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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 27

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-5

Proverbs About Misc Activities Proverbs 27:1 to Proverbs 29:27 make up a collection of proverbs that deal with miscellaneous activities.

Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

Proverbs 27:1 Scripture References - Note a similar passage:

James 4:13, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.”

Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

Proverbs 27:2 Scripture References - Proverbs 27:2 makes a similar statement to Proverbs 25:27:

Proverbs 25:27, “It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory .”

Proverbs 27:3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Proverbs 27:4 Comments - Note that the same Hebrew word “envy (H7068) is translated “jealousy” in Proverbs 6:34-35.

Proverbs 6:34-35, “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”

Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Proverbs 27:5 Illustration - Paul rebukes Peter:

Galatians 2:14, “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”

Verses 1-27

Proverbs 22:26-27 Third Saying (Tetrastitch) Proverbs 22:26 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines. This is called a tetrastitch.

Proverbs 22:26 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.

Proverbs 22:27 If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

Proverbs 22:28 Fourth Saying (Distitch) Comments - Proverbs 22:28 forms a single proverbial thought using two lines, which is called a distitch.

Proverbs 22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Proverbs 22:28 Comments - The Mosaic Law made provisions for preserving the ancient boundary marks set by the founding fathers of the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17). These boundary marks were originally set during the time of Joshua during the allotment of the land to the twelve tribes of Israel immediately after the conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 13:1 to Joshua 21:45). During the course of the nation’s history, land was lost because of poverty, or the need to sell one’s land; it was lost by marauding groups from neighbouring countries; it was taken by corruption (Job 24:2). For example, King Ahab killed Naboth and took possession of his land (1 Kings 21:1-16). Today in many countries, the office of land registry is corrupted, so that government officials change land titles through bribes, or land owners simply encroach out of their boundaries and steal portions of neighbouring land.

Deuteronomy 19:14, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.”

Deuteronomy 27:17, “Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.”

Job 24:2, “Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.”

Scripture Reference - Note a similar proverb:

Proverbs 23:10, “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:”

Verses 6-8

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Proverbs 27:6 “but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” - Illustration:

Luke 22:48, “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

Proverbs 27:6 Comments - In Matthew 7:1-6 Jesus teaches us about judging our neighbour. We are to avoid being critical of our neighbour (Proverbs 7:1-4). Instead, we are to live a lifestyle of godliness so that we can speak words of wisdom and advice into the lives of others (Proverbs 7:5). If they reject what we have to offer, we are not to push Christian teachings into their face, lest they become offended at God’s Word and further bring judgment upon themselves (Proverbs 7:6). Rather, we are to discern their hearts and help those who will accept our ministry (Proverbs 7:6). This is why Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and told them that he that is spiritual is to judge (or discern) all things while not being found guilty of sin and judged by others (1 Corinthians 2:15). That is, we are supposed to live a godly lifestyle without sin by being mature enough to be able to discern between good and evil in our lives as well as those around us.

1 Corinthians 2:15, “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”

Solomon made a similar statement in Proverbs 9:8, “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” We are to correct those who are in error. If they are rebellious, the burden to correct them is not upon us. However, we are to have enough discernment to recognize when someone is receptive to correction, and offer such in a spirit of love. Solomon as well said, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) If we speak the truth in love when correcting others, we may initially wound someone’s heart, but such wounds in the lives of the humble will quickly heal.

Proverbs 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

Proverbs 27:7 Comments - In Psalms 19:10; Psalms 119:103, God’s Word is likened to honey. A man who is satisfied and full of this world’s goods is a man who loathes God’s Words and the things of God. However, to a man who is seeking fellowship with God, even the bitter things of the Christian live, such as persecutions and even the chastisement of our heavenly Father, are sweeter than the pleasures of this world’s goods.

Psalms 19:10, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

Psalms 119:103, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

When we learned to walk in the path that Jesus has called us, we find of peace, fullness and abundance. This is a path that drops fatness.

