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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 25

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

These [are] also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men. — Solomon "hath his thousand out of this his vineyard of three thousand proverbs," 1 Kings 4:32 and these men of Hezekiah that kept, and yet communicated, the fruit thereof, "their two hundred." Song of Solomon 8:12 It is good for men to be doing what they are able for the glory of God and good of others, Prima sequentem honestum est in secundis tertiisque consistere. - Cic, de Orat. if it be but to copy out another man’s work, and prepare it for the press. Them that any way honour God he will honour; that is a bargain of his own making, and we may trust to it.

Verse 2

[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing. — That what we conceive not, we may admire ( mirari non rimari ), and cry out with Paul, "O the depth," Romans 11:33 as the Romans dedicated to their goddess Victoria a certain lake, the depth whereof they could not dive into. God is much to be magnified for what he hath revealed unto his people in the holy Scriptures for their eternal good. But those unsearchable secrets of his - such as are the union of the three persons into one nature, and of two natures into one person, his wonderful decrees, and the no less wonderful execution thereof, … - these make exceeding much to the glory of his infinite wisdom and surpassing greatness, in speaking whereof our "safest eloquence is our silence," Aristotle since tantum recedit quantum capitur, saith Nazianzen - much like that pool spoken of by Polycritus, which in compass at the first scarce seemed to exceed the breadth of a shield; but if any went in to wash, it extended itself more and more.

But the honour of kings is to search out a matter. — As Solomon did that of the two harlots ( 1 Kings 3:16-28 Job 29:16 ). There are those who divide this book of Proverbs into three parts. In the first nine chapters things of a lower nature, and fit for instruction of youth, are set down and described. Next, from thence to this twenty-fifth chapter, the wise man discourseth of all sorts of virtues and vices, suitable to all sorts of people. Lastly, from this chapter to the end, he treateth, for the most part, higher matters, as of kings’ craft and state business.

Verse 3

The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings [is] unsearchable.

The heaven for height, … — It is a wonder that we can look up to so admirable a height, and that the very eye is not tired in the way. If this ascending line could be drawn right forwards, some that have calculated curiously, have found it five hundred years’ journey to the starry sky. Other mathematicians say, that if a stone should fall from the eighth sphere, and should pass every hour a hundred miles, it would be sixty-five years or more before it would come to the ground. I suppose there is as little credit to be given to these as to Aratus the astrologer, who boasted that he had found out and set down the whole number of the stars in heaven; or as to Archimedes the mathematician, that said, that he could by his art cast up the just number of all the sands both in the habitable and inhabitable parts of the world. Sphinx Philosoph.

And the earth for depth. — From the surface to the centre, how far it is, cannot be known exactly, as neither whether hell be there: but that it is somewhere below may be gathered from Revelation 14:11 , and other places. Ubi sit sentient, qui curiosius quaerunt.

And the heart of kings is unsearchable.Profundum sine fundo. God gave Solomon "a large heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore." 1 Kings 4:29 A vast capacity, an extraordinary judgment, and wisdom to reserve himself. No bad cause was too hard for him to detect; no practices which he did not smell out; no complotter which he did not speedily entrap in their wiles, as Adonijah.

Verse 4

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

Take away the dross from the silver. — The holy prophets were not only most exactly seen in the peerless skill of divinity, but most exquisitely also furnished with the entire knowledge of all things natural. Hence their many similies wherewith they learnedly beautify their matter, and deck out their terms, words, and sentences, giving thereunto a certain kind of lively gesture, attiring the same with light, perspicuity, easiness, estimation, and dignity; stirring up thereby men’s drowsy minds to the acknowledgment of the truth, and pursuit of godliness.

