An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 176 – Confidence In The Unfaithful Through Ruling Own Spirit (Proverbs 25:19-28)

To download this handout in a PDF format click here >


1. Is it good to depend on an unfaithful man?
No better than a broken tooth or foot out of joint: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19).

  • Isaiah 30:1-5, Mark 14:50 [cf. John 16:32 and Luke 22:31-32], and II Timothy 4:16.

2. Is it good to bring songs to a person of a heavy heart (is joyous activity fit for times that cause heavy hearts)?
No better than adding vinegar to acid or taking away clothing during cold weather: “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” (Proverbs 25:20).

  • Weep with the weeping (Psalms 35:13-14, Romans 12:15, and I Corinthians 12:25-26).
  • The idea of taking clothing in times of cold (Job 24:1-10 and James 2:15-16).

3. How should we treat our enemies when they are desperately in need?
“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink” (Proverbs 25:21).

  • Exodus 23:4-5, Proverbs 24:17, Matthew 5:44, and Luke 10:25-32(cf. John 4:9).
  • The example of Jesus (Matthew 12:30; cf. I Peter 3:18 and Acts 2:32-41).

4. If we help our enemies in times of desperate need, what result often occurs?
“(21) If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: (22) For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee (Proverbs 25:21-22).

  • Romans 12:17-21.
  • This does not mean we should help someone with the motive of heaping coals of fire upon his/her head (I Thessalonians 5:15 and I Peter 3:9).
  • Our reward is not the result of helping them in a sense of vengeance, but our reward is still ahead of us given by our Father (Matthew 16:27 and Luke 6:35).

5. For Proverbs 25:23, please consider the following points and then we’ll have our question…
  • The KJV reads like this: “The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue”. That wording seems to be saying that anger drives away backbiting tongues. However, we know that this doesn’t make sense as anger leads to more problems (Proverbs 15:1; 18). The wording in the KJV is too unclear.
  • A Hebrew word study (Strong’s # 2342) of the word translated in the KJV as “driveth away” shows this can also mean: “formed” (Deuteronomy 32:18 and Job 26:5) or “brought forth” (Proverbs 8:24). This makes sense as wind brings forth rain just as an angry countenance can bring forth backbiting.
  • The NKJV says: “The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.” The ASV 1901 says: “The north wind bringeth forth rain: So doth a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.”

Our question: Is there any relationship between anger and backbiting?
Yes: “The north wind driveth away [brings forth; Strong’s # 2342] rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue” (Proverbs 25:23).

  • Anger causes many problems (Proverbs 10:12, Proverbs 26:20-21, and Proverbs 29:22).

6. Is a wide house big enough to find peace when there is a brawling woman inside that house?
No: “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house” (Proverbs 25:24).

  • Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 21:9, Proverbs 21:19, and Proverbs 27:15-16.
  • When the keeper of the home is messed up (Titus 2:4-5), so is the rest.

7. Is good news refreshing?
Yes: “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country” (Proverbs 25:25).

  • Proverbs 15:30, Colossians 1:3-4, I Thessalonians 3:1-8, and III John 3-4.

8. Is it good to see the righteous falling down before the wicked?
No: “A righteous man falling down [slipping; faltering] before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring” (Proverbs 25:26). Cf. II Samuel 12:14.

9. Can you eat too much honey?
Yes: “It is not good to eat much honey…” (Proverbs 25:27).

  • Honey is good (Proverbs 24:13), but not too much (Proverbs 25:16).

10. Is it good to glorify yourself?
No: “…so for men to search their own glory is not glory” (Proverbs 25:27).

  • Proverbs 27:2, Galatians 5:26, and Philippians 2:3.

11. Are you spiritually fit if you have no self-control?
No, you are likened to a broken down and defenseless city: “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).

  • Proverbs 14:17, Proverbs 14:29, and Proverbs 16:32.