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Proverbs 25:20

    Proverbs 25:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    As he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar on nitre, so is he that singes songs to an heavy heart.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon soda, So is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Like one who takes off clothing in cold weather and like acid on a wound, is he who makes melody to a sad heart.

    Webster's Revision

    As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon soda, So is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.

    World English Bible

    As one who takes away a garment in cold weather, or vinegar on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

    Definitions for Proverbs 25:20

    Nitre - A mineral; carbonate of soda.

    Clarke's Commentary on Proverbs 25:20

    As vinegar upon nitre - The original word נתר nather is what is known among chemists as the natron of the ancients and of the Scriptures, and carbonate of soda. It is found native in Syria and India, and occurs as an efflorescence on the soil. In Tripoli it is found in crystalline incrustations of from one third to half an inch thiek. It is found also in solution in the water of some lakes in Egypt and Hungary. The borders of these lakes are covered with crystalline masses, of a grayish white or light brown color; and in some specimens the natron is nearly pure carbonate of soda, and the carbonate is easily discovered by effervescing with an acid. It appears to have its Hebrew name from נתר nathar, to dissolve or loosen: because a solution of it in water is abstersive, taking out spots, etc. It is used in the East for the purposes of washing. If vinegar be poured on it, Dr. Shaw says a strong fermentation immediately takes place, which illustrates what Solomon says here: "The singing of songs to a heavy heart is like vinegar upon natron:" that is, "there is no affinity between them; and opposition, colluctation, and strife, are occasioned by any attempt to unite them." And poureth vyneper upon chalke - Coverdale. This also will occasion an effervescence. See Jeremiah 2:22.

    Barnes' Notes on Proverbs 25:20

    Examples of unwisdom and incongruity sharpen the point of the proverb. Pouring vinegar upon nitre or potash utterly spoils it. The effervescence caused by the mixture is perhaps taken as a type of the irritation produced by the "songs" sung out of season to a heavy heart.

    The verb rendered "taketh away" may have the sense (as in Ezekiel 16:11) of "adorning oneself," and the illustration would then be, "as to put on a fine garment in time of cold is unseasonable, so is singing to a heavy heart."

    Wesley's Notes on Proverbs 25:20

    25:20 As vinegar - Which dissolves the nitre, and makes it useless and ineffectual.