Verse 5

Take away the wicked [from] before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

Take away the wicked. — Who are compared elsewhere also to dross, Ezekiel 22:19 and fitly; for as dross is a kind of unprofitable earth, and hath no good metal in it; so in the wicked is no good to be found, but pride, worldliness, … Frobisher, in his voyage to discover the Straits, being tossed up and down with foul weather, snows, and unconstant winds, returned home, having gathered a great quantity of stones, which he thought to be minerals, from which, when there could be drawn neither gold nor silver, nor any other metal, we have seen them, saith Master Camden, Camden’s Elizabeth, fol. 189. cast forth to fix the highways. Evil counsellors about a prince are means of a great deal of mischief, as were Doeg, Haman, Rehoboam’s and Herod’s flatterers, Pharaoh’s sorcerers, … Of a certain prince of Germany it was said, Esset alius, si esset apud alios; He would be another man, if he were but among other men. Say they be not so drossy, but that some good ore is to be found in them; yet all is not good that hath some good in it. It is Scaliger’s note, Malum non est nisi in bono. The original nature of the devil is good, wherein all his wickedness subsisteth. When one highly commended the cardinal Julian to Sigismund, he answered, Tamen Romanus est, Yet he is a Roman, and therefore not to be trusted. Those cardinals and Popish bishops being much about princes, have greatly impoisoned them, and hindered the Reformation. Zuinglius fitly compares them to that wakeful dragon that kept the golden fleece, as the poets have feigned. They get the royalty of their ear, and then do with them whatsoever they wish. David therefore vows, as a good finer, to rid the court of such dross, Psalms 101:4 and gives order upon his death bed to his son Solomon, to take out of the way those men of blood, 1 Kings 2:5-9 that his throne might be established in righteousness.

Verse 6

Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great [men]:

Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king.Ne te ornes coram reqe. Compare not, vie not with him in apparel, furniture, house keeping, …, as the Hebrews sense it. This was the ruin of Cardinal Wolsey, and of Viscount Verulam.

And stand not in the place of great men. — Exalt not thyself, but wait till God shall reach out the hand from heaven and raise thee. Psalms 75:5-8 Adonijah is branded for this, that he exalted himself, saying, "I will be king." 1 Kings 1:5 When none else would lift Hildebrand up into Peter’s chair, he got up himself: ‘for who,’ said he, ‘can better judge of my worth than I can?’ ‘Harden thy forehead,’ said Calvus to Vatinius, ‘and say boldly, that thou deservest the praetorship better than Cato.’ Quintil., lib. ix. cap. 2. Ambition rides without reins, as Tullia did over the dead body of her own father, to be made a queen. See my Common Place of Ambition.

Verse 7

For better [it is] that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

For better it is that it be said unto thee. — From this text our Saviour takes that parable of his, put forth to those that were bidden to a feast. Luke 14:10 Now, if before an earthly prince men should carry themselves thus modestly and humbly, how much more before the King of heaven! And if among guests at a feast, how much more among the saints and angels in the holy assemblies! That is an excellent saying of Bernard, Omnino oportet nos orationis tempore curiam intrare coelestern, in qua Rex regum stellato sedet solio, circumdante innumerabili et ineffabili beatorum spirituum exercitu. Quanta ergo cum reverentia, quanto timore, quanta illuc humilitate accedere debet e palude sua procedens et repens vilis ranuncula? Bernard., De Divers. At prayer time we should enter into the court of heaven, where sitteth the King of kings with a guard of innumerable blessed spirits. With how great reverence then, with how great fear and self abasement, should we come, like so many vile vermin creeping and crawling out of some sorry pool or puddle!

Verse 8

Go not forth hastily to strive, lest [thou know not] what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

Go not forth hastily to strive. — Contention is the daughter of arrogance and ambition. James 4:1 Hence Solomon, whose very name imports peace, persuades to peaceableness very oft in this book, and sets forth the mischief of strife and dissension. Stir not strife, saith he, but make haste to stint it - so the words may be rendered - you may do that in your haste that you may repent by leisure. Hasty men, we say, never want woe. If every man were a law to himself, as the Thracians are said to be, αυτονομοι . - Herodot. there would not be so much lawing, warbling, and warring as there is. There is a curse upon those "that delight in war," Psalms 68:30 as King Pyrrhus did, but a blessing for all the children of peace, Matthew 10:40-42 who shall also be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 Paul and Barnabas had a sharp, παροξυσμος . but short fit of falling out. Acts 15:39 Jerome and Augustine had their bickerings in their disputations; but it was no great matter who gained the day, for they would both win by understanding their errors.

When thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. — That is, When thine adversary hath got the upper hand, and foiled thee. Those are ignoble quarrels, saith one, Ubi vincere inglorium est, atteri sordidum, wherein, whether a man get the better or the worse, he is sure to go by the worse, to sit down with loss in his name, state, or both.

