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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Proverbs 25

 

 

Verse 1-2

Proverbs 25:1 — Introduction - Proverbs 25:1 serves as an introduction to the section of material found in Proverbs 25:1 to Proverbs 29:27.

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

Proverbs 25:1Word Study on "proverbs" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "proverb" "mashal" ( מָשָׁל) (H 4912) means, "(1) a similitude, parable, (2) a sententious saying, such as consists in the ingenious comparison of two things or opinions, (3) a proverb, (4) a Song of Solomon , a poem." Strong says it means, "a pithy maxim, usually of metaphorical nature; hence, a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse)," and it comes from a primitive root ( מָשַׁל) (H 4910) meaning, "to rule." A proverb is a concentrated saying that contains many hidden truths, reflected in Proverbs 1:6, which say, "a proverb…and their dark sayings." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "proverb 19, parable 18, byword 1, like 1." This Hebrew word is used 6 times in the book of Proverbs ( Proverbs 1:1; Proverbs 1:6; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 25:1; Proverbs 26:7; Proverbs 26:9).

Proverbs 25:1 — "These are also proverbs of Solomon" - Comments- We have the same Hebrew phrase ( משׁלי שׁלמה) is used in Proverbs 25:1 and Proverbs 1:1, which means "the proverbs of Solomon."

Proverbs 25:1 — "which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out" - Comments- King Hezekiah was the fourteenth king of Judah, reigning from c 715 to c 690 B.C. He was one of the greatest kings of David's royal lineage. We know from 2 Chronicles 29:30 that Hezekiah restored Temple worship, which included the words of the book of Psalm ( 2 Chronicles 29:30). According to 2 Chronicles 30:22 he also restored the teaching of the Word of God by the Levites, which certainly must have included the book of Proverbs , which is supported by the statement in Proverbs 25:1. Therefore, we see the need for the writings of Proverbs to be copied and taught to the people under Hezekiah. Most likely, these ancient writings were stored in the Temple. It was likely that the king delegated the job of copying out these additional proverbs to the men mentioned in 2 Kings 18:18, who were Eliakim, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the recorded, and perhaps Isaiah the prophet, as one Jewish tradition suggests. 134]

134] W. J. Deane, S. T. Taylor-Taswell, Walter F. Adeney, T. Whitelaw, R. A. Redford, and B. C. Caffin, Proverbs ,, Ecclesiastes ,, Song of Solomon , in The Pulpit Commentary, vol 9, eds. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), "Introduction."

2 Chronicles 29:30, "Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped."

2 Chronicles 30:22, "And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers."

2 Kings 18:18, "And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder."


Verses 1-27

Perseverance: Solomon's Second Collection of Proverbs (126 Sayings) - Proverbs 25-29 are often called Solomon's Second Collection of Proverbs. When we enter into chapters 25,29, we begin to notice a number of proverbs that deal with leaders of a nation. We now must learn that our actions ultimately affect our nation. We often find the underlying them of a section in its opening verses; and this is the case with this division in Proverbs. Proverbs 25:2-7 reveal how the king decrees by divine oracles ( Proverbs 25:2-3), so that he might establish righteousness ( Proverbs 25:4-5), so that everyone will walk humbly before the king and his decrees ( Proverbs 25:6-7). Therefore, the proverbs in 25-29 are emphasizing how a king establishes justice in the land. Perhaps Solomon gathered this second group of proverbs separately from his first collection because he used them in specifically to establish righteousness and order in the land of Israel. This may the reason that many proverbs in this collection refer to rulers of a land ( Proverbs 25:2-7; Proverbs 25:15; Proverbs 27:23-27; Proverbs 28:2; Proverbs 28:15-16; Proverbs 29:2; Proverbs 29:4; Proverbs 29:12; Proverbs 29:14; Proverbs 29:26). In fact, this collection of proverbs closes with two verses stating this very theme of how a king's righteous judgment establishes the land ( Proverbs 29:4; Proverbs 29:14).

The signposts found in the sayings of the wise ( Proverbs 22:17 to Proverbs 24:34) and in Solomon's second collection (25-29) tell us to continue in the fear of the Lord, to honor those in authority over us, and this will bring happiness into our lives as we continue on this journey. Note:

Proverbs 23:17, "Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long."

