Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
When silver is melted, the dross or impurities rise to the surface. When the dross is removed, the silversmith has molten metal that is suitable for making jewelry. The dross here symbolizes wicked counselors in the king’s court. When they are removed, the kingdom is established on a righteous basis.
The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
The height of the heavens seems to be limitless and the depth of the earth seem to be unsearchable. Likewise, there is something inscrutable about the heart of noble kings, as no one knows exactly what they are thinking.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
God hides His secrets in His natural creation, in His written word, and in His providential dealings. The responsibility of kings is to search for the truth in the developments affecting their kingdom and will make full investigation in order to render true judgments and formulate sound policies.
These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
The proverbs in Chapters 25-29 were composed by Solomon but copied years later by the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah. There are one-hundred forty proverbs, corresponding to the numerical value of the letters in the Hebrew of the name “Hezekiah”.
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
The writer passed by the sluggard’s vineyard and saw that it was all overgrown with thorns and the wall was in ruins. When we succumb to laziness in spiritual matters and become infested with the works of the flesh, there will be no fruit from God. Our spiritual defenses, symbolized by a wall, are down, and the devil gains a foothold and it results in coldness, backsliding, and poverty of the soul.
Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
Under no circumstances should anyone bring false accusations against their neighbor or spread lies about them. Even if the neighbor has done those very things that they are talking about, there is no excuse for returning evil for evil.
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Solomon warned about rushing into marriage, with all of its responsibilities before being spiritually, emotionally, and mentally ready. Just as an individual must clear away the tress and cultivate the land before building a house, this means before two people get married, they should have their life in order.
These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
It is a despicable thing to show partiality when judging matters of right and wrong. On the other hand, the judges who rebuke sin will be rewarded by God and blessed by others. Those who render honest and just verdicts will win “the kiss” of approval from people.
My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
This proverb promotes reverence and respect for God and for the king, as His representative. It also warns against those who are out to change divine institutions or to overthrow civil governments. As Christians, we are to obey human governments, as long as we can do so without compromising our loyalty to God. If a government orders us to disobey God, we should refuse and humbly take the consequences. Under no circumstance should we join any plot to overthrow the human government, which God has established to promote righteousness.
Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
We are not to be upset over the apparent success of evildoers, and not to envy the wicked. The ungodly have nothing to look forward to as the light of their life will be extinguished.