Proverbs 23:9

Hebrew Bible

5 When you gaze upon riches, they are gone, for they surely make wings for themselves and fly off into the sky like an eagle! 6 Do not eat the food of a stingy person, do not crave his delicacies; 7 for he is like someone who has calculated the cost in his mind. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you; 8 you will vomit up the little bit you have eaten and will have wasted your pleasant words. 9 Do not speak in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words. 10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone or take over the fields of the fatherless, 11 for their Protector is strong; he will plead their case against you.

Matthew 7:6

New Testament

3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces. 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.

 Notes and References

"... Qohelet knows that 'there is a time to be silent and a time to speak' (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Proverbs repeatedly speaks of or implies silence as sign of wisdom (Proverbs 11:13; 15:23; 20:19; 23:9; 30:32-33). Similarly, Ben Sira links silence and wisdom: 'There is one who by keeping silent is thought to be wise (Sirach 20:5). In his teaching on silence (Sirach 20:1-8) Ben Sira condemns not only waste of words in talkativeness, but emphasizes on a more positive note two motives for silence: silence for want of knowledge and silence in wait for the proper time to speak in order to be effective. Motives for silence are (l) prudence, lest somebody pass on wrong information because he speaks without sufficient insight (5:12), (2) staying loyal to one's friends (19:5-12), (3) perplexity or embarrassment in not knowing the proper answer one needs to give (20:5), and, most importantly, (4) waiting for the propitious time to speak with maximum effectiveness (20:6-7) ..."

Chilton, Bruce Authenticating the Words of Jesus (p. 247) Brill, 2002

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.