My Son, Be Wise
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
But a fool’s wrath is heavier than both of them.
4 Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent,
But who is able to stand before jealousy?
5 Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
7 A satisfied soul [a]loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
8 Like a bird that wanders from its nest
Is a man who wanders from his place.
9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by [b]hearty counsel.
10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.
11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may answer him who reproaches me.
12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself;
The simple pass on and are punished.
13 Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.
14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning,
It will be counted a curse to him.
15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike;
16 Whoever [c]restrains her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
18 Whoever [d]keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit;
So he who waits on his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man.
21 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.
22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;
24 For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25 When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
26 The lambs will provide your clothing,
And the goats the price of a field;
27 You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And the nourishment of your maidservants.
- Proverbs 27:7 tramples on
- Proverbs 27:9 Lit. counsel of the soul
- Proverbs 27:16 Lit. hides
- Proverbs 27:18 protects or tends
- Proverbs 27:20 Or Sheol
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Proverb Chapter 27 can be summarised in verses as follows:
1. The future
2. Self praise
3. The fool
6. Friends and enemies
8. The peripatetic
9. Incense, oil; Friendship
10. Family and friendship
12. The simpleton
13. Standing surety
14. Blessing a friend
15-16. The contentious wife
18. Work; Respecting a master
19. Projecting one’s feelings
22. The fool
23-27. The benefits of herding.
General Summary of Proverb Chapter 27
• More advice piles up: don’t boast about what will happen tomorrow, because it could all be overthrown; don’t praise yourself, let others do it; jealousy is worse than wrath or anger; and fool’s provocations are harder to resist than a heavy stone or sand pressing down on you.
• It’s better to rebuke someone out of care for their wellbeing than to hide your love for them. True friends will try to steer you into doing the right thing with rebukes and reminders, whereas enemies will just flatter and kiss up to you.
• If your appetite is already sated, you won’t gorge yourself on honey, but if you’re really hungry, even bitter things taste good.
• Don’t run away from home like a bird flying away from its nest.
• Also, perfume and incense are good things: they cheer you up.
• Don’t forget your friends or your parents’ friends—but at the same time, don’t spread your personal calamities to your family and kindred.
• It’s better to turn to neighbors nearby than to go too far away kinfolk to seek for solutions.
More “Sticks and Carrots”
• Clever people know when to cut and run. The simple ones don’t.
• To repeat an earlier point, Proverbs says not to make loans or give surety to a stranger or a foreigner.
• If you loudly (obnoxiously) bless a neighbor early in the morning, it’ll feel like a curse rather than a blessing.
• Proverbs continues, handing out sticks and carrots: contentious wives and fools get more sticks; people who sharpen one another’s wits, tend fruit trees, and take care of their masters get carrots.
• Human hearts reflect each other, like water reflects your face.
• Human eyes are never satisfied in seeing enough, the same way Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied with taking in more souls.
• Being praised tests what a person is really made of.
• Keep a close watch on your herds and livestock and take care of them. Nothing lasts forever, but if you’re attentive, you’ll have enough for you and your household.
Verse one of this chapter is a good caution against presuming upon time to come: Boast not thyself, no, not of to-morrow, much less of many days or years to come. This does not forbid preparing for to-morrow, but presuming upon to-morrow. We must not promise ourselves the continuance of our lives and comforts till to-morrow, but speak of it with submission to the will of God and as those who with good reason are kept at uncertainty about it.
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Love that is hidden and never discloses itself in acts of self-denial or generosity, especially that which from fear of offending does not rebuke a friend, nor speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), when there is good reason for such openness—such disguised love is worse, more objectionable, less beneficial, than the plain speaking which bravely censures a fault, and dares to correct what is wrong by well-timed blame. To hold back blame, it has been said, is to hold back love.
In Proverbs 17 one would understand that….
