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Proverbs 25

Proverbs 25 Audio:

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1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:

7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:

10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.

11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

20 As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. These. Solomon wrote 3,000, and we have only 915 verses extant. C. — The rest perhaps shewed his genius, but were less useful. Tostat. in 3 K. iv. 9. — Men. Isaias, Sobna, &c. C. — Out of other records, (M.) or “translated” into a language better understood. Carthus. Bayn.

Ver. 2. Speech. The Scriptures will denounce the truth to them, and shew them how to reign with justice. We must adore the mysteries of God; but are allowed to examine the secret designs of princes.

Ver. 3. Unsearchable. Their counsellors must not betray their secrets. Tob. xii. 7. The greatest enterprises depend on secrecy.

Ver. 5. Justice. The wicked in a kingdom resemble rust on silver. C.

Ver. 6. Glorious, or a boaster. H. — We must not seek the first places. Lu. xiv. 10.

Vive sine invidiâ, mollesque inglorius annos

Exige; amicitias et tibi junge pares. Ovid. Trist. iii. 4.

Ver. 8. Not. Sept. “repent when thy friend may reproach thee.” H. — Friend. A word spoken in haste may expose him to ridicule.

Ver. 9. Stranger. It sometimes happens that friends fall out; but if either disclose the secret of the other, he will be deemed infamous. C. Jos. con. Ap. 2. — S. Ambrose says of his brother Satyrus, “though we had all things in common, yet the secret of our friends was not so.”

Ver. 10. Grace, &c. is no in Heb. Compl. S. Jerom, &c. But it is in the Sept. “favour and friendship may give liberty; which keep thou for thyself, that thou mayst not be exposed to great shame. But guard thy ways unchangeably.” H. — Avoid quarrels.

Ver. 11. Time, (Symmachus) “on its wheels,” (Heb.) flowing smoothly, (C.) or “according to his two faces, is apples of gold in network of silver. The Scriptures have a double sense. The exterior one leads to that sense which is interior, and more excellent. Maimonid. Parkhurst, p. 366. — Gold, oranges. — Beds. On such the kings of Parthia slept, and these metals were very common under Solomon, 3 K. x. 27. Est. i. 6. C. — Mont. renders mascioth “transparent cases.” Prot. “pictures of silver.”

Ver. 12. Bright. Heb. chali cathem, “an ornament of fine gold,” (Mont. Prot. H.) may probably denote a collar or ring. The eastern nations wore rings fixed at the top of the ears, and under the nose. Some were so large that they put their meat through them. The Scripture often alludes to these customs, which are so different from ours. Cant. vii. 1.

Ver. 13. Harvest. In June and July, when the heat was most intense, people of quality had snow from Libanus to mix with what they drank. Jer. xviii. 14. C.

Ver. 15. Hardness. Heb. and Sept. “bones.” H.

Ver. 16. Up. We must moderate the sensual appetite, (M.) and even the study of wisdom, which is compared to honey. C. xxiv. 13. Rom. xii. 3. Eccle. vii. 17. C. — We must not be too familiar, v. 17. Ven. Bede. Cajet.

Ver. 17. Having. Heb. “being tired of thee.” No man is so perfect, but he will manifest some defect, and become importunate. C.

Nulli te facias nimis sodalem. Mart.

Ver. 20. And. Prot. “as he that taketh away a, &c. and as vinegar…to a heavy heart.” H. — The former sentence may be joined with the preceding, as it is improper to deprive a person of his garment, no less than to trust in the faithless; though some would suppose (C.) that this conduct, as well as the mixing of vinegar with nitre, is no less absurd than to attempt to relieve by music those who are extremely afflicted. Eccli. xxii. 6. T. — But Solomon does not speak of such, but only of those who are “heavy;” and we know that music has wonderful efficacy in relieving them, (1 K. xvi. 17.) in like manner as this mixture serves to cleanse the skin and garments, (Jer. ii. 22. C.) and to purify the ears, when they are deafish. Pliny xxxi. 10. Vales. lx. — As a, &c. is not in Heb. S. Jer. &c. C. — The Chal. has the latter part, (H.) “grief tries the heart, as fire does silver. As the worm eats wood, so folly,” &c. C.

Ver. 22. Coals of charity; (S. Chrys. in Rom. xii. 20.) or, if he prove obstinate, his punishment will be the greater. Geier. — The former sense is more received. C.

Ver. 23. Rain; (Sym. Prot.) or marginal note, “bringeth forth rain.” H. — But S. Jerom, who live in the country, knew that this wind was rather dry; and therefore he has abandoned the Sept. raiseth the clouds.” Job xxxvii. 9. Joel ii. 20. Eccli. xviii. 23. The countries north of Palestine were not calculated to produce vapours and rain, which came rather from the south. C. — Tongue. If the hearers would shew their displeasure, detractors would soon be reduced to silence. S. Jer. ad. Rust. S. Bern.

Ver. 24. It is. C. xxi. 9. Sixtus V. does not insert this verse here.

Ver. 25. Tidings. Heb. and Sept. The Vulg. seems rather to speak of a “good messenger.” Homer said that a good messenger honoured the business most. Pind. Pyth. viii. C.

Ver. 26. Falling into disgrace, or sin, occasions the wicked to exult, as if there were no God or religion. C.

Ver. 27. Majesty, viz. of God. For to search into that incomprehensible Majesty, and to pretend to sound the depths of the wisdom of God, is exposing our weak understanding to be blinded with an excess of light and glory, which hit cannot comprehend. Ch. — When the Church proposes to us any mystery, we have only to believe. Heb. “but it is glorious to sound their glory,” and see where the wicked end, that we may not envy them. C. iii. 31. Ps. xxxvi. 7. C. — Prot. “so for men to search their own glory, is not glory,” but a sin. H. — “It is not good to eat too much honey,” (Chal.) or to sound the glorious words of God and wisdom, or the mysteries of religion. Sept. “But it is right to reverence glorious speeches,” (C.) with esteem and humility. Cat. Græc.

Ver. 28. Speaking. He lays himself open to every attack. C. xxix. 11.