Heed Wisdom’s Warnings
1Never brag about the plans you have for tomorrow,
for you don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring to you.
2Let someone else honor you for your accomplishments,
for self-praise is never appropriate.
3It’s easier to carry a heavy boulder and a ton of sand
than to be provoked by a fool and have to carry that burden!
4The rage and anger of others can be overwhelming,
but it’s nothing compared to jealousy’s fire.
5It’s better to be corrected openly
if it stems from hidden love.
6You can trust a friend who wounds you with his honesty, # 27:6 Or “Amen [effective and faithful] are the wounds of love.” This could be a reference to the wounds Jesus endured because of his love for us.
but your enemy’s pretended flattery # 27:6 Or “kisses.” comes from insincerity.
7When your soul is full, you turn down even the sweetest honey.
But when your soul is starving,
every bitter thing becomes sweet. # 27:7 When we are full of many things and many opinions, the sweet word of God, like revelation honey, is spurned. Instead, we eat and fill our souls with things that can never satisfy.
8Like a bird that has fallen from its nest
is the one who is dislodged from his home. # 27:8 Or “banished from his place,” as translated from the Aramaic.
9Sweet friendships # 27:9 Or “counsel.” refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy,
for good friends are like the anointing oil
that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. # 27:9 The Hebrew text refers to the sacred anointing oil and the incense that burns in the Holy Place.
10So never give up on a friend or abandon a friend of your father—
for in the day of your brokenness # 27:10 As translated from the Aramaic.
you won’t have to run to a relative for help.
A friend nearby is better than a relative far away.
11My son, when you walk in wisdom,
my heart is filled with gladness,
for the way you live is proof
that I’ve not taught you in vain. # 27:11 Or “that I may answer those who reproach me.”
12A wise, shrewd person discerns the danger ahead
and prepares himself,
but the naïve simpleton never looks ahead
and suffers the consequences.
13Cosign for one you barely know and you will pay a great price!
Anyone stupid enough to guarantee the loan of another
deserves to have his property seized in payment.
14Do you think you’re blessing your neighbors
when you sing at the top of your lungs early in the morning?
Don’t be fooled—
they’ll curse you for doing it! # 27:14 Or “He who sings in a loud voice early in the morning, thinking he’s blessing his neighbor, is no different from he who pronounces a curse.”
15An endless drip, drip, drip, from a leaky faucet # 27:15 Or “a constant drip on a rainy day.”
and the words of a cranky, nagging wife have the same effect.
16Can you stop the north wind from blowing
or grasp a handful of oil?
That’s easier than to stop her from complaining.
17It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade,
and so one person sharpens the character of another.
18Tend an orchard and you’ll have fruit to eat.
Serve the Master’s interests
and you’ll receive honor that’s sweet.
19Just as no two faces are exactly alike,
so every heart is different. # 27:19 As translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint.
20Death and destruction are never filled,
and the desires of men’s hearts are insatiable.
21Fire is the way to test the purity of silver and gold,
but the character of a man is tested
by giving him a measure of fame. # 27:21 Or “by the things he praises.”
22You can beat a fool half to death
and still never beat the foolishness out of him. # 27:22 Or “If you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle like dried grain, still his foolishness will not depart from him.”
23A shepherd should pay close attention to the faces of his flock
and hold close to his heart the condition of those he cares for.
24A man’s strength, power, and riches # 27:24 The Hebrew says merely “riches,” while the Aramaic adds “power [dominion]” and the Septuagint adds “strength.” This translation combines them. will one day fade away;
not even nations # 27:24 Or “a crown” or “diadem [dominion].” endure forever.
25-27Take care of your responsibilities
and be diligent in your business
and you will have more than enough—
an abundance of food, clothing, and plenty for your household. # 27:25–27 An agricultural analogy is used in the Hebrew and Aramaic. The analogy of a farming enterprise has been changed to business here in order to transfer meaning. It is literally “Gather the hay of the field and hills, and new grass will appear. Lambs will provide clothing, goats will pay for the price of the field, and there will be enough goat’s milk for you, your family, and your servant girls.”