Proverbs 25:20
New International Version
Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

New Living Translation
Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone's coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.

English Standard Version
Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.

Berean Study Bible
Like one who removes a garment on a cold day or vinegar poured on soda is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

New American Standard Bible
Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.

King James Bible
As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

Christian Standard Bible
Singing songs to a troubled heart is like taking off clothing on a cold day or like pouring vinegar on soda.

Contemporary English Version
Singing to someone in deep sorrow is like pouring vinegar in an open cut.

Good News Translation
Singing to a person who is depressed is like taking off a person's clothes on a cold day or like rubbing salt in a wound.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Singing songs to a troubled heart is like taking off clothing on a cold day or like pouring vinegar on soda.

International Standard Version
Taking your coat off when it's cold or pouring vinegar on soda— that's what singing songs does to a heavy heart.

NET Bible
Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

New Heart English Bible
As one who takes away a garment in cold weather, or vinegar on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He that takes the cloak from his neighbor in the day of cold as like he that casts dirt upon wealth, and to chastise a grieved heart is like a moth to a garment and like a boring worm to a tree; so grief wounds the heart of a man.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[Like] taking off a coat on a cold day or pouring vinegar on baking soda, so is singing songs to one who has an evil heart.

JPS Tanakh 1917
As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, So is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.

New American Standard 1977
Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.

Jubilee Bible 2000
As he that takes away a garment in cold weather and as vinegar upon soap, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart.

King James 2000 Bible
As he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon soda, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart.

American King James Version
As he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar on nitre, so is he that singes songs to an heavy heart.

American Standard Version
As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon soda, So is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
As vinegar is bad for a sore, so trouble befalling the body afflicts the heart. As a moth in a garment, and a worm in wood, so the grief of a man hurts the heart.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And one that looseth his garment in cold weather. As vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a very evil heart. As a moth doth by a garment, and a worm by the wood: so the sadness of a man consumeth the heart.

Darby Bible Translation
[As] he that taketh off a garment in cold weather, [and as] vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a sad heart.

English Revised Version
As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

Webster's Bible Translation
As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre; so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.

World English Bible
As one who takes away a garment in cold weather, or vinegar on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Young's Literal Translation
Whoso is taking away a garment in a cold day, Is as vinegar on nitre, And a singer of songs on a sad heart.
Study Bible
More Proverbs of Solomon
19Like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble. 20Like one who removes a garment on a cold day or vinegar poured on soda is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. 21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.…
Cross References
Proverbs 25:19
Like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.

Proverbs 25:21
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

Treasury of Scripture

As he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar on nitre, so is he that singes songs to an heavy heart.

that taketh

Deuteronomy 24:12-17
And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: …

Job 24:7-10
They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold…

Isaiah 58:7
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

vinegar

Proverbs 10:26
As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

so

Psalm 137:3,4
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion…

Ecclesiastes 3:4
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Daniel 6:18
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.







Lexicon
[Like] one who removes
מַ֥עֲדֶה (ma·‘ă·ḏeh)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5710: To advance, pass on, continue, to remove, to bedeck

a garment
בֶּ֨גֶד ׀ (be·ḡeḏ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 899: A covering, clothing, treachery, pillage

on a cold
קָ֭רָה (qā·rāh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7135: Coolness

day
בְּי֣וֹם (bə·yō·wm)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

or vinegar
חֹ֣מֶץ (ḥō·meṣ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2558: Vinegar

poured on
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

soda
נָ֑תֶר (nā·ṯer)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5427: Natron or carbonate of soda

[is] one who sings
וְשָׁ֥ר (wə·šār)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7891: To sing

songs
בַּ֝שִּׁרִ֗ים (baš·ši·rîm)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7892: A song, singing

to
עַ֣ל (‘al)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

a heavy
רָֽע׃ (rā‘)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7451: Bad, evil

heart.
לֶב־ (leḇ-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre
(20) As vinegar upon nitre, by which the nitre is rendered useless.

Is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.--Not the true sympathy advised by St. Paul. (Romans 12:15.)

Verse 20. - As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather. The proverb gives three instances of what is wrong, incongruous, or unwise, the first two leading up to the third, which is the pith of the maxim. But them is some doubt about the rendering of the first clause. The Authorized Version has the authority of the Syriac, Aquila, and others, and gives an appropriate sense, the unreasonable proceeding being the laying aside of some of one's own clothes in cold weather. But the verb here used, עָדָח (adah), may also mean "to adorn," e.g., with fine garments; hence some expositors understand the incongruity to be the dressing one's self in gay apparel in winter. But, as Delitzsch remarks, there is no reason why fine clothes should not be warm; and if they are so, there is nothing unreasonable in wearing them. The rendering of our version is probably correct. St. Jerome annexes this line to the preceding verse, as if it confirmed the previous instances of misplaced confidence, Et amittit pallium in die frigoris. "Such a one loses his cloak in a day of frost." Vinegar upon nitre. Our nitre, or saltpetre, is nitrate of potash, which is not the substance intended by נֶתֶר (nether). The substance signified by this term is a natural alkali, known to the ancients as natron, and composed of carbonate of soda with some other admixture. It was used extensively for washing purposes, and in cookery and bread making. It effervesces with an acid, such as vinegar, and changes its character, becoming a salt, and being rendered useless for all the purposes to which it was applied in its alkaline condition. So he who pours vinegar on natron does a foolish thing, for he spoils a highly useful article, and produces one which is of no service to him. Septuagint, "As vinegar is inexpedient for a wound (ἕλκει), so suffering falling on the body pains the heart." Schulteus, Ewald, and others, by referring nether to an Arabic source, obtain the meaning "wound," or "sore," titus: "As vinegar on a sore." This gives a most appropriate sense, and might well be adopted if it had sufficient authority. But this is doubtful. Cornelius a Lapide translates the Septuagint rendering, Ὥσπερ ὅξος ἑλκει ἀούμφορον, "Sicut acetum trahit inutile;" and explains that vinegar draws from the soil the nitre which is prejudicial to vegetation, and thus renders ground fertile - a fact in agricultural chemistry not generally known, though Columella vouches for it. A somewhat similar fact, however, is of common experience. Land occasionally becomes what farmers term "sour," and is thus sterile; if it is then dressed with salt. its fertillity is restored. So is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart. The inconsistency lies in thinking to cheer a sorrowful heart by singing merry songs. "A tale out of season," says Siracides, "is as music in mourning" (Ecclus. 22:6). The Greeks denoted cruel incongruity by the proverb, Ἐν, πενθοῦσι παίζειν; "Ludere inter maerentes." As the old hymn says -

"Strains of gladness
Suit not souls with anguish torn."
The true Christian sympathy teaches to "rejoice with them that rejoice, to weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15). Plumptre, in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' suggests that the effervescence caused by the mixture of acid and alkali is taken as a type of the irritation produced by the inopportune songs. But this is importing a modern view into a paragraph, such as would never have occurred to the writer. The Septuagint, followed partially by Jerome, the Syriac, and the Targum, introduces another proverb not found in the Hebrew, "As a moth in a garment, and a worm in wood, so the sorrow of a man hurts his heart." 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.
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