See Main List of Hebrew Word Studies
Secret (05475) (sod) primarily means confidential conversation, speech or talk. Compare the Arabic word sa'wada which means to speak secretly. Sod emphasizes confidentiality in contrast to more general advice or counsel. Sod can refer to the close friendship which exists between people (Ps 55:14) or to the intimate knowledge that friendship brings, especially their secrets (Pr 25:9)
Sod describes talk about something to be kept confidential (eg, confidential conversation in Amos 3:7 - note to whom it is revealed).
F B Meyer commenting on the use of sod in Ps 25:14-note rightly reminds us of "What secrets God has to tell His own!" (Ge 18:17; Jn 14:21, 23, 15:15; 1Co 2:9, 10).
The second general meaning of sod is related to the first in that it can refer to a group of intimates (friends) with whom one shares confidential matters (Ge 49:6).
In other words, sod is both the circle of one's closest associates and the matters that are discussed with them (Jer 23:18 ["council"], Jer 23:22 ["council"], Amos 3:7 ["secret council"]).
The predominant idea is confidential which the English dictionary says is marked by intimacy or willingness to confide; enjoying the confidence of another; intended to be kept secret; that which may be safely trusted as a confidential friend; entrusted with another’s confidence, private information or secret affairs as a confidential secretary; suggestive of or denoting intimacy: a confidential approach
Note that Sod has a non-Biblical meaning in mystical Rabbinic Judaism (Kabbalah) in which it is one of the "four types of understanding possible when studying the Torah" where Sod specifically describes "the secret, hidden, or mystical meaning of the passage" (JPS Guide: The Jewish Bible. Page 235) How sad that sod has been substituted for the truth of genuine intimacy with God. And what is the "secret" for this incredible intimacy with the Creator? A reverential fear. Not rituals. Not works. Not mysticism. Simply a holy awe of a surrendered, believing heart to the Holy and Awesome God. Amazing grace indeed!
David Stern adds that sod is "one of the four modes of rabbinic interpretation of a text: using the numerical values of the Hebrew letters to reveal “secrets” that would otherwise not be noticed (literally, “secret”). (Stern, D. H. Messianic Judaism: A modern movement with an ancient past. Clarksville, MD: Lederer Books) (Ed: This is reminiscent of a "wind of doctrine" [cp Ep 4:14-note] that blew through many evangelical churches some in the 1990's, the absurd teaching known as the so-called "Bible code"!)
Ralph Martin adds that "The Greek idea of musterion as something hidden, obscure or secret is expressed by the Hebrew word sôd and the Aramaic word rāz. Several occurrences of sôd in the OT simply convey the idea of human secrets (Ps 64:2; Pr 11:13; 20:19; 25:9); some prophets specify a heavenly council to which they had access and from which God’s secrets were revealed (Jer 23:18; 23:22; Amos 3:7). In no case, however, is sôd translated as musterion in the Septuagint (Martin, R. P., & Davids, P. H. Dictionary of the later New Testament and its developments)
Fruchtenbaum writes that "Hebrew word sod, (is) used 22 times in the Old Testament, and generally having the meaning of “secret counsel.” It is a divine secret that can be known and understood only if revealed by God to His people through the prophets. (Fruchtenbaum, A. G. The footsteps of the Messiah. Page 656)
Sod is used in the proper name "Besodeiah" (Neh 3:6) which has a great meaning - "in the secret of Jehovah." Sod is used in Nu 13:10 in "Sodi" (which means "a confidant"), the name of an Israeli in the tribe of Zebulun.
Bromiley in the ISBE writes that "The Hebrew sod can refer both to intimate or confidential speaking and to those involved in such speaking, or to a gathering of intimates."
(1) Confidential discussion
(a) in the assembly of Yahweh (Jer 23:18, 22)
(b) convened by people (Ge 49:6, Ps 64:2, Jer 6:11, 15:17, Ps 111:1)
(2) Secret, scheme (as consequence or result of a discussion)
(a) of God towards people of God towards people (the prophets, the righteous) Amos 3:7, cf. Jr 23:18, 22 Ps 25:14, Pr 3:32
(b) among people Ps 83:3 Pr 11:13 Pr 20:19 Pr 25:9 Sirach 8:17 42:1;
(3) Circle of confidants
(a) council of the holy ones (angels) Ps 89:7
(b) council of the people Ezek 13:9
(c) council of individuals from the people Job 19:19; הִמְתִּיק ס׳ to conduct confidential business Ps 55:14. (Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M., & Stamm, J. J. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill)
Net Bible Note writes that the Hebrew noun sod can refer to…
(1) “intimate circle” of friends and confidants,
(2) “confidential discussion” among friends and confidants, or “secret counsel” revealed from one confidant to another and kept secret and
(3) relationship of “intimacy” with a person (BDB 691 s.v.; HALOT 745 s.v.).
