Proverbs 27:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise.

New Living Translation
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.

English Standard Version
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise.

Berean Study Bible
A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold, but a man is tested by the praise accorded him.

New American Standard Bible
The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And each is tested by the praise accorded him.

King James Bible
As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

Christian Standard Bible
A crucible refines silver, a smelter refines gold, and a person refines his praise.

Contemporary English Version
Gold and silver are tested in a red-hot furnace, but we are tested by praise.

Good News Translation
Fire tests gold and silver; a person's reputation can also be tested.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A crucible for silver, and a smelter for gold, and a man for the words of his praise.

International Standard Version
As the crucible tests silver, and the furnace assays gold; so praise received tests a man.

NET Bible
As the crucible is for silver and the furnace is for gold, so a person is proved by the praise he receives.

New Heart English Bible
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but man is refined by his praise.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A refining pot proves silver, and a furnace- gold, so is a man proven by the mouth of his praisers.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The crucible is for refining silver and the smelter for gold, but a person [is tested] by the praise given to him.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, And a man is tried by his praise.

New American Standard 1977
The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And a man is tested by the praise accorded him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
As the fining pot tries the silver and the furnace the gold; so the man is tried by the mouth of whoever praises him.

King James 2000 Bible
As the refining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man judged by his praise.

American King James Version
As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

American Standard Version
The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold; And a man is tried by his praise.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As silver is tried in the fining-pot and gold in the furnace: so a man is tried by the mouth of him that praiseth. The heart of the wicked seeketh after evils, but the righteous heart seeketh after knowledge.

Darby Bible Translation
The fining-pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold; so let a man be to the mouth that praiseth him.

English Revised Version
The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, and a man is tried by his praise.

Webster's Bible Translation
As the fining-pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

World English Bible
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but man is refined by his praise.

Young's Literal Translation
A refining pot is for silver, and a furnace for gold, And a man according to his praise.
Study Bible
Do not Boast about Tomorrow
20Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. 21A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold, but a man is tested by the praise accorded him. 22Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.…
Cross References
Luke 6:26
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers treated the false prophets in the same way.

Proverbs 17:3
A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold, but the LORD is the tester of hearts.

Treasury of Scripture

As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

the fining

Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD …

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace …

Psalm 66:10 For you, O God, have proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine …

Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall …

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold …

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is …

so

1 Samuel 18:7,8,15,16,30 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul …

2 Samuel 14:25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom …

2 Samuel 15:6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king …

(21) So is a man to his praise--i.e., as the fining-pot and furnace test the metals put into them, so does that on which a man prides or boasts himself. Observe what this is--e.g., wealth, or show, or popularity, or duty--and you will see what sort of a man he is. Or it may mean, praise--i.e., popularity, is as great a trial to a man as the fining-pot to silver; he must be of good metal if he comes unhurt out of this. Or, again, it may signify, let a man test his praise--i.e., examine by whom and for what he is praised, and be sure it is genuine and well deserved

