Proverbs 27:26
The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.
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(26) And the goats are the price of the field—i.e., you can purchase a field from the profit of your goats.

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.Appeareth - Better, When the grass disappeareth, the "tender grass showeth itself." Stress is laid on the regular succession of the products of the earth. The "grass" ("hay") of the first clause is (compare Psalm 37:2; Psalm 90:5; Psalm 103:15; 2 Kings 19:26) the proverbial type of what is perishable and fleeting. The verse gives a picture of the pleasantness of the farmer's calling; compared with this what can wealth or rank offer? With this there mingles (compare Proverbs 27:23) the thought that each stage of that life in its season requires care and watchfulness. 25-27. The fact that providential arrangements furnish the means of competence to those who properly use them is another motive to diligence (compare Ps 65:9-13).

The hay appeareth—literally, "Grass appeareth" (Job 40:15; Ps 104:14).

The lambs are for thy clothing; by their wool and skins, either used to clothe thyself with or sold to purchase all manner of clothing for thyself and family.

The goats are the price of the field; by the sale whereof thou mayst either pay the rent of the field which thou hirest, or purchase fields or lands for thyself. Either goats are put for all cattle, or he mentions goats, because these might better be spared and sold than sheep, which brought a more certain and constant profit to the owner. The lambs are for thy clothing,.... This is another argument, exciting to diligence in the pastoral calling, taken from the profit arising from it: the wool of the lambs, or rather "sheep", as many versions render it; of it cloth is made, and of that garments to be worn, to keep decent, warm, and comfortable; see Job 31:20;

and the goats are the price of thy field: these, being brought up and sold, furnish the husbandman with money to purchase more fields to feed his cattle on. The Targum is,

"the goats are for negotiation;''

with the price of them a man may purchase any of the necessaries of life for himself and family; these are negotiated, Ezekiel 27:21; the Syriac version is, "the goats are for thy food"; and so, between both the sheep and goats, man has both food and raiment; though his food is particularly mentioned in Proverbs 27:27.

The {k} lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.

(k) This declares the great goodness of God towards man, and the diligence that he requires from him for the preservation of his gifts.

Verse 26. - The Iambs are for thy clothing. Thy sheep will provide thee with clothing by their skin and wool, and by the money which thou wilt obtain by the sale of them. The goats are the price of the field; the sale of thy goats and their produce will pay for thy field if thou wish to buy it (see on Proverbs 30:31). Septuagint, "That thou mayest have sheep for clothing; honour thy land that thou mayest have lambs." The following proverb has, in common with the preceding, the catchword האדם, and the emphatic repetition of the same expression:

20 The under-world and hell are not satisfied,

     And the eyes of man are not satisfied.

A Kerı̂ ואבדון is here erroneously noted by Lwenstein, Stuart, and others. The Kerı̂ to ואבדּה is here ואבדּו, which secures the right utterance of the ending, and is altogether wanting

(Note: In Gesen. Lex. this אבדה stands to the present day under אבדה.)

in many MSS (e.g., Cod. Jaman). The stripping off of the ן from the ending ון is common in the names of persons and places (e.g., שׁלמה, lxx Σολομών and שׁלה); we write at pleasure either ow or oh (e.g., מגדּו), Olsh. 215g. אבדּה (אבדּו) of the nature of a proper name, is already found in its full form אבדּון at Proverbs 15:11, along with שׁאול; the two synonyms are, as was there shown, not wholly alike in the idea they present, as the underworld and realm of death, but are related to each other almost the same as Hades and Gehenna; אבדון is what is called

(Note: Vid., Frankel, Zu dem Targum der Propheten (1872), p. 25.)

in the Jonathan-Targum בּית אבדּנא, the place of destruction, i.e., of the second death (מותא תנינא). The proverb places Hades and Hell on the one side, and the eyes of man on the other, on the same line in respect of their insatiableness. To this Fleischer adds the remark: cf. the Arab. al'ayn l'a taml'aha all'a altrab, nothing fills the eyes of man but at last the dust of the grave - a strikingly beautiful expression! If the dust of the grave fills the open eyes, then they are full - fearful irony! The eye is the instrument of seeing, and consequently in so far as it always looks out after and farther, it is the instrument and the representation of human covetousness. The eye is filled, is satisfied, is equivalent to: human covetousness is appeased. But first "the desire of the eye," 1 John 2:16, is meant in the proper sense. The eyes of men are not satisfied in looking and contemplating that which is attractive and new, and no command is more difficult to be fulfilled than that in Isaiah 33:15, "...that shutteth his eyes from seeing evil." There is therefore no more inexhaustible means, impiae sepculationis, than the desire of the eyes.

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