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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Proverbs 27

 

 

Verse 1

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

Ver. 1. Boast not thyself of tomorrow.] That is, Of what thou wilt do hereafter, {Exodus 13:14, marg.} in quovis tempore postero. See 1 Samuel 28:19, James 4:14. He (a) was a wise man, that being invited to a feast on the next morrow, answered, Ex multis annis crastinum non habui, For these many years I have not had a morrow day to promise for any business. But what luxurious fools were those Sybarites, that intending a feast, did use to invite their guests a whole year before! (b)

For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.] (c) A great bellied day. While a woman is yet with child, none can tell what kind of birth it will be. [Luke 21:23] Time travaileth with God’s decrees, and in their season brings them forth; but little doth any man know what is in the womb of tomorrow, till God hath signified his will by the event. David in his prosperity said, that he should "never be moved"; but he soon after found a sore alteration: God confuted his confidence. [Psalms 30:6-7] So the evil which men intend against us may prove abortive, either die in the womb, or else they may travail with mischief, and bring forth a lie - that is, somewhat contrary to what they intended; but fata viam invenient - stat sua cuique dies. [ 5:28-30 1 Kings 20:10] Accidit in puncto quod non speratur in anno.


Verse 2

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

Ver. 2. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.] Unless it be in defence of thine innocence, as David, [Psalms 7:10] or when the concealing of thy goodness may turn to the hindrance of the truth, or to the hurt of the Church, or impairing of God’s glory, as Paul. [2 Corinthians 11:1-33; 2 Corinthians 12:1-21] Let a man "do worthily in Ephrata," and he shall be "famous in Bethlehem"; [Ruth 4:11] he need not be his own trumpeter, as Jehu, the proud Pharisee, and other arrogant, vain glorious braggards. See my Common Place of Arrogance. God will take order that those that honour him be honoured of all, and that fame shall attend virtue, as the shadow doth the body. Say that wicked men will not speak well but ill of us, yet we have a testimony in their consciences, as David had in Saul’s, Daniel in Darius’s, &c. "Demetrius hath a good report of all good men, and of the truth itself"; [3 John 1:12] and that is enough for him, since "not he that commendeth himself, or hath the world’s applause, is approved, but he whom the Lord and his people commendeth." [2 Corinthians 10:18] Haec ego primus vidi, I see these matters first, was a vain glorious brag that Zabarel had better held in. And haec ego feci, I made these things, proves men to be no better than faeces, dregs, saith Luther, wittily. These brags are but dregs; Laus proprio sordeseit in ore; that which had been much to a man’s commendation, if out of another man’s mouth, sounds very slenderly out of his own, saith Pliny. (a) Let her "works," not her words, "praise her in the gates," [Proverbs 31:31] as they did Ruth. "All the city of my people knows that thou art a virtuous woman." [Ruth 3:11] She was so, and she had the credit of it; so had the Virgin Mary, and yet she was troubled when truly praised of the angel. They shall be praised of angels in heaven, who have eschewed the praises of men on earth, and blush when but justly commended, speaking modestly and meanly of their own good parts and practices. Saint Luke saith, "Levi made a great feast." [Luke 5:27-29] But when himself speaks of it, [Matthew 9:10] he saith only, that Christ came home and ate bread in Levi’s house, to teach us the truth of this proverb, that another man’s mouth should praise us, and not our own. Like as in the Olympic games, those that overcame did not put the garlands on their own heads, but stayed till others did it for them so here.


Verse 3

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

Ver. 3. But a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both.] Himself cannot rule nor repress it, but that he dies of the sullens sometimes, as that fool Nabal did. Much less can others endure it without trouble and regret, especially when so peevish and past grace as to be angry with those that approve not, applaud not his folly. How angry was Nebuchadnezzar, how much hotter was his heart than his oven against those three worthies, for refusing to fall down before his golden mawmet! How unsufferable was Herod’s anger in the massacre at Bethlehem, and the primitive persecutors for the two first ages after Christ, that I come no lower. See my Common Place of Anger.


