Proverbs 27:14 MEANING

Proverbs 27:14
(14) He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice . . .--If gratitude is to be acceptable, the time, place, and manner of shewing it must all be well chosen. A man who is so eager to express his thanks that he begins early in the morning, and in so loud a voice as to draw upon his patron the attention of all the bystanders, is looked upon as a nuisance; any one would as soon be cursed as blessed by him. So God loves heartfelt gratitude offered in secret. (Comp. Matthew 6:5-6.)

Verse 14. - He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning. What is meant is ostentatious salutation, which puts itself forward in order to stand well with a patron, and to be beforehand with other servile competitors for favour. Juvenal satirized such parasitical effusion ('Sat.' 5:19) -

"Habet Trebius, propter quod rumpere somnum
Debeat et ligulas dimittere, sollicitus, ne
Tots salutaris jam turba peregerit orbem,
Sideribus dubiis, aut illo tempore, quo se
Frigida circumagunt pigri surraca Bootae."
The "loud voice" intimates the importunate nature of such public trumpeting of gratitude, as the "rising early" denotes its inopportune and tactless insistency, which cannot wait for a convenient opportunity for its due expression. It shall be counted a curse to him. The receiver of this sordid adulation, and indeed all the bystanders, would just as soon be cursed by the parasite as blessed in this offensive manner, This clamorous outpouring of gratitude is not accepted as a return by the benefactor; he sees the mean motives by which it is dictated self-interest, hope of future benefits - and he holds it as cheap as he would the curses of such a person. The nuisance of such flattery is mentioned by Euripides, 'Orest.,' 1161 -

Παύσομαί σ αἰνῶν ἐπεὶ
Βάρος τι κὰν τῷ δ ἐστὶν αