Proverbs 27:14
He that blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice . . .—If gratitude is to be acceptable, the time, place, and manner of shewing it must all be well chosen. A man who is so eager to express his thanks that he begins early in the morning, and in so loud a voice as to draw upon his patron the attention of all the bystanders, is looked upon as a nuisance; any one would as soon be cursed as blessed by him. So God loves heartfelt gratitude offered in secret. (Comp. Matthew 6:5-6.)

Proverbs 27:14. He that blesseth his friend — That saluteth, praiseth, or applaudeth him to his face, as the manner of flatterers is; with a loud voice — That both he and others may be sure to take notice of it; rising early in the morning — To perform this office, to show his great forwardness and diligence, and zeal in his service; which was the custom of the Romans afterward, and possibly of some of the Jews at this time. It shall be counted a curse to him — His friend will value this kind of blessing no more than a curse: because it plainly discovers a base design, and is a high reflection upon him, as if he either did not understand such gross and palpable flattery, or were so ridiculously vain-glorious as to be pleased with it.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.The picture of the ostentatious flatterer going at daybreak to pour out blessings on his patron. For any good that he does, for any thanks he gets, he might as well utter curses. 14. Excessive zeal in praising raises suspicions of selfishness. He that blesseth his friend, that saluteth, or praiseth, and applaudeth him to his face, as the manner of flatterers is,

with a loud voice, that both he and others may be sure to take notice of it;

rising early in the morning to perform this office, to show his great forwardness, and diligence, and zeal in his service, which was the custom of the Romans afterward, and possibly of some of the Jews at this time;

it shall be counted a curse to him his friend will value this kind of blessing no more than a curse, because it plainly discovers a base design, and is a high reflection upon him, as if he either did not understand such gross and palpable flattery, or were so ridiculously vain-glorious as to be pleased with it. He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice,.... So as not only to be heard by him, but by others; who is extravagant in his praises and commendations of him; who exceeds all bounds of modesty, truth, and decency; who affects pompous words, and hyperbolical expressions; and shows himself to be a real sycophant and flatterer, having some sinister end to serve by it;

rising early in the morning; lest any should be before him, and get the benefit he seeks by his flattery; or as if he had not time enough in the day to finish his encomium, unless he began early in the morning, and continued it all the day; and so it denotes his being incessant at this work, always harping on this string, or expressing himself in this adulatory way; or, as some think, this is mentioned as an aggravation of his sin, that he should be acting this low, mean, and criminal part, when he should be employed in devotion and prayer to God;

it shall be counted a curse to him; either to the flatterer, by his friend whom he blesses, and by all wise men that hear him, who will despise him all one as if he cursed him: the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it to this sense, that such an one nothing differs, or nothing seems to differ, from one that curses: or else to the person blessed, whom others will curse or however detract from his character, because of the profuse praises bestowed upon him; nay, sometimes God himself curses such a man, who listens to, is fond of, and receives the fulsome flatteries of wicked men, as in the case of Herod, Acts 12:22.

He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising {f} early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

(f) Hastily and without cause.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. Ostentatious professions of regard, like the profuse kisses of an enemy (Proverbs 27:6), justly incur the suspicion of sinister design.Verse 14. - He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning. What is meant is ostentatious salutation, which puts itself forward in order to stand well with a patron, and to be beforehand with other servile competitors for favour. Juvenal satirized such parasitical effusion ('Sat.' 5:19) -

"Habet Trebius, propter quod rumpere somnum
Debeat et ligulas dimittere, sollicitus, ne
Tots salutaris jam turba peregerit orbem,
Sideribus dubiis, aut illo tempore, quo se
Frigida circumagunt pigri surraca Bootae."
The "loud voice" intimates the importunate nature of such public trumpeting of gratitude, as the "rising early" denotes its inopportune and tactless insistency, which cannot wait for a convenient opportunity for its due expression. It shall be counted a curse to him. The receiver of this sordid adulation, and indeed all the bystanders, would just as soon be cursed by the parasite as blessed in this offensive manner, This clamorous outpouring of gratitude is not accepted as a return by the benefactor; he sees the mean motives by which it is dictated self-interest, hope of future benefits - and he holds it as cheap as he would the curses of such a person. The nuisance of such flattery is mentioned by Euripides, 'Orest.,' 1161 -

Παύσομαί σ αἰνῶν ἐπεὶ
Βάρος τι κὰν τῷ δ ἐστὶν αἰνεῖσθαι λίαν. Duo sunt genera prosecutorum, says St. Augustine ('In Psalm.,' 69), "sciliet vituperantium et adulantium; sed plus prosequitur lingua adulatoris, quam manus prosecutoris." "Woe unto you," said Christ (Luke 6:26), "when all men shall speak well of you." "Do I seek to please men?" asked St. Paul (Galatians 1:10); "for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Vers. 15 and 16 form a tetrastich on the subject of the termagant wife. 8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest,

   So is a man that wandereth from his home.

It is not a flying out that is meant, from which at any moment a return is possible, but an unwilling taking to flight (lxx 8b: ὅταν ἀποξενωθῇ; Venet.: πλανούμενον ... πλανούμενος); for עוף נודד, Isaiah 16:2, cf. Jeremiah 4:25, birds that have been frightened; and נדד, Proverbs 21:15., designates the fugitive; cf. נע ונד, Genesis 4:14, and above, Proverbs 26:2, where נוּד designates aimless roving about. Otherwise Fleischer: "warning against unnecessary roaming about, in journeyings and wanderings far from home: as a bird far from its nest is easily wounded, caught, or killed, so, on such excursions, one easily comes to injury and want. One may think of a journey in the East. The Arabs say, in one of their proverbs: âlsafar ḳaṭ'at man âlklyym ( equals journeying is a part of the pains of hell)." But נדד here is not to be understood in the sense of a libere vagari. Rightly C. B. Michaelis: qui vagatur extorris et exul a loco suo sc. natali vel habitationis ordinariae. This proverb mediately recommends the love of one's fatherland, i.e., "love to the land in which our father has his home; on which our paternal mansion stands; in which we have spent the years of our childhood, so significant a part of one's whole life; from which we have derived our bodily and intellectual nourishment; and in which home we recognise bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh."

(Note: Gustave Baur's article "Vaterlandsliebe," in Schmid's Pdagogischer Encyklopdie.)

But next it says, that to be in a strange land must be an unhappiness, because a man never feels better than at home, as the bird in its nest. We say: Heimat [home] - this beautiful word becomes the German language, which has also coined the expressive idea of Heimweh [longing for home]; the Heb. uses, to express the idea of home, the word מקומי; and of fatherland, the word ארצי or אדמתי. The Heb. שׁבוּת corresponds

(Note: The translators transfer to this place a note from vol. ii. p. 191f. of the author's larger Comm. . den Psalter, to which Delitzsch refers the reader: - "The modern High German adj. elend, middle High German ellende, old High German alilandi, elilendi, or elilenti, is composed of ali and land. The adj. ali occurs only in old High German in composition. In the Gothic it is found as an independent adj., in the sense of alius and ἄλλυς (vid., Ulfilas, Galatians 5:10). The primary meaning of elilenti is consequently: of another country, foreign. In glosses and translations it is rendered by the Lat. words peregrinus, exul, advena, also captivus. In these meanings it occurs very frequently. In the old High German translation of Ammonius, Diatessaron, sive Harmoniae in quatuor Evangelica, the word proselytism, occurring in Matthew 23:15, is rendered by elilantan. To the adj. the old High German subst. corresponds. This has the meaning exilium, transmigratio, captivitas. The connection in elilenti or elilentes, used adverbially, is rendered by the Lat. peregre. In the middle High German, however, the proper signification of both words greatly predominates. But as, in the old High German, the idea of miser is often at the same time comprehended in the proper signification: he who is miserable through banishment, imprisonment, or through sojourning in a strange land; thus, in several places of the middle High German, this derived idea begins to separate itself from the fundamental conception, so that ellende comes in general to be called miser. In the new High German this derived conception is almost alone maintained. Yet here also, in certain connections, there are found traces of the original idea, e.g., in's Elend schicken, for to banish. Very early also the word came to be used, in a spiritual sense, to denote our present abode, in contrast to paradise or the heavenly kingdom.... Thus, e.g., in one of Luther's hymns, when we pray to the Holy Ghost:

Das er vns behte, an vnserm ende,

Wenn wir heim farn aus diesem elende."

[That He guard us to our end

When we go home from this world.]

- Rud. von Raumer)

to the German Elend, but equals Ellend, elilenti, of another land, strange.

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