Psalms 65:11, “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.”

However, mixed within these manifold blessings is a life of self-discipline that crucifies the flesh, as well as unpleasant experiences, such as persecutions and suffering for the name of Jesus. But this does not means that these experiences are leanness to our soul, for the Scriptures declare that to a hungry soul, even the bitter things in life are sweet Proverbs 27:7).

This means that when we continue to follow Jesus in the difficult times, He has a way of bringing us through such bitter experiences within an inner peace and joy that passes understanding, for this inner joy is s divine joy placed there by God, a joy that does not precede from the flesh, but from the spirit of man. Thus, does our walk with Jesus drop fatness at all times, both in the easy times and in the difficult times.

Proverbs 27:8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.

Proverbs 27:8 Comments - In the realm of nature, a bird’s nest is a place of rest (Luke 9:58), of refuge, and of reproduction, which a bird needs in order to fulfill its designed destiny in nature. The concept of a wandering bird describes a creature without rest, refuge and reproduction, a situation that foreshadows the death of any creature in nature. There are species of birds that fly and nest in flocks for protection against predators. Their sheer numbers decrease the likelihood of one individual’s capture out of a vast multitude, and that one nest of hatchlings will survive although some are eaten. Such animals that live in large social groups become disoriented when alone, and wander, as Proverbs 27:8 describes.

Luke 9:58, “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

My family and I went on a safari to Lake Mburo, Uganda. We sent out on the lake and a game warden showed us some large bird nests in trees by the lake, with monkeys climbing the trees trying to gain access to the bird eggs. He explained that the hammerkop, a small stork of the East African wetlands, builds an enormously large nest of twigs and branches in a tree over hanging the water to protect itself from larger predators. It also makes the entrance to this next at the bottom of the large nest, so that the monkeys who climb the same tree and branches cannot enter the nest.

When a man is walking in the path of wisdom, in the plan of God for his life, he has entered into a place of rest. When a man wanders outside this path, he no longer has rest, but becomes lost in despair. He encounters continuous problems in life.

Verses 9-16

Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

Proverbs 27:9 Word Study on “ointment” Strong says the Hebrew word “ointment” ( שֶׁמֶן ) (H8081) means, “grease, especially liquid (as from the olive, often perfumed),” and figuratively, “richness.” He says it comes from the primitive root ( שָׁמֵן ) (H8080), which means, “to shine, to be oily or gross.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 193 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “oil 165, ointment 14, olive 4, oiled 2, fat 2, things 2, misc 4.”

Proverbs 27:9 Word Study on “perfume” Strong says the Hebrew word “perfume” ( קְטֹרֶת ) (H7004) means, “fumigation,” and it comes from the primitive root ( מֻקְטָר ) (H6999), which means, “to smoke, i.e. to turn into fragrance by fire.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 60 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “incense 57, perfume 3.”

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 neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

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

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

Proverbs 27:12 Word Study on “hideth himself” Strong says the Hebrew word “hideth himself” ( סָתַר ) (H5641) is a primitive root that means, “to hide (by covering), literally or figuratively.”

Proverbs 27:12 Comments - A prudent man is one who has taken the time to learn how to hear and obey the voice of wisdom. Therefore, he hears the voice of the Holy Spirit warning him about the evil ahead. Now the simple person is not necessary an evil person, but he is someone who has been too lazy to learn the Word of God and how to discern the voice of wisdom.

Sometimes the Lord will warn us of danger through a dream in order that we may pray and bind the devil from bringing harm.

Scripture Reference - Note the same verse in Proverbs 22:3.

Proverbs 22:3, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

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

Proverbs 27:14 Word Study on “a curse” - Strong says the Hebrew word “curse” ( קלָלָה ) (H7045) means “vilification.”

Proverbs 27:14 Comments - It was the custom to greet others in the morning with a blessing.


Ruth 2:4, “And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.”

