|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.
Verses 2-7. - Proverbs concerning kings. Verse 2. - It is the glory of God to conceal a thing. That which is the chief glory of God is his mysteriousness, the unfathomable character of his nature and attributes and doings. The more we search into these matters, the more complete we find our ignorance to be; finite faculties are utterly unable to comprehend the infinite; they can embrace merely what God chooses to reveal. "Secret things belong unto the Lord our God" (Deuteronomy 29:29), and the great prophet, favoured with Divine revelations, can only confess, "Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself" Isaiah 45:15; comp Ecclesiastes 8:17; Romans 11:33, etc.). But the honour of kings is to search out a matter. The same word is used for "glory" and "honour" in both clauses, and ought to have been rendered similarly. It is the king's glory to execute justice and to defend the rights and safety of his people. To do this effectually he must investigate matters brought before him, look keenly into political difficulties, get to the bottom of all complications, and watch against possible dangers. The contrast between the glory of God and that of the king lies in this - that whereas both God and the king desire man's welfare, the former promotes this by making him feel his ignorance and littleness and entire dependence upon this mysterious Being whose nature and designs mortals cannot understand; the latter advances the good of his subjects by giving them confidence in his zeal and power to discover truth, and using his knowledge for their benefit. Septuagint, "The glory of God concealeth a word (λόγον): but the glory of a king honoureth matters (πράγματα)."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing,.... Secret things belong unto him, and they are kept so by him: many things which he does reveal, yet the "modus" or manner of them remains hidden; as what relates to his own being, and manner of subsisting; the trinity of Persons in the Godhead; the filiation or the Son, and the procession of the Spirit; the incarnation of Christ, and the like: the predestination of men to life and death, though that there is such a thing is certain, yet who they are is not known; the purposes and decrees of God, all that he determines to do, or shall be done, are known unto him from eternity; but then the times and seasons in which they will be accomplished are kept in his own power; the day and hour of the last judgment none knows but himself: his judgments, and ways in providence, are unsearchable and past finding out; there are many things in it unaccountable to men; nor does he give an account of them to the sons of men; these are at present secrets in his own breast, his judgments will be made manifest. Now it is his glory to conceal them; they are all known to him, and the reasons of them; he is the omniscient all wise God, and stands in no need of the advice of creatures; nor are they taken into his privy council. Some apply this to his pardoning sin, which is sometimes expressed by "covering" it; and in which the glory of his grace and mercy is greatly displayed. Jarchi interprets it of the history of the work of creation, and Ezekiel's vision of the wheels, the understanding of which is very difficult; and which the Jews forbid the reading of, as also Solomon's Song, until men are come to ripeness of years;
but the honour of kings is to search out a matter; to investigate everything relating to civil government, and that may be of use to them in the exercise of it; particularly to search into the word of God, and observe the laws in it, and rule according to them; or make such laws as are agreeably to it, and execute them: and to inquire diligently into all causes that are brought before them, that they may find out the truth of things, and pass judgment accordingly; and be able to give reasons for what they do in the public affairs of government, and make it appear that they are according to the rules of truth and justice; and to do so will gain them immortal honour! see Job 29:16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. God's unsearchableness impresses us with awe (compare Isa 45:15; Ro 11:33). But kings, being finite, should confer with wise counsellors;
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