied by subjects of King Hezekiah during his reign (700 BC).

Verse 2

Functions of Kings

Verse 2 declares the glorious omniscience of God who knows and has reasons for all things (much of which is unknown to man, Romans 11:33-36) and the honor of kings to whom is entrusted the searching out of those things God would have them reveal to men, Deuteronomy 29:29; Job 29:16; Ezra 4:15; Ezra 4:19; Ezra 6:1.

Verse 3

Verse 3 suggests that kings and those in authority at times possess information of such nature it must be kept secret.

Verses 4-5

Verses 4-5 affirm that to establish the throne in righteousness, the dross (the wicked) must be removed from positions of authority, as dross is separated in the refining of silver. The king or ruling authority must himself set a righteous example, and must assure that subordinates do likewise, or be removed from office, Proverbs 16:12; Proverbs 20:8; Proverbs 25:4-5. The N. T. emphasizes that the incentive to purge oneself and be a vessel of honor stems from being led to a personal trust in and love for the LORD, 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:20-21.

Verses 6-7

Conduct Before the Great

Verses 6 and 7 suggest taking a lower place when before one of high rank rather than presuming to occupy a place in the forefront. Jesus warned against such conduct lest one be embarrassed by being asked to take a lower place, Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 18:12; Luke 14:8-11.

Verses 8-10

Resolution of Strife With Neighbor

Verses 8-10 advise against acting in haste to discuss with others or begin litigation in a cause of strife with a neighbor. The wise course recommended is to consider first whether there is a cause worthy of complaint, and if so, discuss the matter with the neighbor alone, refraining from any disclosure to others. In addition to the cautions of Proverbs 17:14; Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 25:11-12, Jesus urged private discussion first, Matthew 18:15; and settlement without litigation, Matthew 5:25-26; Matthew 5:40. See also 1 Corinthians 6:1.

Verses 11-12

Appropriate Words

Verses 11-12 use objects of beauty and grace to illustrate the worth of words well suited to meet with kindness and truth, a present need of correction, instruction, comfort, encouragement, etc. The ideal of both wise reprover and gracious reproved is emphasized, Proverbs 15:23; Proverbs 16:24; Proverbs 17:27; Ecclesiastes 9:17; Ecclesiastes 10:12; Isaiah 50:4; Job 6:25; Colossians 4:6; Titus 2:8.

Verse 13

Faithful Service

Verse 13 emphasizes the satisfaction derived by a master from faithfulness of a servant or, messenger. It is as satisfying as drinks cooled in the hot summer by mountain snow preserved from the previous winter. See comment on Proverbs 10:26 and Proverbs 13:17. For Spiritual application see 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; Hebrews 13:16.

Verse 14

False Teachers

Verse 14 describes practices which identify false teachers. They talk big, make claims and promises they cannot fulfill. Peter and James speak of such in the N. T., 2 Peter 2:1; 2 Peter 2:18-19; Judges 1:12.

Verse 15

Patience and Soft Words

Verse 15 affirms that patience without rancor will persuade even a prince or person of high rank; and a soft tongue (gentle speech) will overcome the resistance of those who would never heed harsh language, Proverbs 15:1; 1 Samuel 25:10-13; 1 Samuel 25:23-34; Judges 8:1-3.

Verse 16

Beware of Excess

Verse 16 teaches, that permitted pleasures, even the eating of honey are to be indulged only insofar as is sufficient. Excess is forbidden because it is harmful physically and spiritually. To eat too much sickens the body. To sleep too much prevents work that should be done. Jesus warned against the hindrance of hearts overcharged with surfeiting, Proverbs 25:27; Luke 21:34-36.

Verse 17

Visitation of Neighbors

Verse 17 urges that visits to a neighbor’s house be governed by good judgment and consideration for the neighbor and his family. Beware of too frequent or ill-timed visits that intrude upon privacy or meal-time. Avoid advice for the conduct of their affairs. Know when to leave and depart, 2 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:15.

