Proverbs 15:28
The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
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(28) The heart of the righteous studieth to answeri.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.

15:25. Pride is the ruin of multitudes. But those who are in affliction God will support. 26. The thoughts of wicked men offend Him who knows the heart. 27. The covetous man lets none of his family have rest or enjoyment. And greediness of gain often tempts to projects that bring ruin. 28. A good man is proved to be a wise man by this; he governs his tongue well.Contrast the "studying" of the wise before he answers and the hasty babbling of the foolish. The teaching of our Lord Matthew 10:19 presents us with a different and higher precept, resting upon different conditions. 28. (Compare Pr 15:14; 10:11). Caution is the fruit of wisdom; rashness of folly. 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.

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer,.... He thinks before he speaks, meditates what he shall say, what answer to give to men; whether in things civil, natural, or religious; and what to return to the Lord when he is reproved by him; or what to say in prayer to him, or by way of thankfulness for mercies received from him; see 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.

(u) Kabvenaki.

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
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. Proverbs 15:28Two proverbs regarding the righteous and the wicked:

28 The heart of the righteous considereth how to answer right,

     And the mouth of the godless poureth forth evil.

Instead of לענות, the lxx (Syr. and Targ.) imagines אמוּנות πίστεις; Jerome translates, but falsely, obedientiam (from ענה, to bend oneself); Meri thinks on לענה, wormwood, for the heart of the righteous revolves in itself the misery and the vanity of this present life; Hitzig corrects this verse as he does the three preceding: the heart of the righteous thinks on ענוות, a plur. of verb ענוה, which, except in this correction, does not exist. The proverb, as it stands, is, in fineness of expression and sharpness of the contrast, raised above such manglings. Instead of the righteous, the wise might be named, and instead of the godless, fools (cf. 2b); but the poet places the proverb here under the point of view of duty to neighbours. It is the characteristic of the righteous that he does not give the reins to his tongue; but as Luther has translated: the heart of the righteous considers [tichtet from dictare, frequently to speak, here carefully to think over] what is to be answered, or rather, since מה־לּענות is not used, he thinks thereupon to answer rightly, for that the word ענות is used in this pregnant sense is seen from 23a. The godless, on the contrary, are just as rash with their mouth as the righteous are of a thoughtful heart: their mouth sputters forth (effutit) evil, for they do not first lay to heart the question what may be right and just in the case that has arisen.

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