Proverbs 25:20
Parallel Verses
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
Commentary
Clarke'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

that taketh

Deuteronomy 24:12-17 And if the man be poor, you shall not sleep with his pledge...

Job 24:7-10 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold...

Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked...

James 2:15,16 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food...

vinegar

Proverbs 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

so

Psalm 137:3,4 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying...

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Daniel 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him...

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins...

Library
An 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
The Voice of the Beloved Thou must take heed of curious and useless searching into this most profound Sacrament, if thou wilt not be plunged into the abyss of doubt. He that is a searcher of Majesty shall be oppressed by the glory thereof.(1) God is able to do more than man can understand. A pious and humble search after truth is to be allowed, when it is always ready to be taught, and striving to walk after the wholesome opinions of the fathers. 2. Blessed is the simplicity which leaveth alone
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

God's Glory the Chief End of Man's Being
Rom. xi. 36.--"Of him and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever." And 1 Cor. x. 31--"Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." All that men have to know, may be comprised under these two heads,--What their end is, and What is the right way to attain to that end? And all that we have to do, is by any means to seek to compass that end. These are the two cardinal points of a man's knowledge and exercise. Quo et qua eundum est,--Whither to go, and what way to go.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Christian Behavior
Being the fruits of true Christianity: Teaching husbands, wives, parents, children, masters, servants, etc., how to walk so as to please God. With a word of direction to all backsliders. Advertisement by the Editor This valuable practical treatise, was first published as a pocket volume about the year 1674, soon after the author's final release from his long and dangerous imprisonment. It is evident from the concluding paragraph that he considered his liberty and even his life to be still in a very
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Proverbs 25:19
Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.

Proverbs 25:21
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

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