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

Proverbs 27:15 Comments - Living in a house with a dripping faucet is very annoying. So can a contentious woman drive away a man.

Verses 17-22

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

Proverbs 27:17 Comments - A man’s countenance shows his spirit. Note:

Proverbs 15:13, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

Ecclesiastes 10:9-10 says that a blunt axe takes more strength to cut wood:

Ecclesiastes 10:9-10, “Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength : but wisdom is profitable to direct.”

A sharp axe allows you to chop wood with greater ease and less strength. A sharp axe is like a cheerful countenance. Therefore, a blunt axe is like a dull countenance. How much easier it is to carry on the tasks of life with a cheerful heart, rather than a dull, unhappy heart.

Also, the countenance of a friend strengthens a man when he is low spiritually. The best place to go is to a friend, for he will sharpen your countenance.

Proverbs 27:17 Comments - Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts regarding Proverbs 27:17:

“Turn thy face toward Me, and leave to Me the responsibility of probing thy soul. I am the Master Surgeon. I am skilled in all cures of the soul as well as those of the body. Let Me care for thy health. Delight thyself in Me, and I shall bring about that which ye desire to see in thy character and personality. Feed upon My Word. It is there that ye shall come to a clearer understanding of My Person. Only as ye know Me can ye come to be more like Me. In association with others, man taketh to himself a measure of the mannerisms and ideologies of these other persons . So shall it be likewise to those who spend much time in My company. Silently, and without conscious effort, thou shalt be changed.” [146]

[146] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 168.

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

Proverbs 27:18 Comments - When we support a ministry with prayer and financial giving, we will receive some of the same eternal rewards that the great minister himself will receive.

Proverbs 27:19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Comments - Those men who are in positions of much gain, if they have a greedy heart, find themselves dissatisfied with their accumulations of gain. They chase after more, and their eyes are not content with the wealth they now have.

Proverbs 27:21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

Proverbs 27:21 Word Study on “praise” Strong says the Hebrew word “mahalal” ( מַהֲלָל ) (H4110) means, “fame.” It is used only once in the Old Testament, being translated “praise” in Proverbs 27:21. Strong says it comes from the primitive root “halal” ( הָלַל ) (H1984), which literally means, “to be clear, to shine, to make a show, to boast, to be foolish, to rave, to celebrate.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 165 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “praise 117, glory 14, boast 10, mad 8, shine 3, foolish 3, fools 2, commended 2, rage 2, celebrate 1, give 1, marriage 1, renowned 1.”

Proverbs 27:22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Proverbs 27:22 Comments - Foolishness is bound in the heart. It is not easily driven out of a person. As an adult, foolishness is hard to change. The Scriptures tell us to deal with this problem when he is a child (Proverbs 22:15).

Proverbs 22:15, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Verses 23-27

Eleven-Line Ode Proverbs 27:23-27 forms an eleven-line ode, which teaches on diligence in one’s work so provisions can be made for one’s household.

Proverbs 27:23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

Proverbs 27:23 Word Study on “know” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “know” ( יָדַע ) (H3045) means, “to see,” hence, “to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to know, to be acquainted.” Strong says it is a primitive root meaning, “to know, to ascertain by seeing.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 947 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “know 645, known 105, knowledge 19, perceive 18, shew 17, tell 8, wist 7, understand 7, certainly 7, acknowledge 6, acquaintance 6, consider 6, declare 6, teach 5, misc 85.” This Hebrew word is used 35 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 27:23 Word Study on “state” - Strong says the Hebrew word “state” “paniym” ( פָּנֶה ) (H6440) literally means “a face,” However, it is often used figuratively, as in Proverbs 27:23, to refer to the appearance of something. The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2109 times in the Old Testament.

Proverbs 27:23 Comments - The phrase “Be thou diligent to know” is a Hebraism found often in poetry, where a word is repeated twice for emphasis. The Hebrew text literally reads, “You know to know.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 27". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/proverbs-27.html. 2013.
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