Proverbs 25:5

Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
– Proverbs 25:5

The word for take away means to remove, and it begins both verse 4 and verse 5. Removing the dross from silver in the previous verse results in a pure and valuable vessel. Likewise, removing wicked counselors from before the king results in an established throne (Proverbs 16:12; 20:28; 29:14). The implication of the verse is that wicked counselors will ruin the righteousness of a rule by perverting justice in one way or another. Wisdom teaches the necessity of wise counselors (Proverbs 15:22; 20:18), but also warns against wicked counsel (Proverbs 12:3, 19).

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Proverbs 25:4

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
– Proverbs 25:4

Continuing the theme of kings and counselors, verse 4 provides a metaphor for the point of verse 5. Removing dross from silver is a reference to refining or purifying the metal (Proverbs 17:3). The Hebrew wording has some difficulties, as noted by various commentators, but the point is clear. The presence of dross in the silver ruins the vessel, or makes it worthless.

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Proverbs 25:3

The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
– Proverbs 25:3

This verse uses a triplet that likens three things as being unsearchable. The point of the comparison is to focus on the heart of kings. The word for unsearchable is related to the word for search out in the previous verse, which ties the verses together thematically. The heaven for height and the earth for depth are essentially unfathomable and are put for something not fully knowable. The wisdom here is teaching servants and courtiers to be cautious in presuming to know the full mind of a king, or in being overconfident of his favor (Proverbs 16:14; 20:2; 24:21-22).

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Proverbs 25:2

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
– Proverbs 25:2

Verses 2-7 form the first saying and it deals with kings and counsellors. Verse 2 is a parallelism that compares and contrasts God and kings. The two phrases have the same Hebrew word at the beginning, translated glory and honor. The same Hebrew word is at the end of the phrases, translated as thing and matter. The middle of the phrases parallel with differences—God and kings, and conceal and search out. The word for glory and honor means weight, or heaviness. It can refer to a great quantity or majesty. The word for conceal means to hide, while the word for search out means to penetrate, or investigate. Because God has all wisdom, he keeps secret counsels (Deuteronomy 29:29). The glory of kings is lesser and derivative, but it is manifest in seeking counsel and investigating a matter fully (Deuteronomy 13:14; Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 24:6).

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Proverbs 25:1

Introduction
The next collection of proverbs in this book is a collection of Solomon’s proverbs compiled by court officers serving King Hezekiah. This collection begins in Proverbs 25:2 and runs through 29:27. The collection has over one hundred proverbs, which are a looser, multi-line form. The collection has many similes where one thing is compared with something of a different kind. Though not having any apparent overall structure or theme, many of the proverbs have to do with public, civil life.

Chapter 25 begins this collection with proverbs alternating between positive (do this) sayings and negative (do not do this) sayings. The proverbs treat various topics, such as, kings and courts, speech, faithfulness, persistence, etc.

These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
– Proverbs 25:1

Verse 1 introduces the collection and marks it from the others, as is common in Proverbs (Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 22:17; 24:23; 25:1; 30:1; 31:1). The word for copied out means to move. It is uncertain what all was involved, but the court officers of Hezekiah in some way acted as curators of Solomon’s proverbs and compilers, at least of this section.

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