Verse 4

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

Ver. 4. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous.] Or, Overflowing all the banks, or carrying all before it as an impetuous land flood, and therefore most intolerable, as Proverbs 27:3; but behold a worse matter: Envy is an evil that none can stand before for it knows neither end nor measure, as appears in the devil and his patriarch Cain; in Saul, the Pharisees, those spiteful Jews, Acts 13:45. And to this day they do antiquum obtinere, bear the old grudge to us Christians, cursing us in their daily prayers, calling us bastard Gentiles, professing that if their Messiah were come, rather than we should have any part in him, or benefit by him, they would crucify him a hundred times over. They have a saying among them, Optimus qui inter gentes est dignus cui caput conteratur tanquam serpenti; The best of us Gentiles is worthy of the serpent’s punishment, viz., to have his head bruised, &c., so great is their envy still against Christians, who pity them and pray for them; and truly it is no more than need, since by the question here propounded we may easily guess how potent this quick sighted and sharp fanged malignity, envy, is; indeed the venom of all vices is found in it; neither will it be drawn to embrace that good which it envies to another, as too good for him. [Acts 13:44-45]


Verse 5

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

Ver. 5. Open rebuke is better than secret love.] For, after the nature of pills, rebuke, though it be not toothsome, yet it is wholesome, and a sure sign of a faithful friend, if rightly managed. See my Common Place of Admonition. Secret love, that either seeth nothing amiss in a friend, or dare not say so, is little worth in comparison. "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart," but, as an argument of thy love, "thou shalt reprove him," plainly, but wisely, "and not suffer sin upon him," [Leviticus 19:17] much less further it, and be his broker or pander in it, as Hirah the Adullamite was to his friend Judah, and Jonadab to his cousin Amnon. [2 Samuel 13:5]


Verse 6

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

Ver. 6. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.] And are therefore to be prayed for; "but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful," or to be detested, and therefore prayed against: so some read the words, and make the opposition. See this done by David. [Psalms 141:5] Knocks from "a righteous man" he would take for "kindnesses"; but the precious oils of the wicked - answerable to their kisses here - he would cry out of, as the "breaking of his head"; for so Mercer, Ainsworth, and others read that text, and the Septuagint accordeth, saying, Let not the oil of the sinner supple my head; by oil meaning flattering words, as Psalms 55:21. Reproofs and corrections, though sharp and unpleasant, yet if looked upon as issuing from that love that lies hid in the heart, they are faithful - that is, fair and pleasant, as the Chaldee interprets it.

But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful,] i.e., His glossing and closing with us for a further mischief; such as were the kisses of Joab, Judas, Absalom, and Ahithophel are not to be fancied, but deprecated and detested. {See Trapp on "Proverbs 26:23"} Theophrastus (a) hath in his character drawn out these kissing cut-throats, who can be affable to their enemies, and disguise their hatred in commendation, while they privately lay their snares: men Italianated, that can salute with mortal embracements, and clasp you in those arms which they mean to imbrue in your dearest blood. These treacherous kissers are of kin to that mad Haeket, hanged in Queen Elizabeth’s days, who bit off his honest schoolmaster’s nose as he embraced him, under colour of renewing their love, and ate it down before the poor man’s face. (b) So, and no better, are the kisses, that is, the fawnings and flatteries, of perfidious persons.


Verse 7

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

Ver. 7. The full soul loatheth an honeycomb.] Heb., Treadeth it under feet as dung or dogs meat. Chrysostom reports the saying of a certain philosopher to the same purpose. Anima in satietate posita etiam favis illudit; The sated soul rejecteth finest fare and most sweetest sustenance. This holds true in spirituals too. The honey of God’s holy word, how is it trampled on by those stall fed beasts, in whom fulness hath bred forgetfulness, - saturity security! "Our soul loatheth this light meat," said they of their manna, when once cloyed with it. The Pharisees found no more sweetness or savouriness in our Saviour’s sermons, than in the white of an egg, or a dry chip. Our nation is also sick of a spiritual plethory or pleurisy; we begin to surfeit on the bread of life. Now when God sees his mercies lying under table, it is just with him to call to the enemy to take away. "Behold, therefore, I will deliver thee to the men of the East, - who shall eat thy fruit, and drink thy milk." [Ezekiel 25:4]

