Proverbs 26:22

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

– Proverbs 26:22

This verse is the same as Proverbs 18:8. The word for wounds only appears in these two verses and means to gulp down. The image is that of devouring food. Just as what we eat goes into the body and has internal effect, gossip and slander penetrate and have an effect on our souls. Wisdom teaches to refuse to hear such talk (Proverbs 26:17, 20-21; 20:3).

 


 

 

Proverbs 25:23

The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
– Proverbs 25:23

The final proverbs in this chapter don’t have a strong connection, or theme. The original in this verse is difficult, but the image is clear enough. The word for driveth away means bring forth, so rain comes with the wind. The word for backbiting means covering, or secrecy. When the word is used of speech, it indicates slanderous speech. The saying is that as sure as the wind brings the rain, a slandering tongue will bring an angry countenance. Wisdom’s warning would here goes to the slanderer.

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Proverbs 25:10

Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
– Proverbs 25:10

Verse 10 gives the consequence of being hasty to contend with someone. Particularly, the verse continues the thought from verse 9 and revealing a “secret to another.” The word for shame means to bow and, in the context, refers to being reproached. The word for infamy means slander. The warning means you will be brought to disgrace and gain reputation as a slanderer. Of course, the answer to avoid this was given in the previous verse, “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself” (Proverbs 25:9).

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Proverbs 10:18

He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
– Proverbs 10:18

Hatred can be hidden by flattery, inappropriate silence, or outright lies (Proverbs 26:24-25). Uttering a slander gives vent to the hatred rather than hiding it. Both are damaging and indicative of a fool (Proverbs 16:28).

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