26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
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A kiss on the lips between two people (including two men) in that time and culture was regarded as a sign of honor and respect, especially if offered by a person of higher social station (who would not normally owe such a gesture) to someone of a lower station. (For example, David's son Absalom employed a kiss in this manner in 2 Samuel 15:5.) In the verse cited in the question, Solomon is saying that giving an honest answer to another person similarly shows honor to that person by being truthful, rather than attempting to deceive. The meaning attached to a kiss in this context also emphasizes the treachery of Judas in using it as the means of betraying Jesus, as Jesus Himself noted at the time (Luke 22:48).
Although in the Bible a “kiss” can symbolize Submission (Ps. 2:12), Reconciliation/God’s Grace (Ps. 85:10), here in Prov. 24:26, it symbolizes an Honest Answer (Wiersbe). “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” (Proverbs 24:26) Like a kiss, an honest answer shows affection and love, the marks of genuine friendship. QSB NET: "Like a kiss on the lips 1 is the one who gives an honest answer." NET Notes: 1 tn Heb. “The one who returns right words kisses the lips.” This is an implied comparison for giving an honest answer. Honesty is like a kiss. The kiss would signify love, devotion, sincerity, and commitment (in that culture) – an outward expression of what is in the heart. It is an apt illustration of telling the truth. Some English versions now replace the figure to avoid cultural misunderstanding (cf. TEV, CEV “a sign of true friendship”; NLT “an honor”). And specifically see: TPT --The Passion Translation "Speaking honestly is a sign of true friendship." VOICE translation "A straight answer is as precious as a kiss on the lips." NLT-- a different edition of the New Living Translation than the one above. "An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship." (Notice the omission of “on the lips.”) Also, an honest answer is pleasing and so is a kiss on the lips! If you haven't experienced it, you have most probably seen it in the movies.
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