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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 26:23

 

 

Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross Are burning lips and a wicked heart.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Burning lips and a wicked heart - Splendid, shining, smooth lips; that is, lips which make great professions of friendship are like a vessel plated over with base metal to make it resemble silver; but it is only a vile pot, and even the outside is not pure.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-26.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Burning lips - i. e., “Lips glowing with, affection, uttering warm words of love,” joined with a malignant heart, are like a piece of broken earthenware from the furnace, which glitters with the silver drops at stick to it, but is itself worthless.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-26.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 26:23

Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Putrefaction phosphorescent

The illuminating power of phosphorus appears due to an extremely slow chemical reaction, and it is affirmed that vegetable and animal substances may grow phosphorescent at a certain stage of decomposition, or even without any appearance of putrefaction. Accredited authorities cite a host of examples of fresh or stale meats which have been seen to shine during the night with a more or less vivid clearness. Fish, and especially salt-water fish, when no longer fresh, acquire a phosphorescence which brightens during the first period, of putrefaction. Leave for two or three days dead saltwater fish in non-luminous sea-water; at the end of that time the water will be covered with a thin pellicle of fatty matter, and will soon become phosphorescent. But it is not only in material nature that we thus find brightness in combination with impurity. Genius itself has been found shining amidst moral putrefaction. (Scientific Illustrations.)

A wicked heart disguising itself

This may be meant either--

1. Of a wicked heart showing itself in burning lips, furious, passionate, outrageous words, burning in malice, and presenting those to whom, or of whom, they are spoken. Ill-words and ill-will agree together as well as a potsherd and the dross of silver, which, now that the pot is broken, and the dross separated from the silver, are fit to be thrown together to the dunghill

2. Or of a wicked heart disguising itself, with burning lips, burning with the professions of love and friendship, and even persecuting a man with flatteries; this is like a potsherd covered with the scum or dross of silver, with which one that is weak may be imposed upon, as if it were of some value, but a wise man is soon aware of the cheat. This sense agrees with the following verses. (Matthew Henry.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 26:23". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-26.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Fervent lips and a wicked heart Are like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross.

He that hateth dissembleth with his lips; But he layeth up deceit within him:

When he speaketh fair, believe him not; For there are seven abominations in his heart.

Though his hatred cover itself with guile, His wickedness shall be openly showed before the assembly.

Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein; And he that rolleth a stone, it shall return upon him.

A lying tongue hateth them whom it hath wounded; And a flattering mouth worketh ruin."

"Fervent lips" (Proverbs 26:23). "Lips glorying with affection, uttering warm words of love."[11] Walls referred to Proverbs 26:17-28 here as, "A book of scoundrels";[12] and that is certainly what it is. Proverbs 26:24 speaks of the man who hates another, but flatters him with a view to finding some way to destroy him.

"Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein" (Proverbs 26:27). Haman who erected a gallows upon which he intended to hang Mordecai is the classical example of how true this proverb is. Haman himself was hanged on that gallows.

"He that rolleth a stone ... etc." (Proverbs 26:27). In ancient warfare heavy stones were rolled to the top of some eminence, where they could be released to cause damage or destruction to some attacker. Such a trap, set for others could also, under some change of circumstance, destroy the one that set it.

Proverbs 26:28 says that, "The lying tongue hates its victim"; and this pinpoints a strange perversity of human nature. One should avoid loaning money to friends; because, true to what is indicated here, the friend, if unable or unwilling to pay back the loan, invariably becomes an enemy of the man that befriended him. From this is a proverb that came not from Solomon. Loan money to a friend; and you will lose both the money and the friend. Of course, it doesn't always turn out that way.