Proverbs 24:21, "My Song of Solomon , fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:"

Proverbs 28:14, "Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief."

Regarding the relationship of Proverbs 25-29 to our spiritual journey, we can group these proverbs under the phase called perseverance of the saints, in which God's children have entered their divine calling and are in the process of fulfilling it in order to reach the final stage of glorification. The theme of leadership and the establishment of justice reveal our purpose for this season in our lives. God has put us on this path in order to establish righteousness in the land.

1. Proverbs About Relationships with Others — Proverbs 25:1 to Proverbs 26:28

2. Proverbs About Misc. Activities — Proverbs 27:1 to Proverbs 29:27

Characteristics of the Passage- A number of the proverbs found in the Solomon's first collection ( Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 22:16) are repeated in this section of Solomon's second collection ( Proverbs 25:1 to Proverbs 29:27). The opening verse of this section tells us that these proverbs were copied out by Hezekiah about 250 years after Solomon wrote them. Perhaps Hezekiah's men were unwilling to delete anything they found repeated in the second collection out of holy reverence for what they now considered divine Scriptures.

Many scholars observe differences between the characteristics and content of this second collection of proverbs and the first collection. They mention a number of examples: (1) Grammar - Some scholars suggest the first collection repeatedly uses several phrases that are not found in the second collection, such as "fountain of life (two times)," "tree of life (four times)," "snares of death (two times)," "hand in hand (two times)," and "shall not be unpunished (five times)." All agree that this does not provide a strong argument to suggest different authorships and dates between the two collections. (2) Content- Other scholars use the climate of the monarchy described within the two collections to conclude that they were written in different periods of Israel's history. For example, during the time of Song of Solomon , the political climate was one of peace and righteousness. Thus, we see within the first collection words that support the monarchy:

Proverbs 14:28, "In the multitude of people is the king"s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince."

Proverbs 16:12, "It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness."

Proverbs 16:13, "Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right."

Proverbs 16:15, "In the light of the king"s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain."

Proverbs 20:28, "Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy."

A contrast can be made in the second collection, where we find descriptions of people who have been oppression by the king:

Proverbs 25:5, "Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness."

Proverbs 28:2, "For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged."

Proverbs 28:15, "As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people."

Proverbs 28:16, "The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days."

Proverbs 29:2, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."

Proverbs 29:4, "The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it."

Proverbs 29:12, "If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked."

Such verses about political oppression are missing in the first collection. They bring new and fresh insight into the failures of a monarchy system. Scholars suggest that this indicates a later date of writing than the first collection. However, as interesting as these suggestions appear, neither of the two gives strong enough support to conclude that there was more than one author of the first and second collections of proverbs. 132]

132] W. J. Deane, S. T. Teylor-Taswell, and W. F. Adeney, Proverbs , in The Pulpit Commentary, eEds.H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Excell (New York: Funk and Wagnalis Company, n.d.), x, xvi.

The Structure of the Passage- Nelson"s Teaching Outlines of the Bible groups the verses found in chapters 25-26 into subject matter related to various aspects of our relationships with people in society. 133] I have followed these sections with different titles.

133] Nelson"s Teaching Outlines of the Bible (Thomas Nelson: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1986, 1997).

1.Introduction — Proverbs 25:1

2. Wisdom in Dealing with Leaders — Proverbs 25:2-7

3.Wisdom in Dealing with Relationships — Proverbs 25:8-20

4.Wisdom in Dealing with Adversity — Proverbs 25:21-24

5.Wisdom Regarding Self-Discipline — Proverbs 25:25-28

6.Wisdom in Dealing with the Foolish — Proverbs 26:1-12

7.Wisdom in Dealing with the Sluggard — Proverbs 26:13-16

8.Wisdom in Dealing with the Liar — Proverbs 26:17-28

The fact that Hezekiah grouped the proverbs in chapters 25-26 according to subject matter implies that he may have studied the proverbs of Solomon by topic as we often do today.

In addition, our relationships with those in our society help us to see the underlying theme of perseverance, knowing that the way we manage our relationships with others determines whether or not we are continuing in the path of wisdom by walking in love with others.


