The Meaning of the Proverb
Why Entreat a Hater’s Kisses?
THE divinely inspired wise man made this observation: “The wounds inflicted by a lover are faithful, but the kisses of a hater are things to be entreated.” (Proverbs 27:6) How are these words to be understood?
A person who loves you will inflict a figurative wound upon you in a faithful way. He may counsel you with love in his heart and in hopes of doing you good. You do not have to entreat a true friend for such help or even for reproof when you need it. And how wise you are if you graciously accept needed counsel, constructive criticism, or necessary reproof!
If you want someone who hates you to do a kind thing for you, however, you must entreat him. Why? Because his hatred would not naturally incline him to bestow kisses upon you. Rather, he would be inclined to treat you in a cruel way. Any possible kindness he would show you would be obtained from him only with considerable difficulty and much entreaty on your part.
Of interest in this regard is one of the parables of Jesus Christ. He once spoke of a widow who got justice from a judge who had no fear of God or respect for man. How did she succeed? The judge saw to it that the woman got the relief she deserved only because she kept on entreating him. Jesus used this illustration to impress his disciples with “the need for them always to pray and not to give up.”—Luke 18:1-8.
How Do the Righteous Become Many When the Wicked Perish?
Proverbs 28:28 states: “When the wicked rise up, a man conceals himself; but when they perish, the righteous become many.” How does this prove true?
The wicked may “rise up” in power, perhaps as harsh rulers. At such a time, a righteous man conceals himself. He may do so because of being fearful of their oppression. And why not? It is true that “man has dominated man to his injury.”—Ecclesiastes 8:9.
When the wicked perish, however, righteous people “become many.” How so? Apparently in that the righteous then come out of hiding and appear in public. They thus thrive and seem to have increased in number because they have no further need to conceal themselves. If the upright should then rule, they would punish wrongdoers and promote righteous conduct. That too could have the effect of reducing the number of unrighteous people and multiplying the righteous.—Compare Proverbs 28:12; 29:2.
Those who are upright will soon see the wicked perish from the earth in the rapidly approaching “day of Jehovah’s anger.” Therefore, seek righteousness and meekness according to divine standards, and you may be preserved into God’s new world, where the righteous will indeed become many.—Zephaniah 2:2, 3; 2 Peter 3:11-13.