Prov 25.1-28 is a little different than the previous twenty-four chapters. The next five chapters (25-29) are sayings of Solomon that the men of King Hezekiah collected and transcribed. They were written by Solomon but not collected into a book form. Solomon discusses reputation, integrity and wisdom in contrast to the fool.
v 1…These are also the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed (from a collection of Solomon’s sayings that had been preserved for 300 years-1 Kings 4.32).
v 2…It is the glory of God to conceal a matter (because he cannot be comprehended by man’s limited ability), but the glory of kings is to search out a matter (to try and understand every legal matter brought before him, to investigate and open up the judgments of God he has learned).
v 3…As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable (their reasonings cannot be figured out).
v 4…Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the smith (the metal is pure enough to be used).
v 5…Take away the wicked from before the king (by judgment, to remove the human dross), and his throne will be established in righteousness (a better government will result from righteous judgment).
v 6…Do not claim honor in the presence of the king (by exalting or boasting), and do not stand in the place of great men (where the king’s family, nobles, ministers or counselors stand).
v 7… For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen (humble ourselves, and we will be exalted-Luke 4.8-11).
v 8…Do not go out hastily to argue (contend), otherwise, what will you do in the end (don’t rush to argue because it is easy to quarrel, but the consequences may not be what you think), when your neighbor puts you to shame (when you lose).
v 9…Argue (debate) your case with your neighbor (first) and do not reveal the secret of another (don’t betray their confidence if the case can be settled among yourselves, don’t bring a third party into it),
v 10…Lest he who hears it reproach you (by exposing a secret and your reputation suffers), and the evil report about you not pass away (and perverts others from trusting you again).
v 11…Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances (it harmonizes with what is happening).
v 12…Like an earing of gold and an ornament of fine gold, is a wise reprover to a listening ear (it is fit and proper, like beautiful jewelry).
v 13…Like the cold of snow in the day of harvest (used to cool a drink when it is hot) is a faithful messenger to those who send them, for he refreshes the soul of his masters (he does well and it pleases them).
v 14…Like clouds and wind without rain (much promise but nothing happens) is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely (all hat and no cattle).
v 15…By forebearance (self-control) a ruler may be persuaded (to our case), and a soft tongue breaks (wears down) the bone (the obstacles, hardness).
v 16…Have you found honey? Eat only what you need (as your body requires), lest you have it in excess and vomit it (and lose the good thing we have obtained).
v 17…Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house (rare visits), lest he become weary of you (tired of your presence) and hate you (not be blessed by your visit).
v 18…Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor (his testimony is like a weapon that can mortally wound another).
v 19…Like a bad tooth and an unsteady (slipping) foot is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.
v 20…Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day (makes no sense), or like vinegar on soda (it destroys the soda), is he who sings songs (of happiness) to a troubled )evil) heart (it is contradictory and would irritate him more).
v 21…If your enemy (literally “one who hates you”) is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink (don’t act with vengeance-Matt 5.44-47; Rom 12.9-21);
v 22…For you will heap (snatch up) burning coals on his head (melt his heart, cause him to regret what he did to you) and Yehovah will reward you.
v 23…The north wind brings forth rain (produces it) and a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance (it produces a distressed face).
v 24…It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house with a contentious woman (see Prov 21.9 notes).
v 25…Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land (so little correspondence takes place when there is a long distance, any news is welcome).
v 26…Like a trampled spring and polluted well, ia a righteous man who gives way before the wicked (wavers, lacks moral backbone to face them).
v 27…It is not good to eat much honey (overindulgence) nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory (desire honor from men).
v 28…Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit (he is open to attacks from everywhere, exposed and in danger).