Verses 2-7

Wisdom in Dealing with Leaders: The Office of a King - Proverbs 25:2-7 reveals the office and ministry of a king. This passage consists of three groups of verses: Proverbs 25:2-7. The first is a tetrastitch (4lines) discussing the glory of a king, the second tetrastitch (4lines) discusses his decrees, and the third is a pentastitch (5 lines) that discusses his position of exaltation and leadership over his people. This may be reflective of how the king is to serve the Lord in spirit, mind, and body, respectively. These proverbs give us insight into how a leader thinks and acts.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Glory of a King: His Spirit — Proverbs 25:2-3

2. The Judgments of a King: His Mind — Proverbs 25:4-5

3. The Position of a King: Our Physical Actions — Proverbs 25:6-7

Proverbs 25:2-3 — The Glory of a King: His Spirit - Proverbs 25:2-3 forms a tetrastitch (4lines) that reflects upon the glory of the king ( Proverbs 25:2), which is equivalent to his heart, as mentioned in Proverbs 25:3. Since the underlying theme of Proverbs is worshiping the Lord with all of our mind by learning to walk in divine Wisdom of Solomon , Proverbs 25:2-3 tells us that God's wisdom is initially imparted into a king's heart by God, where it must be drawn out under the anointing.

Under the Old Covenant only kings, priest and prophets partook of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Because of this anointing, the king of Israel had the Spirit of God reveal to him divine mysteries. King Solomon had learned that these proverbs and judgments he spoke daily while sitting upon his throne was because he was divinely anointed to draw out the deep truths of Almighty God. Joseph also recognized his divine office as a rule when he told his brothers, "wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?"

Genesis 44:15, "And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?"

We also see how the kings of other nations placed soothsayers and diviners around them in an attempt to received supernatural understand; however, we know this was partaking of witchcraft.

Under the new covenant of Jesus Christ every believer is a partaker of the Holy Spirit. We know that the Holy Spirit has been imparted unto the Church in this dispensation in order to reveal to us the mind of God ( Romans 8:26-28). We do this by praying in the Spirit.

Romans 8:26-28, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

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

Proverbs 25:2 — "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing" - Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Luke 24:16, "But their eyes were holden that they should not know him."

1 Corinthians 2:7, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden Wisdom of Solomon , which God ordained before the world unto our glory:"

2 Corinthians 4:3, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:"

Colossians 1:26, "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:"

Colossians 2:3, "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

Proverbs 25:2 — "but the honour of kings is to search out a matter" - Scripture References- Note similar verses and illustrations:

In 1 Kings 3:9-28, Solomon asked God for Wisdom of Solomon , and was granted his request.

Ezra 4:15, "That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed."

Ezra 4:19, "And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein."

Job 29:16, "I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out."

In 1Corinthians 9-16, Paul reveals how the Lord has taught him many divine truths in order to establish the Church.

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

Proverbs 25:3Comments- Proverbs 25:3 is not saying that a king is smarter than others; but rather, he speaks divinely as God directs him by inspiration. Solomon had learned that his righteous decrees came by divine inspiration. We read in Proverbs 21:1, "The king"s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." Thus, God directs the nations of the earth by directing its leaders. One good example of this is when King Cyrus sent the Jews back to Jerusalem from their Captivity by divine inspiration.

Proverbs 25:4-5 — The Judgments of a King: His Mind - Proverbs 25:4-5 forms a tetrastitch (4lines) that reflects upon the righteous decrees of the king, which is equivalent to his mind. Since the underlying theme of Proverbs is worshiping the Lord with all of our mind by learning to walk in divine Wisdom of Solomon , Proverbs 25:2-3 tells us that God's wisdom is initially imparted into a king's heart, where it must be drawn out by searching. We know that the Holy Spirit has been imparted unto the Church in this dispensation in order to reveal to us the mind of God ( Romans 8:26-28). We do this by praying in the Spirit. As we learn to pray in the Spirit, we come to know the will of God in our lives and we can speak forth the oracles of God just as a king under the Old Covenant spoke forth righteousness under the anointing imparted unto him. As the will of God was revealed to a king he made sound decisions that established the destiny of his nation. Under the New Covenant we make righteous decisions that establish our path, or journey, in this life ( Proverbs 25:4-5).

Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

Proverbs 25:4Comments- The Bible likens God's people unto instruments, or vessels, of silver and gold, and it likens dross unto man's sins. When the dross remains in the precious metals is it not ready to be shaped and molded for use. Once it is made pure by the refiner's fire, it is ready to be shaped into a beautiful vessel for use. Likewise, God works in the lives of His children to refine them and purify them as dross is purified from silver and gold. His objective is to have a people with a pure heart so that He can shape and mold them for His purpose and plan.

Proverbs 25:5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

Proverbs 25:5Comments- When a king sits on his throne and decrees under the inspiration of God, he will purge sin out of his kingdom and thus, establish his kingdom. This establishment includes his posterity, just as David established a lineage of kingship for his sons by the promise of God.

Scripture References- Note similar verses and illustrations of David and Solomon taking the wicked away from before their thrones:

In 2 Samuel 1:1-16, David slew the young men who said that they had killed king Saul.

In 2 Samuel 4:9-12, David slew the young men who said that they had killed the son of king Saul.

In 2Kings 2, Adonijah, Joab and Shimei were all slain by king Solomon.

Proverbs 25:6-7 — The Position of a King: Our Physical Actions - Proverbs 25:6-7 forms a pentastitch (5 lines) that reflects upon the position of exaltation of the king. In light of his authority, we are told to humble ourselves to those in authority. Since the underlying theme of Proverbs is worshiping the Lord with all of our mind by learning to walk in divine Wisdom of Solomon , Proverbs 25:2-3 tells us that God's wisdom is initially imparted into a king's heart, where it must be drawn out by searching. We know that the Holy Spirit has been imparted unto the Church in this dispensation in order to reveal to us the mind of God ( Romans 8:26-28). We do this by praying in the Spirit. As we learn to pray in the Spirit, we come to know the will of God in our lives and we can speak forth the oracles of God just as a king under the Old Covenant spoke forth righteousness under the anointing imparted unto him. As the will of God is revealed to us we make sound decisions that establish our path, or journey, in this life ( Proverbs 25:4-5). We now are told in Proverbs 25:6-7 that this lifestyle is a walk of humility before God and those whom God places in authority over us. We are not to exalt ourselves, but rather, submit to one another in the fear of the Lord.

Illustrations:

The parable of how to sit at a wedding feast in Luke 14:7-11.

During the inauguration of Museveni in March 2001as President of Uganda, I had received an invitation card to this event. At first, I could not find my designated seating. Therefore, I sat in the tent where all of the highest dignitaries were seated, including the Presidents of six nations. I was asked to move from several seats, until I found a seat on the back row of this tent. There, I was left uncontested and enjoyed the inaugural event close up. I later found that I was to be seated in an adjacent tent. But, this tent was full by the time I learned this fact.

Proverbs 25:6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:

Proverbs 25:7 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.


Verses 8-20

Wisdom in Dealing with Relationships - Proverbs 25:8-20 focus upon how to have proper relationships with one's neighbour.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Handling Offences — — Proverbs 25:8-10

2. The Power of the Spoken Word — Proverbs 25:11-15

3. Too Much of Something Good is not Always Good — Proverbs 25:16-17

4. Betrayal and Poor Judgment — Proverbs 25:18-20

Proverbs 25:8-10 — Handling Offences- Proverbs 25:8-10 forms a heptastitch (7 lines) of three verses that teaches us how to deal with offences when a person believes his neighbour has done him wrong. These verses warn us not to be hasty to bring an accusation against our neighbour because we may be wrong, and a person with a tongue full of false accusations receives a bad reputation, which will not pass away.

We find Jesus teaching on this same subject of handling offences in Matthew 18:15-17.

Matthew 18:15-17, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

Within the context of Solomon's Second Collection (25-29), in which the proverbs emphasize divine decrees that establish a kingdom, the king makes an observation that must have occurred many times before his throne, which was the embarrassment of an accuser before his opponent, who quickly proves the accuser wrong. Thus, King Solomon wants to establish one aspect of righteousness in the kingdom by having the people use wisdom before entering into strife and litigation. They should follow a procedure of trying to settle disputes between themselves before taking things to the extreme of going to court, which is an embarrassment for those accused.

Proverbs 25:8 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.

Proverbs 25:8Comments- When someone confronts you with a matter or tries to correct you, etc, do not be quick to argue back and say you are right, because, in the end, he may prove to be right after all.

