Proverbs 10:20
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 10:20-21. The tongue of the just is as choice silver — Of great worth and use, bringing credit to himself, and great benefit to others; the heart of the wicked is little worth — And consequently his tongue, which speaketh out of the abundance of the heart, Matthew 12:34. The lips of the righteous feed many — By their wise and pious discourses, counsels, and comforts, which are so many evidences of their wisdom: but fools die for want of wisdom — They have not wisdom to preserve themselves, much less to feed others.10:7. Both the just and the wicked must die; but between their souls there is a vast difference. 8. The wise in heart puts his knowledge in practice. 9. Dissemblers, after all their shuffling, will be exposed. 10. Trick and artifice will be no excuse for iniquity. 11. The good man's mouth is always open to teach, comfort, and correct others. 12. Where there is hatred, every thing stirs up strife. By bearing with each other, peace and harmony are preserved. 13. Those that foolishly go on in wicked ways, prepare rods for themselves. 14. Whatever knowledge may be useful, we must lay it up, that it may not be to seek when we want it. The wise gain this wisdom by reading, by hearing the word, by meditation, by prayer, by faith in Christ, who is made of God unto us wisdom. 15. This refers to the common mistakes both of rich and poor, as to their outward condition. Rich people's wealth exposes them to many dangers; while a poor man may live comfortably, if he is content, keeps a good conscience, and lives by faith. 16. Perhaps a righteous man has no more than what he works hard for, but that labour tends to life. 17. The traveller that has missed his way, and cannot bear to be told of it, and to be shown the right way, must err still. 18. He is especially a fool who thinks to hide anything from God; and malice is no better. 19. Those that speak much, speak much amiss. He that checks himself is a wise man, and therein consults his own peace. 20,21. The tongue of the just is sincere, freed from the dross of guile and evil design. Pious discourse is spiritual food to the needy. Fools die for want of a heart, so the word is; for want of thought.The tongue, the instrument of the mind is contrasted with the heart or mind itself, the just with the wicked, the choice silver with the worthless "little," the Hebrew word being possibly taken in its primary sense as a "filing" or "scraping" of dross or worthless metal. If the tongue is precious, how much more the mind! If the heart is worthless, how much more the speech! 20. Right speech is the fruit of a good heart, but the wicked show theirs to be useless. As choice silver; of great worth and use, bringing credit to himself, and much benefit to others.

The heart, and consequently the tongue, which speaketh out of the abundance of the heart, Matthew 12:34. The tongue of the just is as choice silver,.... Which utters things precious, pure, pleasant, and profitable; things for worth and value as choice silver; the doctrines of the Gospel, the power of which he has felt upon his heart; the precious promises of it, which have been applied unto him; and the rich experience of grace he has been favoured with: things pure and incorrupt, like silver free from dross; as the doctrines of grace, fetched out of the mines of the sacred Scripture, free from the dross of error, without any human mixture; consistent and all of a piece, and which tend to purity of heart and life; things the reverse of a corrupt communication, nothing filthy and unclean; a pure language, the language of Canaan; the language of repentance, faith, and love, of prayer and thankfulness: things which are grateful and acceptable, are with grace, and minister grace to the hearers; things profitable and edifying; for the righteous man's mouth speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment; and his lips feed many, as in Proverbs 10:21; see Psalm 37:30;

the heart of the wicked is little worth; good for nothing, as the Vulgate Latin version. The righteous man's tongue is better than the wicked man's heart; there is no good thing in his heart naturally; all manner of evil is in it, and comes out of it; no sin can be named but what is in his heart; all that is in it is sinful; the thoughts of it, and the imagination of his thoughts, are only evil, and that continually; the affections are inordinate, and set on sinful lusts and pleasures; the mind and conscience are defiled with sin; the understanding is darkened with it, and the will is obstinate and perverse, and bent upon it: his heart is wicked, and exceedingly wicked; it is wickedness itself, very wickedness, desperately wicked, incurably so without the grace of God. Such therefore know not their hearts who say they have good hearts; and they are fools that trust in them: this shows the necessity of regeneration, and that powerful and efficacious grace is requisite to it.

The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. tongue … heart] The force of the antithesis lies in these two words: even the tongue of the one, but the very heart of the other.Verse 20. - Choice (Proverbs 8:10, 19); tested, purified by fire; πεπυρωμένος, Septuagint. Is little worth; mere dross, in contradistinction to choice silver. So the tongue is contrasted with the heart, out of whose abundance it speaketh (Ecclus. 21:26, "The heart of fools is in their mouth; but the mouth of the wise is in their heart"). Septuagint, "The heart of the godless shall fail (ἐκλείψει)." 14 Wise men store up knowledge;

     But the mouth of the fool is threatening destruction.

Ewald, Bertheau, Hitzig, Oetinger: "The mouth of the fool blunders out, and is as the sudden falling in of a house which one cannot escape from." But since מחתּה is a favourite Mishle-word to denote the effect and issue of that which is dangerous and destructive, so the sense is perhaps further to be extended: the mouth of the fool is for himself (Proverbs 13:3) and others a near, i.e., an always threatening and unexpectedly occurring calamity; unexpectedly, because suddenly he blunders out with his inconsiderate shame-bringing talk, so that such a fool's mouth is to every one a praesens periculum. As to יצפּנוּ, it is worthy of remark that in the Beduin, Arab. dfn, fut. i, signifies to be still, to be thoughtful, to be absorbed in oneself (vid., Wetstein on Job, p. 281). According to Codd. and editions, in this correct, וּפי־ is to be written instead of אויל uwpiy; vid., Baer's Torath Emeth, p. 40.

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