THE BOOK OF PROVERBS #9
Be Wise, Make Friends
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth [This is the cocky attitude of mind; over confident; a life that thinks they are in perfect control of days, months, years to come, when of course nobody can be so big-headed as to think they and not God is in control of tomorrow - Keith Hunt]
2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips [This is again the individual who is filled with self-vanity; human pride; human conceit…..there was once a heavy-weight boxer who would shout out “I’m the Greatest….look how pretty I am…..I’m the Greatest!” Time showed he was not always the greatest but was beaten several times, but he was certainly one of the greatest in his boxing career. No matter how good you are in whatever, always remain humble - Isaiah 66:2 - Keith Hunt]
3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them.
[This puts in perspective the huge weight in a human analogy that a fool’s wrath can be on those who come near to it; do not stay around the wrath of fools, it can crush you - Keith Hunt]
4 Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy? [Indeed the power and driving force of jealousy can lead to doing things beyond being full of anger; there were two USA young ladies in figure skating (world class stuff), one deliberately smashed the leg of the other….. oh what jealousy will do at times - Keith Hunt]
5 Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed [If you have love but it is hidden so carefully nobody knows it is there - what’s the good of that, it is useless. Open rebuke at least is seen and felt, and could do some positive work in a person’s life. Love…. let it be known, it’s useless if it’s never seen or felt - Keith Hunt]
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [A true friend will be faithful, and with that faithfulness may come at times, some upfront, straight talk, correction which can hurt at the time given; it’s a loving wound from a true friend. The buttering up, stroking the back, lovey-dovey-ness of an enemy, oh how deceitful it can all be; you’ll end up in a real mess from such enemies - Keith Hunt]
7 A satisfied life loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry life every bitter thing is sweet [When all is going nice and rose, full stomach, money in the bank, good secular job, the sweetness of honey may not be desired or wanted (now organic honey is good, contains all the “b” vitimins); but if your in the opposite situation of life….oh even bitter things are sweet to the taste; when your famished your happy for anything to eat - Keith Hunt]
8 Like a bird that wanders from its nest is a man who wanders from his place [When your out of your depth, in strange water, in surroundings that are not comfortable, you are in mind like a bird lost from its nest. If you go into places, towns, houses, neighbourhoods, that are not like the safety of home (the proverb is obviously talking about a good person in general living in a good home and neighbourhood), you can be in big trouble. A number of times each year we hear about teens or College students, away from home, in a land not familiar, a town not familiar, and in night-clubs not familiar….. and they are beaten up, or worse they are killed. It happened just the other day (July 6 - 2017) - a young man just graduated from College, in a foreign country, in a night-club at 3 am, an argument, set upon by 4 or 5 locals and beaten to death. Oh how wisdom is needed - Keith Hunt]
9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel [How wonderful to have good true friends, who will also share their counsel with you, as they say, two heads are better than one - Keith Hunt]
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 [If you know they are true friends of any age, do not forsake them, you have a good thing; when troubles come to you, it may be best to go to a good neighbour than try to travel to a far away brother or sister; the situation of the calamity and wisdom will decide - Keith Hunt]
11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me [My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me (as having failed in my parental duty - Prov. 10: 1; 23: 15, 24) - Amplified Bible. Oh yes how many times has a parent thought this, said this, and prayed their son or daughter would mend their ways for the better - Keith Hunt]
From the New KJV Study Bible
27:1 Do not boast: Rather trust in the providence of God. Rest in His care (Matt. 6:25, 26).
27:5 Love that is not manifested in some way is of no value.
27:7 hungry soul: The person who is habitually covetous. Covetous people often conceive a burning desire for things which can only harm them. See 1 Tim. 6:6-10.
27:8 wanders from his place: Does not appreciate his home nor face his responsibilities.
27:10 Do not... go to your brother's house: The proverb does not forbid our turning to family members for support in times of need. Rather, it emphasizes the importance of developing close, dependable friendships. When, we need someone, we should not forsake the help of a friend who is near for that of a family member who is far away.
12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.
