Proverbs 27:18

Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honored.
– Proverbs 27:18

The parallel in this verse shows faithful work will be rewarded. Caring for the fig tree will mean enjoying the fruit later. Likewise, the servant who tends to his master will receive reward. Wisdom sees benefits to servants who do their duties faithfully (Proverbs 17:2; 22:29).

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man the countenance of his friend.
– Proverbs 27:17

This saying is one of the famous sayings in Proverbs. The word for sharpeneth means to make sharp, as in sharpening a knife, but it can also have a more figurative meaning of making fierce, i.e., a sharp face. Some have keyed on the negative connotation of the figurative usage to give the saying a negative gloss. The saying in its natural meaning fits well with the various Proverbs on friendship, and I take it that way.

Iron to iron depicts a clash that creates friction, heat, and perhaps sparks, but the result of the process is making something sharper and more useful. A dull blade is made better by sharpening and that is the intent of the saying. Man to man, or friend to friend clashes produce friction but also result in sharpening, being made better. This understanding puts the saying in the category of the benefits of good counsel in Proverbs. Pair this saying with Proverbs 27:9 and you get a double-sided picture of true friendship—encouragement and constructive criticism.

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:16

Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.
– Proverbs 27:16

Verse 16 continues from the previous verse. The wording of the original is difficult and scholars have had varied opinions. The thrust of the saying is the uncontrollable nature of the contentious woman. Trying to restrain or correct her is like trying to grasp the wind, or shut it up, and like trying to hold oil in your hand. This saying confirms the place of the contentious woman in Proverbs’ gallery of fools (Proverbs 12:15-16; 15:2, 5; 17:10; 20:3; 22:15; 27:22).

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:15

A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
– Proverbs 27:15

Verses 15-16 form a saying about a contentious, or quarrelsome, wife. Here the contentious woman is compared to a constant drip on a rainy day. The word for very rainy means pouring rain, which increases the irritation from the drip. The drip is further described as continual, or continuous. The contentious woman is a certain type of fool in Proverbs, lacking wisdom and causing continual sorrow. Her presence and repeated quarrels keeps a man from peace and drives him to the wilderness or housetop as preferable living quarters (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9; 25:24).

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:14

He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be a curse to him.
– Proverbs 27:14

Words should be few (Proverbs 10:19; 11:12-13), dispassionate (Proverbs 15:1; 17:27), true (Proverbs 16:13; 24:24-26), appropriate (Proverbs 25:11), and timely (Proverbs 15:23). A lack of discernment, such as speaking too loud and too early, can turn a blessing otherwise into a curse.

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:13

Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
– Proverbs 27:13

Wisdom consistently warns against rash pledges and sureties (Proverbs 6:1-4; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26-27). This saying essentially parallels the one in Proverbs 20:16. The inclusion here could be an example or a warning for the previous saying that a simple person doesn’t perceive risks and comes to suffer the consequences.

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:12

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and and are punished.
– Proverbs 27:12

This saying is the same as Proverbs 22:3, and captures a key teaching about wisdom in the book of Proverbs. The prudent man is contrasted with the simple. Their outcomes are different in that the prudent are hidden from calamity and the simple suffer a penalizing consequence. The word for prudent means shrewd and applies to the ability to make plans. The word for simple means naive, or insensible. The different outcomes are because the prudent looks ahead and perceives problems and the simple plunge forward thoughtlessly and carelessly.

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:11

My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.
– Proverbs 27:11

The father/teacher/sage rejoices when the children/students learn what is being taught (Proverbs 10:1; 15:20; 23:15-16, 24-25). The word for reproacheth gives the idea of taunting or criticism. The best answer is a wise son. Jesus referred to this principle when he said, “But wisdom is justified of her children” (Matthew 11:19).

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:10

Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbor that is near than a brother far off.
– Proverbs 27:10

Family connections are presented as the strongest bonds and form a standard for comparisons of the friendship of neighbors and friends (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24). Overall, this saying is about cultivating relationships. The image of a near neighbor suggests relationships with those who are close at hand spatially. Even if they are not blood relation, they are near and better than blood relation far away in times of calamity. Wisdom cultivates community.

 


 

 

Next Page »