Proverbs 15:1

1 1A soft answer turns away wrath, but 2a harsh word stirs up anger.

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Proverbs 15:1 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turneth away wrath
Mild words, gentle expressions, delivered with kindness and tenderness, humility and submission; these will work upon a man's passions, weaken his resentments, and break and scatter the storm of wrath raised in his breast, just breaking forth in a very boisterous and blustering manner; so high winds are sometimes laid by soft showers. Thus the Ephraimites were pacified by Gideon's mild answer; and David by Abigail's very submissive and respectful address, ( Judges 8:1-3 ) ( 1 Samuel 25:25-32 ) ; but grievous words stir up anger;
such as are rough and menacing, scornful and sneering, reproachful and reviling, proud, haughty, and overbearing; like those of Jephthah to the Ephraimites; and of the Ephraimites to the Gileadites; and of Nabal to David's servants, concerning him; and of Rehoboam, who answered the people roughly: in all which instances anger was stirred up, and either were or like to have been attended with bad consequences, ( Judges 12:1-4 ) ( 1 Samuel 25:10 1 Samuel 25:11 1 Samuel 25:21 1 Samuel 25:22 ) ( 1 Kings 12:13 1 Kings 12:14 ) . Or a "word" causing, or rather expressing, "grief" F18; upbraiding others with being the cause of grief to them.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 (bue rbd) "verbum vel sermo doloris", Montanus, Vatablus, Michaelis; vid. Gussetius, p. 177.

Proverbs 15:1 In-Context

1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5 A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Proverbs 25:15]; See Judges 8:1-3
  • 2. See 1 Samuel 25:10-13; 1 Kings 12:13-16