Proverbs 16:23
The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23)Addeth learning to his lips.—His wisdom and learning do not remain hidden in his heart, but continually rise to his lips, like the waters of an everflowing fountain, for the instruction of others.

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.Wellspring of life - Compare Proverbs 10:11 note. "the instruction of fools" Not that which they give, but that which they receive. Compare Proverbs 14:24. "Folly" is its own all-sufficient punishment. 23. The heart is the source of wisdom flowing from the mouth. Teacheth his mouth; directeth him what, and when, and how to speak, and keepeth him from speaking rashly and foolishly.

Addeth learning to his lips, i.e. enableth him to speak learnedly and wisely. Or, increaseth learning (in himself and others) by (as this Hebrew particle oft signifies, and is by some rendered here) his lips, i.e. by his wise speeches; that this may agree with the latter clause of Proverbs 16:21, where this same phrase is used.

The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth,.... That is, a man that is wise in heart, as in Proverbs 16:21; his heart will teach his mouth what to say, when to say it, and before whom; it will prompt him to matter, that he shall not be at a loss what to say, nor how to say; it will furnish him with words and things; out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, Matthew 12:34;

and addeth learning to his lips: so that he does not deliver out mere words, but solid learning along with them, instructive to himself and others. The Targum is,

"and by his lips he addeth doctrine;''

or increases knowledge.

The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 23. - The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth. Out of the abundance of his heart the wise man speaks; the spirit within him finds fit utterance. Pectus est quod disertos facit. The thought and mind control the outward expression and make it eloquent and persuasive (comp. Proverbs 15:2). And addeth learning to his lips; Vulgate, "addeth grace." But lekach, which means properly "reception," "taking in," is best rendered "learning," as in ver. 21; Proverbs 1:5, etc. The intellect and knowledge of the wise display themselves in their discourse. Delitzsch, "Learning mounteth up to his lips." Ecclus. 21:26, "The heart of fools is in their mouth; but the mouth of the wise is in their heart." Septuagint, "The heart of the wise will consider what proceedeth from his mouth; and on his lips he will carry prudence (ἐπιγνωμοσύνην)." Proverbs 16:2323 The heat of the wise maketh his mouth wise,

     And learning mounteth up to his lips.

Regarding השׂכּיל as causative: to put into the possession of intelligence, vid., at Genesis 3:6. Wisdom in the heart produceth intelligent discourse, and, as the parallel member expresses it, learning mounteth up to the lips, i.e., the learning which the man taketh into his lips (Proverbs 22:18; cf. Psalm 16:4) to communicate it to others, for the contents of the learning, and the ability to communicate it, are measured by the wisdom of the heart of him who possesses it. One can also interpret הוסיף as extens. increasing: the heart of the wise increaseth, i.e., spreads abroad learning, but then בּשׂפתיו (Psalm 119:13) would have been more suitable; על־שׂפתיו calls up the idea of learning as hovering on the lips, and thus brings so much nearer, for הוסיף, the meaning of the exaltation of its worth and impression.

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