Proverbs 27:6
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
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(6) Faithful are the wounds of a friend—i.e., the “open rebuke” of the previous verse, the “smiting” and “reproof” of Psalm 142:5.

The kisses of an enemy are deceitful.—Rather, plentiful, showered upon one, but all meaningless.

27:1 We know not what a day may bring forth. This does not forbid preparing for to-morrow, but presuming upon to-morrow. We must not put off the great work of conversion, that one thing needful. 2. There may be occasion for us to justify ourselves, but not to praise ourselves. 3,4. Those who have no command of their passions, sink under the load. 5,6. Plain and faithful rebukes are better, not only than secret hatred, but than love which compliments in sin, to the hurt of the soul. 7. The poor have a better relish of their enjoyments, and are often more thankful for them, than the rich. In like manner the proud and self-sufficient disdain the gospel; but those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, find comfort from the meanest book or sermon that testifies of Christ Jesus. 8. Every man has his proper place in society, where he may be safe and comfortable.Deceitful - Better, abundant. Very lavish is the enemy of the kisses that cover perfidy, but lavish of them only. His courtesy goes no deeper. 5, 6. secret love—not manifested in acts is useless; and even, if its exhibition by rebukes wounds us, such love is preferable to the frequent (compare Margin), and hence deceitful, kisses of an enemy. Faithful are the wounds; they proceed from an upright, and truly loving, and faithful soul, and really promote the good of the person reproved. The wounds; the sharpest reproofs, which for the present wound his spirit and reputation.

The kisses; all the fair speeches and outward professions of friendship.

Are deceitful; or, are to be deprecated; are perfidious and pernicious, and such things as one may pray to God to be delivered from them. Or, are forced, like things which are procured with great difficulty, and many entreaties. Faithful are the wounds of a friend,.... That is, friendly reproofs; which, though they may be severe, at least thought so, and may grieve and wound, and cause pain and uneasiness for the present, yet, proceeding from a spirit of love, faithfulness, and integrity, and designed for the good of the person reproved, ought to be kindly received; see Psalm 141:5;

but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful; flow from a deceitful heart, and not to be confided in, as the kisses of Joab and Judas. It may be rather rendered, "are to be deprecated" (y); prayed against, as real evils, hurtful and pernicious; and so the Targum renders it, "are evil". Good is the advice of Isocrates (z),

"reckon them faithful, not who praise everything thou sayest or doest, but those that reprove what is amiss.''

(y) "deprecanda", Junius & Tremillius, Piscator, Cocceius, Amama. (z) Ad Nicoclem, p. 38.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are {c} deceitful.

(c) They are flattering and seem friendly.

6. deceitful] This rendering follows the fraudulenta of the Vulgate; whereas earnest (A.V. marg.) may be due to the ἑκούσια of the LXX. The alternative rendering of A.V. marg., frequent, or, as it is happily given in R.V., profuse, is to be preferred. He overdoes his part.Verse 6. - Faithful are the wounds of friend. This and the next verse afford examples of the antithetic form of proverb, where the second line gives, as it were, the reverse side of the picture presented by the first. The wounds which a real friend inflicts by his just rebukes are directed by truth and discriminating affection (see Psalm 141:5). But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. So St. Jerome, Fraudulenta oscula odientis. But the verb here used (עתר) has the meaning, among others, "to be abundant or frequent;" hence it is better to take it in this sense here, as "plentiful, profuse." An enemy is lavish with his Judas kisses to hide his perfidy and hatred. Septuagint, "More to be trusted are the wounds of a friend than the spontaneous (ἑκούσια) kisses of an enemy." "Non omnis qui parcia," wrote St. Augustine ('Ep.,' 48, 'ad Vincent.'), "amicus est, neque omnis qui verberat, inimicus." 28 The lying tongue hateth those whom it bruiseth;

     And a flattering mouth causeth ruin.

