Proverbs 25: Wise Sayings

If Hezekiah was king of Judah some two centuries after Solomon, what source could the scribes have used when they wrote Solomon’s proverbs?

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Proverbs 25:1 These are Solomon’s proverbs, which were written by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
King James
Proverbs 25:1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

Why does God make himself someone to be sought after?

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Proverbs 25:2 God’s glory is in concealing things, and the glory of great leaders is discovering those secrets.
King James
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

With so much information instantly accessible, what makes the wisdom of great leaders so valuable today?

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Proverbs 25:3 The wisdom of great leaders is as broad and unsearchable as the sky is far above the depths of the earth below.
King James
Proverbs 25:3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

Why would a silversmith be concerned with impurities in the metal?

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Proverbs 25:4 The fine work of a silversmith depends on removing the impurities from the silver.
King James
Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

How can governments avoid corruption?

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Proverbs 25:5 When the king has no wicked officials, his rule is set in righteousness.
King James
Proverbs 25:5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

Why is claiming a seat of honor a bad idea? When might it be a good idea?

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Proverbs 25:6–7 Do not present yourself as one who deserves great honor or claim a seat among prominent people. It is better to be asked to move up than to be asked, in the presence of honored guests, to take a seat lower down.
Luke 14:8–11 “When you arrive at a wedding feast, do not take a seat of honor. A more distinguished person might have been invited. Your host would say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ In shame, you would have to take the lowest seat. Instead, go to the lowest seat first. Then when your host says, ‘Friend, move to this higher place,’ you will be honored before the other dinner guests. Those who try to make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
King James
Proverbs 25:6–7 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.
Luke 14:8–11 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

What are the potential dangers of immediately arguing your case?

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Proverbs 25:8–10 Don’t be too quick to argue your case, lest you embarrass yourself by losing. Argue your case directly with your adversary and don’t disclose your secrets to others, or they may become your accusers and put you to shame.
King James
Proverbs 25:8–10 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.

How can you know when your words are “timely”? Why is that so valuable?

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Proverbs 25:11 Timely words are precious, like gold apples in a silver setting.
King James
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

How can being told you are wrong be seen as valuable as precious stones and gold?

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Proverbs 25:12 Those with a passion to do right value correction like gold earrings or jewelry of the finest gold.
King James
Proverbs 25:12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

How do messengers benefit those who sent them?

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Proverbs 25:13 As the mountain snow delivers refreshing cool water during the harvest heat, so are people rewarded by sending faithful messengers.
King James
Proverbs 25:13 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 masters.

To what extent can we trust promises? Why?

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Proverbs 25:14 People who promise something they never give are like wind and clouds that bring no rain.
King James
Proverbs 25:14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

What makes persuading a leader difficult?

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Proverbs 25:15 With patience, leaders can be persuaded. Kind, considerate words break down strong objections.
King James
Proverbs 25:15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

How can too much of a good thing be a bad thing?

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Proverbs 25:16 Honey in modest amounts is good, but too much will make you sick.
King James
Proverbs 25:16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

How can guests avoid wearing out their “welcome”?

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Proverbs 25:17 Don’t spend too much time with friends, or you will wear out your welcome, and they won’t like you anymore.
King James
Proverbs 25:17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

If lies are so destructive, why are they told?

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Proverbs 25:18 Telling lies about others is as destructive as an axe, sword, or arrows.
King James
Proverbs 25:18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

How can the nature of a person be recognized as unreliable? What makes trusting an unreliable person like a broken tooth or sprained ankle?

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Proverbs 25:19 Trusting an unreliable person in troublesome times is as painful as a broken tooth or sprained ankle.
King James
Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

What are the best ways to comfort those who are grieving?

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Proverbs 25:20 Singing cheerful songs to someone who is grieving is like stealing a person’s coat in frigid weather or pouring alcohol on an open wound.
King James
Proverbs 25:20 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.

Why should we treat our enemies with an elaborate feast?

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Proverbs 25:21–22 If your enemy is hungry, prepare a feast for him. If he is thirsty, give him your best wine. Your generosity will amaze him—as much a shock as coals of fire being poured upon his head—and God will reward you.
King James
Proverbs 25:21–22 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.

What is the greatest danger of an angry look or harsh words?

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Proverbs 25:23 An angry look or harsh words are like the north wind that drives away the rain.
King James
Proverbs 25:23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

How can we best handle contentious people?

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Proverbs 25:24 Living alone in a corner of the attic is better than sharing a mansion with a contentious woman.
King James
Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

What constitutes “good news”? Why might “good news” be something other than the truth?

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Proverbs 25:25 Good news from far away is as refreshing as cool water is to the thirsty.
King James
Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

In what ways might righteous people surrender to the wicked?

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Proverbs 25:26 Righteous people surrendering to the wicked is like dumping waste into a stream and polluting the drinking water.
King James
Proverbs 25:26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

Why might bragging be a kind of gluttony? What motivates people to say too much about themselves?

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Proverbs 25:27 Too much bragging on yourself is sickening, like eating too much honey.
King James
Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

What do smashed gates and broken-down walls have to do with a lack of self-control? In what ways are those conditions similar?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 25:28 A person with no self-control is like a city with smashed gates and broken-down walls.
King James
Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.