Proverbs Chapter 25
"These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out" attests to how highly Solomon's wisdom was regarded - long after he lost it. Solomon ruled over The United Kingdom of Israel and Judah; Hezekiah (see Kings of Israel and Judah) reigned only over The Southern Kingdom of Judah after The Northern Kingdom of Israel became independent following The Division Of Israel because of Solomon's apostasy (see Solomon's Compromise).
"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 [see Mystery]: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
The heaven for height, and the earth for depth [see Heavens Below, Heavens Above], and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
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: 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.
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: 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.
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 [see Where Is Your Soul?] of his masters.
Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
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.
A man that beareth false witness [see Thou shalt not bear 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.
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a Backbiting tongue.
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." (Proverbs 25:1-28 KJV)
Proverbs Chapter 26
"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him" and "answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit" are not a contradiction. Both mean simply not to be baited into a debate (i.e. in their case, a "de-bait") with someone who seeks only to argue according to the ways of the carnal world. Christians have an obligation to answer honest questions from those who truly seek the truth, but at the same time a duty not to waste precious time on those who oppose it. "As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife" is an apt analogy of the fire that awaits the unrepentant (see They Shall Be Ashes).
"As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest [see also Seasons Of The Harvest], so honour is not seemly for a fool.
As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.
As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors [see A Reward For Everyone].
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be showed before the whole congregation.
Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin." (Proverbs 26:1-28 KJV)
Proverbs Chapter 27
"Ointment and Perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel" is a mixed metaphor of how physical senses are just as capable of good as evil, depending upon whether or not one chooses to live according to The Word of God. "Bad things" are more often a matter of good things used badly.
"Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth [see Could Christ Return Tonight?].
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself [see Where Is It Safe?]; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
Hell [see Where Is Hell?] and destruction [see Abaddon] are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass showeth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens." (Proverbs 27:1-27 KJV)
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