[The wise will perceive evil is coming, or could come, and will take steps not to be seen and have evil come upon them; the simple minded (used here in the negative sense), weak minded, just not able to clue in on things, will not foresee evil coming and will walk right into it, and figuratively get slapped in the face - Keith Hunt]
13 Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress [Be sure to get collateral from anyone who guarantees a debt of a stranger. Get a deposit if someone guarantees the debt of an adulterous woman - The New Living Translation. (The judge tells the creditor) Take the garment of one who is security for a stranger; and hold him in pledge when he is security for foreigners (Prov. 20: 16) - Amplified Bible. There seems to be various ways the Hebrew can be translated. A proverb somewhat hard to understand in our day and age. Back in ancient Israel security for pledges or loans, was secured by garments, which our Security Companies and Banks would simply laugh at as some joke you were playing on them. But then there is the business where the house you have can be collateral or security for another house you wish to buy as an investment deal. No doubt there are other business deals that use collateral and security, if it’s over and above the general loans you can obtain through Banks and Investment Companies and that because of your excellent credit score - Keith Hunt]
14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him [Good intentions and acts, if not used with wisdom can come back to you as a curse - just not at all appreciated. In this case, not all people are early risers….I know I’m one of them, more of a night owl than an early bird - Keith Hunt]
15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike
16 Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand.
[Once more we are told living with a woman who is by nature contentious, is like dripping water that never stops, it slowly wear away; sad to say I've known and heard of this and the man works long hours, or goes to the gym or pub and stays away from home as much as he can. Some leave - they separate and/or divorce. It seems it is very hard for a contentious women to change her ways; to restrain her would be like trying to catch the wind in your hands or grasping oil - it slips through the hand - Keith Hunt]
17 As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [A good friend, a true friend, will not allow you to get away with untruth, or living a way of life that will bring disaster to you; they will correct, and the same should be said of you towards a friend - Keith Hunt]
18 Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored [Tending carefully to your fruit trees, is a blessing to the trees, they will produce abundant healthy fruit; you will joyously partake in hardest time and after. So likewise those who serve their boss well, produce a good outcome, where the master is thankful and so rewards accordingly - Keith Hunt]
19 As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals the man [The heart is used for the seat of the emotional and life living of a person; you hear people say about others "Oh he's got such a good heart." People relate the heart to the very way of life that a person lives. If you have a good heart people are happy to be around you; they look upon you as one who cares, is happy, is respectful, is circumspect - they honour you for all of this - Keith Hunt]
20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied [Letting human nature run-amuck, the evil desires, lusts of the eyes, is never satisfied; we have to be diligent in how we see and view things. We know it is in the mind, but the Bible uses such terminology as "the eyes" in a figure of speech way; shall we say it is the eyes that make the mind see, and we can see with lust, jealousy, unwarrented anger - ways that could lead to death and destruction - Keith Hunt]
21 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, and a man is valued by what others say of him [I guess it is the acid test, what others think about us; how we think and talk, live, is pretty well open for others to see; they see us just the way we are. If we are hiring someone to do a job, we usually want references from others where the person has worked etc. Even as we work (if working with others) we want feedback from those working with our new hire. So in many ways a man is valued by what others say about him - Keith Hunt]
22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him [Oh my, this is a mighty strong analogy; I mean it really shows how imbedded, how dug in, how etched, inscribed, foolishness can be in a fool; mighty hard to do away with it; of course all things are possible through Christ Jesus - Keith Hunt]
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.
[Unless you have some "cash cow" never-ending course of money, you need to attend to your physical whatever that do give you a physical return, i.e. attending to your flocks of sheep etc. for physical riches from your physical things, do need attending, looking after carefully or your cash flow.... flies away and is gone - Keith Hunt]
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.
[Caring for what you have means it will pay off in physical reward, as the caring of your land gives a healthy life to your lambs and goats....so to your betterment by your lambs and goats. All that does well under your care can bring physical nourishment to you, your household, and to your servants (people working for you) - all benefit - Keith Hunt]
From the New KJV Study Bible
27:12 hides: Prepares himself.
27:13 See 6:1-5; 20:16 and notes.
27:14 Wisdom has a good sense of timing. Just because you are buoyant in the morning does not mean everyone is. Good intentions should not be considered as a justification for thoughtless behavior.
27:15,16 contentious woman: Five times Proverbs speaks the difficulty of living with such a person (19:13; 21: 9,19; 25: 24). A wife can be the making or breaking of a man.
27:17 As one piece of metal is used to improve the sharpness of another, so is a person able to sharpen for the good the perceptions and abilities of a friend.
27:19 In the OT the heart is where one's character is on display. It must be a new heart of purity for one in Christ.
27:21 valued by what others say: A principle to be remembered and applied to our lives.
27:22 The fool could be punished as grain is crushed in a vessel with a pounder, yet not change his ways.
27:23-27 Pay attention to day-to-day affairs and do not become complacent in either wealth or a favorable political climate (v. 24).
TO BE CONTINUED