Proverbs 25 Commentary


Relations with others (25:1-28)

God has no obligation to explain to anyone the reasons for his actions. A king, however, has a duty to his people to investigate the causes of events that affect them, though he need not reveal to them his deepest thoughts (25:1-3). Some advisers to the king may be ungodly or treacherous, and should be removed if the king is to rule righteously (4-5). It is better to wait to be invited to a higher rank than to be boastfully ambitious and then lose face when demoted (6-7).

A warning is given against being too hasty in making an accusation against someone. A private talk with the accused person may reveal that the accuser did not have all the facts. It may also save the accuser the shame of being disproved in court and thereby receiving the unwelcome reputation of being a talebearer who cannot be trusted (8-10). Words fittingly spoken, even in reproof, benefit the hearers, as


cool water refreshes farmers working in the hot sun. Idle boasting, on the other hand, helps no one (11- 14). Quiet words are often more effective than brute force (15).

Without self-control in eating, people can harm their health. Without self-control in visiting their neighbours, they can make themselves unpopular (16-17). Among the neighbourhood nuisances are those who make false accusations, those who let down friends in times of need, and those who are flippant when among mourners (18-20). People who suffer unjustly, instead of reacting in bitterness, should treat the wrongdoers as friends. This may make the wrongdoers so ashamed that they will change their ways (21-22).

Those who are bitter, argumentative, critical, or otherwise negative in their words can cause much damage, but when people bring good news they bring refreshment (23-25). When people give in to what they know is wrong, use flattery, seek praise, or lack self-control, they demonstrate their weakness of character (26-28).

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