In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
– Proverbs 10:19
Verses 19-21 deal with words, or our speech. This is one of the foremost themes throughout Proverbs. Wisdom affects what we say, the way we say it, when we say it, and how much we say. Kidner observed that three of the seven abominations in 6:16-19 have to do with sins with words. Here Solomon addresses the quantity of our words. Multitude means abundance. Elsewhere, Solomon marks a fool by sheer quantity of words (Ecclesiastes 5:3; 10:14). Words aplenty means sins aplenty. The wise refraineth, or withholds and restrains, their words. Seldom does our error lie in saying too little (James 1:19-20; Proverbs 17:27-28). Real wisdom discerns “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).