But to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.] Hunger is the best cook, say the Dutch - the best sauce, say we; experience proves it so: how sweetly doth it season homely cates, coarse fare. (a) Artaxerxes Memor being put to flee for his life, fed hungrily on barley bread, with dried figs, and said he never made a better meal in all his life. Huniades, once driven out of the field by the Turks, and lighting upon a shepherd, craved for God’s sake of him something to eat: who brought him to a poor cottage not far off, causing to be set before him bread and water with a few onions: who in the pleasant remembrance of that passed misery, would often times after in his greatest banquets say, that he never in his life fared better or more daintily than when he supped with this shepherd. (b)


Verse 8

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

Ver. 8. As a bird that wandereth from her nest.] Doth it of inconstancy, and oft meets with misery: whereas God had taken order that none should molest a bird upon her nest. [Deuteronomy 22:6-7]

So is a man that wandereth from his place.] A vagrant, an idleby, or a busybody, that keeps not his station, abides not in the calling wherein he was called, [1 Corinthians 7:20] exposed to misery and mischief, to ruth and ruin. [Numbers 16:32 2 Samuel 6:6-7 2 Chronicles 26:19 Jonah 1:1-17 1:6 Psalms 107:4] An honest man’s heart is the place where his calling is: such a one, when he is abroad, is like a fish in the air, whereinto if it leap for recreation or necessity, yet it soon returns to its own element.


Verse 9

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

Ver. 9. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart.] Sweet ointment, sensum afficit, spiritum reficit, cerebrum iuvat, affects the sense, refresheth the spirit, comforteth the brain.

So doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.] It is as a fresh gale of sweet air to him that lives among walking dunghills, open sepulchres. It preserveth the soul as a pomander, and refresheth it more than musk or civet doth the brain. The counsel of such especially (ministers, I mean) of whom the Scripture saith, that they "are unto God a sweet savour of Christ unto them that are saved"; [2 Corinthians 2:15] these are they that can sell us oil for our lamps, that we may buy for ourselves. [Matthew 25:9] Such a counsellor may be an angel, nay, a god to another, as Moses was to Aaron: the comfort given by such (as the blessing of parents) is usually most effectual, because they are in God’s room. See Job 33:23, "If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand," Unus e millibus not Unus e similibus as the Vulgate reads it falsely, and from the purpose.


Verse 10

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.

Ver. 10. Thine own friend and thy father’s friend forsake not.] To forsake a friend, an old friend especially, is to forsake one’s self: for a friend is a second self, and friendship, as wine, is commendable from its oldness. What a price set Solomon upon Hiram, who had been his father’s friend; [1 Kings 5:1-12] and how did he seek his love, as a precious inheritance left him, as it were, by his father; and how courteously, for his father’s sake, likewise dealt he with Abiathar, that had dealt disloyally with him.

Neither go into thy brother’s house.] Cajetan reads it, and perhaps better, Thy brother’s house will not come in the day of thy calamity, when thine old friend will visit thee and stick close to thee, as Jonathan did to David, and Onesiphorus to Paul. David complains of his carnal kindred, - "My lovers and my friends stand afar off from my sore, and mine acquaintance stand aloof," [Psalms 88:18] as the priest and Levite did from the wounded man, when the Samaritan, a stranger, but a neighbour indeed, relieved him.


Verse 11

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

Ver. 11. My son, be wise, and make my heart glad.] {See Trapp on "Proverbs 10:1"}


Verse 12

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

Ver. 12. A prudent man foreseeth the evil.] {See Trapp on "Proverbs 22:3"}


Verse 13

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

Ver. 13. Take his garment that is surety.] {See Trapp on "Proverbs 20:16"}


Verse 14

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.

