Proverbs 27:1
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
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(1) Boast not thyself of to-morrow.—This is forbidden also in James 4:13, sqq.; but there on the higher ground that it argues a want of submission to the will of Almighty God. This temper of mind, as well as the opposite one of too great anxiety for the morrow (Matthew 6:34), proceed from the same cause, too much dependence upon self, and are only to be met by learning to realise the love of God for His children (ibid., 26, 30, 33), and looking up to Him daily for protection, guidance, and support.

Proverbs 27:1. Boast not thyself of to-morrow — Of any good thing which thou purposest to do, or hopest to receive to-morrow or hereafter; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth — What may happen in the space of one day to hinder thy designs or expectations. The day is said to bring forth what God, by his almighty power and providence, either causes or suffers to be brought forth or done in it. “The wise man,” says Melancthon, “here teaches us modesty; and prohibits those two great vices, confidence in ourselves, or any thing we have; and rashly undertaking unnecessary things, out of a foolish hope they will succeed according to our desires. Wise and good men will only meddle within the bounds of their calling; and will also depend on God for his blessing; but they will not attempt things without just cause, presuming they can carry them as they please.”

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.The lying tongue hates its victims. CHAPTER 27

Pr 27:1-27.

1. Do not confide implicitly in your plans (Pr 16:9; 19:21; Jas 4:13-15).Counsel against self-conceitedness, Proverbs 27:1,2. The evil effects of envy, Proverbs 27:4. The praises of a faithful friend, Proverbs 27:5-10. The different fruits of prudence and folly, Proverbs 27:11,12. Sundry rules and cautions, Proverbs 27:13-21.

Of tomorrow; of any good thing which thou purposest to do or hopest to receive to-morrow, or hereafter; the thee being here put metonymically for things done or had in the thee, as Deu 4:32 Ecclesiastes 2:23. The same caution is given Jam 4:13, &c.

What a day may bring forth; what may happen in the space of one day, which may hinder thy designs or expectations. The day is said to bring forth what God by his almighty power and providence doth either cause or suffer to be brought forth or done in it.

Boast not thyself of tomorrow,.... Or, "of tomorrow day" (t). Either of having a tomorrow, or of any future time; no man can assure himself of more than the present time; for, however desirable long life is, none can be certain of it; so says the poet (u): for though there is a common term of man's life, threescore years and ten, yet no one can be sure of arriving to it; and, though there may be a human probability of long life, in some persons of hale and strong constitutions, yet there is no certainty, since life is so frail a thing; the breath of man is in his nostrils, which is soon and easily stopped; his life is but as a vapour, which appears for a little while, and then vanishes away; all flesh is as grass, which in the morning flourishes, in the evening is cut down, and on the morrow is cast into the oven: man is like a flower, gay and beautiful for a season, but a wind, an easterly blasting wind, passes over it, and it is gone; his days are as a shadow that declineth towards the evening; they are as a hand's breadth; yea, his age is as nothing before the Lord. Death is certain to all men, as the fruit of sin, by the appointment of God; and there is a certain time fixed for it, which cannot be exceeded; but of that day and hour no man knows; and therefore cannot boast of a moment of future time, or of a tomorrow, nor of what he shall enjoy on the morrow (w); for, what he has today he cannot be certain he shall have the next; he cannot assure himself of health and honour, of pleasures, riches, and friends; he may have health today, and sickness tomorrow; be in honour today, and in disgrace on the morrow: he may bid his soul eat, drink, and be merry, seeing he has much goods laid up for many years, and vainly say, tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant, when this night his soul may be required of him; he may have his wife and children, friends and relations, about him now, and before another day comes be stripped of them all; he may be in great affluence, and gave great substance for the present, and in a short time all may be taken from him, as Job's was; riches are uncertain things, they make themselves wings and flee away. Nor should a man boast of what he will do on the morrow; either in civil things, in trade and business; to which the Apostle James applies this passage, James 4:13; or in acts of charity, so Aben Ezra explains it, boast not of an alms deed to be done tomorrow; whatever a man finds to be his duty to do in this respect, he should do it at once, while he has an opportunity: or in things religious; as that he will repent of his sins, and amend his life on the morrow; that he will attend the means of grace, hear the Gospel, the voice of Christ; all which should be to day, and not be put off till tomorrow. Nor should true believers procrastinate the profession of their faith; nor should any duty, or exercise of religion, be postponed to another season; but men should work while it is day, and always abound in the work of the Lord, and be found so doing; see Isaiah 56:12;