The lxx, Jerome, the Targ., and Syr. render ישׂנא דכיו in the sense of non amat veritatem; they appear by דכיו to have thought of the Aram. דכיא, that which is pure; and thus they gain nothing else but an undeniable plain thought. Many Jewish interpreters gloss: מוכיחיו, also after the Aram.: דּכּיו equals מדכּיו; but the Aram. דּכּי does not mean pure in the sense of being right, therefore Elia Wilna understands him who desires to justify himself, and this violent derivation from the Aram. thus does not lead to the end. Luther, translating: "a false tongue hates those who punish it," explains, as also Gesenius, conterentes equals castigantes ipsam; but דּך signifies, according to the usage of the language before us, "bruised" (vid., Psalm 9:10), not: bruising; and the thought that the liar hates him who listens to him, leads ad absurdum; but that he does not love him who bruises (punishes) him, is self-evident. Kimchi sees in דּכּיו another form of דּכּא; and Meri, Jona Gerundi in his ethical work (שׁערי תשׁובה equals The gates of Repentance), and others, accordingly render דכיו in the sense of ענו (עניו): the lying tongue hates - as Lwenstein translates - the humble [pious]; also that for דכּיו, by the omission of ו, דכּי equals זכּי may be read, is supposable; but this does not harmonize with the second half of the proverb, according to which לשׁון שׁקר must be the subject, and ישׂנא דכיו must express some kind of evil which proceeds from such a tongue. Ewald: "the lying tongue hates its master (אדניו)," but that is not in accordance with the Heb. style; the word in that case should have been בּעליו. Hitzig countenances this אדניו, with the remark that the tongue is here personified; but personified, the tongue certainly means him who has it (Psalm 120:3). Bttcher's conjecture ישׁנּא דכיו, "confounds their talk," is certainly a curiosity. Spoken of the sea, those words would mean, "it changes its surge." But is it then at all necessary to uncover first the meaning of 28a? Rashi, Arama, and others refer דכּיו to דּכּים equals נדכּאים (מדכּים). Thus also perhaps the Venet., which translates τοὺς ἐπιτριμμοὺς (not: ἐπιτετριμμένους) αὐτῆς. C. B. Michaelis: Lingua falsitatis odio habet contritos suos, h. e. eos quos falsitate ac mendacio laedit contritosque facit. Hitzig objects that it is more correct to say: conterit perosos sibi. And certainly this lay nearer, on which account Fleischer remarks: in 28a there is to be supposed a poetic transposition of the ideas (Hypallage): homo qui lingua ad calumnias abutitur conterit eos quos odit. The poet makes ישׂנא the main conception, because it does not come to him so readily to say that the lying tongue bruises those against whom it is directed, as that it is hatred, which is active in this. To say this was by no means superfluous. There are men who find pleasure in repeating and magnifying scandalously that which is depreciatory and disadvantageous to their neighbour unsubstantiated, without being at all conscious of any particular ill-will or personal enmity against him; but this proverb says that such untruthful tongue-thrashing proceeds always from a transgression of the commandment, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother," Leviticus 19:17, and not merely from the want of love, but from a state of mind which is the direct opposite of love (vid., Proverbs 10:18). Ewald finds it incongruous that 28a speaks of that which others have to suffer from the lying tongue, whereas the whole connection of this proverb requires that the tongue should here be regarded as bringing ruin upon its owner himself. But of the destruction which the wicked tongue prepares for others many proverbs also speak, e.g., Proverbs 12:13, cf. Proverbs 17:4, לשׁון הוּת; and 28b does not mention that the smooth tongue (written וּפה־חלק with Makkeph) brings injury upon itself (an idea which must be otherwise expressed; cf. Proverbs 14:32), but that it brings injury and ruin on those who have pleasure in its flatteries (חלקות, Psalm 12:3; Isaiah 30:10), and are befooled thereby: os blandiloquum (blanditiis dolum tegens) ad casum impellit, sc. alios (Fleischer).

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