Proverbs 27 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 27)

Verse 1

[1] Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

Boast not — Of any good thing which thou purposeth to do, or hopest to receive tomorrow, or hereafter.

Knowest not — What may happen in the space of one day. The day is said to bring forth, what God by his almighty power either causes or suffers to be brought forth or done in it.

Verse 3

[3] A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Heavier — More grievous, being without cause, without measure, and without end.

Verse 5

[5] Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Open — When it is needful, in which case, though it put a man to some shame yet it doth him good.

Better — More desirable and beneficial.

Secret love — Which does not shew itself by friendly actions, and particularly by free and faithful reproof.

Verse 6

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

Wounds — The sharpest reproofs.

Kisses — All the outward profession of friendship.

Verse 8

[8] As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.

Wandereth — That flies from place to place, whereby she is exposed to all the arts of fowlers, and to birds of prey.

So — So is he who through vanity or lightness changes his abode, or his calling.

Verse 10

[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 neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

Neither go — For comfort and relief, so as to forsake thy friend for him.

A neighbour — The friend, who hath shewed himself to be a good neighbour.

Near — In affection.

Verse 11

[11] My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.

Reproacheth — For being the father of a wicked son.

Verse 14

[14] He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

Blesseth — That praises him to his face.

A loud voice — That both he, and others, may be sure to take notice of it.

Rising early — To shew his great forwardness.

A curse — His friend will value this kind of blessing no more than a curse.

Verse 16

[16] Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.

Hideth — Attempts to smother her passion.

Right-hand — Which being the great instrument of action, by its much stirring, diffuses the savour of it.

Verse 17

[17] Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Iron — Iron tools are made sharp and fit for use, by rubbing them against the file, or some other iron.

The countenance — The company or conversation of his friend.

Verse 18

[18] Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

So he — That serves him faithfully, prudently, and diligently.

Verse 19

[19] As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

So — So one man resembles another in the corruption of his nature.

Verse 20

[20] Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Hell — The grave devours all the bodies which are put into it, and is always ready to receive and devour more.

The eyes — The desires, which discover themselves by the eyes.

Verse 21

[21] As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

To his praise — Or, according to his praise. So a man is tried by praise.

Verse 23

[23] Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

Flock — Flocks and herds are here put for all possessions, because anciently they were the chief part of a man's riches.

Verse 24

[24] For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?

For — What thou dost now possess, will not last always. If a man had the wealth of a kingdom, without care and diligence it would be brought to nothing.

Verse 25

[25] The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.

The hay — Another encouragement to diligence; God invites thee to it by the plentiful provisions wherewith he has enriched the earth for thy sake.

The mountains — Even the most barren parts afford thee their help.

Verse 26

[26] The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.

The price — By the sale whereof thou mayest either pay the rent of the field which thou hirest, or purchase fields or lands. Goats might better be spared and sold than sheep, which brought a more constant profit to the owner.

Verse 27

[27] And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Goat's milk — Or, if thou chusest rather to keep thy goats, the milk will serve thee for food to thyself and family. In ancient times men used a plain and simple diet.