Ver. 14. He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice.] Qui leonum laudibus murem obruit, that extols a man above measure, - as the false prophets did Ahab, and the people Herod, - that praiseth him to his face; which, when a court parasite did to Sigismund the emperor, he gave him a sound box on the ear. (a) A preacher in Constantine’s time, ausus est imperatorem in os beatum dicere, saith Eusebius, presumed to call the emperor a saint to his face; but he went away with a check. (b) When Aristobulus the historian presented to Alexander the great book that he had written of his glorious acts, wherein he had flatteringly made him greater than he was, Alexander, after he had read the book, threw it into the river Hydaspes, and said to the author, ‘It were a good deed to throw thee after it.’

Rising early in the morning.] As afraid to be prevented by another, or that he shall not have time enough all day after to do it in.


Verse 15

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

Ver. 15. A continual dropping.] {See Trapp on "Proverbs 19:13"}


Verse 16

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

Ver. 16. Whosoever hideth her, hideth the wind,] i.e., One may as soon hide the wind, or hold it from blowing, as hide her shame, or hush her brawling. The wife should make her husband her covering, when she is abroad especially; but many wives are so intemperate and wilful, that a man may as well hide the wind in his fist, or oil in his clutch fist, as his wife’s infirmities. Let this be marked by those that venture upon shrews, if rich, fair, well descended, in hope to tame them and make them better.


Verse 17

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

Ver. 17. Iron sharpeneth iron.] One edge tool sharpeneth another; so doth the face of a man his friend. Ipse aspectus viri boni delectat, saith Seneca. Let us "whet one another to love and good works," saith Paul, [Hebrews 10:24] as boars whet their tusks, as mowers whet their scythes. Thus Paul was "pressed in spirit" by the coming of Timothy, [Acts 18:5] and extimulates Timothy to "stir up ( αναζωπυρειν) the gift of God that was in him." [2 Timothy 1:6] Thus Peter roused up ( διεγειρειν) those to whom he wrote, ex veterno torporis et teporis, out of their spiritual lethargy. [1 Peter 1:13] And thus those good souls "spake often one to another," for mutual quickening in dull and dead times. [Malachi 3:16-17] {See Trapp on "Malachi 3:16"} {See Trapp on "Malachi 3:17"} As amber grease is nothing so sweet in itself as when compounded with other things; so godly and learned men are gainers by communicating themselves to others. Conference hath incredible profit in all sciences. Castalio renders this text thus: Ut ferrum ferro, sic heroines alii aliis coniuguntur; As iron is to iron, so are men joined and soldered to one another, - viz., in a very straight bond of love and friendship.


Verse 18

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

Ver. 18. Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat, &c.] Of the continually renewed fruits thereof; for when the ripe figs are pulled off others shortly come in their place. The Egyptian fig tree is reported by Solinus to bear fruit seven times in a year: such as is good both for meat and medicine, as Galen observeth, and after him Dioscorides.

So he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.] That is, Liberally maintained, and highly promoted, as Joseph was wherever he served. The heathens were very cruel to their servants; putting an engine about their necks, called παυσικοπη, and it reached down to their hands, that they might not so much as lick off the meal when they were sifting it. These poor servants were in worse case than the Jews’ oxen. [1 Corinthians 9:9] But such as are faithful and serviceable, however their masters deal with them - they should deal well with them [Deuteronomy 15:12-14] - God will bestow upon them a child’s part, even "the reward of inheritance." [Colossians 3:22-24] Their masters also, if faithful and beloved, as "they partake of the benefit," (a) viz., of their good service, so they will be beneficial to them. Beneficentiae recompensatores, as Bullinger, after Theophilact, renders that text, 1 Timothy 6:2.


