Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
1. Do not confide implicitly in your plans (Pr 16:9; 19:21; Jas 4:13-15).
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
2. Avoid self-praise.
A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.
3. heavy—The literal sense of "heavy," applied to material subjects, illustrates its figurative, "grievous," applied to moral.
a fool's wrath—is unreasonable and excessive.
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
4. envy—or, "jealousy" (compare Margin; Pr 6:34), is more unappeasable than the simpler bad passions.
Open rebuke is better than secret love.
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 of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
7. The luxury of wealth confers less happiness than the healthy appetite of labor.
As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.
8. Such are not only out of place, but out of duty and in danger.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
9. rejoice the heart—the organ of perceiving what pleases the senses.
sweetness … counsel—or, "wise counsel is also pleasing."
Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
10. Adhere to tried friends. The ties of blood may be less reliable than those of genuine friendship.
My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.
11. The wisdom of children both reflects credit on parents and contributes to their aid in difficulties.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
12, 13. (Compare Pr 20:16; 22:3).
Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
14. Excessive zeal in praising raises suspicions of selfishness.
A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
15. (Compare Pr 19:13).
very … day—literally, "a day of showers."
Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.
16. hideth—or, "restrains" (that is, tries to do it); is as fruitless an effort, as that of holding the wind.
the ointment of his right hand—the organ of power (Ps 17:7; 18:35). His right hand endeavors to repress perfume, but vainly. Some prefer: "His right hand comes on oil," that is, "cannot take hold." Such a woman cannot be tamed.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
17. a man sharpeneth … friend—that is, conversation promotes intelligence, which the face exhibits.
Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
18. Diligence secures a reward, even for the humble servant.
As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
19. We may see our characters in the developed tempers of others.
Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
20. Men's cupidity is as insatiable as the grave.
As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.
21. Praise tests character.
a man to his praise—according to his praise, as he bears it. Thus vain men seek it, weak men are inflated by it, wise men disregard it, &c.
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
22. The obstinate wickedness of such is incurable by the heaviest inflictions.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
23, 24. flocks—constituted the staple of wealth. It is only by care and diligence that the most solid possessions can be perpetuated (Pr 23:5).
For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
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, and the goats are the price of the field.
And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
27. household—literally, "house," the family (Ac 16:15; 1Co 1:16).