Proverbs 25:8
Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(8) When thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.—Proved thee to be in the wrong, and won his cause against thee.

Proverbs 25:8-10. Go not forth hastily to strive — To contend with thy neighbour judicially or otherwise; especially take some time to consider both whether thy cause be good, and whether it be important, as also how to manage it, before thou bring an action at law against him; reflect on the certainty of the expense and the uncertainty of the success, and how much care and vexation it will occasion; lest thou know not what to do, &c. — Lest, in the conclusion, thou wish the matter had not been begun, when he puts thee to open shame, by showing thou hast sued him wrongfully, or for a trifle. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour — If thou hast any quarrel with him, first try to compose it by private discourse with him. And discover not a secret — Any secret; to another — Let no heat of contention provoke thee to divulge any of his secret counsels committed to thy trust, or to reproach him with any of his secret faults, as is usual in law- suits and other contentions. Or the words may be rendered, Discover not the secret; namely, the secret difference between thee and him; let it be ended secretly between you, and not be imparted to any other. Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame — Reproach thee for thy gross violation of the laws of prudence, justice, charity, and friendship therein; and thy infamy turn not away — And that disgrace, which thou didst design against another, fall and be fastened upon thyself.

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 general meaning is: It is dangerous to plunge into litigation. At all times, there is the risk of failure, and, if we fail, of being at the mercy of an irritated adversary. Without the italics, the clause may be rendered, "lest thou do something (i. e., something humiliating and vexatious) at the end thereof." 8. (Compare Pr 3:30).

lest … shame—lest you do what you ought not, when shamed by defeat, or "lest thou art shut out from doing any thing."

Go not forth hastily, without necessary cause and due consideration, to strive, either judicially or otherwise.

Put thee to shame, for thy folly in undertaking what thou wast not able to accomplish, and for thy injustice in charging him wrongfully.

Go not forth hastily to strive,.... To go to law with a neighbour; think well of it beforehand; consider the nature of the cause, whether right or wrong; or whether it is a matter of such moment as to go to law about; whether it will not be deemed a frivolous and vexatious suit; whether able to bear the expenses of it, and what may probably be the success of it;

lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof; for a livelihood, having spent all thy substance in the lawsuit, and so reduced to poverty as not to know how to live, or how and where to show thy face, through the disgrace that shall fall upon time by losing the cause;

when that neighbour hath put thee to shame; in open court, and proved himself to be in the right, and that thou art in the wrong; himself an honest man, and thee a litigious person.

Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
8. thou know not] These words are also inserted in R.V. text, with the alternative in the margin, Lest it be said in the end thereof, What wilt thou do? when &c. The Heb. as it stands is forcible in its abruptness: Lest—what wilt thou do in the end thereof? &c.

8–10. The admonition in these verses is general: Be not of a contentious spirit; plunge not hastily into quarrels (comp. the use of the same word “strive,” Genesis 26:20; Exodus 21:18; Deuteronomy 33:8). But there is a special and perhaps primary reference to going to law (obs. thy cause, Proverbs 25:9, the same Heb. word as in Exodus 23:2-3). The passage will then nearly resemble our Lord’s teaching: so far from “going forth hastily to strive,” “agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him”; show a placable disposition, and instead of seeking the publicity of the law-court, “debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself.” And do this from a consideration of what litigation persisted in may involve: lest thou know not what to do,” &c.; “lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge,” &c. Matthew 5:25-26.

Verse 8. - A tristich with no parallelism. Go not forth hastily to strive. The idea is either of one entering into litigation with undue haste, or of one hurrying to meet an adversary. St. Jerome, taking in the final words of the previous verse, renders, Quae viderunt oculi tui, ne proferas in jurgio cito, "What thine eyes have seen reveal not hastily in a quarrel." This is like Ver. 9 below, and Christ's injunction, "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone" (Matthew 18:15). Lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof. The Hebrew is elliptical, "Lest by chance (פֶן) thou do something (bad, humiliating) in the end thereof." But Delitzsch, Nowack, and others consider the sentence as interrogative (as 1 Samuel 20:19), and translate, "That it may not be said in the end thereof, What wilt thou do?" Either way, the warning comes to this - Do not enter hastily upon strife of any kind, lest thou be utterly at a loss what to do. When thy neighbour hath put thee to shame, by putting thee in the wrong, gaining his cause, or getting the victory over thee in some way. Septuagint, "Fall not quickly into a contest, lest thou repent at the last." There is an English proverb, "Anger begins with folly and ends with repentance;" and "Haste is the beginning of wrath, its end is repentance." Proverbs 25:88 Go not forth hastily to strife,

   That it may not be said, "What wilt thou do in the end thereof,

   When now thy neighbour bringeth disgrace upon thee?"