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 26:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-26.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Burning lips, and a wicked heart,.... Either burning with wrath and malice; breathing out threatenings and slaughter; pursuing men with reproaches and slanders, arising from a wicked heart: or rather, burning with profession of love to God, and affection to good men; with great pretensions of kindness, and promises of good things, when their hearts are wicked, and they design noticing less; say one thing with their lips, with the greatest show of affection and sincerity, and mean another in their hearts. These

are like a potsherd covered with silver dross: which at a distance, or to less discerning persons, looks like silver, and is taken for it; when the covering is only dross, and what is within is only a potsherd, Or a piece of an earthen vessel, good for nothing: such are the specious professions and deceitful words, which flow from a wicked heart.


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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 26:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-26.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Burning lips and k a wicked heart [are like] a potsherd covered with silver dross.

(k) They will soon break out and utter themselves.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-26.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Warm professions can no more give value to insincerity than silver coating to rude earthenware.


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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 26:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-26.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

The proverbs next following treat of a cognate theme, hypocrisy (the art of dissembling), which, under a shining [ gleissen ] exterior,

(Note: Vid ., regarding gleisen (to give a deceitful appearance) and gleissen (to throw a dazzling appearance), Schmitthenner-Weigand's Deutsches Wörterbuch .)

conceals hatred and destruction:

23 Dross of silver spread over an earthen vessel -

Lips glowing with love and a base heart.

Dross of silver is the so-called glätte (French, litharge ), a combination of lead and oxygen, which, in the old process of producing silver, was separated (Luther: silberschaum , i.e. , the silver litharge ; Lat. spuma argenti , having the appearance of foam). It is still used to glaze over potter's ware, which here (Greek, κέραμος ) is briefly called חרשׂ for כּלי חרשׂ ; for the vessel is better in appearance than the mere potsherd. The glossing of the earthenware is called צפּה על־חרשׂ , which is applicable to any kind of covering ( צפּה , R. צף , to spread or lay out broad) of a less costly material with that which is more precious. 23a contains the figure, and 23b its subscription: שׂפתים דּלקים ולב רע . Thus, with the taking away of the Makkeph after Codd., to be punctuated: burning lips, and therewith a base heart; burning, that is, with the fire of love (Meîri, אשׁ החשׁק ), while yet the assurances of friendship, sealed by ardent kisses, serve only to mask a far different heart. The lxx translate דלקים [burning] by λεῖα , and thus have read חלקים [smooth], which Hitzig without reason prefers; burning lips (Jerome, incorrectly: tumentia ; Luther, after Deuteronomy 32:33, חמת : Gifftiger mund = a poisonous mouth) are just flattering, and at the same time hypocritical

(Note: Schultens explains the labia flagrantia by volubiliter prompta et diserta . But one sees from the Arab. dhaluḳa , to be loose, lightly and easily moved ( vid ., in Fleischer's Beiträgen zur arab. Sprachkunde the explanation of the designation of the liquid expressed with the point of the tongue by dhalḳiytt , at Proverbs 1:26-27; cf. de Sacy's Grammar ), and dalḳ , to draw out (of the sword from its scabbard), to rinse (of water), that the meaning of the Heb. דלק , to burn, from R. דל , refers to the idea of the flickering, tongue-like movement of the flame.)

lips. Regarding שׂפתים as masc., vid ., p. 85; לב רע means, at Proverbs 25:20, animus maestus ; here, inimicus . The figure is excellent: one may regard a vessel with the silver gloss as silver, and it is still earthen; and that also which gives forth the silver glance is not silver, but only the refuse of silver. Both are suitable to the comparison: the lips only glitter, the heart is false (Heidenheim).


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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 26:23". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-26.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

This may be meant either, 1. Of a wicked heart showing itself in burning lips, furious, passionate, outrageous words, burning in malice, and persecuting those to whom, or of whom, they are spoken; ill words and ill-will agree as well together as a potsherd and the dross of silver, which, now that the pot is broken and the dross separated from the silver, are fit to be thrown together to the dunghill. 2. Or of a wicked heart disguising itself with burning lips, burning with the professions of love and friendship, and even persecuting a man with flatteries; this is like a potsherd covered with the scum or dross of silver, with which one that is weak may be imposed upon, as if it were of some value, but a wise man is soon aware of the cheat. This sense agrees with the following verses.