Verse 9

Debate thy cause with thy neighbour [himself]; and discover not a secret to another:

Debate thy cause with thy neighbour, … — What shall I do then, may some say, if I may not right myself by law? You may, saith he, so you do it deliberately, and have first privately debated the cause out of desire of agreement, and moved for a compromise. See Matthew 18:15 .

And discover not the secret of another. — Merely to be revenged on him for some supposed injury. There are those who in their rage care not what they disclose to the prejudice of another. Charity chargeth the contrary. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 It claps a plaster on the sore, and then covers it with her hand, as surgeons use to do, that the world may be never the wiser.

Verse 10

Lest he that heareth [it] put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.

Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame. — Repute thee and report thee an evil conditioned fellow, a backbiter, and a tale bearer, one not fit to be trusted with secrets. True it is that dearest friends are in some cases to be accused and complained of to those that may do good upon them, as Joseph brought his brethren’s evil report to his father, and as the household of Chloe told Paul of the Corinthian contentions. But this must be done wisely and regularly, with due observation of circumstances, as Solomon elegantly sets forth in the following proverb.

Verse 11

word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver.

A word fitly spoken. — Hebrew, Spoken upon his wheels - that is, rightly ordered and circumstantiated, spoken with a grace, and in due place. It is an excellent skill to be able to time a word, Isaiah 50:4 to set it upon the wheels, as here. How "good" are such words! Proverbs 15:23 how "forcible!" Job 6:25 How pleasant! even "like apples of gold in pictures, or lattices of silver," not only precious for matter, Ecclesiastes 12:10 but delectable for order, as gold put in a case of silver cut work.

Verse 12

[As] an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, [so is] a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

As an earring of gold, …Ut in auris aurea, … A seasonable word falling upon a tractable ear hath a redoubled grace with it, as an earring of gold, and as an ornament of fine gold, or as a diamond in a diadem. It is a hard and happy thing to "suffer the words of exhortation," to digest a reproof; to say with David, "Let the righteous smite me," …; to be of Gerson’s disposition, of whom it is recorded that he rejoiced in nothing more, quam si ab aliquo fraterne et charitative redargueretur, In vita Jo. Gers. than if he were friendly and freely reproved by anyone. Every vice doth now go armed; touch it never so gently, yet like the nettle it will sting you. If you deal with it roughly and roundly it swaggereth, as the Hebrew did with Moses, "Who made thee a man of authority?" … Exodus 2:14 Earrings and ornaments are ill bestowed upon such uncircumcised ears.

Verse 13

As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, [so is] a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

As the cold of snow in the time of harvest. — Harvest men, of all men, bear the heat of the day, being far from shade or shelter, far from springs of water, parched and scorched with heat and drought, in those hotter countries especially. Now, as the cold of snow or ice, which in those countries they kept under ground all the year about to mix with their wines, would be most welcome to such, so is a trusty and speedy messenger; for by his good news he greatly reviveth the longing and languishing minds of those that sent him, who, during the time of his absence, through fear and doubt, were almost half dead. This is much more true of God’s faithful messengers, Job 33:23 whose very "feet are" therefore "beautiful," and message most comfortable to those that labour and languish under the sense of sin and fear of wrath.

Verse 14

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift [is like] clouds and wind without rain.

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift — As Ptolemy, surnamed Dωσων , from his fair promises, slack performances; as Sertorius, the Roman, that fed his creditors and clients wlth fair words, but did nothing for them, Pollicitis dives quilibet esse potest; as that pope and his nephew, of whom it is recorded that the one never spoke as he thought, the other never performed what he spoke; lastly, as the devil who promised Christ excelsa in excelsis, mountains on a mountain, and said, "All this will I give thee," Matthew 4:9 whenas that all was just nothing more than a show, a representation, a semblance, or if it had been something, yet it was not his to give; for "the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof." Physicians call their drugs Dοσεις , gifts, and yet we pay dear for them. Apothecaries set fair titles upon their boxes and gaily pots, but there is oftentimes aliud in titulo, aliud in pyxide, nothing but a bare title. Such are vain boasters, pompous preachers, painted hypocrites, Popish priests, such as was Tecelius [Tetzel], that sold iudulgences in Germany, and those other mass mongers in Gerson’s time that preached publicly to the people, that if any man would hear a mass he should not on that day be smitten with blindness, nor die a sudden death, nor want sufficient sustenance, … These were clouds without rain, that answer not expectation. Judges 1:12