9 Art thou striving with thy neighbour? strive with him,

   But disclose not the secret of another;

10 That he who heareth it may not despise thee,

   And thine evil name depart no more.

Whether ריב in לריב is infin., as at Judges 21:22, or subst., as at 2 Chronicles 19:8, is not decided: ad litigandum and ad litem harmonize. As little may it be said whether in אל־תּצא [go not forth], a going out to the gate (court of justice), or to the place where he is to be met who is to be called to account, is to be thought of; in no respect is the sense metaphorical: let not thyself transgress the bounds of moderation, ne te laisse pas emporter; יצא לרב is correlate to בּוא לרוב, Judges 21:22. The use of פּן in 8b is unprecedented. Euchel and Lwenstein regard it as an imper.: reflect upon it (test it); but פּנה does not signify this, and the interjectional הס does not show the possibility of an imper. Kal פּן, and certainly not פּן (פּן). The conj. פּן is the connecting form of an original subst. ( equals panj), which signifies a turning away. It is mostly connected with the future, according to which Nolde, Oetinger, Ewald, and Bertheau explain מה indefinite, something, viz., unbecoming. In itself, it may, perhaps, be possible that פן מה was used in the sense of ne quid (Venet. μήποτέ τι); but "to do something," for "to commit something bad," is improbable; also in that case we would expect the words to be thus: פן תעשׂה מה. Thus מה will be an interrogative, as at 1 Samuel 20:10 (vid., Keil), and the expression is brachyogical: that thou comest not into the situation not to know what thou oughtest to do (Rashi: פן תבא לידי לא תדע הם לעשׂות), or much rather anakoluth.; for instead of saying פּן־לא תדע מה־לּעשׂות, the poet, shunning this unusual פן לא, adopts at once the interrogative form: that it may not be said at the end thereof (viz., of the strife); what wilt thou do? (Umbreit, Stier, Elster, Hitzig, and Zckler). This extreme perplexity would occur if thy neighbour (with whom thou disputest so eagerly and unjustly) put thee to shame, so that thou standest confounded (כלם, properly to hurt, French blesser). If now the summons 9a follows this warning against going out for the purpose of strife: fight out thy conflict with thy neighbour, then ריבך, set forth with emphasis, denotes not such a strife as one is surprised into, but that into which one is drawn, and the tuam in causam tuam is accented in so far as 9b localizes the strife to the personal relation of the two, and warns against the drawing in of an אחר, i.e., in this case, of a third person: and expose not the secret of another אל־תּגל (after Michlol 130a, and Ben-Bileam, who places the word under the 'פ'פתחין בס, is vocalized with Pathach on ג, as is Cod. 1294, and elsewhere in correct texts). One ought not to bring forward in a dispute, as material of proof and means of acquittal, secrets entrusted to him by another, or secrets which one knows regarding the position and conduct of another; for such faithlessness and gossiping affix a stigma on him who avails himself of them, in the public estimation, Proverbs 25:10; that he who hears it may not blame thee (חסּד equals Aram. חסּד, vid., under Proverbs 14:34), and the evil report concerning thee continue without recall. Fleischer: ne infamia tua non recedat i.e., nunquam desinat per ora hominum propagari, with the remark, "in דבּה, which properly means in stealthy creeping on of the rumour, and in שׁוּב lies a (Arab.) tarshyḥ," i.e., the two ideas stand in an interchangeable relation with a play upon the words: the evil rumour, once put in circulation, will not again retrace its steps; but, on the contrary, as Virgil says:

Mobilitate viget viresque acquirit eundo.

In fact, every other can sooner rehabilitate himself in the public estimation that he who is regarded as a prattler, who can keep no secret, or as one so devoid of character that he makes public what he ought to keep silent, if he can make any use of it in his own interest. In regard to such an one, the words are continually applicable, hic niger est, hunc tu, Romane, caveto, Proverbs 20:19. The lxx has, instead of ודבתך 10b, read ומריבתך, and translated it with the addition of a long appendix: "They quarrel, and hostilities will not cease, but will be to thee like death. Kindness and friendship deliver, let these preserve thee, that thou mayest not become one meriting reproaches (Jerome: ne exprobrabilis fias), but guard thy ways, εὐσυναλλάκτως."

Proverbs 25:8 Interlinear
Proverbs 25:8 Parallel Texts

Proverbs 25:8 NIV
Proverbs 25:8 NLT
Proverbs 25:8 ESV
Proverbs 25:8 NASB
Proverbs 25:8 KJV

Proverbs 25:8 Bible Apps
Proverbs 25:8 Parallel
Proverbs 25:8 Biblia Paralela
Proverbs 25:8 Chinese Bible
Proverbs 25:8 French Bible
Proverbs 25:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

Proverbs 25:7
Top of Page
Top of Page