Proverbs 22:11
He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
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(11) For the grace of his lips.—Rather, who has grace of lips; one who loves the truth and can speak it pleasantly.

Proverbs 22:11. He that loveth pureness of heart — Who is plain-hearted or sincere, and abhors dissimulation; whose heart is so free from guile that he places his pleasure in the integrity of his mind, and the purity of his conscience; for the grace of his lips — For those gracious speeches which naturally and commonly flow from a pure heart, or whose discourse is gracious and sincere; the king shall be his friend — The greatest men will, or should, desire, and highly prize the acquaintance and advice of such persons, rather than of dissemblers and flatterers, with whom they are too generally surrounded.

22:1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. 2. Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. 3. Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. 4. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. 5. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. 6. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. 7. This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. 8. The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. 9. He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. 10. Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. 11. God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. 12. God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. 13. The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. 14. The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. 15. Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. 16. We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.More literally, "He that loveth pureness of heart, his lips are gracious, the king is his friend." 11. (Compare Margin).

pureness of heart—and gentle, kind words win favor, even from kings.

That loveth pureness of heart; who is plain-hearted or sincere, and abhors dissimulation. For the grace of his lips; for those gracious speeches which naturally and commonly flow from a pure heart. Or, and (understand, loveth, out of the former clause) grace of his lips; whose discourse is gracious and sincere.

The king shall be his friend; the greatest men will, or should, desire and highly prize the acquaintance and advice of such persons, rather than of dissemblers and flatterers, wherewith they are most commonly pestered.

He that loveth pureness of heart,.... Though man's heart is naturally impure, and all that is in it, the thoughts, affections, mind, conscience, understanding, and will; yet there is such a thing as pureness of heart; as where the grace of God is; where there it pure love to God, Christ, and to holy and heavenly things and persons; where there is pure and unfeigned faith in Christ, and a purifying hope of eternal life by him; where the Holy Spirit dwells as a sanctifier, and Christ dwells by faith; where there is sincerity and integrity; and where the heart is sprinkled by the blood of Christ from an evil conscience: and, though none are entirely free from impurity of flesh and spirit, yet every good man hates the impurity that is in him, and loves purity, and is desirous of it, and makes use of all means for it; and he loves a man of a pure heart, as Aben Ezra interprets it; he loves pureness of heart in himself and others. Some versions understand this of God: the Septuagint and Arabic versions are, "God loveth holy hearts"; and so the Targum,

"God loveth the pure in heart:''

the Syriac version differs,

"he loves God that is pure in heart;''

but all wrong; the sense is as before given;

for the grace of his lips; or, "grace is in his lips"; or, "his lips are grace" (z), or gracious; as the lips of Christ, though in a greater measure and degree, Psalm 45:2; as is a man's heart, so are his lips, A man of a pure heart will speak a pure language; a good man will talk of good things; a wise man of wisdom, and a gracious man of the grace of God; of the doctrines of grace he has received; of the blessings of grace bestowed on him; of the promises of grace applied unto him; of the experiences of grace he has been favoured with; of things grateful and acceptable to others, which minister grace, and are to the use of edifying;

the king shall be his friend; carry himself friendly to him, admit him to familiarity with him, take him into his court, and make him of his privy council; this is what a king should do, and what a wise and good king will do, and it is his interest so to do: a man of an upright heart, and of a graceful speech, is or should be regarded by princes; as Hushai the Archite by David; and Daniel even by Nebuchadnezzar, a Heathen king. Jarchi's note is,

"the holy blessed God loves and embraces him;''

and this sense may very well be received: the Lord loves purity of heart; he is good to them that are of a clean heart; he loves graceful lips, or lips speaking grace, in prayer, praise, or Christian conversation: he is a friend to such; to the pure he shows himself pure; the pure in heart shall see him, and ever dwell with him: Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords, loves purity and righteousness, and hates iniquity; the lips of his people are pleasing to him, they are like a thread of scarlet; he loves to hear their voice, especially speaking of his own grace; he is a friend unto them, one that loves at all times, and sticks closer than a brother.

