|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:1-3 God needs not search into any thing; nothing can be hid from him. But it is the honour of rulers to search out matters, to bring to light hidden works of darkness. 4,5. For a prince to suppress vice, and reform his people, is the best way to support his government. 6,7. Religion teaches us humility and self-denial. He who has seen the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus, will feel his own unworthiness. 8-10. To be hasty in beginning strife, will bring into difficulties. War must at length end, and might better be prevented. It is so in private quarrels; do all thou canst to settle the matter. 11,12. A word of counsel, or reproof, rightly spoken, is especially beautiful, as fine fruit becomes still more beautiful in silver baskets. 13. See what ought to be the aim of him that is trusted with any business; to be faithful. A faithful minister, Christ's messenger, should be thus acceptable to us. 14. He who pretends to have received or given that which he never had, is like the morning cloud, that disappoints those who look for rain. 15. Be patient to bear a present hurt. Be mild to speak without passion; for persuasive language is the most effectual to prevail over the hardened mind. 16. God has given us leave to use grateful things, but we are cautioned against excess.
Verse 14. - The Hebrew is, Clouds and wind without rain - he that boasteth himself in a gift of falsehood (see on Ver. 11). The proverb is concerned with promises disappointed. Clouds and wind are generally in the East the precursors of heavy rain, as we read in 1 Kings 18:45, "In a little while the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain." After such phenomena, which, according to current meteorological observation, gave every hope of a refreshing shower in the time of summer drought, to see the clouds pass away without affording a single drop of rain is a grievous disappointment. The metaphor is found in the New Testament. St. Jude (Ver. 12) calls false teachers "clouds without water, carried along by winds." "A gift of falsehood," equivalent to "a false gift," one that deceives, because it is only promised and never given. A man makes a great parade of going to bestow a handsome present, and then sneaks out of it, and gives nothing. Such a one is, as St. Jerome renders, Vir gloriosus, et promissa non complens. The old commentators quote Ovid, 'Heroid.,' 6:509 -
"Mobilis AEsonide, vernaque incertior aura,
Cur tua pollicito pondere verba carent?" Deeds are fruits, says the proverb, "words are but leaves;" and "Vainglory blossoms, but never bears fruit." Concerning the folly of making stupid boasts, the Bengalee proverb speaks of a pedlar in ginger getting tidings of his ship. The Septuagint is incorrect, "As winds, and clouds, and rains are most evident (ἐπιφανέστατα), so is he who boasts of a false gift."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift,.... Of his charity and alms deeds; bragging of great things he does this way, when he does nothing; or who is very vain in making large promises of what he will give, when he does not perform; either not having it in his heart, or in the power of his hands, to give what he promises; Satan like, who offered to give all the kingdoms of this world to Christ, if he would worship him, when nothing of it belonged unto him, or was in his power to give: and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "a glorious man"; that is, a vainglorious man, and "not fulfilling promises". It may very well be applied to false teachers, who boast of their gifts and spiritual knowledge, when they have none; speaking great swelling words of vanity, when they are empty of all that is good, and are as follow:
is like like clouds and wind without rain; which make a show and appearance of rain, promise much, but produce none; see 2 Peter 2:17, Jde 1:12.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
25:14 Boasteth - Promising what he never intends to give. Is like - Like empty clouds carried about with wind, and not affording that rain which they promise.
Proverbs 25:14 Parallel Commentaries
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