The heart of the righteous studies to answer: but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The heart of the righteous studieth to answer—i.e., aright, knowing how much good and evil is caused by words. (Comp. James 3:5, sqq.)Proverbs 15:28. The heart of the righteous studieth to answer — He answers, or speaks, considerately and conscientiously, and therefore profitably, to the edification of the hearers; but the mouth of the wicked — Not the heart, for they are without heart, in the Scripture account, and speak rashly whatever comes into their minds, without the direction of their hearts or consciences; poureth out evil things — Foolish, unprofitable, and hurtful speeches.Matthew 10:19 presents us with a different and higher precept, resting upon different conditions. Studieth to answer; he answers or speaks considerately and conscientiously, and therefore profitably, or to the use and edification of the hearers.
The mouth, not the heart; for he is without heart in Scripture account, and he rashly speaks what comes into his mouth, without the direction of his heart or conscience.
Evil things; foolish, and unprofitable, and hurtful speeches. Proverbs 3:6; though our Lord advises his disciples, when summoned before their persecutors, not to meditate beforehand what they should answer, since they should have immediate assistance, Luke 21:14; but this was in extraordinary cases; in common ones the observation of the wise man should be attended to. A Jewish (u) writer renders the words, "the heart of the righteous meditates wormwood", or bitter things; see Proverbs 5:4; as the judgment of God, death, and hell; this sense is mentioned by Aben Ezra, but rejected;
but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things; without any previous thought and consideration, without fear or wit; in great abundance, as water out of a fountain; thus an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil things readily and at once, having no concern about the consequences of things, Matthew 12:25; See Gill on Proverbs 15:2.The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 28. - The heart of the righteous studieth to answer. The good man deliberates before he speaks, takes time to consider his answer, lest he should say anything false, or inexpedient, or injurious to his neighbour. A Latin adage runs -
"Qui bene vult fari debet bene praemeditari." Says Theognis -
Βουλεύου δὶς καὶ τρίς ὅτοί κ ἐπὶ τὸν νόον
Ἀτηρὸς γὰρ ἀεὶ λάβρος ἀνὴρ τελέθει
"Whate'er comes in your mind, deliberate;
A hasty man but rushes on his fate." Septuagint, "The heart of the prudent will meditate πίστεις," which may mean "truth," "fidelity," or "proofs." The Vulgate has "obedience," implying attention to the inward warnings of conscience and grace, before the mouth speaks. Poureth out (ver. 2). The wicked man never considers; evil is always on his lips and running over from his mouth. Septuagint, "The mouth of the ungodly answereth evil things." The LXX. here inserts ch. 16:7.
But where many counsellors are they come to pass.
On the other side it is also true according to the proverbs, "so viel Kpfe so viel Sinne" [quot homines, tot sententiae], and "viel Rath ist Unrath" [ne quid nimis], and the like. But it cannot become a rule of morals not to accept of counsel that we may not go astray; on the contrary, it is and remains a rule of morals: not stubbornly to follow one's own heart (head), and not obstinately to carry out one's own will, and not in the darkness of wisdom to regard one's own plans as unimproveable, and not needing to be examined; but to listen to the counsel of intelligent and honest friends, and, especially where weighty matters are in hand, not affecting one's own person, but the common good, not to listen merely to one counsellor, but to many. Not merely the organism of the modern state, but also of old the Mosaic arrangement of the Israelitish community, with its representative organization, its courts and councils, rested on the acknowledged justice and importance of the saying uttered in Proverbs 11:14, and here generalized. הפר, infin. abs. Hiph. of פּרר, to break, with the accus. following, stands here, like הפוך, Proverbs 12:7, instead of the finite: the thoughts come to a fracture (failure), irrita fiunt consilia. סוד ( equals יסוד, cf. נוסד Psalm 2:2) means properly the being brought close together for the purpose of secret communication and counsel (cf. Arab. sâwada, to press close together equals to walk with one privately). The lxx: their plans are unexecuted, οἱ μὴ τιμῶντες συνέδρια, literally Symmachus, διασκεδάζονται λογισμοὶ μὴ ὄντος συμβουλίου. תּקוּם has, after Jeremiah 4:14; Jeremiah 51:29, מחשׁבות as subject. The lxx (besides perverting ברב [by a multitude] into בלב ἐν καρδίαις]), the Syr. and Targ. introduce עצה (Proverbs 19:21) as subject.
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