Proverbs 16:21
The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) The sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.—Power to express the thoughts in graceful language adds greatly to the value of learning.

16:12. The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. 13. Put those in power who know how to speak to the purpose. 14,15. Those are fools, who, to obtain the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. 16. There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. 17. A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. 18. When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. 19. Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. 21. The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. 22. As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. 23. The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. 24. The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. 25. This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. 26. We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish.The words point to the conditions of all true growth in wisdom; and he who has the gift of uttering it in winning speech increases it in himself and others. 21. wise in heart—who rightly consider duty.

sweetness of the lips—eloquent discourse, persuades and instructs others.

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: the sense is either,

1. He who hath wisdom or sound knowledge in his heart, will show it by his prudence in ordering his actions. Or rather,

2. He who is truly wise, or prudent, or intelligent (all which words most commonly signify one and the same thing, both in this and in other books of Scripture) shall be so called or accounted by others.

The sweetness of the lips; eloquence added to wisdom; the faculty of expressing a man’s mind fitly, and freely, and acceptably.

Increaseth learning; both in himself, for whilst a man teacheth others he improveth himself; and especially in others, who by this means are induced to hear and receive his good instructions. Wisdom gets a man repute with others, but this faculty of right speaking makes a wise man more instrumental to do good to others.

The wise in heart shall be called prudent,.... He that has true wisdom in the inward part; who knows his heart and the haughtiness of it; who has the fear of God in it, which is the beginning of wisdom; who is wise unto salvation, not only knows the scheme of it, but is experimentally acquainted with it; who has not head knowledge and wisdom only, but heart knowledge and wisdom, and behaves wisely in his life and conversation; who is so wise and endued with knowledge, as, out of a good conversation, to show his works with meekness of wisdom; such a man is called, reckoned, accounted, and spoken well of, as a prudent man among all wise and knowing persons;

and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning; who, besides a wise heart and a knowing head, have the gift of elocution; can deliver themselves in a flowing easy style; can clothe their thoughts with proper words, and convey their ideas in clear expressions, in a very edifying and instructive manner: these communicate knowledge to others, and increase it in themselves: for, while they are improving others, they improve themselves and learning also, whether it be divine or human; these are such who are "apt to teach", 1 Timothy 3:2; and if they have proper hearers to attend them, they will "increase in learning", as a just man does, Proverbs 9:9.

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the {k} sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

(k) The sweet words of consolation which come from a godly heart.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. “He who is wise will gain respect; but if he should also possess a pleasant manner of imparting his wisdom, he will be a more efficient teacher,” Rel. Tr. Soc. Commentary.

Verse 21. - The wise in heart shall be called prudent. True wisdom is recognized and acknowledged as such, especially when it has the gift of expressing itself appropriately (see on Proverbs 24:8). The sweetness (Proverbs 27:9) of the lips increaseth learning. People listen to instruction at the mouth of one who speaks well and winningly. Such a one augments knowledge in others, and in himself too, for he learns by teaching. Knowledge ought not to be buried in one's own mind, but produced on fit occasions and in suitable words for the edification of others. Ecclus. 20:30, "Wisdom that is hid, and treasure that is hoarded up, what profit is in them both?" (see Matthew 5:15). Septuagint, "The wise and prudent they call worthless (φαύλους); but they who are sweet in word shall hear more." Wise men are called bad and worthless by the vulgar herd, either because they do not impart all they know, or because they are envied fear their learning; but those who are eloquent and gracious in speech shall receive much instruction from what they bear, every one being ready to converse with them anal impart any knowledge which they possess. Proverbs 16:21Four proverbs of wisdom with eloquence:

21 The wise in heart is called prudent,

     And grace of the lips increaseth learning.

Elsewhere (Proverbs 1:5; Proverbs 9:9) הוסיף לקח means more than to gain learning, i.e., erudition in the ethico-practical sense, for sweetness of the lips (dulcedo orationis of Cicero) is, as to learning, without significance, but of so much the greater value for reaching; for grace of expression, and of exposition, particularly if it be not merely rhetorical, but, according to the saying pectus disertos facit, coming out of the heart, is full of mind, it imparts force to the instruction, and makes it acceptable. Whoever is wise of heart, i.e., of mind or spirit (לב equals the N.T. νοῦς or πνεῦμα), is called, and is truly, נבון [learned, intelligent] (Fleischer compares to this the expression frequent in Isaiah, "to be named" equals to be and appear to be, the Arab. du'ay lah); but there is a gift which highly increases the worth of this understanding or intelligence, for it makes it fruitful of good to others, and that is grace of the lips. On the lips (Proverbs 10:13) of the intelligent wisdom is found; but the form also, and the whole manner and way in which he gives expression to this wisdom, is pleasing, proceeding from a deep and tender feeling for the suitable and the beneficial, and thus he produces effects so much the more surely, and beneficently, and richly.

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