New International Version
Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
King James Bible
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.
Darby Bible Translation
[As] he that taketh off a garment in cold weather, [and as] vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a sad heart.
World English Bible
As one who takes away a garment in cold weather, or vinegar on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
Young's Literal Translation
Whoso is taking away a garment in a cold day, Is as vinegar on nitre, And a singer of songs on a sad heart.
Proverbs 25:20 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
As vinegar upon nitre - The original word נתר nather is what is known among chemists as the natron of the ancients and of the Scriptures, and carbonate of soda. It is found native in Syria and India, and occurs as an efflorescence on the soil. In Tripoli it is found in crystalline incrustations of from one third to half an inch thiek. It is found also in solution in the water of some lakes in Egypt and Hungary. The borders of these lakes are covered with crystalline masses, of a grayish white or light brown color; and in some specimens the natron is nearly pure carbonate of soda, and the carbonate is easily discovered by effervescing with an acid. It appears to have its Hebrew name from נתר nathar, to dissolve or loosen: because a solution of it in water is abstersive, taking out spots, etc. It is used in the East for the purposes of washing. If vinegar be poured on it, Dr. Shaw says a strong fermentation immediately takes place, which illustrates what Solomon says here: "The singing of songs to a heavy heart is like vinegar upon natron:" that is, "there is no affinity between them; and opposition, colluctation, and strife, are occasioned by any attempt to unite them." And poureth vyneper upon chalke - Coverdale. This also will occasion an effervescence. See Jeremiah 2:22.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryAn Unwalled City
'He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.'--PROVERBS xxv. 28. The text gives us a picture of a state of society when an unwalled city is no place for men to dwell in. In the Europe of today there are still fortified places, but for the most part, battlements are turned into promenades; the gateways are gateless; the sweet flowers blooming where armed feet used to tread; and men live securely without bolts and bars. But their spirits cannot yet …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
That a Man Should not be a Curious Searcher of the Sacrament, but a Humble Imitator of Christ, Submitting his Sense to Holy Faith
God's Glory the Chief End of Man's Being
Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
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