These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Heb. there is no searching.
Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:
Put not forth thyself
Heb. Set not out thy glory.
in the presence
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.
Be humble; affect not high things; keep thyself quiet; and thou shalt live at ease, in safety, and in peace.
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.
Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
a secret to another
or, the secret of another.
Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Heb. spoken upon his wheels. is like. Rather "is like golden apples (tappuchim, in Arabic, tuffach,) in baskets (maskeeyoth, in Arabic, shakeekat,) of silver." A word spoken with propriety, opportunely, and suitably to the occasion, is as much in its place, and as conspicuously beautiful, as the golden fruit which appears through the apertures of an exquisitely wrought silver basket.
As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
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.
Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
of a false gift
Heb. in a gift of falsehood.
By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
Rather, "a bone;" that is, soft and conciliating language will often accomplish the most difficult things.
Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's
or, Let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbour's.
A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
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.
If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
Not to consume, but to melt him into kindness; a metaphor taken from smelting metalic ores.
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
or, bringeth forth rain; so doth a backbiting tongue an angry countenance. Monconys says, that when travelling on the second of January, 1648, from Tripoli in Syria, between Lebanon and the sea, it rained without ceasing, while the north wind blew directly in his face.
It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.