Proverbs 11:13
A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
11:1 However men may make light of giving short weight or measure, and however common such crimes may be, they are an abomination to the Lord. 2. Considering how safe, and quiet, and easy the humble are, we see that with the lowly is wisdom. 3. An honest man's principles are fixed, therefore his way is plain. 4. Riches will stand men in no stead in the day of death. 5,6. The ways of wickedness are dangerous. And sin will be its own punishment. 7. When a godly man dies, all his fears vanish; but when a wicked man dies, his hopes vanish. 8. The righteous are often wonderfully kept from going into dangerous situations, and the ungodly go in their stead. 9. Hypocrites delude men into error and sin by artful objections against the truths of God's word. 10,11. Nations prosper when wicked men are cast down. 12. A man of understanding does not judge of others by their success. 13. A faithful man will not disclose what he is trusted with, unless the honour of God and the real good of society require it. 14. We shall often find it to our advantage to advise with others. 15. The welfare of our families, our own peace, and our ability to pay just debts, must not be brought into danger. But here especially let us consider the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in becoming Surety even for enemies. 16. A pious and discreet woman will keep esteem and respect, as strong men keep possession of wealth. 17. A cruel, froward, ill-natured man, is vexatious to those that are, and should be to him as his own flesh, and punishes himself. 18. He that makes it his business to do good, shall have a reward, as sure to him as eternal truth can make it. 19. True holiness is true happiness. The more violent a man is in sinful pursuits, the more he hastens his own destruction. 20. Nothing is more hateful to God, than hypocrisy and double dealing, which are here signified. God delights in such as aim and act with uprightness. 21. Joining together in sin shall not protect the sinners. 22. Beauty is abused by those who have not discretion or modesty with it. This is true of all bodily endowments. 23. The wicked desire mischief to others, but it shall return upon themselves. 24. A man may grow poor by not paying just debts, not relieving the poor, not allowing needful expenses. Let men be ever so saving of what they have, if God appoints, it comes to nothing. 25. Both in temporal and spiritual things, God commonly deals with his people according to the measure by which they deal with their brethren. 26. We must not hoard up the gifts of God's bounty, merely for our own advantage. 27. Seeking mischief is here set against seeking good; for those that are not doing good are doing hurt, even to themselves.The man who comes to us with tales about others will reveal our secrets also. Faithfulness is shown, not only in doing what a man has been commissioned to do, but in doing it quietly and without garrulity. 13. tale-bearer—(Compare Margin), one trading as a peddler in scandal, whose propensity to talk leads him to betray confidence. A tale-bearer, or, he that goeth about (from one place or person to another, as the manner of such is) telling tales, making it his business to scatter reports, revealeth secrets; this tattling humour is so prevalent with him, that he cannot forbear to publish, either his neighbour’s secret faults, or such things as were committed to his trust with a charge of secrecy.

He that is of a faithful spirit, that hath a sincere, and constant, and faithful mind, which both can and will govern his tongue,

concealeth the matter, so far as he can lawfully do. A talebearer revealeth secrets,.... The Arabic version adds, in the congregation, openly and publicly; that goes about with tales from place to place, who is like a walking merchant or peddler, as the word (l) signifies; who takes up his wares at one place, and exposes them to sale, and vends them at another; so a talebearer, he goes from house to house, and picks up tales at one place and carries them to another and tells them; and as by his going about he gets into the secrets of persons and families, or is intrusted with them, his character not being known, he reveals them to others, and so breaks the trust committed to him see 1 Timothy 5:13. The Targum and Syriac version render it "an accuser"; and the same name is given to the devil in the New Testament, and indeed such a man is no better;

but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter; that is "faithful" to his friend, that trusts him with his secrets, of which there are but few; he "conceals the matter" he is entrusted with: "the things", as the Septuagint version; the secrets which are imparted to him; or "the word" (m) that he has heard, and has been spoken to him in privacy, and in strict friendship: or he "covers the matter" (n) or thing; he hides the infirmities of his friend and neighbour, and does not expose them as the talebearer does; see 1 Peter 4:8.

