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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:25

 

 

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop - Sorrow of heart, hopeless love, or a sense of God's displeasure - these prostrate the man, and he becomes a child before them.

But a good word maketh it glad - A single good or favorable word will remove despondency; and that word, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee," will instantly remove despair.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-12.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 12:25

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

The saddening and the succouring

I. The saddening in life. There is a soul-crushing sadness here.

1. Personal affliction that maketh the heart stoop.

2. Social affliction that maketh the heart stoop.

II. The succouring in life. “A good word maketh it glad.”

1. What are good words?

2. Where are good words? The gospel is that word. Words about providence, about pardon, about resurrection. Words to comfort us in all our tribulations. (Urijah R. Thomas.)

The sin of brooding

There is a necessity that we should be in heaviness through manifold temptations; but we must beware lest by giving free scope to anxious and melancholy thoughts, our hearts should sink in us like a stone, and our souls become altogether unfit to relish the comforts or perform the services of life. Sadness of the countenance makes the heart better, but despondency of heart disqualifies men for thanking and praising God, for serving their generation, and for hearing the burdens of life. Life itself becomes burdensome, and is often shortened, by excessive grief. There is nothing that claims our grief so much as sin, and yet there may be an excess of sorrow for sin which exposes men to the devil, and drives them into his arms. Are you grieved in your minds? Remember that it is sinful and dangerous to brood perpetually over your sorrows. (G. Lawson.)

A cheering word

The celebrated Dr. R. W. Dale, of Birmingham, used to be fond of relating how he was cheered once by a poor woman’s earnest words. He was feeling dejected and as if all his strength was gone, when, passing through a street in Birmingham, he met a decently dressed stranger, laden with parcels, who stopped and said, “God bless you, Dr. Dale!” Her face was unknown to him, and he answered, “Thank you. What is your name?” “Never mind my name,” was the response; “but if you only knew how you have made me feel hundreds of times, and what a happy home you have given me! God bless you!” Then she was lost in the crowd, but she had encouraged a man whose books are in every library, and whose name is dear to the universal Church. (Sunday Companion.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 12:25". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop; But a good work maketh it glad."

"A word of terror disturbs the heart of a (righteous) man, but a good message will gladden him."[35] In the first clause, the subject is anxiety; and the Savior, "Bids us beware of anxiety, and not to perplex ourselves with solicitude for the future (Matthew 6:34; 1 Peter 5:7)."[36]


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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 12:25". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop,.... Either an anxious care and solicitude about living in the world, as the wordF13דאגה "solicitudo", Tigurine version, Montanus, Piscator, Michaelis; "solicitudo anxia", Mercerus, Gejerus; "solicita anxietas", Junius & Tremellius; "anxietatem", Schultens. signifies; when it seizes a man's spirits, it depresses them, and keeps them down: or a fear and dread of adversity, or sorrow and grief, on account of some calamity and distress; when it gets into a man's heart, it sinks and bows it down, that it cannot take any pleasure or comfort in anything. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, a "terrible word troubles the heart of a just man"; or "troubles the heart of man", as the Syriac version; the Targum is,

"a word of fear in the heart of man causes fear:'

such is the law, which is a word of terror; which speaks terrible things to men; fills the mind with terror; works wrath in the conscience, and induces a spirit of bondage to fear; bows and keeps under the spirits of men, through a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation;

but a good word maketh it glad; a comforting, cheering, and encouraging word from any friend, that compassionates their distressed case; this lifts up the heart and inspires it with joy; so a word in season, spoken by a Gospel minister, raises up a soul that is bowed down, and gives it comfort and joy: such a good word is the Gospel itself; it is good news from a far country, which is like cold water to a thirsty soul, very refreshing and reviving. The Septuagint and Arabic versions here render it, "a good message", and such the Gospel is; which, when brought to the heart of a poor sinner, depressed with the terrors of the law, causes joy in it; such is the word of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by Christ; such is the word that he himself spoke, Matthew 9:2. Kimchi instances in Psalm 55:22.


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Heaviness in the heart of man weigheth it down: but a k good word maketh it glad.

(k) That is, words of comfort, or a cheerful mind which is declared by his words, rejoices a man, as a covetous mind kills him.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

a good word — one of comfort.


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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 12:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

25 Trouble in the heart of a man boweth it down,

And a friendly word maketh it glad.

