Proverbs 25:10
Lest he that hears it put you to shame, and your infamy turn not away.
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(10) Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame.—Lest he cry shame upon thee for thy treachery, and thine infamy be not forgotten.

25:1-3 God needs not search into any thing; nothing can be hid from him. But it is the honour of rulers to search out matters, to bring to light hidden works of darkness. 4,5. For a prince to suppress vice, and reform his people, is the best way to support his government. 6,7. Religion teaches us humility and self-denial. He who has seen the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus, will feel his own unworthiness. 8-10. To be hasty in beginning strife, will bring into difficulties. War must at length end, and might better be prevented. It is so in private quarrels; do all thou canst to settle the matter. 11,12. A word of counsel, or reproof, rightly spoken, is especially beautiful, as fine fruit becomes still more beautiful in silver baskets. 13. See what ought to be the aim of him that is trusted with any business; to be faithful. A faithful minister, Christ's messenger, should be thus acceptable to us. 14. He who pretends to have received or given that which he never had, is like the morning cloud, that disappoints those who look for rain. 15. Be patient to bear a present hurt. Be mild to speak without passion; for persuasive language is the most effectual to prevail over the hardened mind. 16. God has given us leave to use grateful things, but we are cautioned against excess.An anticipation of the highest standard of ethical refinement Matthew 18:15, but with a difference. Here the motive is prudential, the risk of shame, the fear of the irretrievable infamy of the betrayer of secrets. In the teaching of Christ the precept rests upon the divine authority and the perfect example. 9, 10. (Compare Mt 5:25, Margin).

secret—that is, of your opponent, for his disadvantage, and so you be disgraced, not having discussed your difficulties with him.

Put thee to shame; reproach thee for thy gross violation of the laws of prudence, and justice, and charity, and friendship therein.

And thine infamy turn not away; and that disgrace which thou didst design against another fall and be fastened upon thyself. Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame,.... Or, "reproach thee" (c) with treachery and deceit. Either the person of whom it is told, or the person to whom it is told; who may make thee ashamed, either by fixing the odious character of a defamer, a whisperer, and backbiter, on thee; or by making a retaliation, and in his turn make known some secret things concerning thyself, which before were not known, and, now published, will be to thy disgrace;

and thine infamy turn not away; it shall stick so close to thee, that thou shalt never get clear of it as long as thou livest, or ever retrieve thy credit; the brand of infamy shall ever be upon thee.

(c) "probris afficiat te", Pagniuus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "probro afficiet te", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.

Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thy infamy {h} turn not away.

(h) Lest while you think by this means to have an end of the matter, it put you to further trouble.

10. put thee to shame] Or, revile thee, R.V.; ὀνειδίσῃ, LXX.; insultet, Vulg.Verse 10. - Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame; i.e. lest any one, not the offended neighbour only, who hears how treacherous you have been, makes your proceeding known and cries shame upon you. And thine infamy turn not away. The stigma attached to you be never obliterated. Thus Siracides: "Whoso discovereth secrets loseth his credit; and shall never find friend to his mind. Love thy friend, and be faithful unto him: but if thou bewrayest his secrets, follow no more after him. For as a man hath destroyed his enemy; so hast thou lost the love of thy neighbour" (Ecclus. 27:16, etc.; comp. also 22:22). The motive presented in our text is not the highest, being grounded on the fear of shame and disgrace in men's eyes; but it is a very potent incentive to right action, and the moralist has good reason for employing it. That it does not reach to the height of Christian morality is obvious. The gnome is thus given in the Greek: "When thy friend shall reproach thee, retreat backward, despise him not, lest thy friend reproach thee still; and so thy quarrel and enmity shall not pass away, but shall be to thee like death." Then the LXX. adds a paragraph, reproduced partly by St. Jerome, "Kindness and friendship set a man free (ἐλευθεροῖ); preserve thou these, that thou become not liable to reproach (ἐπονείδισοτς, exprobabilis); but guard thy ways in a conciliating spirit (εὐσυναλλάκτως)." There now follows an emblematic (vid., vol. i. p. 10) tetrastich:

4 Take away the dross from silver,

   So there is ready a vessel for the goldsmith;

5 Take away the wicked from the king,

   And his throne is established by righteousness.

The form הגו (cf. the inf. Poal הגו, Isaiah 59:13) is regarded by Schultens as showing a ground-form הגו; but there is also found e.g., עשׂו, whose ground-form is עשׂי; the verb הגה, R. הג (whence Arab. hajr, discedere), cf. יגה (whence הגה, semovit, 2 Samuel 20:13 equals Syr. âwagy, cf. Arab. âwjay, to withhold, to abstain from), signifies to separate, withdraw; here, of the separation of the סיגים, the refuse, i.e., the dross (vid., regarding the plena scriptio, Baer's krit. Ausg. des Jesaia, under Proverbs 1:22); the goldsmith is designated by the word צרף, from צרף morf, to turn, change, as he who changes the as yet drossy metal by means of smelting, or by purification in water, into that which is pure. In 5a הגה is, as at Isaiah 27:8, transferred to a process of moral purification; what kind of persons are to be removed from the neighbourhood of the king is shown by Isaiah 1:22-23. Here also (as at Isa. l.c.) the emblem or figure of Proverbs 25:4 is followed in Proverbs 25:5 by its moral antitype aimed at. The punctuation of both verses is wonderfully fine and excellent. In Proverbs 25:4, ויצא is not pointed ויצא, but as the consecutive modus ויּצא; this first part of the proverb refers to a well-known process of art: the dross is separated from the silver (inf. absol., as Proverbs 12:7; Proverbs 15:22), and so a vessel (utensil) proceeds from the goldsmith, for he manufactures pure silver; the ל is here similarly used as the designation of the subject in the passive, Proverbs 13:13; Proverbs 14:20. In Proverbs 25:5, on the contrary, ויּכּון (ויּכּן) is not the punctuation used, but the word is pointed indicatively ויכּון; this second part of the proverb expresses a moral demand (inf. absol. in the sense of the imperative, Gesen. 131, 4b like Proverbs 17:12, or an optative or concessive conjunction): let the godless be removed, לפני מלך, i.e., not from the neighbourhood of the king, for which the words are מלּפני מלך; also not those standing before the king, i.e., in his closest neighbourhood (Ewald, Bertheau); but since, in the absolute, הגה, not an act of another in the interest of the king, but of the king himself, is thought of: let the godless be removed from before the king, i.e., because he administers justice (Hitzig), or more generally: because after that Psalm (101), which is the "mirror of princes," he does not suffer him to come into his presence. Accordingly, the punctuation is בּצּדק, not בּצדק (Proverbs 16:12); because such righteousness is meant as separates the רשׁע from it and itself from him, as Isaiah 16:5 (vid., Hitzig), where the punctuation of בּחסד denotes that favour towards Moab seeking protection.

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