God reveals his secret counsel to the heavenly assembly (Job 15:8; Jer 23:18, 22) and his prophets (Amos 3:7). God has brought the angels into his “intimate circle” (Ps 89:8). Likewise, those who fear the Lord enjoy an intimate relationship with him (Job 29:4; Ps 25:14; Pr 3:32). The perverse are repugnant to the Lord, but he takes the upright into his confidence and brings him into his intimate circle. (NETBible Proverbs 3:32)
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible notes that "The noun sôd is found 23 times in the Hebrew Bible: twice in personal names, otherwise in poetry (though Ezek 13:9 may be termed high prose). Its semantic range includes ‘council, assembly; counsel, deliberation, plan(s), will; company, fellowship, friendship’—each of which may be applied to both the human and divine spheres. It refers specifically to the divine court in four passages, implies its existence in two others, and could possibly refer to it in an additional two. Sôd is probably a primary noun."
NIDOTT - The semantic range of meaning (of sod) is extensive (see the sundry renderings in the NIV: council, confidence, company, confides, conspiracy, conspire, counsel, fellowship, gathered, intimate, intimate friendship, plan), but may be organized under two major classifications: (1) a group, fellowship, confidence, or council (incl. the nature of the relationships within the group), and (2) the words spoken within the group (confidential conversation, counsel, plan, message, counsel, secret, conspiracy).
Vine writes that sod refers to…
secret or confidential plan(s); secret or confidential talk; secret; council; gathering; circle.”
Sod means, first, “confidential talk”: “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked …” (Ps. 64:2). In Pr. 15:22 the word refers to plans which one makes on one’s own and before they are shared by others: “Without counsel [self-made] purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they [succeed].” Sometimes the word signifies simply a talk about something that should be kept confidential: “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself; and discover not a secret to another” (Pr 25:9).
Second, the word represents a group of intimates with whom one shares confidential matters: “O my soul, come not thou into their [Simeon’s and Levi’s] secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united …” (Ge 49:6—the first occurrence of the word). Jer. 6:11 speaks of the “assembly [informal but still sharing confidential matters] of young men together.” To “have sweet counsel” is to be in a group where everyone both shares and rejoices in what is being discussed and/or done (Ps. 55:14).
Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament discusses the origin noting that "The noun sod is an etymological crux (Ed: A puzzling or difficult problem regarding the origin and derivation of "sod"). One either makes no suggestion (apart from references to other Sem. languages) regarding possible derivations… or one suggests a root sûd, which may also appear in Ps 2:2 and Ps 31:14 or which is linked with ysd or ysd II “to combine”. Sôd is otherwise generally compared to Arabic sāwada “to speak secretly” and with Syr. sewādā/suwādā “a confidential discussion.” Fohrer refers to Old SArab. mšwd “council assembly”. (Jenni, E., & Westermann, C. Theological lexicon of the Old Testament. Page 793. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers)
Albert Barnes has an interesting note on the meaning of sod in his comment on the use of that word in Job 15:8 - Hast thou heard the secret of God? - literally, “in the secret of God hast thou heard” - הסוד hasôd The word rendered “secret” (סוד sôd ) means properly a “couch” or “cushion,” on which one reclines - whether for sleep or at a table, or as a divan. Hence, it means a divan, or circle of persons sitting together for familiar conversation, Jeremiah 6:11; Jeremiah 15:17; or of judges, counselors, or advisers for consultation, as the word “divan” is now used in Oriental countries; Psalm 89:7; Jeremiah 33:18. Then it means any consultation, counsel, familiar conversation, or intimacy; Psalm 55:14; Proverbs 15:22. Here (Job 15:8) God is represented in Oriental language as seated in a “divan,” or council of state: there is deliberation about the concerns of his government; important questions are agitated and decided; and Eliphaz asks of Job whether he had been admitted to that council, and had heard those deliberations; and whether, if he had not, he was qualified to pronounce as he had done, on the plans and purposes of the Almighty.
Spurgeon says some read "sod" as "friendship. It signifies familiar intercourse, confidential intimacy, and select fellowship."
Sod - 20x in NAS - circle(1), company(1), consultation(1), council(5), fellowship(1), friendship(1), gathering(1), intimate(1), plans(1), secret(2), secret counsel(3), secrets(2).
