|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:9,10. Depend not for relief upon a kinsman, merely for kindred's sake; apply to those who are at hand, and will help in need. But there is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother, and let us place entire confidence in him. 11. An affectionate parent urges his son to prudent conduct that should gladden his heart. The good conduct of Christians is the best answer to all who find fault with the gospel. 12. Where there is temptation, if we thrust ourselves into it, there will be sin, and punishment will follow. 13. An honest man may be made a beggar, but he is not honest that makes himself one. 14. It is folly to be fond of being praised; it is a temptation to pride.
Verse 9. - Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart. (For the use of unguents in the honourable treatment of guests, see Proverbs 7:16, etc.; Proverbs 21:17.) Similarly, perfumes prepared from spices, roses, and aromatic plants were employed; rooms were fumigated, persons were sprinkled with rose water, and incense was applied to the face and beard, as we read (Daniel 2:46) that Nebuchadnezzar ordered that to Daniel, in recognition of his wisdom, should be offered an oblation and sweet odours (see 'Dick of Bible,' and Kitto, 'Cyclop.,' voc. "Perfumes"). The heat of the climate, the insalubrious character of the houses, the profuse perspiration of the assembled guests, rendered this attention peculiarly acceptable (comp. Song of Solomon 3:6). The LXX., probably with a tacit reference to Psalm 104:15, renders, "The heart delighteth in ointments, and wines, and perfumes." So doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. This is rather clumsy; the Revised Version improves it by paraphrasing, that cometh from hearty counsel. The meaning is that as ointment, etc., gladden the heart, so do the sweet and loving words of one who speaks from the depths of his soul. The idea is primarily of a friend who gives wise counsel, speaking the truth in love, or shows his approval by discreet commendation. The LXX. has pointed differently, and translates, "But the soul is broken by calamities (καταῥῤήγνυται ὑπὸ (συμπτωμάτων);" Vulgate, "The soul is sweetened by the good counsels of a friend."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart,.... Meaning not the holy anointing oil for sacred use, or the perfume or incense offered on the altar of incense; but common oil or ointment used at entertainments, poured on the heads of the guests; and incense in censing of rooms, which were very delightful, pleased the senses, and so exhilarated the heart;
so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel; so the sweet and pleasant words, the wise and cordial counsel of a man's friend, rejoice his heart; he takes it well, he is highly delighted with it; he receives it kindly, and pursues it to advantage: or "by counsel of soul" (c), such as relates to the welfare of the soul here and hereafter; such is the counsel Christ gives, to buy of him gold tried in the fire, white raiment eye salve; and such as the Scriptures give, which, with the saints, are the men of their counsel, as they were David's; and which ministers of the Gospel give, who are therefore like ointment and perfume, "a sweet savour of life unto life": some render the words, and they will bear it, "so the sweetness of a man's friend, more than the counsel of his soul" (d) or than his own; that is, the sweet counsel of a friend is better than his own, and more rejoices his heart, and gives him more pleasure than that does; and this way go the Jewish commentators.
(c) "a consilio animae", Montanus; "propter consilium animae", Pagninus, Gejerus, Michaelis. (d) "Magis quam consilium animae, sub. propriae", Vatablus, Baynus; "quam consilium proprium", Junius & Tremellius, Mercerus, Amama.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. rejoice the heart—the organ of perceiving what pleases the senses.
sweetness … counsel—or, "wise counsel is also pleasing."
Proverbs 27:9 Parallel Commentaries
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