Verse 18

The Lying Tongue

Verse 18 emphasizes the destruction of the liar by characterizing his false witness as a maul (war-club), sword and sharp arrow, all weapons of destruction (Jeremiah 5:20; Ezekiel 9:6). Other Scriptures describing the destructiveness of the tongue are Psalms 52:2; Psalms 64:2-4; Psalms 120:2-4; God hates the lying tongue and has decreed punishment upon such, Proverbs 6:16-17; Proverbs 19:5; Proverbs 19:9; Proverbs 21:28; Proverbs 24:28.

Verse 19

Misplaced Confidence

Verse 19 affirms-that confidence in an unfaithful man in time of need or trouble is as useless as a broken tooth when one needs to chew, or a foot out of joint when one needs to walk or run. Failure of the unfaithful is also painful to those who trust him, Psalms 55:12-14. Accounts of faithful men and women are recorded in Scripture; Genesis 39:6; 2 Kings 12:15; 2 Chronicles 34:11-12; Daniel 6:4; Romans 16:1-4, but no man should be trusted in preference to the LORD, Psalms 146:3; Isaiah 31:1; Jeremiah 17:5.

Verse 20

Inappropriate Merriment

Verse 20 affirms the incongruity or absurdity of attempting to comfort the sorrowing by singing songs designed for merry occasions Such is as foolish and heartless as taking away a coat in cold weather, or putting vinegar in nitre, a raising agent in bread-making which would be made useless by the vinegar, Proverbs 27:14; Daniel 6:18; Romans 12:15.

Verses 21-22

Treatment of Enemies

Verses 21-22 restate in principle Divine instruction for the treatment of enemies: If they have need of food, drink, clothing or aid for the feeble, supply their need. If their straying animals are found, return them. Render whatever help can be given and do so without rancor, as Elisha instructed the king of Israel, 2 Kings 6:21-23; and as taught in Exodus 23:4-5; 2 Chronicles 28:15. Such treatment will likely reconcile the enemy, and in any event will be rewarded by the LORD, Vs 22; Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:20.

Verse 23

Righteous Indignation

Verse 23 suggests that as a certain wind drives away rain so does an angry countenance cause the backbiting tongue to cease. This is not intended to encourage anger but suggests that evil should arouse sufficient righteous indignation to show in facial expression, Exodus 32:19; Leviticus 10:16; 1 Samuel 11:1-6; Psalms 101:5.

Verse 24

The Intolerable Wife

Verse 24- See comment on 21:9.

Verse 25

News Really Good

Verse 25 suggests that good news from or concerning loved ones is as refreshing spiritually as cold water to one physically thirsty. The prodigal son (Luke 15:13 FF) had fond recollection of the good things at home. The apostle Paul rejoiced in Macedonia when Titus brought refreshing news of the church at Corinth, 2 Corinthians 7:5-7. On another occasion, Paul was in Corinth staying in the home of Priscilla and Aquila when Timothy brought good news of the brethren at Thessalonica, 1 Thessalonians 3:5-8. See also Genesis 45:25-28.

NOTE: There is much good news in the Scriptures concerning the far country, to which some loved ones have gone; and others have booked passage. How urgent the need to inform the many uninformed, Romans 10:13-15.

Verse 26

When the Righteous Fail

Verse 26 portrays the sad consequence of a righteous man yielding to wickedness. Instead of being an influence for good, he becomes as a corrupt fountain which gives forth an evil influence that infects others. Lot’s choice of wicked Sodom hindered members of his own family, Genesis 13:10-13; Genesis 19:24-38; 2 Peter 2:6-8. The admonition to the righteous is resist temptation, Proverbs 1:10; Proverbs 4:14; Romans 6:13; Ephesians 6:13; 2 Peter 3:17.

Verse 27

Too Much Good and Self Glory

Verse 27- See comment on Vs 16 and Proverbs 27:2.

Verse 28

Self Control

Verse 28 declares that one who cannot restrain himself is as defenseless against attack by the tempter as the ancient city was open to the attacks of enemies when the walls were broken down, Proverbs 14:29; Proverbs 16:32; Proverbs 19:11; Ecclesiastes 7:9; 2 Chronicles 32:5-8; Romans 6:12; 2 Peter 1:5-7.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 25". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-25.html. 1985.
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