Proverbs 14:25
A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 14:25. A true witness delivereth souls — That is, persons, namely, such as, being innocent, are falsely accused; whom he delivers from the mischief designed against them, by declaring the truth, and thereby clearing them from the charges brought against them; but a deceitful witness speaketh lies — To the injury and destruction of the innocent.

14:18. Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. 19. Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. 20. Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. 21. To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. 22. How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! 23. Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. 24. The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. 25. An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light. 26,27. Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. 28. Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. 29. A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. 30. An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. 31. To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. 32. The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. 33. Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. 34. Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. 35. The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.In the second clause, "destroyeth life" might have been expected as the antithesis to "delivereth souls." But what worse could be said? "A deceitful witness speaketh lies." All destruction is implied in falsehood. 25. Life often depends on truth-telling.

a deceitful … lies—He that breathes out lies is deceit, not to be trusted (Pr 14:5).

Delivereth souls, i.e. persons, to wit, such as are innocent, from the mischief of false accusations, by declaring the truth, which is sufficient for their vindication. Speaketh lies, to the injury and destruction of the innocent; which is easily understood out of the former clause, and from the practice of false witnesses.

A true witness delivereth souls,.... Or, "a witness of truth" (x): one that witnesses truth upon oath in a court of judicature, he "delivers souls"; men, not one man only, but many; a whole family, or more, in danger of being ruined; he delivers them, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions add, "from evils"; from evil charges and accusations brought against them; from the oppression of their enemies, from the loss of their good name, and from ruin and destruction, that otherwise would have come upon them; he delivers their "lives" (y), as it may be rendered, in danger of being lost by false accusations: so a witness of the truth of Christ, or a faithful minister of the Gospel, not only saves himself, but them that hear him; and is an instrument of delivering the souls of men from error and damnation;

but a deceitful witness speaketh lies; boldly, openly, by wholesale; he blows them out (z), to the ruin of the good names and characters, and to the destruction of the lives, of the innocent; and so a false teacher, one that lies in wait to deceive, speaks lies in hypocrisy, doctrinal lies, to the ruin of the souls of men. The Targum is,

"he that speaketh lies is deceitful;''

he is "deceit" (a) itself, as in the Hebrew text. Such is the man of sin, and such are his emissaries.

(x) "testis veritatis", Montanus, Cocceius, Schultens. (y) "vitas; animam pro vita usurpari notum", Gejerus. (z) "efflat", Tigurine version, Piscator, Gejerus; "spirat", Schultens; "efflabit", Monatnus. (a) "dolus", Montanus, Vatablus; "fraus", Cocceius.

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. delivereth souls] by clearing them from false accusation and establishing their innocence.

a deceitful witness speaketh lies] Rather: he that uttereth (lit. breatheth) lies (causes, or is) deceit, R.V.; is a cheat, Lange. He who, in contrast to the “faithful witness,” gives false evidence obscures the truth and (it is implied) destroys, instead of “delivering” souls.

The rendering of A.V. has the support both of LXX., ἐκκαίει δὲ ψευδῆ δόλιος (sc. μάρτυς); and of Vulg. profert mendacia versipellis.

Verse 25. - A true witness delivereth souls (ver. 5; Proverbs 12:17). A true witness saves persons who are in danger owing to false accusation or calumny; saves lives; "saves from evils," says the Septuagint. But a deceitful witness speaketh lies, and therewith endangers lives. Literally, He who breatheth out lies is deceit; he is a personification of fraud, dominated and informed by it; it has become his very nature. "Falsehood is the devil's daughter, and speaks her father's tongue." Septuagint, "But a deceitful witness kindles (ἐκκαίει) lies." Proverbs 14:2525 A witness of truth delivereth souls;

     But he who breathes out lies is nothing but deception.

When men, in consequence of false suspicions or of false accusations, fall into danger of their lives (דיני נפשׁות is the designation in the later language of the law of a criminal process), then a tongue which, pressed by conscientiousness and not deterred by cowardice, will utter the truth, saves them. But a false tongue, which as such (vid., Proverbs 14:5) is a יפח כזבים (after the Masora at this place ויפח, defective), i.e., is one who breathes out lies (vid., regarding יפיח at Proverbs 6:19), is mere deception (lxx, without reading מרמּה [as Hitzig does]: δόλιος). In Proverbs 12:17 מרמה is to be interpreted as the object. accus. of יגיד carried forward, but here to carry forward מצּיל (Arama, Lwenstein) is impracticable - for to deliver deceit equals the deceiver is not expressed in the Hebr. - מרמה is, as possibly also Hebrews 12:16 (lxx δόλιος), without אישׁ or עד being supplied, the pred. of the substantival clause: such an one is deception (in bad Latin, dolositas), for he who utters forth lies against better knowledge must have a malevolent, deceitful purpose.

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