corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.05.23
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Adam Clarke Commentary

A soft answer - Gentleness will often disarm the most furious, where positive derangement has not taken place; one angry word will always beget another, for the disposition of one spirit always begets its own likeness in another: thus kindness produces kindness, and rage produces rage. Universal experience confirms this proverb.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-15.html. 1832.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Proverbs 15:1

"A soft answer turneth away wrath; But a grievous word stirreth up anger."

A truism like this needs no comment. Quiet, inoffensive speech has been effective in preventing many a violent encounter.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-15.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

A soft answer turneth away wrath,.... Mild words, gentle expressions, delivered with kindness and tenderness, humility and submission; these will work upon a man's passions, weaken his resentments, and break and scatter the storm of wrath raised in his breast, just breaking forth in a very boisterous and blustering manner; so high winds are sometimes laid by soft showers. Thus the Ephraimites were pacified by Gideon's mild answer; and David by Abigail's very submissive and respectful address, Judges 8:1;

but grievous words stir up anger; such as are rough and menacing, scornful and sneering, reproachful and reviling, proud, haughty, and overbearing; like those of Jephthah to the Ephraimites; and of the Ephraimites to the Gileadites; and of Nabal to David's servants, concerning him; and of Rehoboam, who answered the people roughly: in all which instances anger was stirred up, and either were or like to have been attended with bad consequences, Judges 12:1. Or a "word" causing, or rather expressing, "grief"F18דבר עצב "verbum vel sermo doloris", Montanus, Vatablus, Michaelis; vid. Gussetius, p. 177. ; upbraiding others with being the cause of grief to them.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-15.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

soft — tender or gentle.

turneth … wrath — from any one.

stir up — as a smoldering fire is excited.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-15.html. 1871-8.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Solomon, as conservator of the public peace, here tells us, 1. How the peace may be kept, that we may know how in our places to keep it; it is by soft words. If wrath be risen like a threatening cloud, pregnant with storms and thunder, a soft answer will disperse it and turn it away. When men are provoked, speak gently to them, and give them good words, and they will be pacified, as the Ephraimites were by Gideon's mildness (Judges 8:1-3); whereas, upon a like occasion, by Jephthah's roughness, they were exasperated, and the consequences were bad, Judges 12:1-3. Reason will be better spoken, and a righteous cause better pleaded, with meekness then with passion; hard arguments do best with soft words. 2. How the peace will be broken, that we, for our parts, may do nothing towards the breaking of it. Nothing stirs up anger, and sows discord, like grievous words, calling foul names, as Raca, and Thou fool, upbraiding men with their infirmities and infelicities, their extraction or education, or any thing that lessens them and makes them mean; scornful spiteful reflections, by which men affect to show their wit and malice, stir up the anger of others, which does but increase and inflame their own anger. Rather than lose a jest some will lose a friend and make an enemy.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-15.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

A right cause will be better pleaded with meekness than with passion. Nothing stirs up anger like grievous words.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-15.html. 1706.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE POWER OF A SOFT ANSWER

‘A soft answer turneth away wrath.’

Proverbs 15:1

I. It is a very hard thing to live though a month without being unkind or angry.—Calm and sweet tempers are rare; and perhaps we may say, without disparaging their value or their beauty, that it is not to these to which we naturally look for the most conspicuous services in the cause of God. Their province is to heal, to calm, to sweeten life; but perhaps it is in more fiery—yes, and more turbulent natures, that we must expect the initiative in works of good.

II. ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath.’—Some provocation is presupposed; some one has, or fancies he has, a grievance. Such grievances must arise in our common life. In this sense, ‘it must be that offences come.’ What an opening there is here for our putting in practice Solomon’s wise and truly Christian proverb: ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath.’

III. If there be such happiness in a soft answer, how is it that it is so hard to give it?—There is one great obstacle to which all others may be reduced—the obstacle of pride. When harsh words are addressed to us which we feel to be unmerited, we cannot bring ourselves to forgo the delight of a successful retort, still less can we bear to admit that any part of the wrong is of our doing. Pride disguises itself very cunningly, so that even a high-minded Christian is misled by its craft.

IV. Remember the blessing pronounced on the peacemakers.—No man ever repented the endeavour to rekindle ‘quietness, peace, and love’ among friends who ought never to have been parted.

—Rev. Dr. H. M. Butler.

Illustration

‘This is the chapter of passionate temper; it speaks of the grievous word that stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1), of the perverseness that breaks the spirit (Proverbs 15:4), of the contention stirred up by wrath (Proverbs 15:18). However peaceful a family or community may be, it is remarkable how soon a conflagration will break out if a man of a quarrelsome and contentious spirit is introduced. The passionate man is often led to say and do things which, in his sober mind, he bitterly regrets. Let us keep clear of people of passionate dispositions, and give them a wide berth, asking the Lord to give us meek and quiet spirits, which act strongly and decisively on occasions when wrong is being perpetrated, but without the heat of selfish passion.’


