Proverbs 25:14
Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
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(14) Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift—i.e., talks loudly of what he is going to do for another, and then does nothing.

Clouds and wind.—Generally followed by heavy rain, (Comp. 1Kings 18:45.)

Proverbs 25:14. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift — Falsely pretends that he hath given, or will give, a valuable gift; or who raises high expectations by promising much, and then deceives them by performing little or nothing; is like clouds and wind without rain — Is like empty clouds carried about with wind, and not affording that rain which by their appearance they promise.

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 disappointment caused by him who promises much and performs little or nothing, is likened to the phenomena of an eastern climate; the drought of summer, the eager expectation of men who watch the rising clouds and the freshening breeze, the bitter disappointment when the breeze dies off, and the clouds pass away, and the wished for rain does not come. 14. clouds—literally, "vapors" (Jer 10:13), clouds only in appearance.

a false gift—promised, but not given.

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift, pretending that he hath given, or promising that he will give, a man those gifts, which he neither hath given, nor intendeth to give him,

is like clouds and wind without rain; like empty clouds carried about with wind, and not affording that rain which by their appearance they promise.

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift,.... Of his charity and alms deeds; bragging of great things he does this way, when he does nothing; or who is very vain in making large promises of what he will give, when he does not perform; either not having it in his heart, or in the power of his hands, to give what he promises; Satan like, who offered to give all the kingdoms of this world to Christ, if he would worship him, when nothing of it belonged unto him, or was in his power to give: and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "a glorious man"; that is, a vainglorious man, and "not fulfilling promises". It may very well be applied to false teachers, who boast of their gifts and spiritual knowledge, when they have none; speaking great swelling words of vanity, when they are empty of all that is good, and are as follow:

is like like clouds and wind without rain; which make a show and appearance of rain, promise much, but produce none; see 2 Peter 2:17, Jde 1:12.

Whoever boasteth himself of a false gift is like {k} clouds and wind without rain.

(k) Which have an outward appearance, and are nothing within.

14. Lit.,

Clouds and wind and no rain;

A man who boasts himself of a gift of falsehood.

The rising wind and gathering clouds (1 Kings 18:45) which, un-accompanied by rain, disappoint the expectation of the thirsty earth are an apt emblem of a man who promises much and performs nothing.

The Vulg. is true to the original, and forcible:

Nubes et ventus et pluviae non sequentes,

Vir gloriosus et promissa non complens.

Verse 14. - The Hebrew is, Clouds and wind without rain - he that boasteth himself in a gift of falsehood (see on Ver. 11). The proverb is concerned with promises disappointed. Clouds and wind are generally in the East the precursors of heavy rain, as we read in 1 Kings 18:45, "In a little while the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain." After such phenomena, which, according to current meteorological observation, gave every hope of a refreshing shower in the time of summer drought, to see the clouds pass away without affording a single drop of rain is a grievous disappointment. The metaphor is found in the New Testament. St. Jude (Ver. 12) calls false teachers "clouds without water, carried along by winds." "A gift of falsehood," equivalent to "a false gift," one that deceives, because it is only promised and never given. A man makes a great parade of going to bestow a handsome present, and then sneaks out of it, and gives nothing. Such a one is, as St. Jerome renders, Vir gloriosus, et promissa non complens. The old commentators quote Ovid, 'Heroid.,' 6:509 -

"Mobilis AEsonide, vernaque incertior aura,
Cur tua pollicito pondere verba carent?"
Deeds are fruits, says the proverb, "words are but leaves;" and "Vainglory blossoms, but never bears fruit." Concerning the folly of making stupid boasts, the Bengalee proverb speaks of a pedlar in ginger getting tidings of his ship. The Septuagint is incorrect, "As winds, and clouds, and rains are most evident (ἐπιφανέστατα), so is he who boasts of a false gift." Proverbs 25:14This proverb relates to the word which promises much, but remains unaccomplished:

Clouds and wind, and yet no rain -

A man who boasteth with a false gift.

Incorrectly the lxx and Targ. refer the predicate contained in the concluding word of the first line to all the three subjects; and equally incorrectly Hitzig, with Heidenheim, interprets מתּת שׁקר, of a gift that has been received of which one boasts, although it is in reality of no value, because by a lying promise a gift is not at all obtained. But as לחם כזבים, Proverbs 23:3, is bread which, as it were, deceives him who eats it, so מתת שׁקר is a gift which amounts to a lie, i.e., a deceitful pretence. Rightly Jerome: vir gloriosus et promissa non complens. In the Arab. ṣaliḍ, which Fleischer compares, the figure 14a and its counterpart 14b are amalgamated, for this word signifies both a boaster and a cloud, which is, as it were, boastful, which thunders much, but rains only sparsely or not at all. Similar is the Arab. khullab, clouds which send forth lightning, and which thunder, but yet give no rain; we say to one, magno promissor hiatu: thou art (Arab.) kabaraḳn khullabin, i.e., as Lane translates it: "Thou art only like lightning with which is no rain." Schultens refers to this proverbial Arabic, fulmen nubis infecundae. Liberality is called (Arab.) nadnay, as a watering, cf. Proverbs 11:25. The proverb belongs to this circle of figures. It is a saying of the German peasants, "Wenn es sich wolket, so will es regnen" [when it is cloudy, then there will be rain]; but according to another saying, "nicht alle Wolken regnen" [it is not every cloud that yields rain]. "There are clouds and wind without rain."

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