(z) "gratia sunt labia ejus", De Dieu, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens; "cujus labia sunt grata", i.e. "gratiosa", Mercerus; "gratia in labiis ejus est", some in Vatablus.

He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the {g} king shall be his friend.

(g) He shows that princes should use their familiarity, whose conscience is good, and their talk wise and godly.

11. for the grace of] If this rendering be retained, with both A.V. and R.V. text, it will mean that purity of heart, honest and good motives, will produce such winning speech as, by contrast with the empty and hollow flattery of the courtier, will conciliate the favour of the king. Comp. Proverbs 16:13, and Ecclesiastes 10:12 : “the words of the wise are gracious.”

We may render, however, with R.V. marg., “that hath grace in his lips,” and then the meaning will be that if he who has pure motives (loveth pureness of heart) has also a happy gift of expressing himself (grace in his lips), he will be sure to make the king his friend.

Verse 11. - He that loveth pureness of heart; he who strives to be pure m heart (Matthew 5:8), free from guile, lust, cupidity, vice of every kind. The next clause carries on the description of the perfect character, and is best translated. And hath grace of lips, the king is his friend. He who is not only virtuous and upright, but has the gift of graciousness of speech, winning manner in conversation, such a man wilt attach the king to him by the closest bonds of friendship. We have had something very similar at ch. 16:13. Some of the versions consider that by the king God is meant. Thus the Septuagint, "The Lord loveth holy hearts, and all blameless persons are acceptable with him." The rest of the clause is connected by the LXX. with the following verse, "A king guides his flock (ποιμαίνει) with his lips; but the eyes of the Lord," etc. Proverbs 22:1111 He that loveth heart-purity,

     Whose is grace of lips, the king is his friend.

Thus with Hitzig, it is to be translated not: he who loveth with a pure heart - we may interpret טהור־לב syntactically in the sense of puritate cordis or purus corde (Ralbag, Ewald, after Proverbs 20:7), for that which follows אהב and is its supplement has to stand where possible as the accus. of the object; thus not: qui amat puritatem cordis, gratiosa erunt labia ejus (de Dieu, Geier, Schultens, C. B. Michaelis, Fleischer), for between heart-purity and graciousness of speech there exists a moral relation, but yet no necessary connection of sequence; also not: he who loves purity of heart, and grace on his lips (Aben Ezra, Schelling, Bertheau), for "to love the grace of one's own lips" is an awkward expression, which sounds more like reprehensible self-complacency than a praiseworthy endeavour after gracious speech. Excellently Luther:

"He who has a true heart and amiable speech,

The king is his friend."

טהור־לב is not adjectival, but substantival; טהר־ is thus not the constr. of the mas. טהור, as Job 17:10, but of the segolate טהר, or (since the ground-form of גּבהּ, 1 Samuel 16:7, may be גּבהּ as well as גּבהּ) of the neut. טהור, like קדשׁ, Psalm 46:5; Psalm 65:5 : that which is pure, the being pure equals purity (Schultens). הן שׂפתיו (gracefulness of his lips) is the second subject with the force of a relative clause, although not exactly thus thought of, but: one loving heart-purity, gracefulness on his lips - the king is his friend. Ewald otherwise: "he will be the king's friend," after the scheme Proverbs 13:4; but here unnecessarily refined. A counsellor and associate who is governed by a pure intention, and connects therewith a gentle and amiable manner of speech and conversation, attaches the king to himself; the king is the רעה (רע), the friend of such an one, and he also is "the friend of the king," 1 Kings 4:5. It is a Solomonic proverb, the same in idea as Proverbs 16:13. The lxx, Syr., and Targ. introduce after אהב the name of God; but 11b does not syntactically admit of this addition. But it is worth while to take notice of an interpretation which is proposed by Jewish interpreters: the friend of such an one is a king, i.e., he can royally rejoice in him and boast of him. The thought is beautiful; but, as the comparison of other proverbs speaking of the king shows, is not intended.

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