Proverbs 25:1-Chapters 25-29, are a group of Proverbs written by Solomon, but gathered together by an editorial committee that was organized by King Hezekiah (he reigned approximately 200 years after Solomon).
This verse is the title of this latter collection of Solomon's proverbs, for he sought out and set in order many proverbs, that by them he might be still teaching the people knowledge, Eccl. 12:9. Observe,
- The proverbs were Solomon's, who was divinely inspired to deliver, for the use of the church, these wise and weighty sentences; we have had many, but still there are more. Yet herein Christ is greater than Solomon, for if we had all upon record that Christ said, and did, that was instructive, the world could not contain the books that would be written, Jn. 21:25.
- The publishers were Hezekiah's servants, who, it is likely, herein acted as his servants, being appointed by him to do this good service to the church, among other good offices that he did in the law and in the commandments, 2 Chr. 31:21. Whether he employed the prophets in this work, as Isaiah, Hosea, or Micah, who lived in his time, or some that were trained up in the schools of the prophets, or some of the priests and Levites, to whom we find him giving a charge concerning divine things (2 Chr. 29:4), or (as the Jews think) his princes and ministers of state, who were more properly called his servants, is not certain; if the work was done by Eliakim, and Joah, and Shebna, it was no diminution to their character. They copied out these proverbs from the records of Solomon's reign, and published them as an appendix to the former edition of this book. It may be a piece of very good service to the church to publish other man's works that have lain hidden in obscurity, perhaps a great while. Some think they culled these out of the 3000 proverbs which Solomon spoke (1 Ki. 4:32), leaving out those that were physical, and that pertained to natural philosophy, and preserving such only as were divine and moral; and in this collection some observe that special regard was had to those observations which concern kings and their administration.
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Proverbs 25,
For a chart showing the times of reign of the Kings of Israel and Judah see:
For a short summary of the life of King Hezekiah see:
Proverbs 25:2-Here, in this single verse, is a description of one of the most significant differences between God and man. God knows everything, absolutely everything (omniscience). There is nothing that is unknown to Him. There is nothing that He ever has to learn. Of His knowledge, He has revealed only the smallest, most minute portion to men…keeping the rest exclusively to Himself. On the other hand, “kings”, the greatest, most powerful of men among all men, who have the most vast amounts of resources available, have to search and investigate and examine things, just in order to try to make one wise decision. We know so little. We must constantly be learning. Our awareness of this truth, this fact, this reality about God…brings Him glory that can only be attributed to Him. He is distinct and unique. There is none other like Him.
Proverbs 25:3-How high are the skies? How deep are the oceans? It is as difficult to discern the true intentions of a national leader, as it is to answer these questions.
Proverbs 25:4-5-When wicked people are removed, then the entire nation benefits from righteousness.
Proverbs 25:6-7-Don’t try to make yourself look good in front of other people. It is better that they recognize you for your contributions. Not only that…but if you try to promote yourself you may offend the ego of someone in a place of prominence and they may intentionally overlook you.
Proverbs 25:8-10-If you have a disagreement with another person try to settle it before it develops to the point where it must be taken to court. You never know…if it goes to court you might lose and harm your reputation. Then you would be in worse shape than if you had just given in to your neighbor’s request.
Proverbs 25:11-15-Words have great power...be careful how you use them. Several examples are given…
- A timely spoken word is as valuable as earrings made of silver and gold.
- A correct word of warning is as valuable as a gold ornament.
- A positive report from a messenger can bring initiate change just like a winter cold snap helps to ripen the crop for harvest.
- A man who boasts of things that he cannot produce is about as helpful as clouds that pass overhead without giving any rain during a prolonged drought.
- A word spoken in an appropriate manner and with discretion can often have more affect than one spoken harshly and without forethought.
Proverbs 25:16-Practice moderation…even in things that are good and delightful. If you don’t, your excessive behavior will have negative results.
Proverbs 25:17-Be cautious of overstepping the graciousness of other people. If you exceed their invitation their attitude could change for the worse.
Proverbs 25:18-If used as a weapon, our words have the potential to bring sorrow and pain to other people.
Proverbs 25:19-Be careful of placing too much responsibility on a person who has proven on previous occasions to be untrustworthy.
