Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

Background

Who is the author? Solomon (Proverbs 1:1). In Proverbs 25:1 we read, “These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.”

Where is the audience? You and me, (Proverbs 1:2-6).

Context? Pleasant words. They are described as “a honeycomb” (see Ps 19:10-11). “Honeyed word,” reflect intelligence and discernment in speech.

Key words

* Pleasant (nō·‘am); agreeableness, delight, suitableness, splendor or grace:-beauty

* Words (’im·rê-); something said: – answer, saying, speech, word

* Sweet (mā·ṯō·wq); sweeter, sweetness

* Health (mar·pê); property curative, that is, literally (concretely) a medicine, or (abstractly) a cure; figuratively (concretely) deliverance, or (abstractly) placidity:- (in) cure (-able), healing (-lth), remedy, sound, wholesome, yielding.

Compare

NLT, Kind words are like honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

ESV, Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Aramaic Bible, The speech of the wise is a honeycomb of honey, and it is sweet to his soul and healing to his bones.

Douay-Rheims bible, Well ordered words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul, and health to the bones

Cross References

Psalm 19:10, They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much pure gold; Sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Proverbs 4:22, For they are life to those who find them, And healing to all their body.

Proverbs 15:26, The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, But the words of the pure are pleasant.

Proverbs 24:13-14, My son, eat honey because it is good, And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; Know therefore that wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, there is a future for you, and your hope will never be cut off.

Proverbs 12:18, There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

Proverbs 23:16, Yes, my inmost being will rejoice When your lips speak right things.

Psalm 119:103, How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Truth

Words of wisdom give us a foretaste of the glory of God. Solomon compares the experience to eating honey. Then the added predicates are “sweet” and “healing.” One can remember, in accordance with the use of images, how Jonathan’s eyes brightened when he ate the honeycomb (1 Samuel 14:27); this is the uplifting effect of pleasant words.

Application

Everything you do or say flows from the heart, (Proverbs 4:23). Jesus says, “Out of the overflow of the heart speaks the mouth. A good man brings good out of the good that is stored in him, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil that is stored in him.” This indicates that what comes out of the mouth depends on the state of the human heart. It is clear that sound words cannot come out of the un-regenerated heart. You must be born-again apply this proverb in your life and in the lives of others. Paul refers to the new heart of born again man, when he writes: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” We can experience the tonic effect of the Word of God as an expression of beauty on our soul and body.

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