Proverbs 25:25
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
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(25) Good news from a far country.—This is suggestive of the little communication which in old times took place between distant countries.

Proverbs 25:25. As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country — “Good and certain news, especially from a far country, (from whence it is hard to have any true intelligence,) is as grateful to him that longed to hear of his friends there, as cool water is to a thirsty traveller; especially when he meets with it in remote and uninhabited places, where he did not expect it.” — Bishop Patrick.

25:19. Confidence in an unfaithful man is painful and vexatious; when we put any stress on him, he not only fails, but makes us feel for it. 20. We take a wrong course if we think to relieve those in sorrow by endeavouring to make them merry. 21,22. The precept to love even our enemies is an Old Testament commandment. Our Saviour has shown his own great example in loving us when we were enemies. 23. Slanders would not be so readily spoken, if they were not readily heard. Sin, if it receives any check, becomes cowardly. 24. It is better to be alone, than to be joined to one who is a hinderance to the comfort of life. 25. Heaven is a country afar off; how refreshing is good news from thence, in the everlasting gospel, which signifies glad tidings, and in the witness of the Spirit with our spirits that we are God's children! 26. When the righteous are led into sin, it is as hurtful as if the public fountains were poisoned. 27. We must be, through grace, dead to the pleasures of sense, and also to the praises of men. 28. The man who has no command over his anger, is easily robbed of peace. Let us give up ourselves to the Lord, and pray him to put his Spirit within us, and cause us to walk in his statutes.The craving of wanderers for news from the home that they have left is as a consuming thirst, the news that quenches it as a refreshing fountain. 25. (Compare Pr 25:13).

good news—that is, of some loved interest or absent friend, the more grateful as coming from afar.

Because it comes thither more rarely and difficultly after it hath been long expected and earnestly desired; all which circumstances make it more acceptable.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul,.... Water is naturally cold; and is by classic writers expressed by "cold" itself (c), and is very refreshing to one athirst through heat: or, "to a weary soul" (d); to one wearied with labour; or to a traveller weary with travelling, especially in hot countries, as in the deserts of Arabia, or in places where it is rare to meet with a brook, stream, or fountain of water; which, when he does, it is exceeding pleasant and agreeable to him;

so is good news from a far country; so acceptable is it to hear from a friend in a distant part of the world, and particularly to hear good news of him. Such is the Gospel; it is good news, and glad tidings of good things; it brings the good news of the grace, and favour, and good will of God to men; of his appointment and provision of a Saviour for them; of the incarnation of Christ; of salvation being wrought out by him for the chief of sinners, which is free, full, and for ever; and of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, through him, And this comes "from a far country"; from heaven, the better country than Canaan, which was a type of it, or any country in this world, and which is afar from hence; the Gospel comes from God in heaven, and it is a report concerning that; it is good news to saints, of an estate they have there, an inheritance, a house, a city and kingdom prepared for them there: this news is brought by the prophets of the Old Testament, who diligently inquired of salvation by Christ; by the angels at Christ's incarnation; by John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ; by Christ himself, who was anointed to preach good tidings to the meek; and by his apostles, and all the faithful ministers of the word: and the message they bring is good news; not to carnal and self-righteous persons, but to sensible sinners; and to them it is as cold waters to a weary or thirsty soul; it assuages the heat of the law, and the wrath that works in the conscience; it quenches the thirst of carnal things, and after a man's own righteousness; it revives and refreshes his weary drooping spirits, and fills him with a joy unspeakable and full of glory; as Jacob's spirits were revived on hearing the good news of Joseph, Genesis 45:26.

(c) "Perfundit gelida", Horat. Sermon. l. 2. Sat. 7. v. 91. (d) "lassa", Montanus; "lasso", Tigurine version, so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
25. As cold waters, &c.] Comp.

“quale per æstum

Dulcis aquæ saliente sitim restinguere rivo.”

Virg. Ecl. 25:46, 47.

good news, &c.] Comp. Proverbs 15:30, and for illustration, “The heart of Jacob their father revived,” when he heard the good news from a far country, “Joseph is yet alive.” Genesis 45:25; Genesis 45:27. This proverb again admits of the highest reference.

Verse 25. - As cold waters to a thirsty soul. The particle of comparison is not in this first clause in the Hebrew. (For "cold waters," comp. Jeremiah 18:14.) So is good news from a far country. The nostalgia of an exile, and the craving for tidings of him felt by his friends at home, are like a parching thirst. The relief to the latter, when they receive good news of the wanderer, is as refreshing as a draught of cool water to a fainting, weary man. We do not know that the Hebrews were great travellers in those days; but any communication from a distant country would be very uncertain in arriving at its destination, and would at any rate take a long time in transmission, in most cases there would be nothing to rest upon but vague report, or a message carried by some travelling merchant. There is a somewhat similar proverb found at Ver. 13 and Proverbs 15:30. The ancient commentators have seen in this news from a distant country the announcement of Christ's birth by the angels at Bethlehem, or the preaching of the gospel that tells of the joys of heaven, the land that is very far off (Isaiah 33:17). Proverbs 25:2525 Fresh water to a thirsty soul;

     And good news from a far country.

Vid., regarding the form of this proverb, vol. i. p. 9; we have a similar proverb regarding the influence of good news at Proverbs 15:30. Fresh cold water is called at Jeremiah 18:14 מים קרים; vid., regarding קר, 18:27. "עיף, cogn. יעף, and עוּף, properly to become darkened, therefore figuratively like (Arab.) gushiya 'alyh, to become faint, to become feeble unto death, of the darkness which spreads itself over the eyes" (Fleischer).

This proverb, with the figure of "fresh water," is now followed by one with the figure of a "fountain":

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