Proverbs 25:20-When you take your coat of on a cold day there is an immediate reaction. When you pour vinegar into soda it causes an immediate reaction. The same is true of a person who speaks calming words of comfort and hope to someone who is distressed…it causes an immediate reaction.
Proverbs 25:21-22-Care for those in need...friend and foe, alike. If you help an enemy, it will bring shame to their conscience, and it will bring you reward from God.
Proverbs 25:25-Our words can bring relief to those experiencing difficulties.
Proverbs 25:26-When a righteous person gives in to sin, it has a negative affect on those who know him.
Proverbs 25:27-Honey is a good thing. But, if you eat too much it will make you sick. It is also good to have honor among your peers. However, if you become enamored with yourself, it will be harmful to you.
Proverbs 25:28-A person who has no self-control, can be easily influenced and taken advantage of by other people.
Proverbs 26:1-Snow does not coincide with summer time and rain does not coincide with harvest time. In a similar way, honor does not coincide with foolish behavior.
Proverbs 26:2-There are two thoughts here. One is from the perspective of the person voicing the curse. People sometimes try to exude bravado, or control of other people, by using foul and profane language. This is quickly apparent to other people and as a result they gradually lose respect for not only the curses of the man, but for the man in general and anything that he says. Second is from the perspective of the one being cursed. Ignore it. The foul language of other people is more of a revealer of their true character than it is a threat to you. Don’t react to it in a negative manner. Just consider the source and go on about your business.
Proverbs 26:3-Sometimes it is necessary to take extreme measures before people will respond.
Proverbs 26:4-Don’t respond to a fool like a fool, on a fool’s level. If you do…you are no better than he is.
Proverbs 26:5-There are times to tell a fool exactly how he is behaving. If you don’t, he may think that what he is doing, or saying, is acceptable.
Proverbs 26:6-If you send a fool to take an important message to someone…don’t be surprised if it doesn’t make it, or it gets confused. You can expect the fool to act like a fool.
Proverbs 26:7-The legs of a person that are atrophied are useless. And the fool has no use for anything that might teach him to do better.
Proverbs 26:8-The phrase “binds a stone in a sling” means that the person sews up the sling so that the stone will not come out. This is foolishness, since the stone is meant to fly out of the sling when it is slung. It’s just not made to operate that way. And likewise, it is foolishness to give honor to a fool. He is just not made to operate that way.
Proverbs 26:9-If a man is drunk, he will not even feel it when he is stabbed by a thorn. And a fool has no response when someone gives him wisdom.
Proverbs 26:10-An archer who is shooting randomly without taking aim will not hit the target. If you hire a fool to work for you…don’t expect him to accomplish much. He doesn’t have the discipline to stay focused on what you want him to do.
Proverbs 26:11-There is no nutritional value to fool that a dog has already eaten and then vomits up. So if he eats it, there is no benefit. A fool will often repeat the same error over and over again. He never seems to learn or benefit from it.
Proverbs 26:12-A man who thinks that he knows everything already is in worse shape than a fool.
Proverbs 26:13-A lazy man always has some lame, false excuse for not getting his work done.
Proverbs 26:14-A lazy man just wastes his time over and over, again.
Proverbs 26:15-A lazy man is too lazy to feed himself, to provide for himself. He expects other people to do it for him.
Proverbs 26:16-The wise man thinks that he is smarter than everyone else.
Proverbs 26:17-If you pull on a dog’s ears…there is a good chance you will get bitten. And if you stick your nose into other people’s business…there is a good chance that it will cause you problems.
Proverbs 26:18-19-A person who has lost control and starts throwing dangerous objects can no longer be trusted. Even so, a person who callously jokes about harming another person can no longer be trusted.
Proverbs 26:20-Strife among people will go away when there is no one there to spread rumors and gossip.
Proverbs 26:21-An argumentative man causes problems. It’s like throwing gasoline on a fire.
Proverbs 26:22-A gossip generally only has small parts of the whole truth. And yet they have an affect that far exceeds their true value.
