Proverbs 16:24

24 Gracious speech is like clover honey - good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.

Proverbs 16:24 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb
Jarchi interprets it of the words of the law; but it may be much better understood of the doctrines of the Gospel; such as the doctrines of God's everlasting love, eternal election, the covenant of grace, the person of Christ as God-man; of peace and reconciliation by his blood; of remission of sins through his atoning sacrifice; of justification by his righteousness; of life and salvation by his obedience, sufferings, and death; all the doctrines of grace, which show that salvation in all its parts is owing entirely to the free grace of God; these are all pleasant to the ear of him that knows the joyful sound, and to the taste of everyone that has tasted that the Lord is gracious. The precious promises of the Gospel may be meant; which are free and unconditional, irrevocable, and immutable, never fail of accomplishment; are yea and amen in Christ, and are suited to the various cases of God's people; these are very pleasant and delightful, when they are fitly spoken, and seasonably applied. Moreover, the speech of such as are wise in heart, true believers in Christ; their words, whether expressed in prayer or in praise, are pleasant to the Lord, and very grateful and acceptable to him: so their speech one to another, when about spiritual things; when it is with grace, then it ministers grace, and is very pleasant. Now all these, and especially the doctrines of the Gospel, are as "an honeycomb"; they are like unto it for the manner of its production; it is wrought and filled by the laborious bee, which goes from flower to flower, and gathers honey, and brings it into the hive, and there disposes of it: so laborious ministers of the Gospel gather their doctrines from the sacred Scriptures, which they diligently search, and go from one to another, and gather something from each; and, being richly laden with the fulness of the blessing Of the Gospel of Christ, bring it into the hive of the church, and there feed men with knowledge and understanding: and the doctrines of the Gospel are like unto the honeycomb for the manner of its communication, by dropping freely, gradually, and constantly; so Gospel ministers drop the pleasant words of the Gospel freely, and without pressing, having no other constraint but love to Christ and the souls of men; they do it gradually, as men are able to bear; and constantly preach the word, in season and out of season: and as the honey which drops from the honeycomb is the choicest honey, called "life honey"; such are the truths of the Gospel, they are excellent things, the most excellent. Likewise these are as the honeycomb for the honey in it; they are like the honey out of the rock the Israelites ate of; and like that out of the lion Samson fed upon; and like that which Jonathan tasted, that enlightened his eyes. The Gospel flows from Christ, the Rock; and is to be found in him, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and as slain, and has an enlightening virtue in it; and particularly these pleasant words are said to be as the honeycomb for its sweetness and healthfulness, as follows: sweet to the soul, and health to the bones;
they are "sweet" to the "soul" of him that understands them, and that has a spiritual taste of them; not to a natural and unregenerate man, whose natural taste remains in him, and is not changed; who calls evil good, and good evil; puts bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter; to him the doctrines of the Gospel are insipid, tasteless, and disagreeable things: nor are they sweet to a carnal professor; who, though he may express some value for them, has no spiritual gust and relish of them; but to them that believe, to whom Christ is precious, who have tasted that he is gracious; to these they are sweet, even sweeter than the honey or the honeycomb, ( Psalms 19:10 ) ( 119:103 ) ( Song of Solomon 2:3 ) ( Ezekiel 2:1-3:27 ) . And they are "health to the bones"; they are the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus; they are the means of curing the diseases of the mind; of healing wounded spirits, and broken hearts, and broken bones; they make the bones which were broken to rejoice; what heals the bones strengthens the whole man, a man's strength lying much in his bones; these strengthen the inward man, cause believers to go from strength to strength, and to hold on and persevere to the end.

Proverbs 16:24 In-Context

22 True intelligence is a spring of fresh water, while fools sweat it out the hard way.
23 They make a lot of sense, these wise folks; whenever they speak, their reputation increases.
24 Gracious speech is like clover honey - good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
25 There's a way that looks harmless enough; look again - it leads straight to hell.
26 Appetite is an incentive to work; hunger makes you work all the harder.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.