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 26:23". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-26.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

A wicked heart disguising itself, is like a potsherd covered with the dross of silver.


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 26:23". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-26.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Burning — With malice or hatred: A slanderous or evil tongue.

Dross — Such a tongue and heart are of no real worth, although sometimes they make a shew of it, as dross does of silver.


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 26:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-26.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 26:23 Burning lips and a wicked heart [are like] a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Ver. 23. Burning lips and a wicked heart, &c.] The tongue of the righteous is as fined silver; but glossing lips upon a false heart is no better than dross upon dirt: counterfeit friends are naught on both sides, having os maledictum et cor malum, as Luther renders this text; - a bad mouth, and a worse heart. Wicked men are said to speak with a heart and a heart, [Psalms 12:2, marg.} as speaking one thing and thinking another, drawing a fair glove on a foul hand. These are dangerous to be dealt withal; for, like serpents, they can sting without hissing; like cur dogs, suck your blood only with licking, and in the end kill you and cut your throats without biting: so cunning and close are they in the conveyance of their collusion. Squire, sent out of Spain to poison Queen Elizabeth, anointed the pommel of her saddle with poison secretly, and, as it were, doing somewhat else, praying with a loud voice, God save the queen. (a) When those Romish incendiaries, Gifford, Hodgeson, and others, had set Savage to work to kill the said queen, they first set forth a book to persuade the English Catholics to attempt nothing against her. So Parsons, when he had hatched that nameless villany, the gunpowder plot, set forth his book of Resolution, as if he had been wholly made up of devotion. Caveatur osculum Iscarioticum. Betware the mouth of Judus. It is the property of a godly man to speak the truth from his heart. {Psalms 15:2]


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-26.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 26:23. Burning lips, and a wicked heart Splendid lips, with a wicked heart. Houbigant. The LXX read, Smooth lips, disguising a wicked heart.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-26.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Burning; either,

1. With love. Words delivered with show of true and fervent affection. Or rather,

2. With malice or hatred. A slanderous or evil tongue; for this word is constantly used in a bad sense, and notes the heat of rage and persecution.

Like a potsherd covered with silver dross; such a tongue and heart are of no real worth, although sometimes they make a show of it, as dross doth of silver.


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-26.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23. Burning lips — Fiery professions of friendship, (Zockler,) and, especially lustful kisses. Matthew 26:48.

Potsherd — A piece of broken crockery; perhaps put poetically for an earthen vessel.

Silver dross — An earthen vessel plated with silver, appearing more valuable than it really is. The proverb teaches the worthlessness of merely pretended friendship.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-26.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 26:23. Burning lips — Either, 1st, Lips pretending much love, that is, words delivered with a show of truth and fervent affection; or, rather, 2d, Burning with malice or hatred; that is, a slanderous or evil tongue; and a wicked heart — From whence evil thoughts and malicious words proceed; are like a potsherd covered with silver dross — Such a tongue and heart are of no real worth, although sometimes they make a show of it, as dross does of silver.


Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-26.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Dross. Hence the proud will be detested, and appear contemptible.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-26.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Burning lips: i.e. warm professions.

silver dross. Figure of speech Hypallage (App-6). Hebrew = silver of dross.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-26.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Burning lips (lips professing burning love) and a wicked heart (underneath) (are like) a potsherd covered with silver dross - a fragment of common earthenware covered with silver full of dross.


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 26:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-26.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) Burning lips—i.e., burning with love, while there is an evil heart within.

A potsherd covered with silver dross.—Pottery glazed with dross of silver, a well-known method of ornamentation. For similar proverbs, comp. Matthew 23:27; Luke 11:39.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-26.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
10:18; 2 Samuel 20:9,10; Ezekiel 33:31; Luke 22:47,48

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-26.html.

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