These two verses begin a theme in this chapter about being in the king’s presence. The comparison here is with the impurities found in association with silver ore.
“Remove the dross from the silver” refers to the refining process of silver ore after it has been removed from the ground. It is done in a furnace where the silver is heated to a liquid state, which allows impurities (“the dross”) to be separated.
“And out comes material for the silversmith” will be the valuable metal that is left after the dross has been removed. “The silversmith” can then fashioned it into an artistic masterpiece of even greater value than the silver, itself.
Verse 5 compares “the wicked” to “the dross” and “the king’s presence” to “the silver.” “Remove the wicked from the king’s presence” should make the king’s rule better. Without “the wicked” around to influence things negatively, “his throne will be established through righteousness.”
We can make the same application in our lives. Hanging around with inappropriate people in inappropriate places doing inappropriate things will not establish us in righteousness.
And those “wicked” people will probably not just go away. We will probably have to make these decisions ourselves. But when we do — something really special can be brought to fruition in our lives!