Verse 15

By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

By long forbearing is a prince persuaded. — If he be not over hasty, his wrath may be appeased, and his mind altered. Our Henry III gave commandment for the apprehending of Hubert de Burgo, Earl of Kent, who, having sudden notice thereof at midnight, got him up and fled into a church in Essex. They to whom the business was committed finding him upon his knees before the high altar, with the sacrament in one hand, and a cross in the other, carried him away nevertheless unto the Tower of London. Roger, Bishop of London, taking this to be a great violence and wrong offered unto the holy Church, would never leave the king until he had caused the earl to be carried unto the place whence he was fetched. And this, it is thought, was a means of saving the earl’s life. For though order was taken he should not escape thence, yet it gave the king’s wrath a time to cool, and himself leisure to make his apology, by reason whereof he was afterwards restored to the king’s favour and former places of honour. Godwin’s Catal., p. 164. So true is that of the philosopher, Maximum irae remedium est dilatio, Sen., De Ira. and that of the poet -

“Ut fragilis glacies, interit ira mora.” - Ovid.

There are those who read and sense the words thus: By meekness a prince is appeased - that is, when he seeth that he is not opposed, that his subjects repine not, rebel not against him. An old courtier of Nero’s being asked how he had escaped that lion’s mouth, answered, Iniurias ferendo, et gratias agendo, by taking shrewd turns and being thankful.

A soft tongue breaketh the bones. — Though it be flesh, and no bones, yet it breaketh the bones - that is, stout and stern spirits, that otherwise would not yield. Thus Gideon broke the rage of the Ephraimites, Judges 8:1-3 and Abigail David’s, by her humble and dutiful oration. 1 Samuel 25:23-34 See Trapp on " Proverbs 15:1 "

Verse 16

Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient, — i.e., Be moderate in the use of all lawful comforts and contentments. Aπαντων γαρ η πλησμονη , saith the orator, Isoc. for there is a satiety of all things, and by excess the sweetest comforts will be dissweetened, as Epictetus also observed. It is therefore excellent counsel that the holy apostle giveth, that "those that have wives be as if they had none," …; 1 Corinthians 7:29 that we hang loose to all creature comforts, and be weanedly affected towards them, considering that licitis perimus omnes. We generally most of all overshoot ourselves in the use of things lawful, as those recusant guests did, Matthew 22:2-7 and the old world. Luke 17:26-27

Verse 17

Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and [so] hate thee.

Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house. — This is a honey that thou mayest surfeit on, therefore make thy foot precious, or rare (so the original Hebraei ponunt rarum pro caro, ut 1 Samuel 3:1 . hath it) at thy neighbour’s house, by too oft frequenting whereof thou mayest become cheap, nay, burdensome. At first thou mayest be Oreach, as the Hebrew proverb hath it, i.e., welcome as a traveller that stays for a day. At length thou wilt be Toveach, a charge, a burden. And lastly, by long tarrying, thou shalt be Boreach, an outcast, hunted out of the house that thou hast so immodestly haunted. It is a very great fault among many, saith one, that when they have found a kind and sweet friend, they care not how they encumber him or abuse his courtesy. But, as we say in our common proverb, it is not good to take too much of a frank horse.

Verse 18

man that beareth false witness against his neighbour [is] a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

Is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow — A "maul," hammer, or club, to knock out his brains, and make them fly about the room, as the Hebrew word imports. A "sword," Psalms 42:10 or murdering weapon, to run him through and let out his bowels. And a "sharp arrow," Psalms 57:5 to pierce his flesh, and strike through his very heart. Lo, here the mischief of an evil tongue, thin, broad, and long, like a sword to let out the life blood of the poor innocent - nay, to destroy his soul too, as seducers do that bear false witness against the truth of God, and by their cunning lies "deceive the hearts of the simple."

