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 27:9

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

– Proverbs 27:9

Pleasing aromas can refresh, cheer, and energize. The point of the saying is likening hearty counsel from a friend to ointment and perfume in the ability to rejoice the heart. This saying speaks to the power of good words. Various proverbs speak to the restorative and refreshing power of good words (Proverbs 12:25; 15:23, 30; 16:24; 17:22; 25:25).

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:6

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

– Proverbs 27:6

Verse 6 continues from verse 5. Faithful wounds are the result of open rebuke, mentioned previously. The word for faithful means to build up or support and can express the nurturing relationship of parents to children. It may wound, or inflict some pain, but is ultimately out of love and for good. The word for deceitful means abundant and describes the profuse kisses of an enemy. The thought of deceit is present and contrasts with faithful. We infer from the saying that faithful wounds from a friend will be few because they are out of love and meant for good, while the enemies flatteries will be poured out. Wisdom warns to beware of flattery and weigh words carefully (Proverbs 2:16; 6:24; 7:5, 21; 10:18; 20:19; 26:23-26, 28; 29:5).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:28

A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

– Proverbs 26:28

This saying concludes this section with wisdom observations on lying and flattering. The word for hateth is sometimes translated as enemy, but most often as some form of hate. The word for afflicted means crushed, or injured. A liar is an enemy to and injurer of those he lies to. The righteous, or wise, man hates lying (Proverbs 13:5) and wisdom teaches to put it far from us (Proverbs 4:24). The word for flattering means smooth (Proverbs 5:3) and is readily grouped with lying. The word for ruin means overthrow and indicates the inevitable outcome of lying and flattering.

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:26

Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

– Proverbs 26:26

This saying finishes this hypocritical speech collection. Malice may be covered by deceit for a while, but will ultimately be made known. Mention of the congregation could indicate some more formal process of judication, though not necessarily with civil authorities. Wisdom here has repeated the warning to beware of fair speech (Proverbs 7:21; 26:25).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:25

When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

– Proverbs 26:25

This verse continues from the previous, so it is the hating man who speaketh fair. He uses gracious speech to mask what is within. In this case, seven abominations are concealed within. This could be a reference to the seven abominations of Proverbs 6:16-19, but more likely speaks of completion in the sense his heart is thoroughly abominable. Wisdom teaches to discern character and not judge merely by outward appearance, and warns against believing the fair sounding words.

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:24

He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

– Proverbs 26:24

Hatred is often the mark of an enemy. At least, it refers to one with ill intentions, or malicious designs. The word for dissembleth means to recognize. The English word means a false appearance. The malicious man disguises his evil intentions with the words of his mouth (Proverbs 12:5, 17, 20).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:23

Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

– Proverbs 26:23

Verses 23-26 focus on hypocritical speech. The word for burning means flaming and can be put for fervency, or we might say passion. It is passionate and earnest speech that covers the motives of a wicked heart. The saying refers to hypocrisy or deception. Scholars debate the precise meaning of the words for silver dross, but the image is clear enough. The picture is of a clay vessel glazed over to appear brilliant and solid. The intention would be to sell it as a pure and strong vessel in order to get a higher price. It’s a common enough deception we’ve all probably encountered. We should equally beware of fair speech (Proverbs 10:18).

 


 

 

Proverbs 25:25

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
– Proverbs 25:25

The image uses water in a good form. Cold water is refreshing and invigorating to a thirsty soul. Being from a far country meant rare, hard to come by. So good news here is an apt and timely word (Proverbs 15:23, 30).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Next Page »