Proverbs 25:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue--which provokes a horrified look.

New Living Translation
As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger!

English Standard Version
The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

New American Standard Bible
The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.

King James Bible
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The north wind produces rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

International Standard Version
The north wind brings rain, and a backbiting tongue an angry look.

NET Bible
The north wind brings forth rain, and a gossiping tongue brings forth an angry look.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
As the North wind gives birth to rain, so also is an evil face to a lurking tongue.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[As] the north wind brings rain, so a whispering tongue brings angry looks.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The north wind drives away rain, so does an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

King James 2000 Bible
The north wind brings forth rain: so does a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

American King James Version
The north wind drives away rain: so does an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

American Standard Version
The north wind bringeth forth rain: So doth a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The north wind driveth away rain, as doth a sad countenance a backbiting tongue.

Darby Bible Translation
The north wind bringeth forth rain, and the angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

English Revised Version
The north wind bringeth forth rain: so doth a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

Webster's Bible Translation
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

World English Bible
The north wind brings forth rain: so a backbiting tongue brings an angry face.

Young's Literal Translation
A north wind bringeth forth rain, And a secret tongue -- indignant faces.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

25:19. Confidence in an unfaithful man is painful and vexatious; when we put any stress on him, he not only fails, but makes us feel for it. 20. We take a wrong course if we think to relieve those in sorrow by endeavouring to make them merry. 21,22. The precept to love even our enemies is an Old Testament commandment. Our Saviour has shown his own great example in loving us when we were enemies. 23. Slanders would not be so readily spoken, if they were not readily heard. Sin, if it receives any check, becomes cowardly. 24. It is better to be alone, than to be joined to one who is a hinderance to the comfort of life. 25. Heaven is a country afar off; how refreshing is good news from thence, in the everlasting gospel, which signifies glad tidings, and in the witness of the Spirit with our spirits that we are God's children! 26. When the righteous are led into sin, it is as hurtful as if the public fountains were poisoned. 27. We must be, through grace, dead to the pleasures of sense, and also to the praises of men. 28. The man who has no command over his anger, is easily robbed of peace. Let us give up ourselves to the Lord, and pray him to put his Spirit within us, and cause us to walk in his statutes.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - The north wind driveth away rain. So St. Jerome (Ventus Aquilo dissipat pluvias), Symmachus, Aben Ezra, and others. The north wind is called by the natives of Palestine "the heavenly," from the bright effect which it produces in the sky. "By means of the north wind cometh he (the sun) forth as gold" (Job 37:22). But the verb here used (חול) means "to bring forth, produce" (Psalm 90:2); hence the Revised Version rightly renders, "The north wind bringeth forth rain." This is quite true if "north wind" be taken as equivalent to "wind from the dark quarter" (Umbreit), like ζόφος in Greek; and, in fact, the northwest wind in Palestine does bring rain. Septuagint, "The north wind arouseth (ἐξεγείρει) clouds." So doth an angry countenance a backbiting, tongue. Carrying on the interpretation intended by the Authorized Version, this clause means that an angry leer will check a slanderer and incline him to hold his peace from prudential motives. But with the rendering given above, "bringeth forth," another explanation is involved, viz. "So does a secret, slandering tongue cause a troubled countenance." When a man discovers that a secret slanderer is working against him, he shows it by his gloomy and angry look, as the sky is dark with clouds when a storm is threatened. "Countenance" is plural in the Hebrew, denoting, as Hitzig points out, that the calumniator does not affect one person only, but occasions trouble far and wide, destroys friendly relations between many, excites suspicion and enmity in various quarters Septuagint, "An impudent countenance provokes the tongue."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The north wind driveth away rain,.... So the geographer (w) says, the swift north wind drives away the moist clouds; which usually come from the opposite quarter, the south. The word used has the signification of conceiving, and begetting, and bringing forth; hence some (x) render it to a different sense, and so the Targum,

"the north wind bringeth forth rain;''

and in this sense Gersom interprets it, and says,

"the north wind produces rain in Jerusalem, because it brings there the vapours that ascend from the sea, which lies north unto it;''

and the philosopher (y) says, that in the northern parts of the world the south wind produces rain; and in the southern parts the north wind produces it, as in Judea. But in Job 37:22, fair, fine, golden, serene, "weather", is said to "come out of the north"; agreeably to which, the north wind is by Homer (z) called the producer of serene weather; and by Virgil (a) "clarus aquilo", i.e. what makes serene. The Arabic version reads it, "the south wind"; and that does bring rain, and, as that version has it, excites the clouds. But the first reading and sense of the words seem best (b), and agree with what follows:

so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue; drives it away, discourages and silences it. When a man puts on a stern countenance, a frowning and angry look, on such who bring him slanderous reports and idle tales of their neighbours, and reproach and backbite them, it checks them, and puts a stop to their practices; whereas listening to them, and especially with an air of pleasure, encourages them in them; were there not so many that take pleasure in hearing those talebearers and backbiters, were they more roughly dealt with, as the blustering north wind does with the rain, there would not be so much of this evil practised.

(w) Dionysii Perieg. v. 532. (x) "parturiet", Montanus; "gignit", Junius & Tremellius; "parturit", Schultens. (y) Aristot. Metaphysic. l. 2.((z) Iliad. 19. v. 358. Odyss. 5. v. 295. (a) Georgic. l. 1. prope finem. (b) "Ventorum frigidissimi quos a septentrione diximus spirare, et reliquos compescunt, et nubes abigunt", Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 47.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. Better, "As the north wind bringeth forth (Ps 90:2) or produces rain, so does a concealed or slandering tongue produce anger."

Proverbs 25:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
More Proverbs of Solomon
22For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you. 23The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance. 24It is better to live in a corner of the roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.…
Cross References
Psalm 35:16
Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me.

Psalm 101:5
Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.
Treasury of Scripture

The north wind drives away rain: so does an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

north

Job 37:22 Fair weather comes out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

driveth or bringeth forth rain so doth a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

Psalm 15:3 He that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, …

Psalm 101:5 Whoever privately slanders his neighbor, him will I cut off: him …

Romans 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors …

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, …

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