Proverbs 25:9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:

Proverbs 25:9Comments- When a person is wronged, instead of going around gossiping about everything or taking someone to court, go to that person and try to reach a settlement. Note a similar verse:

Matthew 18:15, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother."

Proverbs 25:10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.

Proverbs 25:11-15 — The Power of the Spoken Word - Proverbs 25:11-15 refer to the way that words are able to refresh the soul of man and of how much value words can be in the right situation.

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

Proverbs 25:11 — "A word fitly spoken" - Word Study on "fitly" - Strong says the Hebrew word "fitly" ( אֹופַן) (H 212) means, "a wheel," and it comes from an unused root that means, "to revolve." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 36 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "wheel(s) 35, fitly 1."

Comments- The word ( אֹופַן) literally means, "wheel," but it is also used figuratively, or symbolically, on one occasion in the Scriptures to refer to the realm of "time." Thus, the translation, "fitly."

The phrase "a word fitly spoken" carries the sense of a word that is spoken at the right time. We see this in other translations.

BBE, "A word at the right time is like apples of gold in a network of silver."

Rotherham, "Golden fruit in figured silver baskets, is a word spoken on fitting occasion."

YLT, "Apples of gold in imagery of silver, Is the word spoken at its fit times."

The Hebrew literally reads, "A word spoken in season." We find this same thought in Ecclesiastes 3:1-7.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven….A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;"

This Hebrew word is primarily used in the book of Ezekiel , where it is found 25 of 36 times. In this prophetic book, the wheel within a wheel also refers to the realm of time ( Ezekiel 1:16). We know that man measures time by the rotation of the earth and moon, thus the concept of time is equivalent to the concept of rotation.

Ezekiel 1:16, "The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel."

Proverbs 25:11 — "is like apples of gold in pictures of silver" - Word Study on "apples" - Strong says the Hebrew word "apples" ( תַּפּוּחַ) (H 8598) means, "an apple (from its fragrance), i.e. the fruit of the tree." He says it probably includes other fruit of its order, such as the quince, or the orange. The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "apple tree 3, apple 3." Note its other uses:

The apple represents sweetness.

Song of Solomon 2:3, "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."

It represents comfort to the soul.

Song of Solomon 2:5, "Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love."

Its smell was pleasant.

Song of Solomon 7:8, "I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;"

Also,

Song of Solomon 8:5, "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee."

The apple tree is one of the trees of the field that brings joy to men.

Joel 1:12, "The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men."

This Hebrew word comes from the primitive Hebrew root ( נָפַח) (H 5301), which means, "to puff, to inflate, to blow hard." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 12times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "blow 4, breathe 2, seething 2, blown 1, lose 1, snuffed 1, give up 1."

Word Study on "pictures" - Strong says the Hebrew word "pictures" ( מַשְׂכִּית) (H 4906) means, "a figure (carved on stone, the wall or any object)," and is used figuratively to mean, "imagination." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "picture 2, image 1, wish 1, conceit 1, imagery 1."

Proverbs 25:11Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 15:23, "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!"

Proverbs 25:12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

Proverbs 25:13 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.

Proverbs 25:14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

Proverbs 25:14 — "Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift" - Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 20:6, "Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?"

Proverbs 25:14 — "is like clouds and wind without rain" - Scripture References- Note similar verses:

2 Peter 2:17, "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever."

Jude 1:12, "These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;"

Proverbs 25:15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

Proverbs 25:15 — "By long forbearing is a prince persuaded" - Word Study on "persuaded" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "entice" ( פָּתָה) (H 6601) means, "to spread out, to open, to be roomy." Strong says this primitive root word literally means, "to open, to be roomy." In a mental or moral sense, it is used figuratively to mean, "to be made simple or to delude." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 28 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "entice 10, deceive 8, persuade 4, flatter 2, allure 1, enlarge 1, silly one 1, silly 1." From this same primitive root comes the much-used word "simple" ( פֶּתִי) (H 6612), which is found 15 times in the book of Proverbs of its 19 Old Testament uses.

Comments- Jesus gave illustrations of the need to be persistent in our prayers in the story of the midnight visit from a friend ( Luke 11:5-13) and in the Parable of the Unjust Judge ( Luke 18:2-5).

Proverbs 25:16-17 — Too Much of Something Good is not Always Good - Proverbs 25:16-17 has a common theme that teaches how too much of something good is not always good. Honey is good, but too much brings about bad results. Also, it is good to visit neighbours, but if you stay too long, they get irritable and want you to leave.

