The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)XV.
(2) Useth knowledge aright.—Brings it forth at the proper time and place.Proverbs 15:2-4. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright — Expressing what he knows prudently and gracefully; taking due care both what, and when, and to whom, and in what manner he speaks; but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness — Plentifully, continually, promiscuously, and vehemently, as a fountain doth waters, as the word יביעsignifies. A wholesome tongue — Which utters sound and useful counsels; is a tree of life — Is very useful to preserve the present life, and to promote the spiritual and eternal life, both of the speaker and the hearers; but perverseness therein — False or corrupt speeches; is a breach in the spirit — Disturbs and wounds the spirit both of the speaker and hearers.
poureth out—utters abundantly (Pr 12:23), and so disgusts others.Useth knowledge aright; expressing what he knows prudently and gracefully; taking due care both what, and when, and to whom, and in what manner he speaks.
Poureth out, plentifully, continually, promiscuously, and vehemently, as a fountain doth waters, as this word signifies.
but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness; their knowledge, as they take it to be, but it is no other than folly; this they throw out in great plenty, in a hurry, without fear or wit; they "babble" it out, as the word (t) signifies, as water out of a fountain; their hearts are full of it, and their mouths proclaim it, Proverbs 12:23.
(s) "utitur bene", Castalio; "pulchre", Vatablus. (t) "effutit, ebullit, fundit", Vatablus; "eructat", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "ebullit", V. L. Tigurine version, Schultens; "scaturire facit", Michaelis.The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. useth knowledge aright] Or, uttereth, &c. R.V. Lit. maketh good knowledge, i.e. turns it to good account, makes the best of it. Comp. “they make goodly (lit. as here, make good) images or pillars,” Hosea 10:1.
The contrast is between the good use of knowledge which adds to its usefulness, and the reckless pouring forth of folly which increases its hurtfulness; between the pure stream flowing in useful channels, and the pestilential flood bursting forth unrestrained. Comp. Proverbs 13:16, and Proverbs 15:28 below.Verse 2. - The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright. This means either, brings it forth opportunely, it the right time and place, or illustrates it, makes it beautiful and pleasant, as ver. 13. The wise man not only has knowledge, but can give it appropriate expression (comp. Proverbs 16:23). Vulgate, "The tongue of the wise adorneth wisdom." The wise man, by producing his sentiments and opinions in appropriate language and on proper occasions, commends wisdom, and renders it acceptable to his hearers. Septuagint, "The tongue of the wise knoweth what is fair (καλά)." But the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness (ver. 28). A fool cannot open his mouth without exposing his folly; he speaks without due consideration or discretion; as the Vulgate terms it, ebullit, "he bubbles over," like a boiling pot, which emits its contents inopportunely and uselessly. Septuagint, "The mouth of fools proclaimeth evil."
And whosoever is merciful to the poor, it is an honour to him.
Line first is repeated in Proverbs 17:5 somewhat varied, and the relation of the idea in 31b is as Proverbs 19:17, according to which וּמכבּדו is the predicate and חונן אביון the subject (Symmachus, Targ., Jerome, Venet., Luther), not the reverse (Syr.); חונן is thus not the 3 per. Po. (lxx), but the part. Kal (for which 21b has the part. Po. מחונן). The predicates חרף עשׂהוּ (vid., regarding the perf. Gesen. 126, 3) and ומכבדו follow one another after the scheme of the Chiasmus. עשׁק has Munach on the first syllable, on which the tone is thrown back, and on the second the העמדה sign (vid., Torath Emeth, p. 21), as e.g., פּוטר, Proverbs 17:14, and אהב, Proverbs 17:19. The showing of forbearance and kindness to the poor arising from a common relation to one Creator, and from respect towards a personality bearing the image of God, is a conception quite in the spirit of the Chokma, which, as in the Jahve religion it becomes the universal religion, so in the national law it becomes the human. Thus also Job 31:15, cf. Proverbs 3:9 of the Epistle of James, which in many respects has its roots in the Book of Proverbs. Mat 25:40 is a New Testament side-piece to 31b.
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