Sod 21x in NET Bible rendered - council 2, secrets 2, counsel 2, circle 2, secret 2, assembly 2, company 1, closest 1, guidance 1, plot 1, plots 1, plan 1, personal thoughts 1, intimate friendship 1, gathered 1
Genesis 49:6 (Jacob speaking) "Let my soul not enter into their (Simeon and Levi Ge 49:5) council (Lxx = boule - plan, purpose, intention); Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen.
NIDOTT comments: In the Pentateuch the nom. appears in Jacob’s “blessing” of Simeon and Levi (Ge 49:6). The form of the pronouncement is that of a judgment for their murderous act at Shechem (Ge 34:25). Jacob distances himself from their act by pronouncing a judgment,
Job 15:8 "Do you hear the secret counsel (Lxx = suntagma = book, body of doctrine) of God, and limit wisdom to yourself?
Net Bible Notes: The meaning of sod is “confidence.” In the context the implication is “secret counsel” of the Lord God (see Jer 23:18). It is a question of confidence on the part of God, that only wisdom can know (see Prov 8:30, 31). Job seemed to them to claim to have access to the mind of God.
Job 19:19KJV All my inward (Heb = sod) friends (Heb = math = men) (Literally = "the men of my secret", NIV = intimate friends, NET = closest friends, Tanakh = bosom friends, HCSB = best friends) abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
Job 29:4 As I was in the prime of my days, when the friendship (Lxx = episkope = visitation, describes one watching over with special reference to being present) of God was over my tent;
Psalm 25:14 (see also commentary) The secret (ESV = friendship; NET = loyal followers; HCSB = secret counsel) (Lxx = krataioma = support, strength) of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant.
In secret silence of the mind,
My heaven, and there my God I find.
Comment: The wise and upright man who walks in the fear of the Lord will have God's secret counsel (Ps 25:14; Pr 3:32; Amos 3:7; Job15:8, 29:4).
Sermon by Charles Simeon: The Secrets of the Lord
J C Philpot: What do we understand by the expression "secret!" It something not revealed, nor made known to everybody; something locked up and concealed from the majority, and discovered only to a favored few. All the inward teachings, leadings, guidings, and dealings of God the Spirit upon the conscience, are therefore included in the word, "the secret of the Lord;" for all these inward leadings and teachings are "hidden from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes." So that, with all their profession, they know nothing of the secret operation of God the Spirit in the conscience; their religion stands in forms and ceremonies, in rites and observances; it does not stand in the inward teachings of God the Spirit… 1. One part of "the secret of the Lord" is to show the very existence of a God… 2. The Lord's providential dealings with us is a part also of "the secret"… 3. A sense of the Lord's presence. O this is indeed a part of the secret which is with those who fear his name. The Lord's presence!… 4. The favor, the goodness, and the graciousness of the Lord brought with power into the conscience, is another part of "the secret… 5. Communion with the Lord, so as to be able to talk to him, and find some access to his presence, is another part of "the secret… 6. The power of truth made known in the conscience is a part also of the secret… 7. Communications from Christ—such as faith, hope, love, meekness, patience—every good gift and every perfect gift—to receive them into a soft heart… (The Secret of the Lord - Sermon by J C Philpot)
F B Meyer:
WHAT marvellous words! They remind one of the sapphire work which the elders saw at the foot of the throne, and which was like "the body of heaven for clearness." Three different renderings are suggested by the R. V..
The Secret of the Lord.--To some it is permitted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. To these the white stone is given, on which is engraven a name, which only he knows that receives it. There are secret passages of love between Christ and the believing soul, which it would not be lawful for it to utter. High fellowship: deep blessedness. Things which eye hath not seen. Jesus revealed his secrets when Judas had gone forth. "Wherefore askest thou after my name," He said to Manoah, "seeing it is secret?"
The Counsel of the Lord.--" His Name shall be called … Counselor." He draws near to those that fear to grieve Him, and gives them counsel. He instructs them in the way that He chooses for them; He guides them in his truth and teaches them; He guides them in judgment; and tells them, as He did Abraham, what He is about to do.
The Friendship of the Lord.--" Ye are my friends," said Jesus, "if ye do whatsoever I command you." He longs for friends--those to whom He can tell his desires, on whom He may impose implicit confidence, and who will be so taken up with Him as to be indifferent to everything else, their one purpose to do his least bidding. Oh to be honoured with the personal friendship of Jesus! It were a rare privilege to be entrusted with his secrets, and to hear Him say, "I have not called you servants, but friends."
