Proverbs 25:12
As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover on an obedient ear.
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Proverbs 25:12. As an ear-ring of gold, &c. — That is, highly acceptable, and a great ornament, and not an offence and dishonour, as fools think it; is a wise reprover — One who reproves an offender faithfully, and yet prudently, in the fittest manner and season; upon an obedient ear — To the man that hearkens to the reproof, and is instructed and reformed by it.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.The theme of this proverb being the same as that of Proverbs 25:11, its occurrence suggests the thought that rings used as ornaments for ears, or nose, or forehead, and other trinkets formed part of the works of art spoken of in the foregoing note, and that the king had something at once pointed and wise to say of each of them. 12. Those who desire to know and do rightly, most highly esteem good counsel (Pr 9:9; 15:31). The listening ear is better than one hung with gold. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold; highly acceptable, and a great ornament, and not an offence and dishonour, as fools esteem it;

so is a wise reprover, that reproves an offender faithfully; yet prudently, in the fittest manner and season.

Upon an obedient ear; to a man that hearkens to it, and is instructed and reformed by it. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold,.... As a golden earring, when first put on, gives pain and uneasiness; but, being well hung and fixed, is very ornamental, being of fine gold, and especially when any jewels are upon it; which may be meant by the ornament, as the word is rendered, Sol 7:1;

so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear; such is the reproof of a wise man, which is seasonably given, in a fit and proper manner; and which appears to proceed from love, and is designed for good, and done in great affection and faithfulness: this, though it may be a little grating to the ear at first, yet, when well considered and received, instead of leaving any infamy or reproach on the person reproved, it is an ornament to him, as well as reflects honour upon the reprover. It may be rendered, "so is he that reproveth a wise man, upon" or "with an obedient ear" (g); a wise man that has an obedient or hearing ear, who is so wise as to altered to reproofs given him, and which he takes kindly, and receives profit and advantage from them; see Proverbs 9:8.

(g) "qui arguit sapientem", V. L. Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus.

As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
12. earring] Or, nose-ring, R.V. marg. See Proverbs 11:22, note.Verse 12. - Another distich concerning the seasonable word, of the same character as the last. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold. In this, as in many of the proverbs, the comparison is not expressed, but is merely implied by juxtaposition. Nezem, in Proverbs 11:22, was a nose ring, here probably an earring is meant; chali, "ornament," is a trinket or jewel worn suspended on neck or breast. The two, whether worn by one person or more, form a lovely combination, and set off the wearer's grace and beauty. Vulgate, Inauris aurea et margaritum fulgens, "A golden earring and a brilliant pearl." Septuagint, "A golden earring a precious sardius also is set." So is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. The obedient ear receives the precepts of the wise reprover, and wears them as a valued ornament. In Proverbs 1:9 the instruction of parents is compared to a chaplet on the head and a fair chain on the neck. Septuagint, "A wise word on an obedient ear." There now follows a second proverb with מלך, as the one just explained was a second with מלכים: a warning against arrogance before kings and nobles.

6 Display not thyself before the king,

   And approach not to the place of the great.

7 For better than one say to thee, "Come up hither,"

   Than that they humble thee before a prince,

   Whom thine eyes had seen.

The גּדלים are those, like Proverbs 18:16, who by virtue of their descent and their office occupy a lofty place of honour in the court and in the state. נדיב (vid., under Proverbs 8:16) is the noble in disposition and the nobleman by birth, a general designation which comprehends the king and the princes. The Hithpa. התהדּר is like the reflex forms Proverbs 12:9; Proverbs 13:7, for it signifies to conduct oneself as הדוּר or נהדּר (vid., Proverbs 20:29), to play the part of one highly distinguished. עמד has, 6b, its nearest signification: it denotes, not like נצּב, standing still, but approaching to, e.g., Jeremiah 7:2. The reason given in Proverbs 25:7 harmonizes with the rule of wisdom, Luke 14:10.: better is the saying to thee, i.e., that one say to thee (Ewald, 304b), עלה הנּה (so the Olewejored is to be placed), προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον (thus in Luke), than that one humble thee לפני נדיב, not: because of a prince (Hitzig), for לפני nowhere means either pro (Proverbs 17:18) or propter, but before a prince, so that thou must yield to him (cf. Proverbs 14:19), before him whom thine eyes had seen, so that thou art not excused if thou takest up the place appropriate to him. Most interpreters are at a loss to explain this relative. Luther: "which thine eyes must see," and Schultens: ut videant oculi tui. Michaelis, syntactically admissible: quem videre gestiverunt oculi tui, viz., to come near to him, according to Bertheau, with the request that he receives some high office. Otherwise Fleischer: before the king by whom thou and thine are seen, so much the more felt is the humiliation when it comes upon one after he has pressed so far forward that he can be perceived by the king. But נדיב is not specially the king, but any distinguished personage whose place he who has pressed forward has taken up, and from which he must now withdraw when the right possessor of it comes and lays claim to his place. אשׁר is never used in poetry without emphasis. Elsewhere it is equivalent to נתנש, quippe quem, here equivalent to רפנש, quem quidem. Thine eyes have seen him in the company, and thou canst say to thyself, this place belongs to him, according to his rank, and not to thee - the humiliation which thou endurest is thus well deserved, because, with eyes to see, thou wert so blind. The lxx, Syr., Symmachus (who reads 8a, לרב, εις πλῆθος), and Jerome, refer the words "whom thine eyes had seen" to the proverb following; but אשר does not appropriately belong to the beginning of a proverb, and on the supposition that the word לרב is generally adopted, except by Symmachus, they are also heterogeneous to the following proverb:

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