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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:25

 

 

A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In the second clause, “destroyeth life” might have been expected as the antithesis to “delivereth souls.” But what worse could be said? “A deceitful witness speaketh lies.” All destruction is implied in falsehood.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-14.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"A true witness delivereth souls; But he that uttereth lies causeth deceit."

"A witness saves lives when he tells the truth; when he tells lies he betrays people."[28] "All liars shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21:8). "The witness has it in his power to save or murder either life or reputation."[29]


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 14:25". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

A true witness delivereth souls,.... Or, "a witness of truth"F24עד אמת "testis veritatis", Montanus, Cocceius, Schultens. : one that witnesses truth upon oath in a court of judicature, he "delivers souls"; men, not one man only, but many; a whole family, or more, in danger of being ruined; he delivers them, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions add, "from evils"; from evil charges and accusations brought against them; from the oppression of their enemies, from the loss of their good name, and from ruin and destruction, that otherwise would have come upon them; he delivers their "lives"F25נפשות "vitas; animam pro vita usurpari notum", Gejerus. , as it may be rendered, in danger of being lost by false accusations: so a witness of the truth of Christ, or a faithful minister of the Gospel, not only saves himself, but them that hear him; and is an instrument of delivering the souls of men from error and damnation;

but a deceitful witness speaketh lies; boldly, openly, by wholesale; he blows them outF26יפיח "efflat", Tigurine version, Piscator, Gejerus; "spirat", Schultens; "efflabit", Monatnus. , to the ruin of the good names and characters, and to the destruction of the lives, of the innocent; and so a false teacher, one that lies in wait to deceive, speaks lies in hypocrisy, doctrinal lies, to the ruin of the souls of men. The Targum is,

"he that speaketh lies is deceitful;'

he is "deceit"F1מרמה "dolus", Montanus, Vatablus; "fraus", Cocceius. itself, as in the Hebrew text. Such is the man of sin, and such are his emissaries.


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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.
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 14:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-14.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Life often depends on truth-telling.

a deceitful … lies — He that breathes out lies is deceit, not to be trusted (Proverbs 14:5).


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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 14:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

25 A witness of truth delivereth souls;

But he who breathes out lies is nothing but deception.

When men, in consequence of false suspicions or of false accusations, fall into danger of their lives ( דיני נפשׁות is the designation in the later language of the law of a criminal process), then a tongue which, pressed by conscientiousness and not deterred by cowardice, will utter the truth, saves them. But a false tongue, which as such ( vid ., Proverbs 14:5) is a יפח כזבים (after the Masora at this place ויפח , defective ), i.e. , is one who breathes out lies ( vid ., regarding יפיח at Proverbs 6:19), is mere deception (lxx, without reading מרמּה [as Hitzig does]: δόλιος ). In Proverbs 12:17 מרמה is to be interpreted as the object. accus. of יגיד carried forward, but here to carry forward מצּיל (Arama, Löwenstein) is impracticable - for to deliver deceit = the deceiver is not expressed in the Hebr. - מרמה is, as possibly also Hebrews 12:16 (lxx δόλιος ), without אישׁ or עד being supplied, the pred. of the substantival clause: such an one is deception (in bad Latin, dolositas ), for he who utters forth lies against better knowledge must have a malevolent, deceitful purpose.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-14.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

See here, 1. How much praise is due to a faithful witness: He delivers the souls of the innocent, who are falsely accused, and their good names, which are as dear to them as their lives. A man of integrity will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light and rescue those who are injured by falsehood. A faithful minister, who truly witnesses for God against sin, is thereby instrumental to deliver souls from eternal death. 2. How little regard is to be had to a false witness. He forges lies, and yet pours them out with the greatest assurance imaginable for the destruction of the innocent. It is therefore the interest of a nation by all means possible to detect and punish false-witness-bearing, yea, and lying in common conversation; for truth is the cement of society.


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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 14:25". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light.


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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. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

Souls — Such as are innocent, from false accusations.


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
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 14:25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful [witness] speaketh lies.

