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A Timely Word Brings Joy and The Power of Words in Communication
Proverbs 15:23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
23 A man has joy in the answer of his mouth,
and a word in due season, how good it is!
This verse emphasizes the importance of speaking wisely and thoughtfully in communication. It suggests that there is joy and satisfaction in being able to respond to others in a way that is appropriate and helpful. It also implies that timing is important in communication and that it is better to speak at the right moment rather than to speak too soon or too late. This verse encourages us to be mindful of our words and to strive for effective communication in all our interactions.
A man – This can refer to anyone, regardless of gender or social status.
Finds joy – The Hebrew word used here is “chaphets” which can also be translated as “delight” or “pleasure.” This suggests that there is a sense of personal satisfaction that comes with giving a good reply.
In giving an apt reply – The Hebrew word used here is “dabar” which can also be translated as “word” or “speech.” This phrase highlights the importance of the content of the reply, as it should be relevant and appropriate to the situation.
And how good – This phrase emphasizes the positive outcome of giving a good reply.
Is a timely word – The Hebrew word used here is “zeman” which can also be translated as “opportune” or “seasonable.” This phrase highlights the importance of the timing of the reply, as it should be given at the appropriate moment.
In the historical and cultural context of the verse, it is important to note that in ancient Israel, wisdom and knowledge were highly valued. Proverbs, in particular, is a book that emphasizes the importance of wisdom and the acquisition of knowledge. In this verse, the writer emphasizes the importance of using knowledge and wisdom in the form of an “apt reply” or a “timely word.”
The verse also highlights the idea that giving an apt reply or saying the right thing at the right time brings joy to the person who does so. This is in line with the overall theme of Proverbs, which encourages the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge as a means of achieving a happy and prosperous life.
It is also worth noting that in the ancient Israelite culture, the ability to give wise counsel and make wise decisions was seen as a mark of maturity and leadership. Therefore, this verse could also be interpreted as encouraging the reader to strive for wisdom and knowledge in order to be able to take on leadership roles and give wise counsel to others.
Proverbs 15:23 highlights the value of wisdom and knowledge, particularly in the form of an apt reply or a timely word. It also emphasizes that using wisdom and knowledge in this way brings joy to the person who does so, and it may also be interpreted as encouraging the reader to strive for wisdom and knowledge in order to be able to take on leadership roles and give wise counsel to others.
In summary, Proverbs 15:23 emphasizes that finding joy in giving a relevant, appropriate, and well-timed reply is a good thing. It suggests that giving a good reply is not only beneficial for the person you are speaking to but also brings personal satisfaction to the speaker. It is important to be thoughtful and considerate when speaking, ensuring that your words are well-timed and relevant to the situation.
 That is, at the right time