Proverbs 15:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

King James Bible
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

American Standard Version
A gentle tongue is a tree of life; But perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A peaceable tongue is a tree of life: but that which is immoderate, shall crush the spirit.

English Revised Version
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit.

Webster's Bible Translation
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness in it is a breach in the spirit.

Proverbs 15:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

33 Wisdom rests in the heart of the man of understanding;

     But the heart of fools it maketh itself known.

Most interpreters know not what to make of the second line here. The lxx (and after it the Syr.), and as it appears, also Aquila and Theodotion, insert οὐ; the Targ. improves the Peshito, for it inserts אוּלת (so that Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 13:16, and Proverbs 15:2 are related). And Abulwald explains: in the heart of fools it is lost; Euchel: it reels about; but these are imaginary interpretations resting on a misunderstanding of the passages, in which ידע means to come to feel, and הודיע to give to feel (to punish, correct). Kimchi rightly adheres to the one ascertained meaning of the words, according to which the Venet. μέσον δὲ ἀφρόνων γνωσθήσεται. So also the translation of Jerome: et indoctos quosque (quoque) erudiet, is formed, for he understands the "and is manifest among fools" (Luther) not merely, as C. B. Michaelis, after the saying: opposita juxta se posita magis elucescunt, but of a becoming manifest, which is salutary to these. Certainly בּקרב can mean among equals in the circle, of Proverbs 15:31; but if, as here and e.g., Jeremiah 31:31, בקרב is interchanged with בלב, and if חכמה בקרב is the subject spoken of, as 1 Kings 3:28, then בקרב does not mean among (in the midst of), but in the heart of the fool. According to this, the Talmud rightly, by comparison with the current proverb (Meza 85b): אסתירא בלגינא קישׁ קישׁ קריא, a stater in a flaggon cries Kish, Kish, i.e., makes much clatter. In the heart of the understanding wisdom rests, i.e., remains silent and still, for the understanding feels himself personally happy in its possession, endeavours always the more to deepen it, and lets it operate within; on the contrary, wisdom in the heart of fools makes itself manifest: they are not able to keep to themselves the wisdom which they imagine they possess, or the portion of wisdom which is in reality theirs; but they think, as it is said in Persius: Scire tuum nihil est nisi scire hoc te sciat alter. They discredit and waste their little portion of wisdom (instead of thinking on its increase) by obtrusive ostentatious babbling.

Proverbs 15:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a wholesome

Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Malachi 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth...

a tree

Proverbs 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and happy is every one that retains her.

Genesis 3:22-24 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand...

1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ...

Revelation 2:7 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life...

a breach

Proverbs 18:8,14 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly...

Proverbs 26:22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Psalm 52:2-4 The tongue devises mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully...

Psalm 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

Cross References
Revelation 2:7
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.'

Proverbs 3:18
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

Proverbs 12:18
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Proverbs 15:5
A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

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