Proverbs 10:31
The mouth of the just brings forth wisdom: but the fraudulent tongue shall be cut out.
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(31) Bringeth forth wisdom.—As the fields their “increase” (Deuteronomy 32:13); hence words are termed the “fruit of the lips” (Isaiah 57:19).

The froward tongue.—See above on Proverbs 2:12.

Shall be cut out.—Comp. Christ’s warning (Matthew 12:36). Sins of the tongue will be severely judged, because, besides doing mischief to others, they are signs of an evil mind within (Matthew 5:34).

Proverbs 10:31-32. The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom — It freely, abundantly, and constantly brings forth wise counsels, as the earth or a tree brings forth its proper fruit, as the word ינוב, here used, properly signifies; but the froward tongue shall be cut off — Because it brings forth, not wisdom, but folly and wickedness. The lips of the righteous know — Namely, practically, so as to consider and speak; what is acceptable — To God and good men, or what is truly worthy of acceptation; for this is opposed to what is froward or wicked in the next clause. Knowledge is here ascribed to the lips, as it is to the hands, Psalm 78:72, because they are conducted by knowledge and wisdom. 10:29. The believer grows stronger in faith, and obeys with increased delight. 30. The wicked would be glad to have this earth their home for ever, but it cannot be so. They must die and leave all their idols behind. 31,32. A good man discourses wisely for the benefit of others. But it is the sin, and will be the ruin of a wicked man, that he speaks what is displeasing to God, and provoking to those he converses with. The righteous is kept by the power of God; and nothing shall be able to separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.Bringeth forth ... - As a tree full of life and sap brings forth its fruit. So the "froward tongue" is like a tree that brings forth evil and not good fruit; it "shall be cut down." The abuse of God's gift of speech will lead ultimately to its forfeiture. There shall, at last, be the silence of shame and confusion. 31. bringeth forth—literally, "germinates" as a plant.

froward—(Compare Pr 2:12, 14).

cut off—as an unproductive plant.

Bringeth forth, freely, and abundantly, and constantly, as the earth or a tree bring forth their proper fruit, as the word properly signifies.

Wisdom; wise counsels, by which he directeth and secureth himself and others.

Shall be cut out, because it bringeth forth not wisdom, but folly and wickedness. The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom,.... As the earth brings forth its increase, and a tree brings forth its fruit; hence speech is called the fruit of the lips; wisdom is good fruit; a good man is comparable to the fruitful earth, and to a good tree; whose mouth brings forth wise things in abundance, which are very pleasant and profitable; not worldly wisdom, much less devilish; not merely natural wisdom, but spiritual and evangelical; see Psalm 37:30;

but the froward tongue shall be cut out; or "cut down" (z); as an unprofitable tree, which brings forth nothing but perverse things; things contrary to God and good men, to truth and right reason, to the light of nature, the law of God, and Gospel of Christ. Such "a tongue of perversities" (a), as it may be rendered, that brings forth blasphemies against God, his tabernacle and his saints, as the tongue of antichrist does, deserves to be cut out, as the tongue of a blasphemer.

(z) "succidetur", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus. (a) "lingua perversitatum", Montanus, Junius & Tremeilius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
31. bringeth forth] as a tree its leaves or fruit: “buddeth with,” R.V. marg.Verse 31. - Bringeth forth; as a tree produces fruit, and the fields yield their increase. The metaphor is common. Thus Isaiah (Isaiah 57:19) speaks of "the fruit of the lips" (comp. Hebrews 13:15 and Psalm 37:30, which latter passage occurs in the same connection as the present). The Septuagint renders, "distilleth wisdom." So Song of Solomon 5:13, "His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh." The froward tongue (Proverbs 2:12, 14: 8:13, which speaks only what is perverse and evil). Shall be cut out; like a corrupt tree that cumbers the ground (Matthew 3:10; Luke 13:7). The abuse of God's great gift of speech shall be severely punished. "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:36, 37). There now follows a series of proverbs, broken by only one dissimilar proverb, on the immoveable continuance of the righteous:

25 When the storm sweeps past, it is no more with the wicked;

     But the righteous is a building firm for ever.

How Proverbs 10:25 is connected with Proverbs 10:24 is shown in the Book of Wisdom 5:15 (the hope of the wicked like chaff which the wind pursues). The Aram., Jerome, and Graec. Venet. interpret כ of comparison, so that the destruction of the godless is compared in suddenness and rapidity to the rushing past of a storm; but then רוּח ought to have been used instead of סוּפה; and instead of ואין רשׁע with the ו apodosis, a disturbing element in such a comparison, would have been used יחלף רשׁע, or at least רשׁע אין. The thought is no other than that of Job 21:18 : the storm, which is called סופה, from סוּף, to rush forth, is meant, as sweeping forth, and כ the temporal, as Exodus 11:4 (lxx παραπορευομένης καταιγίδος), with ו htiw ,)עןה apod. following, like e.g., after a similar member of a temporal sentence, Isaiah 10:25. סופה is a figure of God-decreed calamities, as war and pestilence, under which the godless sink, while the righteous endure them; cf. with 25a, Proverbs 1:27; Isaiah 28:18; and with 25b, Isaiah 3:25, Habakkuk 2:4; Psalm 91:1. "An everlasting foundation," since עולם is understood as looking forwards, not as at Isaiah 58:12, backwards, is a foundation capable of being shaken by nothing, and synecdoch. generally a building. The proverb reminds us of the close of the Sermon on the Mount, and finds the final confirmation of its truth in this, that the death of the godless is a penal thrusting of them away, but the death of the righteous a lifting them up to their home. The righteous also often enough perish in times of war and of pestilence; but the proverb, as it is interpreted, verifies itself, even although not so as the poet, viewing it from his narrow O.T. standpoint, understood it; for the righteous, let him die when and how he may, is preserved, while the godless perishes.

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