Verse 19

Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble [is like] a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

Confidence in an unfaithful man, … — In a prevaricator, a covenant breaker, a perfidious person, such as Ahithophel was to David; Job’s miserable comforters to him - he compares them to the brooks of Tema, Job 6:16-19 , in a moisture they swelled, in a drought they failed; Egypt to Israel, "a staff or broken reed, whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand and pierce it"; Isaiah 36:6 the Roman senate to Julius Caesar, whom they killed in the council chamber with twenty-three wounds, and this was done a pluribus amicis quam inimicis quorum non expleverat spes inexplebiles saith Seneca, Seneca, De Ira, lib. iii. by most of his pretended friends whose unreasonable hopes he had not satisfied. How good is it therefore to try before we trust: yea, to trust none that are not true to God! David dared not repose upon Saul’s fair promises, whom he knew to be moody and slippery. The French say in their proverb, When the Spaniard comes to parle of peace, then double bolt the door. The Hollanders make no conditions with the Spaniard, whom they know to hold that Machiavellian heresy - Fides tam diu servanda est quamdiu expediat - but such as are made at sea and sealed with great ordnance. Calvin and other Protestant divines were called to the Council of Trent, but dared not venture thither, quia me vestigia terrent, as the fox in the fable said: they had not forgot how John Huss, and Jerome of Prague sped at the Council of Constance, although they had the emperor’s safe conduct. They knew that Turks and Papists concur in this, as they do in many other tenets, That there is no faith to be kept with dogs - that is, with Christians, as Turks understand it, with heretics, as Papists.

Verse 20

[As] he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, [and as] vinegar upon nitre, so [is] he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather. — Music in mourning is held most unseasonable; that was a heathenish custom that the Jews had taken up Matthew 9:23 Cantabat moestis tibia faneribus, saith Ovid, Fast., lib. iv. We should rejoice with those that rejoice, and weep with those that weep. Nabla et lyra lugentibus ingrata, saith Plutarch. Music and mourning agree like harp and harrow; like thin clothing and cold weather; or like nitre and vinegar, saith Solomon. There are those who read the words otherwise, and accordingly sense them thus, As he that putteth on a garment in the cold season, or vinegar on nitre; so is he that singeth songs to a sad heart - that is, Tristitiam dissolvit cantus, ut vestes discutiunt frigus, et acetum dissolvit nitrum. Junius. As a garment warmeth the body, and vinegar dissolveth nitre, so a sweet singer, by his delightsome ditty, cheereth up the pensive soul and driveth sorrow out of it. See 1 Samuel 16:23 2 Kings 3:15 Daniel 6:18 .

Verse 21

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

If thine enemy be hungry. — Elisha did so: he feasted his persecutors 2 Kings 6:22 by a noble revenge, and provided a table for those who had provided a grave for him. Those Syrians came to Dothan full of bloody purposes to Elisha; he sends them from Samaria full of good cheer and jollity. Thus, thus should a Christian punish his pursuers, no vengeance but this is heroic and fit for imitation. Dr Hall’s Contempt.

Verse 22

For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

For thou shalt heap coals of fire. — By heaping courtesies upon him, thou shalt win him over to thyself, as the king of Israel did those Syrians he feasted. They came no more after that by way of ambush or incursion into the bounds of Israel. In doing some good to our enemies, we do most to ourselves.

And the Lord shall reward thee. — However men deal with thee. It may be they may prove dross that will not be melted, dirt that will not be mollified, but moulder to nothing, crumble to crattle as stones, …, as having no metal of ingenuity or good nature in them. But desist not, despond not; "God will reward thee," and his retributions are more than bountiful. Or, as the words may be read, "God will pacify for thee," as he did Saul for David. Never did a charitable act go away without a blessing. God cannot but love in us this imitation of his mercy, who bids his sun to shine upon the evil and unthankful, and that love is never fruitless.

Verse 23

The north wind driveth away rain: so [doth] an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

The north wind drives away rain. — Hence Homer calls it αιθρηγενουτην , the fair weather maker, and Jerome the air’s besom. There is a southerly wind that attracts clouds and engenders rain. Caecias nubes attrahit.