Proverbs 26:23-The picture here is of a cheap vase that has been made to look expensive by a thin veneer of poor grade silver. Be careful that you don’t get swindled into buying one based solely on its outward appearance. In a similar manner, be careful of getting involved with someone just because they have “burning lips” (suggesting the stimulation of passion and delight by physical appearance). They may be a cover-up of an evil person.
Proverbs 26:24-26-Some people are good at hiding their true feelings of animosity and bitterness. He may say wonderful things…but the truth is that his hatred consumes him completely. He may be able to hide his feelings for a long time. But eventually, everyone will know the truth.
Proverbs 26:27-The person who tries to do evil will be caught by his own plans.
Proverbs 26:28-Some people try to get away with their lies and flattery and deception by saying that they are only words and don’t hurt anybody. But in reality…they can deeply hurt other people.
Proverbs 27:1-Don’t spend all of your time saying what you plan to do in the future. Something may happen and you either never live that long, or, the situation may change and your plans will fall through. Make sure that you are living a balanced life with the appropriate emphasis being given to today, as well as tomorrow.
Proverbs 27:2-Don’t go around talking about how good you are. If you really do deserve to receive praise…someone else will do your talking for you.
Proverbs 27:3-The troubles that a foolish person brings have a great affect on people.
Proverbs 27:4-Jealousy causes all sorts of intense problems for people.
Proverbs 27:5-6-A true friend will tell you of your faults…even if it hurts (cf. 27:9). But an enemy will try to kiss-up to you…when in the back of their mind they are planning evil.
Proverbs 27:7-The word “sated” means “satisfied, happy”. Honey was a highly prized food. A person who “sated” (they have everything they need) may not appreciated things that others value. But, to a person who has nothing…almost anything would be an improvement no matter what its value.
Proverbs 27:8-A bird that “wanders” (to depart, to leave behind) from her nest leaves it unprovided for, and unprotected. When a man leaves his home…he leaves it in the same situation.
Proverbs 27:9-The wise counsel of a friend brings pleasure.
Proverbs 27:10-The word “near” can speak of being near in terms of proximity, or distance…or, of being near in terms of personal relationship. In this verse it is the latter. So, it means that it is better to seek advice from a person that you are close to in terms of personal relationship, than from a family member that you are not close to personally.
Proverbs 27:11-A father tells his son to make good choices. So that when someone speaks badly of the son, the father can tell them that they are incorrect. Or, it could be speaking of a teach/student relationship in which the teacher tells the student to learn his lessons well so that no one can criticize the teacher for not doing a good job.
Proverbs 27:12-13-A smart person recognizes evil and refuses to have anything to do with it because he knows that there will be consequences. But a person with little sense thinks that he can be involved in evil and not suffer any consequences. When you see someone with little sense getting himself into a bad situation, help him. For instance, if you see someone agree to be responsible for someone else’s debt, take his coat from him so that he does not lose it when the other person is unable to pay his debt. Or, in another instance, if you see someone involved with a married woman, take care of his money for him so that she will not be able talk him out of it.
Proverbs 27:14-Don’t get carried away praising another person. If you do, after a while it will lose its affect and not be appreciated, as much.
Proverbs 27:15-16-A woman who is constantly complaining causes much strife in a marriage. And to make the problem worse…it’s almost impossible to make her stop.
Proverbs 27:17-Friends strengthen each other.
Proverbs 27:18-You will be rewarded for your work in a manner that is comparable to the effort that you put into it.
Proverbs 27:19-If you look beyond the surface and into the heart of a person…there you will see the true person. Appearances can be deceitful.
Proverbs 27:20-No matter how much they have…some people are never satisfied and always want more.
Proverbs 27:21-You can tell a lot about a man...by how he receives praise.
Proverbs 27:22-There are some foolish people, who simply refuse to learn the truth and change their life…no matter what it costs them.
Proverbs 27:23-24-Take good care of what you own while you have the opportunity. There is no guarantee how long your good fortune is going to last.
Proverbs 27:25-27-These verses speak of pastoral life and the blessings associated with it.
Prayer: Father, let my words be those of encouragement, and hope, and love, and peace. Help me to have the advice and counsel that people need to hear. The kind that will make their lives better. Holy Spirit…I surrender my life to You. You are the counselor. Please, move through me, through the things that I say to other people, and give them guidance.