Verse 19

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

Ver. 19. As in water face answereth to face, &c.] Men’s fancies differ as much as their faces: so the Chaldee interprets it. But they do better that give this sense, that in regard of natural corruption, all men look with one countenance, and have one visage; since "whole evil is in man, and whole man in evil," neither by nature is there ever a better of us. In the heart of the vilest person we may see, as in a mirror, our own evil hearts. For as there were many Marii in one Caesar, so are there many Cains and Judases in the best of us. And as that first chaos had the seed of all creatures, and wanted only the Spirit’s motion to bring them forth, [Genesis 1:1-2] so there is a πανσπερμια, a common seed plot of sin in us all; there wants but the warmth and watering of Satan’s temptations to make it bud. [Ezekiel 7:10] And though there were no devil, yet our naughty nature would act Satan’s part against itself; it would have a supply of wickedness, as a serpent hath poison, from itself; it hath a spring to feed it. Hence our Saviour chargeth his own disciples to take heed of surfeiting, drunkenness, and distracting carefulness [Luke 21:34] - who would ever have suspected such monsters to lurk in such holy bosoms? And St Paul saw cause to warn so pure a soul as young Timothy to "flee youthly lusts," [2 Timothy 2:22] and to exhort the younger women "with chastity"; thereby intimating, that while he was exhorting them to chastity, some impure motion might steal upon him unawares. Corruption in the best will have some flurts.


Verse 20

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

Ver. 20. Hell and destruction are never satisfied.] Hell and the grave have their name in Hebrew from their unsatisfiableness, being always craving more, and that with assiduity and importunity. And this fitly follows upon the former verse, as Aben Ezra well observeth, that men may be frighted by the remembrance of hell’s wide mouth gaping for them, from following the bent of their sinful natures; and that those that here have never enough, shall once have fire enough in the bottom of hell.

So the eyes of men are never satisfied.] That is, Their lusts, their carnal concupiscence. To seek to satisfy it is an endless piece of business, Quaecunque videt oculus, ea omnia desiderat avarus, saith Basil. The covetous man hankereth after all that he beholdeth; the curse of unsatisfiableness lies heavy upon him; his desire is a fire, riches a fuel, which seem to slake the fire; but, indeed, they increase it. "He that loveth silver shall never be satisfied with silver"; [Ecclesiastes 5:10] no more shall he that loveth honour, pleasure, &c. Earthly things cannot so fill the heart, but still it would have more things in number, and otherwise for manner. And therefore the particles in the Hebrew that signify and and or, come of a word that signifies to desire; (a) because the desires of a man would have this and that, and that and another; and doth also tire itself, not knowing whether to have this, or that, or the other, &c.


Verse 21

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

Ver. 21. As the fining pot for silver, &c.] Man is naturally apt to be much taken, and even tickled, with his own commendation, (a) as Felix was with Tertullus’s flatteries, as was Demosthenes when they pointed at him as he passed by, and said, This is that famous orator. (b) But "let every man prove his own works," saith Paul, [Galatians 6:4] and testimonium tibi perhibeat conscientia propria, non lingua aliena, saith Augustine: Let thine own conscience, and not another man’s tongue praise thee. Or if needlessly they will do it, let it refine us, as here, to more humility, and more care of sound holiness; let it, by the refining pot, melt us and make us better. This is the right use of it.


Verse 22

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.

Ver. 22. Though thou shouldst bray a fool, &c.] The cypress tree, the more it is watered the more it is withered. So it is with the wicked. Humbled they are, but not humble; low, but not lowly; "wearied" in sin, as Babylon was "in the greatness of her way," [Isaiah 47:13] but not weary of it. Of these Augustine, Perdidistis, saith he, utilitatem calamitatis, miserrimi factis estis, et pessimi permansistis, (a) ye have lost the fruit of your afflictions; ye have suffered much, and are never the better. "By this the iniquity of Jacob shall be purged, and this is all the fruit, the taking away of his sin." [Isaiah 27:9] And if this be not done, God will say, as once, "In thy filthiness is lewdness. Because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt have thy will, thou shalt not be purged"; but then I will have my will too, for "I will cause my fury to rest upon thee." [Ezekiel 24:13] How likest thou that?


Verse 23

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

Ver. 23. Be thou diligent to know the state, &c.] Heb., Knowing thou shalt know the face of thy flocks; alluding, belike, to those shepherds that know their sheep asunder by their visages, and can call them by name, as John 10:3

And look well to thy herds.] Heb., Set thy heart to them - that is, be very inquisitive and solicitous of their welfare. Leave not all to servants, though never so faithful; but supervise and oversee business, as Boaz did. His eyes were in every corner - on the servants, on the reapers, on the gleaners. He lodged in the midst of his husbandry, he was not to learn that the master’s eye feeds the horse, and the master’s foot soils the land, (a) and that Procul a villa sua dissitus, iacturae vicinus, as Columella (b) hath it: He that is far from his husbandry is not far from poverty. And unless the master be present, saith the same author, it will be as in an army where the general is absent, cuncta officia cessant, all business will be hindered. He must be as the great wheel to set all awork, or little will be done.

Eις εστι δουλος οικιας ο δεσποτης.”


Verse 24

Proverbs 27:24 For riches [are] not for ever: and doth the crown [endure] to every generation?

Ver. 24. For riches endure not for ever.] Whether they be riches of inheritance or of purchase, they will waste without good husbandry. The royalty of Solomon could not have consisted for all his riches, had he not been frugal. Our Henry III merited to be called Regni dilapidator, a waste kingdom. But what a great husband, perhaps too great, was Louis XI of France, of whom ye shall find in the chamber of accounts a reckoning of two shillings for new sleeves to his old doublet, and three half pence for liquor to grease his boots (A.D. 1461)! Pertinax, the emperor, also was a singular good husband, for the which, as the rich gallants derided him, so others of us, Quibus virtus luxuria potior, laudabamus, who prized virtue above luxury, commended it in him, saith Dio the historian, who writes his life.


Verse 25

Proverbs 27:25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.

Ver. 25. The hay appeareth, and the tender grass.] And the due time must be taken to take it in for fodder in the hard winter. The earth is alma mater, a bountiful mother, to man and beast. It is, as one well saith, marsupium Domini, the Lord’s great purse. The stars also are God’s storehouses, which he openeth to our profit. [Deuteronomy 28:12] Every star is like a purse of gold, saith one, out of which God throws down riches, which good men gather, bad men scramble for. By their influence they make a scatter of corn, hay, fruits of all sorts. And good husbands cut hay, not only in the valleys, where there is great store, but upon the mountains too, as soon as it is ready, lest heat or wet mar it. Note here by the way - (1.) How good the Lord is, that stoops so low as to teach us thrift; (2.) How perfect the Holy Scripture is, that instructs us in these lessor matters also.


Verse 26

Proverbs 27:26 The lambs [are] for thy clothing, and the goats [are] the price of the field.

Ver. 26. The lambs are for thy clothing.] Ad esum et ad usum, for food and raiment a profitable creature. Some creatures are profitable alive, not dead, as the dog, horse, &c.; some dead, not alive, as the hog; some both, as the ox; yet none so profitable as the sheep.

And the goats are the price of thy field.] Wherewith thou mayest pay thy rent, and besides hire tillage, or it may be purchase land, and have money in thy purse to do thy needs with.


Verse 27

Proverbs 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.

Ver. 27. And thou shalt have goat’s milk enough.] And this was anciently accounted good cheer indeed. By goat’s milk understand all manner of white meat, as they call it; and see how sparingly they lived in those days, content with that they had at hand, and not running every hand’s while to the butcher’s or draper’s, as now. Or if the men, being harder wrought, had stronger meat sometimes, yet the maidens were well content with a more slender diet. Apelles painted a servant with his hands full of tools - to show that he should be work brittle; with broad shoulders - to bear hard usage; with hind’s feet - to run about his businesses; with ass’s ears, and his mouth shut - to signify that he should be swift to hear, slow to speak; lastly, with a lean belly - that he should be content with coarse fare, spare diet, &c.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 27:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-27.html. 1865-1868.

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Sunday, December 15th, 2019
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