Proverbs 25:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

New Living Translation
Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.

English Standard Version
With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.

New American Standard Bible
By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded, And a soft tongue breaks the bone.

King James Bible
By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A ruler can be persuaded through patience, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

International Standard Version
Through patience a ruler may be persuaded; a gentle word can break a bone.

NET Bible
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a soft tongue can break a bone.

New Heart English Bible
By patience a ruler is persuaded. A soft tongue breaks the bone.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In patience soothe a Ruler, and with a soft tongue break bones.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
With patience you can persuade a ruler, and a soft tongue can break bones.

JPS Tanakh 1917
By long forbearing is a ruler persuaded, And a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

New American Standard 1977
By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded,
            And a soft tongue breaks the bone.

Jubilee Bible 2000
By long forbearing a prince is persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bones.

King James 2000 Bible
By long patience is a prince persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks the bone.

American King James Version
By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone.

American Standard Version
By long forbearing is a ruler persuaded, And a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

Douay-Rheims Bible
By patience a prince shall be appeased, and a soft tongue shall break hardness.

Darby Bible Translation
By long forbearing is a ruler persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

English Revised Version
By long forbearing is a ruler persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

Webster's Bible Translation
By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

World English Bible
By patience a ruler is persuaded. A soft tongue breaks the bone.

Young's Literal Translation
By long-suffering is a ruler persuaded, And a soft tongue breaketh a bone.
Study Bible
More Proverbs of Solomon
14Like clouds and wind without rain Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely. 15By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded, And a soft tongue breaks the bone. 16Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, That you not have it in excess and vomit it.…
Cross References
Genesis 32:4
He also commanded them saying, "Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: 'Thus says your servant Jacob, "I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now;

1 Samuel 25:24
She fell at his feet and said, "On me alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your maidservant speak to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant.

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Ecclesiastes 10:4
If the ruler's temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.
Treasury of Scripture

By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone.

long

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Proverbs 16:14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

Genesis 32:4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall you speak to my lord Esau; …

1 Samuel 25:14,24 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, …

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; …

the bone
rather a bone that is soft and conciliating language will often accomplish the most difficult things

Verse 15. - By long forbearing; i.e. by patience, calmness that does not break out into passion whatever be the provocation, even, it is implied, in the face of a false and malicious accusation (comp. Proverbs 14:29). Is a prince persuaded. Katson is rather "an arbiter," or judge, than "a prince," and the proverb says that such an officer is led to take a favourable view of an accused person's case when he sees him calm and composed, ready to explain the matter without any undue heat or irritation, keeping steadily to the point, and not seduced by calumny or misrepresentation to forget himself and lose his temper. Such a bearing presupposes innocence and weighs favourably with the judge. The LXX. makes the gnome apply to monarchs alone, "In long suffering is prosperity unto kings." A soft tongue breaketh the bone. A soft answer (Proverbs 15:1), gentle, conciliating words, overcome opposition, and disarm the most determined enemy, and make tender in him that which was hardest and most uncompromising. "Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi, sed saepe cadendo." Similar proverbs are found elsewhere, though probably in a different sense. Thus in modern Greek, "The tongue has no bones, yet it breaks bones;" in Turkish, "The tongue has no bone, yet it crushes;" again, "One drop of honey," says the Turk, "catches more bees than a ton of vinegar." By long forbearing is a prince persuaded,.... To come into measures, and do that which his council and ministry advise him to, and to which he may seem at first very averse; but by a mild and gentle representation of things, by an humble submission of them to him, and by frequent remonstrances and patient waiting, his mind is softened, bent, and inclined to take their advice, and pursue the measures suggested to him; which, had they been pressed with heat, haughtiness, and haste, would have been rejected;

and a soft tongue breaketh the bone; or "hardness", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; soft words, or words delivered in soft language, remove hardness and roughness from the minds of men; and work upon, influence, and bend men, whose wills are obstinate and stubborn, and make them pliable and tractable: so David, with a soft tongue, wrought upon Saul, his enemy; and Abigail, by her soft language, turned the mind of David, who was bent upon the destruction of Nabal, 1 Samuel 24:16; see Proverbs 15:1. Jarchi interprets this soft tongue of prayer and supplication, by which severe things against sinners are removed from them; and so he understands the former clause of the forbearance of God, which gives encouragement to sinners, to persuade him in their favour by repentance and prayer; see Matthew 18:26. 15. Gentleness and kindness overcome the most powerful and obstinate.

long forbearing—or, "slowness to anger" (Pr 14:29; 15:18).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.
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