So doth an angry countenance, a backbiting tongue. — The ready way to be rid of tale bearers is to browbeat them; for like whelps, if we stroke them they leap upon us and defile us with fawning; but give them a rap and they are gone; so here. Carry, therefore, in this case, a severe rebuke in thy countenance, as God doth Psalms 80:16 Be not a resetter to these privy thieves, a receptacle for these mures nominis, as one calls them; the tale hearer is as blameworthy as the tale bearer, and he that "loves" a lie as he that "makes" it Revelation 22:15 Psalms 15:3 Romans 1:31

Verse 24

[It is] better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

It is better to dwell, …See Trapp on " Proverbs 21:9 " See Trapp on " Proverbs 21:13 "

Verse 25

[As] cold waters to a thirsty soul, so [is] good news from a far country.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news. — This and many more of these proverbs Solomon might well utter out of his own experience, for he sent out into far countries for gold, horses, and other commodities, 1 Kings 9:26 besides embassies of state, and inquiries into the natures and qualities of foreign parts and peoples. Of the conversion of other countries to the faith, he could not then hear, as we now may, and lately have good news from New England. Neither had he the happiness to hear that which we have not only heard, but "seen and handled of the word of life." 1 John 1:1 He had επαγγελιαν , the promise; but we have ευαγγελιαν , the joyful tidings, the sum of all the good news in the world, as the angels, those first messengers, proclaimed it. Luke 2:10 "Jesus" is a short gospel, and the good news of him should drown all discontents - yea, make our very hearts dance levaltoes within us, as Abraham’s did, though he heard of him only by the hearing of the ear, or saw him afar off. Heaven is called a "far country"; Matthew 25:14 good news from thence brought in by the hand of the Holy Ghost, "witnessing with our spirits that we are the sons of God, and if sons, then heirs" of that far country, of that fair city "whose maker and builder is God," how welcome should that be to us, and how inexpressibly comfortable! See 1 Peter 1:8 .

Verse 26

righteous man falling down before the wicked [is as] a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

A righteous man falling down before the wicked,i.e., Doing anything, though by mere frailty, unbeseeming his profession, or that redounds not to the scandal of the weak only, as Galatians 2:11 but to the scorn of the wicked, as 2 Samuel 12:14 "is as a troubled fountain," …, is greatly disgraced and prejudiced. What a blemish was it for Abraham to fall under the reproof of Abimelech! for Samson to be taken by the Philistines in a whorehouse! for Josiah to be inminded of his duty by Pharaoh Necho! for Peter to be drawn by a silly wench to deny his master, …! Was not the fountain here troubled when trampled by the feet of these beasts? the spring corrupted when conscience is thus defiled and gashed? Let it be our care to cleanse this spring of all pollutions of flesh and spirit; as a troubled fountain will clear itself, and as sweet water made brackish by the coming in of the salt, yet if naturally it be sweet, at length it will work it out.

Verse 27

[It is] not good to eat much honey: so [for men] to search their own glory [is not] glory.

It is not good to eat too much honey. — For it breeds choler and brings diseases.

So for men to search their own glory,i.e., To be "desirous of vain glory"; Galatians 5:26 to seek the praise of men; to hunt after the world’s plaudite; to say to it, as Tiberius once answered Justinus, Si tu volueris ego sum, si tu non vis ego non sum - I am wholly thine, I am only thy clay and wax; this is base and inglorious; this is to be Gloriae animal, popularis aurae vile mancipium, the creature of vain glory, a base slave to popular applause, as Jerome Jer., Epist. ad Julian. Consolator. calls Crates, the philosopher, who cast his goods into the sea merely for a name. Some do all for a name, as Jehu and the Pharisees; like kites, they flutter up a little, but their eye is upon the carrion. The Chaldee paraphrast by "their glory," understands the majesty of the Scriptures - which to David were sweeter than honey. These we must search, but not too curiously. Ne qui scrutatur maiestam, opprimatur a gloria, as the Vulgate here hath it; lest prying into God’s majesty we be oppressed by his glory.

Verse 28

He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls.

He that hath no rule over his own spirit.Cui non est cohibitio in spiritum suum, that reigns not in his unruly affections, but suffers them to run riot in sin, as so many headstrong horses, or to ride upon the backs one of another, like cattle in a narrow shoot. This man being not fenced with the wall of God’s fear, lies open to all assaults of Satan and other enemies; Ephesians 4:26-27 James 4:7 as Laish; Judges 18:27-28 or Hazor, that had neither gates nor bars; Jeremiah 49:31 or the Hague in Holland, which the inhabitants will not wall, as desiring to have it counted rather the principal village of Europe than a lesser city. Heyl., Geog.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 25". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/proverbs-25.html. 1865-1868.
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