The twofold anomaly that דּאגה is construed as masc. and לב as fem. renders the text doubtful, but the lxx, Syr., Targum, which introduce another subject, φοβερὸς λόγος ( דּבר מדאיג ?), do not improve it; Theodotion's is preferable, who translates μέριμνα ἐν καρδίᾳ ἀνδρὸς κατίσχει αὐτόν , and thus reads ישׁחנּוּ . But the rhyme is thereby lost. As כּבוד , Genesis 49:6, so also may לב be used as fem., for one thereby thinks on נפשׁ ; the plur. לבּות ( לבבות ), according to which in Ezekiel 16:30 we find the sing. לבּה , may also conform to this. And ישׁחנה as pred. to דאגה follows the scheme Proverbs 2:10, perhaps not without attractional co-operation after the scheme קשׁת גברים חתים , 1 Samuel 2:4. השׁחה , from שׁחה , occurs only here; but השׁח , from שׁחח , occurs only twice. דּבר טוב designates in the book of Joshua and in Kings (1 Kings 8:56) the divine promise; here it is of the same meaning as 1 Kings 12:7 : an appeasing word. Who has not in himself had this experience, how such a word of friendly encouragement from a sympathizing heart cheers the sorrowful soul, and, if only for a time, changes its sorrow into the joy of confidence and of hope!


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Here is, 1. The cause and consequence of melancholy. It is heaviness in the heart; it is a load of care, and fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, depressing them, and disabling them to exert themselves with any vigour on what is to be done or fortitude in what is to borne; it makes them stoop, prostrates and sinks them. Those that are thus oppressed can neither do the duty nor take the comfort of any relation, condition, or conversation. Those therefore that are inclined to it should watch and pray against it. 2. The cure of it: A good word from God, applied by faith, makes it glad; such a word is that (says one of the rabbin), Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; the good word of God, particularly the gospel, is designed to make the hearts glad that are weary and heavy-laden, Matthew 11:28. Ministers are to be helpers of this joy.


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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 12:25". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Care, fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, deprive men of vigour in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be borne. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad.


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 12:25". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

A good word — A compassionate or encouraging word.


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

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

Ver. 25. Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop.] Grief is like lead to the soul, - heavy and cold; it sinks downward, and carries the soul with it; Aιφα γαρ εν κακοτητι βροτοι καταγηρασκουσι. (a) How decrepit was David grown with much grief at seventy years of age. The like we may say of Jacob, who "attained not to the days of the years of the life of his fathers," [Genesis 47:9] as being a man of many sorrows. And this, some think, was the reason that our Saviour Christ, at little past thirty, was reckoned to be toward fifty. [John 8:57] He was "the man that had seen affliction by the rod of God’s wrath." [Lamentations 3:1]

But a good word maketh it glad.] Such as was that of our Saviour to the poor paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee." The promises are called a "good word." [Jeremiah 29:10] So David found them; [Psalms 119:92] medicine for the soul (b) - more truly so called than the library at Alexandria; cordials of comfort, "breasts of consolation"; [Isaiah 66:11] "wells of salvation"; [Isaiah 12:3] μαλακτικα miserarium, - as Plato said of wine and music; - that which mitigates man’s miseries; and without which wine, music, merry company, &c., will prove but miserable comforters, and at the best, but the devil’s anodynes.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 25. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, it is readily bowed down by trouble and grief; but a good word maketh it glad, so that he straightens up from his grief and gains new courage.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A compassionate or encouraging word from a friend or minister.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

25. Heaviness in the heart — Trouble, anxiety, sorrow.

Maketh it stoop — Bows it down, as if oppressed by a burden.

A good word — A kind or cheering word. Some grammatical anomalies are noticed here by the critics, but they do not affect the sense. On latter clause compare Proverbs 25:11; Isaiah 50:4; Zechariah 1:13; 2 Corinthians 2:4-7.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

What is the "good word?" It could be any word that gives encouragement. Solomon was evidently general deliberately.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-12.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 12:25. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop — Anxious cares and grief depress the spirit of a man, and disable him from exerting himself with any vigour in fulfilling his duty in his place and station, and from bearing with fortitude the sufferings to which he is exposed, in the course of divine providence; but a good word maketh it glad — A compassionate and encouraging word, from a friend or minister, affords him relief and comfort, and enables him to go on his way with tranquillity and peace if not also with joy.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Grief. Septuagint, "a fearful speech troubleth the heart of a (just) man." (Grabe) (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Heaviness = Anxiety (feminine)

stoop = bowed down. Illustrations: Ezra (Ezra 9:3, Ezra 10:6); Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4); David (Psalms 40:12); Jeremiah (Jeremiah 8:18).

maketh, &c. = maketh [the man] glad [by driving it (feminine), the anxiety (feminine), away].


