Proverbs 27:9
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Ointment and perfume.—Comp. Proverbs 7:17 and note on Proverbs 21:17.

Proverbs 27:9. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, &c. — “As balsam and fragrant perfumes marvellously refresh and comfort the natural spirits, when they droop and are tired; so doth the very presence of a true-hearted friend, and much more his faithful counsel, rejoice a man’s soul; especially when he is at such a loss, that he knows not how to advise himself.” — Bishop Patrick.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.Change of place is thought of as in itself an evil. It is not easy for the man to find another home or the bird another nest. The maxim is characteristic of the earlier stages of Hebrew history, before exile and travel had made change of country a more familiar thing. Compare the feeling which made the thought of being "a fugitive and a vagabond" Genesis 4:12-13 the most terrible of all punishments. 9. rejoice the heart—the organ of perceiving what pleases the senses.

sweetness … counsel—or, "wise counsel is also pleasing."

Rejoice the heart, by increasing and comforting the spirits. No less grateful and pleasant is the company and conversation of a true friend, in respect of his good and faithful counsel, which comes from his very heart and soul, and contains his most inward and serious thoughts, whereas deceitful persons give such counsels, not as they think to be best, but as most serve their lusts or designs. 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.

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. by] Lit. from i.e. proceeding from, or (as R.V.), that cometh of.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." The second pair of proverbs designates two kinds of violent passion as unbearable:

3 The heaviness of a stone, the weight of sand -

   A fool's wrath is heavier than both.

We do not translate: Gravis est petra et onerosa arena, so that the substantives stand for strengthening the idea, instead of the corresponding adjective (Fleischer, as the lxx, Jerome, Syr., Targum); the two pairs of words stand, as 4a, in genit. relation (cf. on the contrary, Proverbs 31:30), and it is as if the poet said: represent to thyself the heaviness of a stone and the weight of sand, and thou shalt find that the wrath of a fool compared thereto is still heavier, viz., for him who has to bear it; thus heavier, not for the fool himself (Hitzig, Zckler, Dchsel), but for others against whom his anger goes forth. A Jewish proverb (vid., Tendlau, No. 901) says, that one knows a man by his wine-glass (כוס), his purse (כיס), and his anger (כעס), viz., how he deports himself in the tumult; and another says that one reads what is in a man ביום כעסו, when he is in an ill-humour. Thus also כעס is to be here understood: the fool in a state of angry, wrathful excitement is so far not master of himself that the worst is to be feared; he sulks and shows hatred, and rages without being appeased; no one can calculate what he may attempt, his behaviour is unendurable. Sand, חול,

(Note: Sand is called by the name חוּל (חיל), to change, whirl, particularly to form sand-wreaths, whence (Arab.) al-Habil, the region of moving sand; vid., Wetzstein's Nord-arabien, p. 56.)

as it appears, as to the number of its grains innumerable, so as to its mass (in weight) immeasurable, Job 6:3; Sir. 22:13. נטל the Venet. translates, with strict regard to the etymology, by ἅρμα.

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