Ver. 25. A true witness delivereth souls.] Or, Lives that lie at stake. He that helps the truth in such a necessity doth a worthy work. To walk about with slanders is to "shed blood." [Ezekiel 22:9] Way was made to that bloody French massacre by false reports cast abroad by the friar liars, that the Protestants, under pretence of religion, met by night that they might feed daintily, and then lie together promiscuously. He that hath a mind to hang his dog, saith the French proverb, will first give out that he is run mad. The devil was first a liar, and then a murderer from the beginning. [John 8:44]


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-14.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 25. A true witness, one who fearlessly utters the truth, delivereth souls, from the death which threatened them as a result of false charges brought against them; but a deceitful witness, one full of crafty malice, speaketh lies, constantly breathing them out.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-14.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Delivereth souls, i.e. persons, to wit, such as are innocent, from the mischief of false accusations, by declaring the truth, which is sufficient for their vindication. Speaketh lies, to the injury and destruction of the innocent; which is easily understood out of the former clause, and from the practice of false witnesses.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

25. A deceitful witness… lies — This is true, but the clause is better rendered thus: He that breathes lies (an habitual liar) is a deception, a witness who cannot be depended on. The Speaker’s Commentary accepts the Authorized Version. The antithesis, destroys life, is implied. The witness lies; what worse could be said? All destruction is implied in falsehood.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 14:25. A true witness delivereth souls — That is, persons, namely, such as, being innocent, are falsely accused; whom he delivers from the mischief designed against them, by declaring the truth, and thereby clearing them from the charges brought against them; but a deceitful witness speaketh lies — To the injury and destruction of the innocent.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-14.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

souls. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

A true witness delivereth souls - `delivers' innocent souls that are calumniated and accused before judges.

But a deceitful (witness) speaketh (Hebrew, breathes forth) lies - so as to destroy innocent "souls."


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
5; Acts 20:21,26,27; 26:16-20; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Peter 3:3

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-14.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

DELIVERANCE BY TRUTH

I. What is implied in a witness bearer. A witness is supposed to give light. Those who have to decide upon a matter seek for the evidence of those who are personally acquainted with the facts. They are expected to testify as to what they have seen and heard, and by thus throwing light upon the subject to further the cause of truth and justice. A witness can only give light by speaking the truth. The words of a truth-teller are like rays of sunlight falling upon an object that was before indistinct, they make plain things which without their aid would be incomprehensible. On the other hand the testimony of a lying witness surrounds everything about which he bears witness with a mist and a darkness, and so foils the efforts of those who are desiring to get a right view of the subject.

II. Life and death are often in the power of those who bear witness. The evidence of a truthful man delivers from death—or from worse than death—those who are innocent, whereas a false witness may deliver them up to punishment. The one is like the lighthouse which enables the sailor to bring his vessel safely into port, the other is like the false light of the wrecker, by means of which the ship is dashed to pieces on the rocks. The first witness for God in Eden who did not belong to the heavenly family was a "false witness who spoke lies." He testified to Eve that God was a hard master, that He had imposed upon her restrictions from a selfish motive, that the punishment which had been threatened would not follow disobedience to the Divine commands. Since this first false witness led our first parents on to death, many a human witness has, in like manner, given to the world false views of the Divine Father which have ended in like results. Both Satan and his servants murder character by bearing false witness. The Incarnate Son of God was pre-eminently "The True Witness (Isa ; Rev 1:5). He came to deliver men by bearing witness of the true character of God from His own personal knowledge (Joh 17:25-26). "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that 1 should bear witness unto the truth" "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Joh 18:37; Joh 8:32). "The truth which Christ taught was chiefly on these three points—God, man, immortality.… He exhibited God as love, and so the fearful bondage of the mind to the necessity of fate was broken.… He taught the truth about the human soul, that it is not in its right place, that it never is in its right place in the dark prison-house of sin, but that its home is freedom, and the breath of God's life.… He taught truth concerning immortality, that this life is not all; that it is only a miserable state of human infancy."—(Robertson.) By such testimony this "true witness delivered souls"—"proclaimed liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isa 61:1). On this subject see also on chap. Pro 12:17, pages 274-276.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