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/proverbs-15.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Ver. 1. A soft answer turneth away wrath.] It is easier to stir strife than to stint it. Hard to hard, will never do; but lay a flint upon a pillow, and you may break it with ease.

“Frangitur ira gravis quando est responsio suavis.”

What is more boisterous than the winds? tamen iidem imbribus sopiuntur, saith Pliny, yet are they laid with soft showers. How soon was David disarmed by Abigail’s gentle apology, and made as meek as a lamb! So were the hot and hasty Ephraimites by Gideon’s mild and modest answer. [ 8:1-3] "By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone." [Proverbs 25:15] Howbeit, some persons must be more roughly dealt with, or they will never have done - nettles hardly handled sting not as they will if gently touched - in some eases especially, as when God’s glory is engaged. When Servetus condemned Zuinglius for his harshness, he answers, In aliis mansuetus ero, in blasphemiis in Christum non ita: (a) In other cases I will be mild; but in case of blasphemies against Christ, I have no patience. So Luther, in a letter to Staupicius, Inveniar sane superbus, &c., modo impii silentii non arguar dum dominus patitur: Let me be counted proud or passionate, so I be not found guilty of sinful silence when the cause of God suffereth. Madness, in this case, is better than mildness: moderation here is mere mopishness, nay, it is much worse.

But grievous words stir up anger.] Heb., Make it to ascend - viz., into the nostrils, as fire in a chimney, when blown up with bellows. Some men have quick and hot spirits; yea, some good men, as those two brethren, "sons of thunder," how soon was their choler up. [Luke 9:55] Now, hard and harsh words do cast oil upon the flame, and set their passions afloat; and then there is no ho with them. Fertur equis auriga, nec audit currus habenas. How was Saul enkindled by Doeg, and David by Nabal’s currishness! Rehoboam, with one churlish breath, lost ten tribes; and Adrian the emperor, gave the crier great thanks, who, when he was bidden to quiet the tumultuous people with an imperious Sιωπησατε, Hold your tongues, he held out his hand only; and when the people listened with great silence (as the manner was), to hear the cry, Hoc vero, inquit, princeps vult; - This is that, said he, that the emperor requires of you - viz., to be silent. (b) The best answer to words of scorn and petulance (saith one), is Isaac’s apology to his brother Ishmael, patience and silence, η σιγαν χρη, η κρεισσονα σιγης λεγειν: η ηχιστα η ηδιστα. Either reply not at all, or else so that all may be well between you.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-15.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 1. A soft answer turneth away wrath, a word spoken in gentleness when people are about to fly into a passion, is like oil on troubled waters; but grievous words, such as are offensive and violent, stir up anger, making it more passionate and embittered.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-15.html. 1921-23.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Proverbs 15:1

I. It is a very hard thing to live through a month without being unkind or angry. Calm and sweet tempers are rare; and perhaps we may say, without disparaging their value or their beauty, that it is not to these to which we naturally look for the most conspicuous services in the cause of God. Their province is to heal, to calm, to sweeten life; but perhaps it is from more fiery—yes, and more turbulent natures, that we must expect the initiative in works of good.

II. "A soft answer turneth away wrath." Some provocation is presupposed; some one has, or fancies he has, a grievance. Such grievances must arise in our common life. In this sense, "it must be that offences come." What an opening there is here for our putting in practice Solomon's wise and truly Christian proverb: "A soft answer turneth away wrath"!

III. If there be such happiness in a soft answer, how is it that it is so hard to give it? There is one great obstacle to which all others may be reduced—the obstacle of pride. When harsh words are addressed to us which we feel to be unmerited, we cannot bring ourselves to forego the delight of a successful retort, still less can we bear to admit that any part of the wrong is of our doing. Pride disguises itself very cunningly, so that even a high-minded Christian is misled by its craft.

IV. Remember the blessing pronounced on the peacemakers. No man ever repented the endeavour to rekindle "quietness, peace, and love" among friends who ought never to have been parted.

