Observations about kings, 1-7, and about avoiding causes of quarrels, and various causes thereof, 8-28.
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 honor 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 refiner.
5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
6 Do not put forth yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men,
7 For it is better that it be said to you, "Come up here," than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince whom your eyes have seen.
8 Do not go forth hastily to strive, lest you not know what to do in the end thereof when your neighbor has put you to shame.
9 Debate your cause with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal a secret to another,
10 Lest he who hears it put you to shame, and your infamy not turn 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 those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Whoever boasts himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 By long forbearing a prince is persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone.
16 Have you found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled with it and vomit it.
17 Withdraw your foot from your neighbor's house, lest he be weary of you and thus hate you.
18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is a maul, 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 who takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon soda, so is he who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy hungers, give him bread to eat, and if he thirsts, give him water to drink,
22 For you shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD will reward you.
23 The north wind drives away rain, and so does an angry countenance to a backbiting tongue.
24 It is better to dwell in a corner of the house-top 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 turbid fountain and a corrupt spring.
27 It is not good to eat much honey. And for men to search their own glory is not glory.
28 He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 25[➚]
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
From the tenth chapter to the twenty-fifth are various proverbial sentences without any very apparent connection or coherence with each other, describing righteous and wicked men, setting forth their different temper, conduct, and actions, and the fruits and effects of them. It should be observed, that frequently in the preceding chapters two persons are represented as women: one goes by the name of "Wisdom," the other is called the "foolish" woman and a "harlot," the former is clearly to be understood of Christ, and the latter, being opposed to him, must be antichrist, the whore of Rome and mother of harlots. Now in the following part of this book two sorts of persons are spoken of, the one as wise, righteous, good, etc., and the other as foolish, wicked, etc., who are no other than the followers of Christ and antichrist, which observation is a key to the whole book.
[v.7] - Reference, Luke 14:8-10.
[v.21-22] - Quoted in Romans 12:20.