Proverbs 27:2. Let another man praise thee. A man is sometimes compelled to speak of himself. But modesty often prefers speaking in the third person; as St. John, who says, “that disciple whom Jesus loved.” St. Paul, grievously mauled by the Jews at Corinth, says, “I knew a man about fourteen years ago—such an one was caught up into the third heaven.” It is a man’s works, not his tongue, which memorializes his worth.
Proverbs 27:5. Open rebuke is better than secret love. For it is secret love brought into action, and seasonably exercised to save us from harm. The wounds of a friend soon heal, but the caresses of an enemy convey a subtle poison to the vitals.
Proverbs 27:6. The kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Perhaps he had Joab’s kiss to Abner in his eye when he wrote this proverb.
Proverbs 27:7. The full soul loatheth an honeycomb. Here the poor have pleasures which the rich do not often taste. They relish their food when they come from the field; and sleep, shunning the palace and “kingly couch,” courts a residence in the hovels of the poor. So providence provides happiness for every class of men.
Proverbs 27:8. As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. Since the general peace of 1816, England has been overrun with men and women wandering about, which marks a defective state of society. A vagrant, being unknown, has lost his moral and civil obligations of social order. Their own parishes injure others, by driving out the poor in search of bread.
Proverbs 27:15. A continual dropping, through the thatch on a rainy day, and a scolding wife alike drive the husband from his house. Scolding is a pernicious habit, it betrays the ignorance and naughtiness of the heart, and requires to be vanquished by the most judicious management. But who is sufficient for the task?
Proverbs 27:17. Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. When we recognize the face of an old friend, we recollect the endearments of former life; and we want to know all the adventures of interest since we saw him. We anticipate a thousand pleasures we shall yet enjoy in his company. How much more so in religious society where friends are more pure, and where the hopes are immortal; and how much more so in heaven where we meet to part no more, and where we shall see the Lord with open face, who loved us, even unto death? Horace says,**** Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum reddere quæ ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi. Ars Poet. 5:304. Whether you cut yourself or not, sharpen and make me cut, then I shall hope to return the favour.
Proverbs 27:23. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks. Servants do their duty better, when the master performs his.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 27". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany