|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.
Verse 28 - A proverb like the last, concerned with self-control. In the Hebrew it runs thus (see on Ver. 11): A city that is broken down without wall - a man on whose spirit is no restraint. "A city broken down" is explained by the next words. "without wall," and therefore undefended and open to' the first invader (comp. 2 Chronicles 32:5; Nehemiah 2:13). To such a city is compared the man who puts no restraint on his passions, desires, and affections; he is always in danger of being carried away by them and involved in sin and destruction; he has no defence when temptation assaults him, having lost self-control (comp. Proverbs 16:32). The old gnomes hold always true -
Θυμοῦ κρατῆσαι κἀπιθυμίας καλόν.
Desire and passion it is good to rule."
Ταμιεῖον ἀρετῆς ἐστι σωφροσύνη μόνη
"Virtue's true storehouse is wise self-control." A Chinese maxim says. "Who can govern himself is fit to govern the world." Septuagint, "As a city whose wails are broken down and which is unwalled, so is a man who does aught without counsel." St. Jerome, by the addition of the words, in loquendo, applies the proverb to intemperance in language, "So is he who is not able to restrain his spirit in speaking." Commenting on this, St. Gregory ('Moral,' 7:59) says, "Because it is without the wall of silence, the city of the mind lies open to the darts of the enemy, and when it casts itself forth in words, it exhibits itself exposed to the adversary, and he gets the mastery of it without trouble, in proportion as the soul that he has to overcome combats against its own self by much talking" (Oxford transl.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that hath no rule over his own spirit,.... His affections and passions, puts no restraint, unto them, as the word signifies; no guard against them, no fence about them, to curb his curiosity, to check his pride and vanity, to restrain his wrath and anger and revenge, and keep within due bounds his ambition and itch of vainglory;
is like a city that broken down and without walls; into which the may go with pleasure, and which is exposed to the rapine and violence of everyone; and so a man that has no command of himself and passions, but gives the reins to them, is exposed to the enemy of souls, Satan and is liable to every sin, snare and temptation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. Such are exposed to the incursions of evil thoughts and successful temptations.
Proverbs 25:28 Parallel Commentaries
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