Verse 21. - Fining pot, etc. (see on Proverbs 17:3; comp. also Proverbs 25:4). So is a man to his praise. The Hebrew is literally, The crucible for silver, and the furnace for gold, and a man according, to his praise; i.e. as the processes of metallurgy test the precious metals, so a man's public reputation shows what he is really worth, as is stated in Proverbs 12:8. As the crucible brings all impurities to the surface, so public opinion drags forth all that is bad in a man, and he who stands this test is generally esteemed. Certainly praise is a stimulus to exertion, an incentive to try to make one's self worthy of the estimation in which one is held, especially if he purifies it from the dross and earthliness mixed with it, and takes to himself only what is genuine and just. But public opinion is very commonly false end is always a very unsafe criterion of moral excellence. Hence other interpretations have been proposed. Ewald renders, "and a man according to his boasting," that is, according to that which he most praises in himself and others. So virtually Hitzig, Bottcher, Zockler, and others. In this view the gnome denotes that a man's real character is best examined by the light cast upon it by his usual line of thought, what he most prides himself upon, what he admires most in other men. Plumptre, after Gesenius and Fleischer, has, "So let a man be to his praise," i.e. to the mouth which praises him; let him test this commendation, to see what it is worth, before he accepts it as his due. The explanation first given seems on the whole most suitable, when we reflect that the highest morality is not always enunciated, and that secondary motives are widely recognized as factors in action and judgment. There are not wanting men in modern days who uphold the maxim, Vox populi, vox Dei. Septuagint, "The action of fire is a test for silver and gold, so a man is tested by the mouth of them that praise him." No surer test of a man's true character can be found than his behaviour under praise; many men arc spoiled by it. If a man comes forth from it without injury, not rendered vain, or blind to his defects, or disdainful of others, his disposition is good, and the commendation lavished upon him may be morally and spiritually beneficial. Vulgate, Sic probatur homo ore laudantis, "So is a man proved by the mouth of him that praises him." The following passage from St. Gregory, commenting on this, is worth quoting, "Praise of one's self tortures the just, but elates the wicked. But while it tortures, it purifies the just; and while it pleases the wicked, it proves them to be reprobate. For these revel in their own praise, because they seek not the glory of their Maker. But they who seek the glory of their Maker are tortured with their own praise, lest that which is spoken of without should not exist within them; lest, if that which is said really exists, it should be made void in the sight of God by these very honours; lest the praise of men should soften the firmness of their heart, and should lay it low in self-satisfaction; and lest that which ought to aid them to increase their exertions, should be even now the recompense of their labour. But when they see that their own praises tend to the glory of God, they even long for and welcome them. For it is written, "That they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" ('Moral.,' 26:62, Oxford transl.). The LXX. adds a verse which is not found in the Hebrew, but occurs in some manuscripts of the Latin Version, "The heart of the transgressor seeketh out evils, but an upright heart seeketh knowledge." As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold,.... For the trying, proving, and purifying these metals; see Proverbs 17:3;

so is a man to his praise; or "according to the mouth of his praise" (p); if his own mouth praises him, as in Proverbs 27:2;, he is known to be what he is, a foolish and vainglorious person: or "so a man is proved by the mouth of him that praises him", as the Vulgate Latin version; or "of them that praise him", as the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions; and so the Targum: the meaning is, either a man is known by the persons that praise him, according to what their characters are; if he is praised by good and virtuous men, he may be thought to be so himself; and if by wicked men, he may be concluded to be so likewise; see Proverbs 28:4; or he is known by the effect that praise has upon him; if it swells him with pride, and makes him haughty, conceited, and overbearing, he will appear to be a weak and foolish man; but if he continues modest and humble, and studious and diligent to answer his character, thankful to God for what he has, and to whom he gives all the glory, he will approve himself a wise and good man.

(p) "ad os laudis suae", Gejerus. 21. Praise tests character.

a man to his praise—according to his praise, as he bears it. Thus vain men seek it, weak men are inflated by it, wise men disregard it, etc.27:15,16. The contentions of a neighbour may be like a sharp shower, troublesome for a time; the contentions of a wife are like constant rain. 17. We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better. 18. Though a calling be laborious and despised, yet those who keep to it, will find there is something to be got by it. God is a Master who has engaged to honour those who serve him faithfully. 19. One corrupt heart is like another; so are sanctified hearts: the former bear the same image of the earthly, the latter the same image of the heavenly. Let us carefully watch our own hearts, comparing them with the word of God. 20. Two things are here said to be never satisfied, death and sin. The appetites of the carnal mind for profit or pleasure are always desiring more. Those whose eyes are ever toward the Lord, are satisfied in him, and shall for ever be so. 21. Silver and gold are tried by putting them into the furnace and fining-pot; so is a man tried by praising him. 22. Some are so bad, that even severe methods do not answer the end; what remains but that they should be rejected? The new-creating power of God's grace alone is able to make a change. 23-27. We ought to have some business to do in this world, and not to live in idleness, and not to meddle with what we do not understand. We must be diligent and take pains. Let us do what we can, still the world cannot be secured to us, therefore we must choose a more lasting portion; but by the blessing of God upon our honest labours, we may expect to enjoy as much of earthly blessings as is good for us.
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