A reproof out in the open might be truthful, but it may not be in the appropriate setting. There is a time to correct a person or challenge his thinking, but initially it should be done in private if at all possible. Otherwise, it can be seen as public humiliation rather than instruction. But at least in a rebuke there is a sign that a person cares about truth and about the relationship. However, those who pretend that they do not love when they actually do commit such a travesty because it robs a person of a fulfilling relationship. By not backing up actually loving convictions with actual words and actions, a person is left thinking that they are unloved or even despised. Thus, there is unnecessary sorrow and loss for no good reason. It is better to be corrected which in and of itself demonstrates some level of care and concern than to be loved and never know it and even wonder if the person cares at all.
Lesson learnt from Proverbs Chapter 27:
• Our live isn’t ours. The Lord decides how we live our lives, we do not know when he is going to call us home.
• Bragging on yourself is close to conceit.
• The heaviness a fool brings on is heaviness of the heart, which is very difficult to bear. Have you ever heard someone say, when you told them good news, you took a load off my mind? This is the same type thing.
• Envy is jealousy which is the most uncontrollable sin.
• True criticism from a friend may hurt for a time but may be welcomed, for it done with love but the kisses of an enemy are an attempt to conceal his hatred.
Envy is jealously which is the most uncontrollable sin.
Wrath and sudden anger are sometimes shown through a big fight, but when the anger goes away the fight is over. Many times, those angered with each other make up, especially if it is husbands and wives. This envy (in verse 4), seems to me to indicate jealousy.
Jealousy lingers on and is seldom settled. Jealousy is usually unfounded. It primarily stems from a low self-esteem. Comparing ourselves with those around us is a dangerous thing to do because it brings on sins such as envy, strife, coveting, jealousy, hatred, etc. Be satisfied with where you are in life and you will be much happier.
In proverbs 27:5,I see even in this “open rebuke” here, a sense that this is more constructive criticism than rebuke. A person who truly loves you will try to help you overcome problems in your personality.
To genuinely love is to manifest the truth, even if it means to rebuke.
A person, who takes someone for granted that they love, will soon find their selves alone.
When a friend (a true friend), wounds you for the moment, it is to help you in the long run. As I said in the verse above, constructive criticism is good as it helps you to improve.
An enemy that flatters you with his lips is trying to maneuver you to his advantage. He wants something; and he thinks by flattering you, you will give him whatever it is that he wants.
Proverb 27 Don’t boast about what will happen tomorrow, because it could all be overthrown, don’t praise yourself, let others do it,jealousy is worse than wrath or anger and fools provocations are harder to resist than a heavy stone or sand pressing down on you.
It is better to rebuke someone out of care for their wellbeing than to hide your love for them. True friends will try to steer you into doing the right thing with rebukes and reminders,whereas enemies will just flatter and kiss up to you.
If your appetite is already sated,you want gorge yourself on honey but if you are really hungry ,even bitter things taste good. Don’t run away from home like a bird flying away from it’s nest ,also,perfume and incense are good things: they cheer you up.
Don’t forget your friends or your parents friends, but at the same time, don’t spread your personal calamity to your family and kindred.
It’s better to turn to neighbors nearby than to go too far away kinfolk to seek for solutions.
Clever people know when to cut and run,the simple ones don’t.
To repeat an earlier point, proverb says not to make loans or give surety to a stranger or a foreigner.
If you loudly bless a neighbor early in the morning,it will feel like a curse rather than a blessing.
Contentious wives and fools get more sticks,people who sharpen one another’s wits ,tend fruit trees and take care of their masters get carrots.
Human eyes are never satisfied in seeing enough the same way Sheol and never satisfied with taking in more souls.
Being praised tests what a person is really made of.
Keep a close watch on your herds and livestock and take care of them,nothing lasts forever, but if you are attentive, you will have enough for you and your household
The verse 1 of this chapter is very sensitive. Like I always tell people that the situation you are today doesn’t guarantee your future so tread gently. As we have also read in chapter 25 verse 6and 7 that we should be humble and not take ourself high. Allow people to praise you.
This chapter is also telling is to know who we meet when facing challenges in life. Choose your friend wisely and not one that will backbite.
Nothing last forever but we need to be wise in our ways.