Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 25:19. Confidence in an unfaithful man, &c. — “As a broken tooth, or leg out of joint, not only fails a man when he comes to use them, but likewise puts him into pain; so doth a faithless person serve them that depend upon him, when they have the greatest need of his help; and such also is the confidence that a faithless person himself places in riches, or craft, or great friends, &c, which some time or other will disappoint him to his great grief, when he expects the most from them.” — Bishop Patrick.
is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint; which are so far from being of any use, the one in eating food, and the other in walking, that they are both an hindrance to those actions, and cause pain and uneasiness: or, "a bad tooth", so the Targum and Syriac version; a rotten one.Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 19. - Hebrew (see on Ver. 11), A broken tooth, and a foot out of joint - confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble. A faithless man is as little to be relied on in a time of need as a loose or broken tooth, and a foot unsteady or actually dislocated. You cannot bite on the one, you cannot walk on the other; so the perfidious man fails you when most wanted. Septuagint, "The way [ὁδὸς, Vatican, is probably a clerical error for ὀδοὺς, al.] of the wicked, and the foot of the transgressor, shall perish in an evil day." A Bengal maxim runs, "A loose tooth and a feeble friend are equally bad" (Lane).
Like the coolness of snow on a harvest day
Is a faithful messenger to them that send him:
He refresheth the soul of his master.
The coolness (צנּה from צנן, צנן, to be cool) of snow is not that of a fall of snow, which in the time of harvest would be a calamity, but of drink cooled with snow, which was brought from Lebanon or elsewhere, from the clefts of the rocks; the peasants of Damascus store up the winter's snow in a cleft of the mountains, and convey it in the warm months to Damascus and the coast towns. Such a refreshment is a faithful messenger (vid., regarding ציר, Proverbs 13:17, here following קציר as a kind of echo) to them that send him (vid., regarding this plur. at Proverbs 10:26, cf. Proverbs 22:21); he refreshes, namely (ו explicativum, as e.g., Ezekiel 18:19, etenim filius, like the ו et quidem, Malachi 1:11, different from the ו of conditional clause Proverbs 23:3), the soul of his master; for the answer which he brings to his master refreshes him, as does a drink of snow-cooled water on a hot harvest day.
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