John MacDuff: Believer, your God has some mighty secret to confide to you! What is this, which, (a mystery to the world,) is to be conveyed in whispers into the ears of His people! "He will show them His Covenant!" Listen, this night, to this blessed "secret." You have pondered it often before. But its wonders never diminish by repetition. (The Secret of God)
William Law: There are heights and depths of truth in the everlasting covenant which unaided man can neither reach nor fathom. The Gospel-scheme is a wondrous volume. No eye without God's light can rightly read its pages. But to all who tremble at the Word, the enlightening Spirit comes. He opens out the hidden mysteries. He draws aside the veil and shows the secret transactions in the courts of heaven; and all the wondrous achievements of Christ's life and death. The enraptured soul sees truths which angels ponder with amazement. Who can describe the ecstasies of this knowledge? But all the pupils in this school of light have one mark; they fear the Lord. (Psalm 25)
John Owen: But they who are so servants as to be friends also, they know what their Lord does; the secret of the Lord is with them, and he shows them his covenant. They are admitted into an intimate acquaintance with the mind of Christ, (“we have the mind of Christ,” 1 Cor. 2: 16,) and are thereon encouraged to perform the obedience of servants, with the love and delight of friends. (The Works of John Owen - The Glory of Christ)
C H Spurgeon (Treasury of David): The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. This is a great secret. Carnal minds cannot guess what is intended by it, and even believers cannot explain it in words, for it must be felt to be known. The higher spiritual life is necessarily a path which the eagle's eye hath not known, and which the lion's whelp has not travelled; neither natural wisdom nor strength can force a door into this inner chamber. Saints have the key of heaven's hieroglyphics; they can unriddle celestial enigmas. They are initiated into the fellowship of the skies; they have heard words which it is not possible for them to repeat to their fellows. And he will shew them his covenant. Its antiquity, security, righteousness, fulness, graciousness and excellence, shall be revealed to their hearts and understandings, and above all, their own part in it shall be sealed to their souls by the witness of the Holy Spirit. The designs of love which the Lord has to his people in the covenant of grace, he has been pleased to show to believers in the Book of Inspiration, and by his Spirit he leads us into the mystery, even the hidden mystery of redemption. He who does not know the meaning of this verse, will never learn it from a commentary; let him look to the cross, for the secret lies there. There is no secret of my heart which I would not pour into his ear. There is no wish that might be deemed foolish or ambitious by others, which I would not communicate to him. For surely if “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him” (Ps. 25:14), the secrets of them that fear him ought to be, and must be, with their Lord. (Treasury of David)
Spurgeon's comment (from his sermon on Ps 25:14 Private and Confidential):
The word “secret” here might, with greater propriety, be translated “friendship.” “The friendship of the LORD is with them that fear him,” but it also signifies in its root that conversation which familiar friends hold with each other. Conversation in its most cherished exercise, that homely intercourse which springs from mutual confidence, and is on the part of one man the unbosoming of himself to another, is thus implied. If I may open it up in a phrase, it means, “The amity (harmony) of true friendship.” Such is the favor vouchsafed to those who fear God. But taking the word as it stands (for I dare say the translators weighed all these variations well before they chose the one before us), we will endeavor to give amplitude to the sense, while we keep to the word “secret.”
Beyond a doubt, then, those who fear God have the secret of His presence revealed to them. If a man rambles amidst the wonders of nature with an atheistic heart, he may look up to the snowy peaks, and down again upon the sweet grassy slopes; he may listen to the music of the waterfall; he may stand and admire the eagle as he soars aloft, or watch the wild goat as he leaps from crag to crag, and all these things may be to him but so much animated nature — matter in so many various shapes, and nothing more. I suppose it is possible for men to be familiar with all that is beautiful and sublime in the world of nature, that “living visible garment of God,” and yet never catch the secret of His presence, the traces of His handiwork or the whisper of His voice. How different it is with the man who fears God, who has bowed before God’s justice, and seen it satisfied through the atoning sacrifice of Calvary! Such a man, as he looks upon the things that are made, those silent witnesses of the eternal power and Godhead, says, “My Father made them all!” (Private and Confidential)
Puritan William Gurnall:
The truth and sincerity of God to his people appears in the openness and plainness of his heart to them. A friend that is close and reserved, deservedly comes under a cloud in the thoughts of his friends; but he who carries, as it were, a window of crystal in his breast, through which his friend may read what thoughts are writ in his very heart, delivers himself from the least suspicion of unfaithfulness. Truly, thus open hearted is God to his saints: "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." He gives us his key, that will let us into his very heart, and acquaint us what his thoughts are, yea, were, towards us, before a stone was laid in the world's foundation; and this is no other than his Spirit 1Cor2:10, 11, "One who knows the deep things of God;" for he was at the council table in heaven, where all was transacted. This, his Spirit, he employed to put forth and publish in the Scriptures, indited by him, the substance of those counsels of love which had passed between the Trinity of Persons for our salvation; and that nothing may be wanting for our satisfaction, he hath appointed the same Holy Spirit to abide in his saints, that as Christ in heaven presents our desires to him, so he may interpret his mind out of his word to us; which word answers the heart of God, as face answers face in the glass.
