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
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
14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind
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
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
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.1
These - Which are contained in this and the following chapters. The
men - Certain persons appointed by Hezekiah for that work. Many of
them are political precepts, and such as in a special manner
concerned Hezekiah, and other princes, for the conduct of their
house and kingdom. Copied - Out of the historical records which were
The glory - It is agreeable to the nature of God; it is a testimony
of his infinite wisdom, and of his absolute power and sovereignty.
To conceal - To keep his counsels, and the reasons of his actions in
his own breast. Search out - To communicate their counsels to
others, that so they may search and find out the right way.
The heart - Though wise kings will search out other men, yet their
inward thoughts and purposes are hardly discoverable.
Take away - Then, and not 'till then it is fit for that use.
Stand not - Do not affect frequent and familiar society with greater
persons than thyself.
Debate - If thou hast any quarrel with him, first try to compose it
by private discourse with him. Discover not - Let not heat of
contention provoke thee to divulge any of his secrets committed to
Lest he - Reproach thee for thy gross violation of the laws of
prudence, justice and friendship.
Of silver - Which it seems was usual in those times, and was
grateful to the eye for the beauty and variety both of the colours
and figures, the golden apples appearing through net-work of silver.
13. Cold of snow - As drink cooled with ice or snow, as is usual in
Boasteth - Promising what he never intends to give. Is like - Like
empty clouds carried about with wind, and not affording that rain
which they promise.
Forbearing - By patient submission and expectation. Breaketh -
Softens the hardest heart.
Honey - By honey he understands, not only all delicious meats, but
all worldly delights, which we are here taught to use with
Withdraw - Visit him not too frequently.
A sword - Is as cruel and pernicious as any instrument of death.
As vinegar - Which dissolves the nitre, and makes it useless and
Bread - By bread and water he understands all things necessary for
For - In so doing, which words are expressed Rom. xii, 20, where
this text is quoted. Thou shalt melt him into repentance, and love.
So - Because it comes more rarely and difficultly, after it hath
been long expected.
Falling - When righteous men are oppressed by the wicked, the state
of that common-wealth is as deplorable, as if the publick fountains
Not good - For health. To search - Industriously to seek for
applause. Is not - Is not only sinful, but shameful also.2
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
2. John Wesley's Notes on the
Bible - http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/proverbs/wesley/proverbs25.htm
3. The Adam Clarke Commentary - http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?book=pr&chapter=025