These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:
7 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.
8 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.
9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
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.
14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
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.
21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.
23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
This chapter stays with a theme. Every saying speaks of either choices that reflect a moderate, balanced life or actions that help someone else. In other words, this chapter talks about keeping it together in your personal life and also about helping others keep it together in their lives. It’s a guide on how to eliminate exclusive focus on your own life.
Best of all, I like the last verse that summarized the chapter: “A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out” (The Message). The theme of the chapter is that whether it’s a question of how much honey you eat (v. 16) or how much unnecessary time you spend with your neighbor (v. 17), it’s best not to go one extreme or the other. Too much of even a good thing can often be bad.
What the wise man says in this chapter makes a lot of sense: Moderation, to me, is the key to life.
“Dear Lord, please help me to listen to You through the words of Solomon, for these are Your words. Help me to take them to heart and give me wisdom to manage my life and be more balanced in all that I do. Amen.”
Fylvia Fowler Kline
Director of Marketing
Hope Channel, Inc.