Walking with God is the best way to know the mind of God; friends who walk together impart their secrets one to another: "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." Noah walked with God (Ge 6:8, 9), and the Lord revealed a great secret to him, of destroying the old world, and having him in the ark (Heb 11:7-note). Abraham walked with God (Ge 17:1, 24:40), and God made him one of his privy council: "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?" (Ge 18:17). God doth sometimes sweetly unbosom Himself to the soul in prayer, and in the holy supper, as Christ made Himself known to His disciples in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:35.
Psalm 55:14 We who had sweet fellowship (Lxx = edesma = food or meat; ESV = sweet counsel, Darby = sweet intercourse, NJB = intimate friendship, NET = share personal thoughts with) together walked in the house of God in the throng.
Comment: David is describing his former friend with whom he shared personal thoughts and with whom he worshipped.
NET Bible Note: Heb "who together we would make counsel sweet." The imperfect verbal forms here and in the next line ("walked in the house of God") draw attention to the ongoing nature of the actions (the so-called customary use of the imperfect). (In other words) Their relationship was characterized by such intimacy and friendship.
Spurgeon comments: We took sweet counsel together. It was not merely the counsel which men take together in public or upon common themes, their fellowship had been tender and confidential. The traitor had been treated lovingly, and trusted much. Solace, mutual and cheering, had grown out of their intimate communings. There were secrets between them of no common kind. Soul had been in converse with soul, at least on David's part. However feigned might have been the affection of the treacherous one, the betrayed friend had not dealt with him coldly, or guarded his utterance before him. Shame on the wretch who could belie such fellowship, and betray such confidence! (Ref) (Ed comment: Beloved have you ever experienced this "sod", this intimate friendship with another person you considered your brother [or sister] in Christ? I have experienced betrayal by an intimate friend [at least one I thought was my friend] and it was only after the fact [after the betrayal] that I realized what had transpired. We literally would spend Saturday mornings on our faces before God pleading for His intervention in a variety of settings. It was only later when I was falsely accused before a group of "leading" men in the church, that he sat there stone faced and silent, steadfastly refusing to defend me, the one with whom he had experienced "sweet fellowship"! Beloved, I almost walked away from the organized church because of my shock at such bold faced betrayal. Praise God, for His mercy and grace to come to my side and comfort me through probably the most ["theologically"] difficult time [to date] in my 25 years of walking with Christ. If you have been "ambushed" by malicious slander or false accusations, I plead with you to not withdraw into a shell [cp 1Pe 4:12, 13, 14-note, 2Ti 3:12-note, Php 1:29-note, 1Pe 2:20, 21-note, Acts 5:41, 14:22, et al], for your Covenant Defender will surely walk through the very real pain that is unavoidable in such a scenario [cp Heb 13:5-note, Dt 31:6, Josh 1:5, 9].)
Psalm 64:2 Hide me from the secret counsel (Lxx = sustrophe = unruly gathering) of evildoers, From the tumult of those who do iniquity,
Spurgeon: Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked. From their hidden snares hide me. Circumvent their counsel; let their secrets be met by thy secret providence, their counsels of malice by thy counsels of love. (Ref)
Expositor's Bible Commentary: The enemies secretly scheme and plot to undo God’s saint (Ps 64:2). The “conspiracy” (sod) results from their banding together in their council of war (cf. Ps 2:1). The enemies have no regard for God. In their secret assembly and in their noisy provocations they are like an army preparing for war. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing)
Psalm 83:3 They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones.
Spurgeon: They have taken crafty counsel against thy people. Whatever we may do, our enemies use their wits and lay their heads together; in united conclave they discourse upon the demands and plans of the campaign, using much treachery and serpentine cunning in arranging their schemes. Malice is cold blooded enough to plot with deliberation; and pride, though it be never wise, is often allied with craft. (Ref)
Psalm 89:7 A God greatly feared in the council (Lxx = boule - plan, purpose, intention) of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?