(l) "obambulat ut mercator", Tigurine version; "qui incedit nundinator", Schultens. (m) "verbum", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Baynus. (n) "tegit rem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "velat negotium", Schultens.

A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. A talebearer] Rather, He that goeth about as a talebearer. This, as indicated in A.V. marg. (He that walketh being a talebearer), is the literal and more forcible rendering. It also brings out the warning more clearly, q.d. Don’t trust such a man.Verse 13. - A tale-bearer. The word implies one who goes about chattering, gossiping, and slandering (Leviticus 19:16); Vulgate, qui ambulat fraudulenter; Septuagint, "the man of double tongue." To such a man it is safe to trust nothing; he revealeth secrets (Proverbs 20:19). He that is of a faithful spirit; a steadfast, trusty man, not a gadder about; he retains what is committed to him (Ecclus. 27:16, "Whoso discovereth secrets luseth his credit, and shall never find friend to his mind"). Septuagint, "He that is faithful in spirit [πνοῇ, as in Proverbs 20:27, where see note] concealeth matters." Three proverbs regarding destruction and salvation:

7 When a godless man dies, his hope cometh to nought,

   And the expectation of those who stand in fulness of strength is destroyed.

We have already remarked in the Introduction that אדם is a favourite word of the Chokma, and the terminological distinction of different classes and properties of men (vid., pp. 40, 42); we read, Proverbs 6:12, אדם בּליּעל, and here, as also Job 20:29; Job 27:13, אדם רשׁע, cf. Proverbs 21:29, אישׁ רשׁע, but generally only רשׁע is used. A godless man, to whom earthly possessions and pleasure and honour are the highest good, and to whom no means are too base, in order that he may appease this his threefold passion, rocks himself in unbounded and measureless hopes; but with his death, his hope, i.e., all that he hoped for, comes to nought. The lxx translate τελευτήσαντος ἀνδρὸς δικαίου οὐκ ὄλλυται ἐλπίς, which is the converse of that which is here said, 7a: the hope of the righteous expects its fulfilment beyond the grave. The lxx further translate, τὸ δὲ καύχημα (וּתהלּת) τῶν ἀσεβῶν ὄλλυται; but the distich in the Hebr. text is not an antithetic one, and whether אונים may signify the wicked (thus also the Syr., Targ., Venet., and Luther), if we regard it as a brachyology for אנשׁי אונים, or as the plur. of an adj. און, after the form טוב (Elazar b. Jacob in Kimchi), or wickedness (Zckler, with Hitzig, "the wicked expectation"), is very questionable. Yet more improbable is Malbim's (with Rashi's) rendering of this אונים, after Genesis 49:3; Psalm 78:51, and the Targ. on Job 18:12, of the children of the deceased; children gignuntur ex robore virili, but are not themselves the robur virile. But while אונים is nowhere the plur. of און fo . in its ethical signification, it certainly means in Psalm 78:51, as the plur. of און, manly strength, and in Isaiah 40:26, Isaiah 40:29 the fulness of strength generally, and once, in Hosea 9:4, as plur. of און in its physical signification, derived from its root-meaning anhelitus (Genesis 35:18, cf. Habakkuk 3:7), deep sorrow (a heightening of the און, Deuteronomy 26:14). This latter signification has also been adopted: Jerome, expectatio solicitorum; Bertheau, "the expectation of the sorrowing;" Ewald, "continuance of sorrow;" but the meaning of this in this connection is so obscure, that one must question the translators what its import is. Therefore we adhere to the other rendering, "fulness of strength," and interpret אונים as the opposite of אין אונים, Isaiah 40:29, for it signifies, per metonymiam abstracti pro concr., those who are full of strength; and we gain the meaning that there is a sudden end to the expectation of those who are in full strength, and build their prospects thereon. The two synonymous lines complete themselves, in so far as אונים gains by אדם רשׁע the associated idea of self-confidence, and the second strengthens the thought of the first by the transition of the expression from the fut. to the preterite (Fl.). ותוחלת has, for the most part in recent impressions, the Mugrash; the correct accentuation, according to codices and old impressions, is ותוחלת אונים (vid., Baer's Torath Emeth, p. 10, 4).

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