Proverbs 25:16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

Proverbs 25:16Comments- Too much of something good is not good. Proverbs 25:16 teaches about discipline and control of one"s appetites in life. God "gives us richly all things to enjoy" ( 1 Timothy 6:17). We are to use the things of this earth wisely, so that we do not become addicted to earthly possessions.

Proverbs 25:17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour"s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

Proverbs 25:17Comments- A person overspends his welcome at his neighbour's house when he begins to look to man for help. Man's patience and provision is limited, and can be wearied if providing for someone continually. Proverbs 25:17 implies that staying in the neighbour's house is a sign of leaning on the arm of flesh, when each person must learn to look to the Lord for his daily provisions.

For example, I manage a Christian television station in Kampala, Uganda. Although we have good relations with political leaders in Uganda, we rarely approach these high officials for help, lest we weary them with constant requests. Rather than overuse our welcome, we only call them in times of crises.

Proverbs 25:18-20 — Betrayal and Poor Judgment - Proverbs 25:18-19 have a common theme in that they both teach on betrayal. Some of the deepest pains from human relationships come from the betrayal of someone trusted. This causes a sharp pain, which is symbolized as a sharp sword or a broken tooth. Proverbs 25:20 deals with a similar aspect of being hurt by others through their poor judgment rather than ill intent.

Proverbs 25:18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

Proverbs 25:18Comments- When someone tells a lie against it, it pierces us in the depths of our heart.

Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

Proverbs 25:20 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.

Proverbs 25:20Word Study on "nitre" - Strong says the Hebrew word "nitre" "nether" ( נֶתר) (H 5427) means, "mineral potash." Webster defines "potash" as, "The hydroxide of potassium hydrate, a hard white brittle substance, KOH, having strong caustic and alkaline properties; -- hence called also caustic potash." Webster defines nitre as, "A white crystalline semitransparent salt; potassium nitrate; saltpeter." Other English translations use the word "lye" (ASV, RSV). Webster defines lye as, "A strong caustic alkaline solution of potassium salts, obtained by leaching wood ashes. It is much used in making soap, etc."

This Hebrew word is found twice in the Old Testament Scriptures, being translated in the KJV as, "nitre 2." The other use is found in Jeremiah 2:22.

Jeremiah 2:22, "For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD."

Proverbs 25:20Comments - Instead of becoming unsympathetic to man's plight, we are to rejoice with them who rejoice and weep with them who do weep ( Romans 12:15).

Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."


Verses 21-24

Wisdom in Dealing with Adversity - Proverbs 25:21-24 focus on how to respond in love to one's enemy.

Proverbs 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

Proverbs 25:22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

Proverbs 25:21-22Comments - In Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus teaches on how to respond in love to our enemies, which is similar to Proverbs 25:21-22.

Matthew 5:43-48, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

Proverbs 25:23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

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


Verses 25-28

Wisdom Regarding Self-Discipline - Proverbs 25:25-28 deals primarily with self-discipline.

Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

Proverbs 25:25Illustration- Yesterday morning, my wife received some very bad news from home about her sister. Such news wearies the soul. However, God is faithful. That evening, my mother called and gave me much good news about my family, how my brother and his wife has won a large inheritance, how my sister and her husband has been given a new, high-paying Job , how my nephew is searching for the Lord. This was a confirmation from God that He had heard the bad news also and was there to bring us a word of encouragement. The good news served as a testimony that God will bring my wife's family through these difficult times just as He has brought my family through the exact same situation over twenty years ago, (August 4, 2002).

Proverbs 25:26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

Proverbs 25:26Comments - When a well became polluted in ancient times, it was capped and abandoned, never to supply fresh water again. When a righteous man who speaks the truth falls in sin because of the lure of wicked men, his voice is no longer heard. His words are abandoned and his witness forsaken. 135]

135] Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, Power in the Pulpit (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1999), 72.

Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

Proverbs 25:27 — "so for men to search their own glory is not glory" - Scripture References- Note a similar verse in Proverbs 27:2, "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips."

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

Proverbs 25:28Comments- When a person sets no boundaries in his life and emotions, he is like a city without walls, which has no boundaries.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 25:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/proverbs-25.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 7th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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