We noticed that what crowned the wise was "truth" or "knowledge" (Pro ). Truth to become knowledge must get into the heart. To do so it must be "witnessed." We noticed under the second verse that a man staggered, that is, he did not walk in levelness, because he did not see clearly. But, per contra, if a man sees clearly he walks in level ways; and then, according to our present proverb, he "saves" unconsciously the souls of others. This is most clear when the view is negative. Let there be no witnesses of truth, and where are the saved? No sinners are rescued in a dead nation. Every Christian is a centre of light. The Church is but a body of Christians. Where there is no Church, where are the penitents? The truth intended to be conveyed is, that he who sees the truth spreads it. While he who sees only "lies," which is an exact portrait of the unredeemed, serves in spite of himself as a delusion to his friends, and deceives them into unbelief just in proportion to his influence upon them. Woe be to the wife or child where the husband is a "deceived witness" (Pro 14:5). "Witness"—not in this case one who bears witness, but one who witnesses, in the sense of seeing.—Miller.

While true testimony may condemn, false testimony may acquit; while the former may destroy life, the latter may save it. It is probable, therefore, that the intended antithesis relates not so much to the actual fact of truth saving and falsehood condemning, as to the dispositions and intentions of the faithful witness on the one hand and the lying witness on the other. The faithful witness delights in giving testimony that may save life, that will be salutary and beneficial to his fellow-creatures. The lying witness will, in general, be found actuated by a malevolent and wicked purpose; having pleasure in giving testimony that will go to condemn the object of his malice. The sentiment will thus be—that truth is most generally found in union with kindness of heart, and falsehood with malevolence. And this is natural; the former being both good, the latter being both evil, falsehood being naturally more akin to malice, and truth to love. Wardlaw.

Here again there is something like tautology in the second clause. We expect "destroyeth life" as the antithesis to "delivereth souls." But in this case also there is an emphasis in the seeming absence of it. "A deceitful witness speaketh lies." What worse could be said of him? All destruction is implied in falsehood.—Plumptre.

It is the honour of God to be a deliverer of souls, and that is the honour of a true witness. He delivers his own soul and another's: his own from the wrath of God, another's from the injustice of men: his own from wickedness, another's from injury. The deceitful man speaketh not one lie, but many. The lie of perjury to God, the lie of injustice to the judge, the lie of falsehood to the master. Not one but many lies, because one lie usually bringeth many others with it.—Jermin.

The special work for which Christians are left in the world is to be witnesses (Act ) … Christ does not send his angels to proclaim His word or to wield His power.… The evidence by which the spirit will convert the world is His truth, uttered from the word, and echoed, still and small, from the meek and quiet life-course of converted men … Two qualifications are required in a witness, truth and love (Eph 4:15): these are needed, but these will do … A witness, in contested cases, after giving evidence in chief, is subjected to cross-examination. A Christian's profession is, and is understood to be, his direct and positive testimony that he is bought with a price, and that he is bound to serve the Lord who bought him: but as soon as this testimony is emitted, the examination begins. If he be not a true witness, he will stumble there. Either or both of two persons, with very different views, may subject a witness to cross-examination—the judge or the adversary. It is chiefly done by the adversary, and in his interests. The Supreme himself puts professing disciples to the test before the court of the world; but when He so tries His children, the truth comes forth purer and brighter by the trial. He who goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, tempts to destroy. He puts the witness to the question in order to break him down.… We speak of the evidences of religion, but, after all, Christians are the best evidences of Christianity … Let no man who bears Christ's name lay the unction to his soul, that if he does no good he does no evil. One of the heaviest complaints made in the prophets against Jerusalem for her backsliding, is that she was a "comfort" to Samaria and Sodom (Eze 16:54); that those who had the name and place of God's people, so lived as to make the wicked feel at ease … If Christians live as like the world as they can, the world will think itself safe in its sin; and those who should have been the deliverers, will become the destroyers of their neighbours.—Arnot.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:25". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-14.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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