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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 25

 

 

Verses 1-28

Proverbs 25:1. These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah copied out. Solomon wrote three thousand proverbs, and a thousand and five songs. 1 Kings 4:32. The supplement to the book, or third part commences here. The men or ministers of king Hezekiah were Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah, 2 Kings 18:26 : also Isaiah, maternal grandson of king Amaziah. Isaiah 1:1.

Proverbs 25:3. The heart of kings is unsearchable. The actions of princes are like great rivers; all men see their course, but few know their origin.

Proverbs 25:5. Take away the wicked from before the king. The preseding words illustrate the sense. When the dross is removed to one side of the crucible, the vase in the mould is pure; so the counsel of good men are the brilliant emanations of wisdom and virtue. A wicked minister, acting from principles of pride, avarice, or vain glory, how great soever his talents may be, gives by example a daring countenance to vice, and often leads his sovereign into error. But, on the other hand, when a king has wise and devout ministers, the nation prospers; and when he banishes from his court those who are guilty of crimes, he gains the confidence of his people, and establishes his throne in righteousness. Then what confidence should we repose in God. Judgment and justice are the habitation of his throne.

Proverbs 25:6. Put not forth [ne magnificum, do not magnify] thyself in the presence of the king. Occasions will offer for the courtier to display his eloquence, and professional talents; then he may be called with spotless honour to fill a higher station, and ultimately to be high in office. But if otherwise, he may enjoy a cultivated mind in the more peaceful circles of society.

Proverbs 25:7. Come up hither. See on Luke 14:8.

Proverbs 25:8. Go not forth hastily to strive by a lawsuit with thy neighbour. When we receive a wrong, our passions, for awhile, are so tumultuous, as to hinder the sober exercise of the understanding. And the way to the chambers of justice is often through an ante-chamber crowded with thieves. We had better wait, and bring our neighbour by private conversation to reason and equity, or we had better sustain a loss, than expend twice the sum in seeking a doubtful redress.

Proverbs 25:9. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour. This is far better than to involve thyself in shameful and expensive suits at law.

Proverbs 25:11. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. The Chaldaic turns it, “images of gold,” comprising landscapes, and all the group introduced into the portrait. The ancients, painting on vellum with metallic oxides, produced beautiful pictures. But wisdom in moral science surpasses the beauties of the pencil.

Proverbs 25:13. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, whose breezes cool the reapers; so is a faithful messenger. Jordan overflowed his banks at Easter, the time of the barley harvest, by the melting of the snows on mount Lebanon.

Proverbs 25:14. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift. Vulgate, Vir gloriosus, et promissa non complens. A boasting man, who fulfils not his promises, is like clouds and wind without rain.

Proverbs 25:17. Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house. The habit of staying too long at a neighbour’s house indicates a trifling or an indolent temper. He who can burden a neighbour by the frequency of his visits, regaling himself with the news of the day, and the tales of the town, is ignorant of the duties he owes to God, and himself; and he has no idea of the worth of time.

Proverbs 25:21. If thine enemy be hungry. See on Matthew 5:44. Romans 12:20.

Proverbs 25:28. He that hath no rule over his own spirit; but indulges anger and menacing language on every adverse occurrence, resembles a city with a broken wall; and sin, the worst of foes, may enter at pleasure. It is highly unbecoming a father, and a master, to indulge ebullitions of passion when perhaps the offender could not help the fault, and when the fault itself was of no moment. The same may be said of every other passion, and indulgence of unlawful pleasures. Let men calmly reason on the impropriety of their conduct; let them pray for regenerating grace, habituating themselves to moderation; for he can scarcely claim the rank of a man who has no command of himself.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 25:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/proverbs-25.html. 1835.

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