Spurgeon: The holiest tremble in the presence of the thrice Holy One: their familiarity is seasoned with the profoundest awe. Perfect love casts out the fear which hath torment, and works in lieu thereof that other fear which is akin to joy unutterable. How reverent should our worship be! Where angels veil their faces, men should surely bow in lowliest fashion. Sin is akin to presumptuous boldness, but holiness is sister to holy fear. (Ref)
Psalm 111:1 Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company (Lxx = sunagoge > English "synagogue") of the upright and in the assembly.
Spurgeon: In the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation; -- whether with few or with many he would pour forth his whole heart and soul in praise, and whether the company was made up of select spirits or of the general mass of the people he would continue in the same exercise. For the choicest society there can be no better engagement than praise, and for the general assembly nothing can be more fitting. For the church and for the congregation, for the family or the community, for the private chamber of pious friendship, or the great hall of popular meeting, the praise of the Lord is suitable; and at the very least the true heart should sing hallelujah in any and every place. Why should we fear the presence of men? The best of men will join us in our song, and if the common sort, will not do so, our example will be a needed rebuke to them. In any case let us praise God, whether the hearers be a little band of saints or a mixed multitude. Come, dear reader, he who pens this comment is in his heart magnifying the Lord: will you not pause for a moment and join in the delightful exercise? (Ref)
Proverbs 3:32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD, but He is intimate with the upright (NET = His intimate counsel, HCSB = friend, Darby, ESV = His secret is with, ASV = His friendship is with, NIV = but takes the upright into his confidence; NJB = who confides only in the honest, NRSV = but the upright are in His confidence, Tanakh = He is intimate with the straightforward).
Charles Bridges classic commentary on Proverbs: Really to be envied, or rather ardently, to be desired, is the lot of the righteous, enriched with the secret of the Lord--"his covenant and fatherly affection, which is hid and secret from the world." (Reformer's Bible) Sinners are an abomination. Saints are his delight. ‘They are God's friends, to whom he familiarly imparts, as men used to do to their friends, his mind and counsels, or his secret favour and comforts, to which other men are strangers.' (Pool's Annotations, 'He loves them dearly as His intimate friends, to whom He communicates the very secrets of His heart.'-Diodati) Communion with Himself (Jn 14:21, 22, 23); peace (Php 4:6, 7); joy (Pr 14:10); assurance (Rev 2:17); teaching (Mt. 11:25; 13:11-17; Mt 16:17 Jn 7:17. 1Co 2:12, 15); confidence (Jn 15:15); an enlightened apprehension of providence (Ge 18:17, 18 Ps 107:43); yea, all the blessings of His covenant (Ps 25:14) - this is the secret between God and the soul, an enclosed portion, hidden from the world, sealed to His beloved people. Here then child of God "dwell in the secret place of the Most High." (Ps 91:1) If He hath given to thee the knowledge of Himself, and of thine interest in Him; and to the froward oppressor only worldly advantage; is it not the seal of His love to thee, and rejection of him? Is it not infinitely more to dwell on high with thy God, than in the vain pomp of an ungodly world? (Ps 84:10) (An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs - Online)
Proverbs 11:13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets (NIV = betrays a confidence; NLT = goes around telling secrets) (Lxx = boule - plan, purpose, intention), but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.
