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Here are similar proverbs to what were given before; but as the title of them observes that they were copied by the men of Hezekiah, they are particularly marked from those we have already gone through.
Proverbs 25:1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
Some have thought that those Proverbs here recorded, were copied from among the three thousand which is noted, 1 Kings 4:32 . Some have supposed that what is said, 2 Chronicles 29:3 , hath a reference to this business. And others have concluded, that those who copied out these proverbs of Solomon, were the Prophets, who lived about the times of the Kings, Hosea, Isaiah, or Micah. But it is enough for us that the Proverbs themselves are Solomon's, and carry with them marks of inspiration.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
God's glory is manifested to the poor sinner in secret, when he speaks to him by his Holy Spirit, and makes him visits, like Jacob's at Bethel. And those, who are made by him Kings and Priests to God and the Father, should delight to spread abroad his glory. Psalms 66:16 .
The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. 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.
Such is the love of Christ, unmeasurable! Ephesians 3:16-19 , When the Holy Ghost hath taken away by regeneration, the dross of our fallen nature, and new formed us in Christ Jesus, then as gold and silver from the furnace, we are brought forth as vessels of honor for the master's use. Malachi 3:3 ; 2 Timothy 2:20-21 .
Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: 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.
Our Lord hath sweetly set forth this grace of humbleness. Luke 14:7-11
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. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
This is an elegant figure to represent the golden fruit of the gospel set forth by the word of the Spirit. And who is the wise Reprover but the Holy Ghost himself? John 16:7-8 .
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.
Who is this Messenger, this Interpreter, one among a thousand, but the same Almighty Spirit? Job 33:23 . Oh! how refreshing his doctrine! how grateful his influences! Blessed Lord! be thou the faithful witness in my soul of Jesus!
Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
This last verse I beg the Reader to observe, is put in the form of a question. Hast thou found honey? If we accept it naturally in reference to the body, of eating the things, which perish in using; what follows may be taken literally. But if we take it spiritually, who can have too much of Christ, the honey found in scripture? We shall best explain this scripture in this sense by another: I charge ye, 0 daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him that I am sick of love. Song of Solomon 5:8 . As if she had said, I love Christ so much that I am overpowered with my love of him. It hath induced a sickness of soul to long after him more and more. Sweet thought of Jesus this! And which those who have found Christ the very honey and the honey-comb of the soul, sometimes, I hope, know what it is to feel it.
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. 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. If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
The Apostle hath quoted these last verses with a peculiar reference to the blessed effects of grace in the heart. Romans 12:19-21 And what should a child of God, who hath tasted of the preciousness of Jesus, do to an enemy? Surely melt him down with coals of the fire of love, in recompensing good for evil. Is not Jesus here peculiarly pointed at? Did he not do all this, and ten thousand times more to us his enemies, when our souls were famished, and an everlasting unsatisfied state of thirst must have been endured, had not he quenched it? Precious, precious Jesus! thou didst indeed give us bread to eat, and water to drink, even the bread of life, and the water of life: yea, thine own body and blood! And how hath Jehovah rewarded thee with the felicity of having redeemed thy people?
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house. As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
Were there ever such tidings proclaimed as the tidings of salvation? And what waters to a thirsty soul, can equal the gratification of the souls thirst, when satisfied with redemption in Christ's blood. News indeed from a far country, for it comes from heaven to earth, and from God to man. Angels posted down to proclaim it; and Jesus came and confirmed it by his blood: blessings on his name!
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. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
All these are very plain scriptures, explained upon the same gospel principles; and where the Spirit of Christ is not, they are none of his. Romans 8:9 .
READER! many very blessed reflections will be found folded up in the bosom of this chapter, and which I pray the Holy Ghost to open and explain to you and to me. And among the many, that of the eating of the honey comb inducing sickness is not the least. If the blessed Spirit be the faithful Messenger to our souls herein, I hope and trust that we shall both be refreshed in the view, as from the snow of Lebanon in the time of harvest, or the cold flowing waters that come from another place.
And what sickness like the sickness of the soul, when from having seen Christ as necessary, and having had such views of him as induce those longings and desires after him, which nothing short of himself can satisfy: the whole heart is sick, and every faculty faint until Christ be enjoyed. Precious Lord! give me this sickness, which is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby. Give me so to long for thee; so passionately to desire thee; that like the church I may cry out, Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love. Let my soul seek after thee as for hidden treasure; follow hard after thee in ordinances; set thee as a seal upon my heart, as a seal upon my arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave: may I delight to hear thy name, sweeter than all the melody of music to my ear, or the fragrancy of ointment to the smell. And never; never, give over, until such renewed manifestations of my Lord be made to my heart, that under the impression of thy soul-reviving presence, I can cry out, It is the voice of my beloved: behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains and skipping upon the hills. And oh! do thou haste, my beloved, and come, for hope deferred maketh the heart sick; and when the desire cometh it is indeed a tree of life. Yes! blessed Jesus, ere long thou wilt come, and we shall part no more. I shall arrive, borne by thee on eagle's wings, to that blessed climate where the inhabitant shall no longer say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Proverbs 25". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14