H. M. Butler, Harrow Sermons, 2nd series, p. 163.


References: Proverbs 15:1.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 1st series, p. 424. Proverbs 15:1-6.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. ii., p. 20. Pr 15:3. 11.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 2nd series, p. 9. Proverbs 15:4.—W. Gladden, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii., p. 132. Proverbs 15:6.—T. Wallace, Ibid., vol. xi., p. 174; H. J. Wilmot Buxton, Literary Churchman Sermons, p. 153. Proverbs 15:7-12.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. ii., p. 29. Proverbs 15:11.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iv., No. 177. Proverbs 15:13.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 2nd series, p. 30. Proverbs 15:13-20.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. ii., p. 40. Proverbs 15:14, Proverbs 15:31.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 2nd series, p. 37. Proverbs 15:16, Proverbs 15:17.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xi., p. 152. Proverbs 15:19.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Note19 Genesis to Proverbs, p. 172.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/proverbs-15.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 15:1. A soft answer turneth away wrath Lord Bacon applies this aphorism particularly to a man's behaviour towards a prince or other great person, when he is angry with him. Solomon advises two things in this case; the one is, that an answer be made; the other, that it be soft; the first of which contains three precepts; first, that you beware of a sad and sullen silence, which either charges the fault wholly upon yourselves, or impeaches your master of injustice; as if his ears were not open to a just defence. Secondly, that you beware of delaying the answer, and of craving a longer time for your defence; because that plainly betrays you to be devising some cunning and counterfeit apology. Thirdly, that by all means an answer be made; an answer, I say, not a mere confession or submission; but with some sprinklings of excuse thrown in here and there [as far as truth will admit of it]; for it is not safe to bear yourself otherwise, unless you have to deal with very generous and noble dispositions, which are rare. But then this answer must be very soft and temperate, not harsh and peremptory; for that will make the business worse than if it had never been meddled with at all: and increase that wrath which you should study to appease [but always with truth on your side]. See Adv. of Learning, book 8: chap. 2.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-15.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PROVERBS CHAPTER 15

A soft, mild or gentle, answer, which may imply a foregoing charge or accusation, although the word is and may be rendered speech or discourse, turneth away wrath from the speaker.

Grievous words, fierce and vexatious replies or speeches, stir up anger; kindle it, and cause it to flame forth.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-15.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. A soft answer turneth away wrath — Some imagine a literal translation to be the best. We give a specimen on this verse, divesting the words of their tropical, and restoring their physical, sense. Literal translation: A soft return causeth heat to turn; but a word of pain causes the nose to go up. The tropical sense of these several words amounts to about the same as those in our version; for example: “return” — in discourse an answer, or that which is returned; “soft” — gentle, kind; “heat” — passion, anger, wrath; “causes to turn” — turns it back or aside; “a word of pain” — that is, one causing pain, or unpleasant feelings; “the nose” — or, nostrils; “causes to go up” — shortens or contracts it, as is supposed to be the case in a fit of anger. The word rendered “answer,” in the text, applies to any words, whether those first spoken, or the reply to them. Every one’s observation and experience furnishes a sufficient commentary on this proverb. The power of gentle, good humoured words is often wonderful in subduing angry passions, while those which are sharp and cutting are as apt to excite them. Compare Proverbs 14:29; Proverbs 25:15.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-15.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 15:1. A soft answer, &c. — A mild, submissive, and yielding answer to him who severely chides, or reproves, turns away wrath — And prevents the further progress of it. The word מענה, here rendered answer, however, signifies as well what is first said, as the reply to it, and may not improperly be translated speech, or discourse. But grievous words stir up strife — But sharp, contemptuous, and insolent replies, or speeches, incense it the more, and raise a passion where there was none before, and perhaps cause it to flame forth into fury. Melancthon, in his short lectures upon this book, commends this lesson very much to his scholars, considering it as a general precept for the preservation of peace, and avoiding unnecessary contentions, which commonly arise from pride, ambition, emulation, and wrath, which excite men either to give ill words, or to return worse to those that are given them; endeavouring to overcome by sharpness and bitterness, not by lenity and moderation. Solomon, he says, meant by this caution, that we should not think it enough not to begin strife and contention; but that, if others begin it, we should not continue it by rough answers, but endeavour to make an end of it presently, by softening the matter, and should yield much for the sake of tranquillity; and he thinks it is a precept of the same nature with that of Pythagoras; Stir not up fire with a sword: see Bishop Patrick.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fury. This was seen in Nabal and Roboam, while Gideon and Abigail shewed the good effects of a mild answer, Judges viii. 1., and 1 Kings x. 25., and 3 Kings xii. 11.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

turneth away wrath. Illustrations: Aaron (Leviticus 10:16-20); Reubenites (Joshua 22:15-34); Gideon (Judges 8:1-3. Judges 15:18); Hannah (1 Samuel 1:15, 1 Samuel 1:17); Abigail (1 Samuel 25:23, &c).

grievous = bitter, cutting, violent, &c. Illustrations: the Ephraimites (Judges 12:1-4); men of Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 19:41-43. 2 Samuel 30:33); Saul and Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:30-34); Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 10:13-16. 2 Chronicles 26:21); Eliphaz (Job 22:5, &c.); Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:39).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-15.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

A soft answer - like oil soothing the pain of a wound (Psalms 55:21; Isaiah 1:6 ).

But grievous words stir up anger - lit, 'make it to ascend,' like a flame fanned by bellows; the indication of anger rises up to the countenance.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-15.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
soft
25:15; Judges 8:1-3; 1 Samuel 25:21-33; 18; 10:12; 28:25; 29:22; Judges 12:3-6; 1 Samuel 25:10,11,21,22; 2 Samuel 19:43; 1 Kings 12:13-16

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 15:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-15.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
the Fifth Week after Easter
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology