A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covers shame.
The wise man here uses a very observable word, to express wrath. He calls it shame, for it is a shame for a man to suffer his reason to, be tyrannised over by an unruly passion, which spreads deformity over his countenance, and hurries him on to expressions and actions more like those of one confined in bedlam than one who is supposed to have the use of his reason. A fool disgraces himself by giving way to the impetuous sallies of passion. He discovers his temporary madness by his pale countenance, his quivering lips, and his flashing eyes. "But a prudent man covereth shame." When he finds his passions beginning to ferment, he does not give them full scope, but considers whether he does well to be angry, and how far it is lawful and safe for him to give way to this turbulent passion. He does not cover his wrath, that it may have time to work, and draw the powers of reason into its service, that it may break forth with more effect on another occasion — but covers it, that he may have time to suppress and destroy it, by considering its folly and wickedness, by meditating on the example and grace of Christ, and by fervent supplications for the support and assistance of the spirit of meekness. By such means as these the prudent man preserves his own honour, and covers the shame of his neighbour, who is likely to be gained by gentleness and meekness.
Parallel VersesKJV: A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.