Charles Bridges classic commentary on Proverbs: Another breach of love is here reproved. (Lev 19:16,17.) The gospel does not shut us up in our own private interests, as if we had no sympathy with our neighbour. It is an universal brotherhood of love. Yet it rebukes the tale-bearer, who, having no business of his own, traffics with his neighbour's name and honour, and vends his wares of scandal, as it may be, whether for gain or wantonness. (Neh 6:17, 18, 19.) It is most unsafe to be within the breath of this cruel trifler with the happiness of his fellow-creatures. (Pr 16:28; 26:22.) For as readily as he reveals our neighbour's secrets to us, will he reveal ours to him. (Pr 20:19)
All the bonds of confidence and friendship are broken in pieces. Let ears and lips be closed against him. If there be no vessel to receive his base matter, his words will fall to the ground, and die away. Children, servants - inmates in the house, and visitors in the family -- should guard most carefully against revealing secrets, that have been spoken before them in the unreserved confidence of domestic life. This busy idleness has always been a sore in the church--a religion always abroad, occupied impertinently with foreign interference; (1Th 4:11, 2Th 3:10, 11, 12, 1Ti 5:13, 1Pe 4:15). Would we have our friend rest his anxieties on our bosom? (Pr 17:17)
The tale-bearer having much time on his hands, worms out family secrets. He is always delighted to make a discovery. The most idle rumor is a treasure. A quarrel made up before he had time to reveal it, is a disappointment. This busy idleness has always been a sore in the church. (2Th 3:10, 11, 12. 1Ti 5:13. 1Pe 4:15.) It is a religion always abroad, occupied impertinently with foreign interference; while at home it is "the field of the slothful, grown over with thorns." (Pr 24:30, 31.) Would we have our friend rest his anxieties on our bosom (Pr 17:17),
Let him not see the results of misplaced confidence dropping out of our mouth. It is of great moment to our peace that those about us should be of a faithful spirit, fully worthy of our confidence; to whom it is not necessary on every occasion to enjoin secrecy; true to our interest as to their own; who would rather refuse than betray a trust; whose bosom is a cover of concealment, except when the honour of God and the interests of society plainly forbid. (1Sa 3:17, 18. Jer 38:24, 25, 26, 27. Contrast Jdg 16:16, 17, 18, 19, 20.) Invaluable is such a friend, but rare indeed in this deceitful world. (Pr 20:6.) Yet Christian consistency includes the faithful spirit; and its habitual absence makes it most doubtful, whether the spirit and mind of Christ is not altogether wanting. (An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs - Online)
Proverbs 15:22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.
Comment: In this context sod speaks of a more general meaning of counsel, which is viewed as essential to successful planning
Charles Bridges classic commentary on Proverbs: God has ordained the commerce of wisdom for mutual benefit, and by the multitude of counselors many valuable purposes have been established. (Pr 11:14) (An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs - Online)
Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.
Charles Bridges classic commentary on Proverbs: Never let us forget that all intercourse of social life must be based on love. Any breach of this is highly displeasing to God. Witness the talebearer. Unhappily he has much time on his hands unemployed for any good purpose. Hence he spends it on other people's business; ferreting out secrets, or diving into family arrangements. All this is material for scandal, or for idleness. In his visit he talks of the affairs of the last family. His present visit will furnish matter for idle talk in the next house. And thus his name describes his work, indulging an impertinent curiosity; making a tale of every thing he sees or hears. It is the business of his life, for which all other business is sacrificed, as if the whole man were one tongue, as if in its restless babbling it, he had discovered the grand secret of perpetual motion. Such a one meddle not with him. We would not wish him to look over our wall; much less to enter into our houses; least of all, to associate with our family circle, where his whole employment would be, either to draw out, or to put in, what "was not convenient."
The flagrant blot, however, in this contemptible, yet dangerous character, is his unfaithfulness-going about--revealing secrets. (Pr 11:13) This is peculiarly offensive to a God of truth. Even when matters have been given to him under a sea , his restless irritation breaks through the feeble bond. He ‘dismantles and rends the robe from the privacies of human intercourse. Who entrusts a secret to his friend, goes thither as to a sanctuary; and to violate the rites of that, is sacrilege and profanation of friendship.’
Never let us think this to be a trifle. Never let us undertake a trust without the most resolute determination of Christian faithfulness. (An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs - Online)
Proverbs 25:9 Argue your case with your neighbor, and do not reveal the secret of another,
Comment: Here sod signifies talk about something that should be kept confidential. In other words information shared in confidence should remain confidential.
"Before taking a case to court, gather evidence and keep it confidential." (Ryrie)
Jeremiah 6:11 But I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary with holding it in. "Pour it out on the children in the street and on the gathering (Lxx = sunagoge > English "synagogue"; NIV = young men gathered together, Holladay = circle of youths) of young men together; for both husband and wife shall be taken, the aged and the very old.
Comment: Jeremiah is proclaiming God's wrath. The Septuagint - LXX) translates sod with the familiar noun sunagoge which is transliterated into English as "synagogue". The Greek word describes a bringing together, a contracting, an assembling together (of men). Synagogues seem to date their origin from the Babylonian exile. In the time of Jesus and the apostles every town, not only in Palestine but also among the Gentiles if it contained a considerable number of Jewish inhabitants, had at least one synagogue, the larger towns several or even many. That the Jews held trials and even inflicted punishments in them, is evident from such passages as Mt 10:17.
Jeremiah 15:17 (Jeremiah speaking) I did not sit in the circle (Lxx = sunedrion = a sitting together; gives us the English - Sanhedrin) of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation.
Comments: Jeremiah took no part in the nation’s sin (see similar pattern prescribed in Ps 1:1) and thus was isolated because of his commitment.
