Proverbs 12:25
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
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(25) Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop.—But, as this is not favourable to the spiritual life, we have warnings against excessive anxiety (Matthew 6:34), and exhortations to cast all our care upon God (1Peter 5:7; Psalm 37:5) as a religious duty, that trusting in Him, and so having from Him the “peace which the world cannot give,” our hearts may be set to obey” His commandments.

Proverbs 12:25. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop — Anxious cares and grief depress the spirit of a man, and disable him from exerting himself with any vigour in fulfilling his duty in his place and station, and from bearing with fortitude the sufferings to which he is exposed, in the course of divine providence; but a good word maketh it glad — A compassionate and encouraging word, from a friend or minister, affords him relief and comfort, and enables him to go on his way with tranquillity and peace if not also with joy.

12:16. A foolish man is soon angry, and is hasty in expressing it; he is ever in trouble and running into mischief. It is kindness to ourselves to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. 17. It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty. 18. Whisperings and evil surmises, like a sword, separate those that have been dear to each other. The tongue of the wise is health, making all whole. 19. If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground. 20. Deceit and falsehood bring terrors and perplexities. But those who consult the peace and happiness of others have joy in their own minds. 21. If men are sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. But they that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. 22. Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions. 23. Foolish men proclaim to all the folly and emptiness of their minds. 24. Those who will not take pains in an honest calling, living by tricks and dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly. 25. Care, fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, deprive men of vigour in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be borne. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. 26. The righteous is abundant; though not in this world's goods, yet in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, which are the true riches. Evil men vainly flatter themselves that their ways are not wrong. 27. The slothful man makes no good use of the advantages Providence puts in his way, and has no comfort in them. The substance of a diligent man, though not great, does good to him and his family. He sees that God gives it to him in answer to prayer. 28. The way of religion is a straight, plain way; it is the way of righteousness. There is not only life at the end, but life in the way; all true comfort.Under tribute - The comparison is probably suggested by the contrast between the condition of a conquered race (compare Joshua 16:10; Judges 1:30-33), and that of the freedom of their conquerors from such burdens. The proverb indicates that beyond all political divisions of this nature there lies an ethical law. The "slothful" descend inevitably to pauperism and servitude. The prominence of compulsory labor under Solomon 1 Kings 9:21 gives a special significance to the illustration. 25. a good word—one of comfort. A compassionate or encouraging word from a friend or minister.

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop,.... Either an anxious care and solicitude about living in the world, as the word (m) signifies; when it seizes a man's spirits, it depresses them, and keeps them down: or a fear and dread of adversity, or sorrow and grief, on account of some calamity and distress; when it gets into a man's heart, it sinks and bows it down, that it cannot take any pleasure or comfort in anything. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, a "terrible word troubles the heart of a just man"; or "troubles the heart of man", as the Syriac version; the Targum is,

"a word of fear in the heart of man causes fear:''

such is the law, which is a word of terror; which speaks terrible things to men; fills the mind with terror; works wrath in the conscience, and induces a spirit of bondage to fear; bows and keeps under the spirits of men, through a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation;

but a good word maketh it glad; a comforting, cheering, and encouraging word from any friend, that compassionates their distressed case; this lifts up the heart and inspires it with joy; so a word in season, spoken by a Gospel minister, raises up a soul that is bowed down, and gives it comfort and joy: such a good word is the Gospel itself; it is good news from a far country, which is like cold water to a thirsty soul, very refreshing and reviving. The Septuagint and Arabic versions here render it, "a good message", and such the Gospel is; which, when brought to the heart of a poor sinner, depressed with the terrors of the law, causes joy in it; such is the word of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by Christ; such is the word that he himself spoke, Matthew 9:2. Kimchi instances in Psalm 55:22.

(m) "solicitudo", Tigurine version, Montanus, Piscator, Michaelis; "solicitudo anxia", Mercerus, Gejerus; "solicita anxietas", Junius & Tremellius; "anxietatem", Schultens.

Heaviness in the heart of man weigheth it down: but a {k} good word maketh it glad.

(k) That is, words of comfort, or a cheerful mind which is declared by his words, rejoices a man, as a covetous mind kills him.

25. In spite of grammatical anomalies, the rendering of this verse in A.V. and R.V. is to be retained.

Verse 25. - Heaviness - care - in the heart of man maketh it stoop (Proverbs 15:13; Proverbs 17:22). Care brings dejection and despair; hence the Christian is bidden to beware of excessive anxiety, and not to perplex himself with solicitude for the future (Matthew 6:84; 1 Peter 5:7). A good word maketh it glad.

Λύπην γὰρ εὔνους οϊδεν ἰᾶσθαι λόγος.

"A word of kindness grief's keen smart can heal." Septuagint, "A word of terror disturbs the heart of a (righteous) man, but a good message will gladden him." The "word of terror" may be an unjust censure, or evil tidings. Says a Servian proverb, "Give me a comrade who will weep with me; one who will laugh I can easily find." Proverbs 12:2525 Trouble in the heart of a man boweth it down,

     And a friendly word maketh it glad.

The twofold anomaly that דּאגה is construed as masc. and לב as fem. renders the text doubtful, but the lxx, Syr., Targum, which introduce another subject, φοβερὸς λόγος (דּבר מדאיג?), do not improve it; Theodotion's is preferable, who translates μέριμνα ἐν καρδίᾳ ἀνδρὸς κατίσχει αὐτόν, and thus reads ישׁחנּוּ. But the rhyme is thereby lost. As כּבוד, Genesis 49:6, so also may לב be used as fem., for one thereby thinks on נפשׁ; the plur. לבּות (לבבות), according to which in Ezekiel 16:30 we find the sing. לבּה, may also conform to this. And ישׁחנה as pred. to דאגה follows the scheme Proverbs 2:10, perhaps not without attractional co-operation after the scheme קשׁת גברים חתים, 1 Samuel 2:4. השׁחה, from שׁחה, occurs only here; but השׁח, from שׁחח, occurs only twice. דּבר טוב designates in the book of Joshua and in Kings (1 Kings 8:56) the divine promise; here it is of the same meaning as 1 Kings 12:7 : an appeasing word. Who has not in himself had this experience, how such a word of friendly encouragement from a sympathizing heart cheers the sorrowful soul, and, if only for a time, changes its sorrow into the joy of confidence and of hope!

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