for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth; time is like a teeming woman, to which the allusion is, big with something; but what that is is not known till brought forth: as a woman, big with child, knows not what she shall bring forth till the time comes, whether a son or a daughter, a dead or a living child; so the events of time, or what is in the womb of time, are not known till brought forth; these are the secret things which belong to God, which he keeps in his own breast; the times and seasons of things are only in his power, Acts 1:6. We know not what the present day, as the Targum renders it, will bring forth; and still less what tomorrow will do, what changes it will produce in our circumstances, in our bodies and in our minds; so that we cannot be certain what we shall be, what we shall have, or what we shall do, on the morrow, even provided we have one.

(t) "in die crastino", Pagninus, Montanus. (u) Sophoclis Oedipus Colon. v. 560. "Nemo tam divos habuit faventes, erastinum ut possit sibi polliceri", Senco. Thyest. v. 617, 618. (w) "Quid sit futurum eras, fuge quaerere", Horat. Carmin. l. 1. Ode 9.

Boast not thyself of to {a} morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

(a) Do not delay the time, but take the opportunity when it is offered.

1. a day] This is taken to mean the (coming) day, the morrow, both by LXX. (ἡ ἐπιοῦσα), and Vulg. (superventura dies), as well as by some modern commentators (comp. St James 4:13-14); but the absence of the article shews that the rendering of A.V., which is followed by R.V., is right.

Verses 1-6. - These verses are grouped in pairs, each two being connected in subject. Verse 1. - Boast not thyself of tomorrow. He boasts himself (Proverbs 25:14) of tomorrow who counts upon it presumptuously, settles that he will do this or that, as if his life was in his own power, and he could make sure of time. This is blindness and arrogance. For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Our Lord gave a lesson on this matter in the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12.); and an analogous warning, based on our verse, is given by St. James (James 4:13, etc.). On this topic moralists and poets are always dilating. Very familiar are the words of Horace ('Carm.,' 4:7, 17) -

"Quis scit, an adjiciant hodiernae crastina summae
Tempora di superi?"
Euripides, 'Alc.,' 783 -

Οὐκ ἔστι θνητῶν ὅστις ἐξεπίσταται
Τὴν αὔριον μέλλουσαν εἰ βιώσεται
Τὸ τῆςτύχης γὰρ ἀφανὲς οῖ προβήσεται
Κἄστ οὐ διδακτόν οὐδ ἁλίσκεται τέχνη Every day in thy life, says the Arab, "is a leaf in thy history." Seneca wrote ('Thyest.,' 621) -

"Nemo tam divos habuit faventes
Crastinum ut possit sibi pelliceri,
Res deus nostras celeri citatas
Turbine versat."
There is the adage, "Nescis quid serus vesper vehat." The LXX. has, as at ch. 3:28, "Thou knowest not what the next day (ἡ ἐπιοῦσα) shall bring forth." (For the expression, ἡ ἐπιοῦσα, comp. Acts 7:26; Acts 16:11.) Proverbs 27:1In the group Proverbs 27:1-6 of this chapter every two proverbs form a pair. The first pair is directed against unseemly boasting:

1 Boast not thyself of to-morrow,

   For thou knowest not what a day bringeth forth.

The ב of בּיום is like, e.g., that in Proverbs 25:14, the ב of the ground of boasting. One boasts of to-morrow when he boasts of that which he will then do and experience. This boasting is foolish and presumptuous (Luke 12:20), for the future is God's; not a moment of the future is in our own power, we know not what a day, this present day or to-morrow (James 4:13), will bring forth, i.e., (cf. Zephaniah 2:2) will disclose, and cannot therefore order anything beforehand regarding it. Instead of לא־תדע (with Kametz and Mugrash), אל־תדע (thus e.g., the Cod. Jaman) is to be written; the Masora knows nothing of that pausal form. And instead of מה־יּלד יום, we write מה יּלד יום with Zinnorith. יּלד before יום has the tone thrown back on the penult., and consequently a shortened ult.; the Masora reckons this word among the twenty-five words with only one Tsere.

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