C D1 25:1-28. Admonition to the Fear of God. D2 28:1-28. Warning against the Sins of Man.
1 These are also proverbs by Solomon (as author), which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. (Evidently a special guild of scribes employed in the work of editing and putting together the O.T. books. See 2 kings 20:9. At the end of each book are 3 Majuscular letters, Cheth (ח = H), Zyin (ז = Z), and Koph (כ = K), which are the initials of Hezekiah, and his sign-manual, confirming the work done. This tri-grammaton is found in all MMS. and printed editions up to the end of 2 Kings. After the death of Hezekiah it obtains varied forms and additions; subsequent writers and editors having lost the origin and meaning of these 3 letters, and taken it as a word which means "Be strong", put there for their encouragement.)
2 It is the glory of God (Elohim) to conceal a thing:
But the glory 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 a lawless one from before the king,
And his throne shall be established in righteousness. (Illustrations; David [1 Kings 2:5,6. Cp. v.46]; Asa [1 Kings 15:13])
6 Put not forth yourself in the presence of the king,
And stand not in the place of great men:
7 For better it is 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 Go not forth hastily to strive, (Illustrations: Gaal [Judg. 9:26-40]; the ten tribes [Josh. 22:12-34]; Abner [2 Sam. 2:14,17] Asahel [2 Sam. 2:18-23]; Amaziah [2 Kings 14:8-14]; Josiah [2 Chron. 35:20-24].)
Lest you know not what to do in the end thereof,
When your neighbor has put you to shame.
9 Debate your cause with your neighbor himself; (Illustrations: Abraham [Gen. 13:8; 21:25-32]; Jephtah [Judg. 11;12-27].)
And discover not a secret to another:
10 Lest he that hears it put you to shame,
And your infamy turn not away.
11 A word timely spoken (as we say "on the spur of the moment")
Is like apples of gold in carved (or sculptured) work of silver. (Put for imaginative work made from it: i.e. baskets, or dishes. Golden fruit [perhaps oranges] in silver salvers would be the height of rarity, which it is the intention of the words to convey.)
12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold,
So is a wise reprover upon an attentive ear.
13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, (I.e most unusual. Cp. 26:1. The emphasis is on "cold" as being refreshing)
So is a faithful messenger to them that send him:
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Whoso boasts himself of a pretend gift (Illustrations: Zedekiah [1 Kings 22:11]; Hananiah [Jer. 28:1-4]; Shemaiah [Jer. 29:24-31]; false apostles [2 Cor. 11:13-15. Jude 12].)
Is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 By long forbearing is a prince (or judge) persuaded,
And a soft tongue breaks the bone. (I.e. overcomes obstinacy.)
16 Have you found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for you,
Lest you be filled therewith, and vomit it.
17 Withdraw your foot from your neighbor's house;
Lest he be full of of you, and so hate you.
18 A man that bears false witness against his neighbor
Is a mallet (or large wooden hammer, or club), and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19 Confidence in an treacherous man in time of trouble
Is like a broken tooth, and a tottering foot. (Illustrations: Micah [Judg. 18:20]; Ben-hadad [2 Kings 8:8-15. 2 Chron. 28:20,21]; Israelites [Isa. 30:1-5]; Zedekiah [Jer. 37:5-7]; cp. Ezek. 17:15; 29:7; and Prov. 19:22.)
20 As he that decks himself out in cold weather (i.e. he thinks more about his appearance than his comfort and health), and as vinegar upon natron (now called soda. With any acid it causes strong effervescence.), (Cp. Job 40:10. Isa. 61:10. Jer. 4:30. Ezek. 16:11,13. Hos. 2:23.)
So is he that sings songs to an heavy heart. (The point is in the incongruity of the 3 things named.)
21 If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: (These examples put for all similar kinds.) (Illustrations: Azariah, Berachiah,&. [2 Chron. 28:12-15]; Elisha [2 Kings 6:19-23].)
22 If you do good to one whose burning words you have received, they will burn him in another sense, (Quoted in Rom. 12:20; cp. 1 Sam. 24:6; 26:9. Illustration: David [1 Sam. 24:16-22].)
And the LORD shall reward you.
23 The north wind brings forth rain:
So does an angry countenance [produces] a backbiting tongue.
24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop,
Than with a wrangling woman and in a wide house.
25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul,
So is good news from a far country. (Illustrations; Jacob [Gen. 45:25-28]; Paul [Col. 1:3,4. Eph. 1:15,16. Phil. 1:3-6].)
26 A righteous man falling down before a lawless one
Is as a fouled 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 has no rule over his own spirit
Is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.