Harrison comments: In a poetic passage of great beauty Jeremiah expresses his sense of utter loneliness in the midst of a bustling people. Many of his emotional tensions arose from an inner compulsion to side with God against his compatriots. Every true servant of God is likely to experience tensions of this kind, especially if, like Jeremiah, his foes are his relatives (cf. Matt. 10:36). The degree of individual sensitivity will govern the amount of suffering involved in the choice between the world and God (cf. Jas 4:4). When God’s word came to Jeremiah he welcomed it avidly (Jer 15:16, cf. Ezek. 2:8-3:3), but this also fostered his isolation. He was set apart from his fellows by the indwelling prophetic spirit, and cut off from popular activities because of his indignation over national sin. (Harrison, R. K. Vol. 21: Jeremiah and Lamentations: An introduction and commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press)
Jeremiah 23:18 "But who has stood in the council (Lxx = hupostema - literally that which sets under, a station of soldiers, a camp used metaphorically in this verse) of the LORD, That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?
Comment: Had the false prophets "stood in the Lord's inner circle" (NET- see note below) (cp Ps 25:14 above) they would have heard Jehovah's words and would have proclaimed them. As Thompson says "It is a word of judgment and not peace that should be proclaimed by one who really knows the mind of Yahweh. But one needs to stand in Yahweh’s council, see what goes on there, hear and pay attention to Yahweh’s word and obey it, to give such a word."
Net Bible Notes: The Lord’s inner circle refers to the council of angels (Ps 89:; 1Kgs 22:19, 20, 21, 22; Job 1–2; Job 15:8) where God made known his counsel/plans (Amos 3:7). They and those they prophesied to will find out soon enough what the purposes of his heart are, and they are not “peace” (Jer 23:20). By their failure to announce the impending doom they were not turning the people away from their wicked course (Jer 23:21, 22).
Jeremiah 23:22 (Context: Jer 23:21) "But if they had stood in My council ("had been my confidant", NET = had stood in My inner circle, BBE = in my secret, Lxx = hupostasis), Then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.
Comment: The message of the false prophets indicates that they had not been God's "confidant". They had not stood in the secret, intimate, inner circle of Jehovah, because a true prophet always seeks to call people to repent from sin and unto an obedient, God honoring faith.
Ezekiel 13:9 "So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council (BBE = secret, HCSB = fellowship, KJV = assembly) (Lxx = paideia = training, instruction as of a child) of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord GOD.
Comment: The false prophets would be essentially cut off or excommunicated from the fellowship of Israel. Some commentaries see their failure to "enter the land of Israel" as not just a near, but also a distant, future prophecy in which they would not be allowed to enter into the future millennial blessings in the land of Israel (cp Da 12:1,2-note).
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel (Lxx = paideia = training, instruction as of a child) to His servants the prophets.
Comment: All the evils announced come from the Sovereign God; but He brings none of them on the people without first warning through His prophets (cp Jn 13:19; 14:29). These men experience intimate fellowship with the Almighty (cp Ps 25:14) and thereby are enabled to hear His secret council which is to be proclaimed to the people. Are you experiencing close communion with your Creator? Perhaps you are not living in a manner which demonstrates that you have a reverential awe or fear of your Holy Father (Note the motivating influence of holy fear - what is the "fruit" in a saint's life? = Job 1:1, 28:28, Pr 3:7, 16:6, 13:14, 14:27 Ne 5:15 Ps 34:11, 12, 13,14 Ps 119:38 linked with Ps 119:133, Ec 12:13, 14 2Co 7:1-note)
Expositor's Bible Commentary writes that Amos 3:7: is important for understanding Amos’s concept of the prophetic office. “Plan” (sôd) has as its basic meaning the thought of “intimacy.” Sod has several shades of meaning. It may connote a close relationship (Gen 49:6; Job 29:4; Ps 111:1; Jer 6:11) or the scheming of those united against others (Ps 64:2; 83:3]) as well as the positive counsel derived from a close relationship (Pr 15:22). It may refer to something as intimate as a secret (Prov 11:13; 25:9) or close fellowship with a friend (Ps 55:14]). When used of God, it refers to his secret council (Job 15:8). It also may denote the intimate relationship the righteous have with God in which he “makes his covenant known to them” (Ps 25:14) and takes them “into his confidence” (Pr 3:32). Jeremiah uses the word to describe a prophet’s relationship to God through which he receives God’s truth (Jer 23:18, 22); for the prophet stood in an intimate relationship to God in which he shared God’s counsel and his words for the people. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing)