|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:15,16. The contentions of a neighbour may be like a sharp shower, troublesome for a time; the contentions of a wife are like constant rain. 17. We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better. 18. Though a calling be laborious and despised, yet those who keep to it, will find there is something to be got by it. God is a Master who has engaged to honour those who serve him faithfully. 19. One corrupt heart is like another; so are sanctified hearts: the former bear the same image of the earthly, the latter the same image of the heavenly. Let us carefully watch our own hearts, comparing them with the word of God. 20. Two things are here said to be never satisfied, death and sin. The appetites of the carnal mind for profit or pleasure are always desiring more. Those whose eyes are ever toward the Lord, are satisfied in him, and shall for ever be so. 21. Silver and gold are tried by putting them into the furnace and fining-pot; so is a man tried by praising him. 22. Some are so bad, that even severe methods do not answer the end; what remains but that they should be rejected? The new-creating power of God's grace alone is able to make a change. 23-27. We ought to have some business to do in this world, and not to live in idleness, and not to meddle with what we do not understand. We must be diligent and take pains. Let us do what we can, still the world cannot be secured to us, therefore we must choose a more lasting portion; but by the blessing of God upon our honest labours, we may expect to enjoy as much of earthly blessings as is good for us.
Verse 16. - Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind. Whoever tries to restrain a shrewish woman, or to conceal her faults, might as well attempt to confine the wind or to check its violence. And the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself. He might as well try to hide the ointment which signifies its presence by its odour. But there is no "which" in the original, which runs literally, "his right hand calls oil," or, "oil meets his right hand." The former is supposed to mean that he is hurt in the struggle to coerce the vixen, and needs ointment to heal his wound; but the latter seems the correct rendering, and the meaning then is that, if he tries to hold or stop his wife, she escapes him like the oil which you try in vain to keep in your hand. An old adage says that there are three things which cannot be hidden, but always betray themselves, viz. a woman, the wind, and ointment. The LXX. has read the Hebrew differently, translating, "The northwind is harsh, but by name it is called lucky (ἐπιδέξιος);" i.e. because it clears the sky and introduces fine weather. The Syriac, Aquila, and Symmachus have adopted the same reading.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind,.... Whoever attempts to stop her brawls and contentions, to repress and restrain them, and hinder her voice being heard in the streets, and endeavours to hide the shame that comes upon herself and family, attempts a thing as impossible as to hide the wind in the palm of a man's hand, or to stop it from blowing; for as that, by being restrained or pent up by any methods that can be used, makes the greater noise, so, by all the means that are used to still a contentious woman, she is but the more noisy and clamorous, and becomes more shameful and infamous;
and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself: or "will call" or "calls" (h), and says, in effect, Here am I; for the smell of it, which cannot be hid when held in a man's hand, betrays it; and the faster he holds it, and the more he presses and squeezes it, and the more it is heated hereby, the more it diffuses its savour, and is known to be where it is; and so all attempts to stop the mouth of a brawling woman does but cause her to brawl the louder.
(h) "clamabit", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Vatablus, Mercerus; "vocabit", Baynus; "clamat", Piscator, Michaelis; "praeconem agit", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. hideth—or, "restrains" (that is, tries to do it); is as fruitless an effort, as that of holding the wind.
the ointment of his right hand—the organ of power (Ps 17:7; 18:35). His right hand endeavors to repress perfume, but vainly. Some prefer: "His right hand comes on oil," that is, "cannot take hold." Such a woman cannot be tamed.
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