Proverbs 15:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

New Living Translation
Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

English Standard Version
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

New American Standard Bible
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

King James Bible
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The tongue that heals is a tree of life, but a devious tongue breaks the spirit.

International Standard Version
A gentle statement is a tree of life, but perverted speech shatters the spirit.

NET Bible
Speech that heals is like a life-giving tree, but a perverse tongue breaks the spirit.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The tree of life is the healing of the tongue, and he that eats its fruit will be filled by it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue breaks the spirit.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

King James 2000 Bible
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

American King James Version
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

American Standard Version
A gentle tongue is a tree of life; But perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A peaceable tongue is a tree of life: but that which is immoderate, shall crush the spirit.

Darby Bible Translation
Gentleness of tongue is a tree of life; but crookedness therein is a breaking of the spirit.

English Revised Version
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit.

Webster's Bible Translation
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness in it is a breach in the spirit.

World English Bible
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but deceit in it crushes the spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
A healed tongue is a tree of life, And perverseness in it -- a breach in the spirit.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

15:3. Secret sins, services, and sorrows, are under God's eye. This speaks comfort to saints, and terror to sinners. 4. A good tongue is healing to wounded consciences, by comforting them; to sin-sick souls, by convincing them; and it reconciles parties at variance. 5. If instruction is despised, reprove men rather than suffer them to go on undisturbed in the way to ruin. 6. The wealth of worldly men increases their fears and suspicions, adds strength to their passions, and renders the fear of death more distressing. 7. We use knowledge aright when we disperse it; but the heart of the foolish has nothing to disperse that is good. 8,9. The wicked put other things in the stead of Christ's atonement, or in the place of holy obedience. Praying graces are his gift, and the work of his Spirit, with which he is well pleased. 10. He that hates reproof shall perish in his sins, since he would not be parted from them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - A wholesome tongue is a tree of life; a tongue that brings healing, that soothes by its words. Septuagint, "the healing of the tongue." But the Vulgate rendering is better, lingua placabilis, "the gentle, mild tongue" (see on Proverbs 14:30). Speech from such a source refreshes and vivifies all who come under its influence, like the wholesome fruit of a prolific tree (comp. Proverbs 3:18; Proverbs 11:30).

Ψυχῆς νοσούσης ἐστὶ φάρμακον λόγος

"The sick soul by a healing word is cured." But perverseness therein - in the tongue - is a breach in the spirit. The perverseness intended must be falsehood, perversion of the truth. This is ruin and vexation (Isaiah 65:14, where the same word is used) in the spirit, both in the liar himself, whose higher nature is thus terribly marred and spoiled, and in the case of his neighbour, who is injured by his slander and falsehood to the, very core. The LXX., with a different reading, translates, "But he who keepeth it [the tongue] shall be filled with the spirit."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,.... A tongue that delivers out salutary instructions, wholesome advice and counsel; a "healing tongue" (w), as it may be rendered, which pacifies contending parties, and heals the divisions between them; to have the benefit of such a man's company and conversation is like being in paradise. Such is the tongue of a Gospel minister, which delivers out the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ; sound speech and doctrines, which cannot be condemned; healing truths to wounded consciences, such as peace, pardon, righteousness, and atonement by the blood of Christ. These are the means of quickening dead sinners, reviving and comforting distressed ones, and show the way of eternal life unto them;

but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit; impure, unchaste, unsavoury, and corrupt language, does mischief to the spirits of men; evil communications corrupt the heart and manners, defile the soul and the conversation; these and unsound doctrines eat as a canker; and as they make the heart of God's people sad, whom he would not have made sad; so they bring distress and despair into the spirits of others, and make sad wounds and breaches there, which are never healed, and that both in the spirits of speakers and hearers; for damnable heresies bring swift destruction on the propagators of them, and them that receive them.

(w) "sanans", so some in Vatablus.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. A wholesome tongue—(Compare Margin), pacifying and soothing language.

tree of life—(Pr 3:18; 11:30).

perverseness therein—cross, ill-natured language.

breach … spirit—(compare Isa 65:14, Hebrew), grieves, instead of appeasing.

Proverbs 15:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Gentle Answer Turns Away Wrath
3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. 4A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit. 5A fool rejects his father's discipline, But he who regards reproof is sensible.…
Cross References
Revelation 2:7
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Proverbs 3:18
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Proverbs 12:18
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Proverbs 15:5
A fool spurns a parent's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
Treasury of Scripture

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

a wholesome

Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue …

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Malachi 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise …

a tree

Proverbs 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and happy is …

Genesis 3:22-24 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to …

1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even …

Revelation 2:7 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; …

a breach

Proverbs 18:8,14 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the …

Proverbs 26:22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the …

Psalm 52:2-4 The tongue devises mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully…

Psalm 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

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