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop (the it is feminine, though heart is masculine): but a good word maketh it glad. Messiah especially spake such 'good words' (Isaiah 50:4; Isaiah 61:1-3 : so also His servants, 2 Corinthians 1:4).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(25) Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop.—But, as this is not favourable to the spiritual life, we have warnings against excessive anxiety (Matthew 6:34), and exhortations to cast all our care upon God (1 Peter 5:7; Psalms 37:5) as a religious duty, that trusting in Him, and so having from Him the “peace which the world cannot give,” our hearts may be “set to obey” His commandments.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
Heaviness
14:10; 15:13,15,23; 17:22; 18:14; Nehemiah 2:1,2; Psalms 38:6; 42:11; Mark 14:33,34
but
18; 15:23; 16:24; 25:11; 27:9; Isaiah 50:4; Zechariah 1:13; 2 Corinthians 2:4-7

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

HEAVINESS OF HEART AND ITS CURE

I. The causes of "heaviness of heart" are many and various. It may arise,

1. From great bodily pain. The human mind and the human body act and re-act upon each other. The mind or spirit may be made heavy by physical pain, as the body may be brought under the dominion of disease by mental suffering. It is only when a more powerful influence comes into operation that pain of body is prevented from exercising a depressing influence upon the spirit. In the case of Job we have an instance of severe bodily suffering, weighing down a spirit that had borne other most terrible calamities without being overcome (Job 7). In the case of Stephen, and many others, we see intense bodily suffering exercising no depressing influence upon the man, because he is lifted above it by supernatural interposition. Where this special grace is not given pain of body will make the heart "to stoop"—that is, it will disqualify the man for duty by depriving him of hope and courage, and will leave him more or less passive in the hands of circumstances.

2. Heaviness of heart is often caused by bringing the future into the present. The man that has every day to carry a heavy burden upon his shoulders will find that an attempt to carry the load of two days at once will weigh down his body beyond all his power to rise and stand upright. He must not try to carry more than the load of to-day, if he is to do anything at all. So is it with the spirit of a man if he goes out to meet the cares and difficulties of to-morrow, while he is bearing and battling with those of to-day. The weight of the present is as much as he can carry, his heart must "stoop," if he dwells upon the possible or certain trials of the future. The right way to bear burdens is to take the advice of One who Himself was a burden-bearer. "Take therefore no thought (no anxious care) for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. There are many other burdens which make the heart to stoop, we will mention but one more.

3. A consciousness of unpardoned guilt. There is no burden so heavy to bear as this. Guilt makes the spirit feel as if the hand of God's displeasure was sinking the soul lower and lower. The language of Scripture is very vivid in describing the feelings of man in such a case. "When I kept silence my bones waxed old, through my roaring all the day long." "Mine iniquities are gone over mine head; as a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me." "Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up," etc. (Psa ; Psa 38:4; Psa 40:12).

II. The human heart can be uplifted by seasonable words. "A good word maketh it glad." Such words sometimes take the form of a promise of help. A man bowed down by disease is made glad by the word of the physician, which assures him that his malady can be cured. The debtor who feels himself hopelessly involved is made glad by the promise of one who engages to meet his debts. The man who is bowed down under a sense of guilt is lifted out of his heaviness by the promises of a forgiving God. In all these cases the worth of the word depends upon the character of him who utters them. It is a "good word" if it is not only a cheering word, but a reliable word—if the promise is uttered by one whom we know would not promise what he was unable to perform. It is this certainty which makes every promise of God so good a word to the soul. And when a man's heaviness of heart arises from a source which is beyond the power of human help, there is no greater service that a friend can do him than to remind him of some "good word" of the Heavenly Father which is suitable to his case.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

Not "heaviness," but "anxiety." This last is the fashion of most griefs. We are bound to conquer it. The determined man (see comments on Pro ) is just the character to do it. "Anxiety" discredits faith. "A good word," and such words are plenty in this very book, should gladden it, as the expression is; or, as a freer translation, "cheer it away." It is a sin for men to be dejected. It is a great folly, too; for it broods over half their lives. Our passage tells all this, and tells the mode to dissipate it. It was the mode of Christ when he quelled the foul fiend. The sword of the Spirit is the "word" of God (Eph 6:17).—Miller.

There is nothing that claims our grief so much as sin, and yet there may be an excess of sorrow for sin, which exposes men to the devil and drives them into his arms.—Lawson.

A single good or favourable word will remove despondency; and that word, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee," will instantly remove despair.—A. Clarke.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:25". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-12.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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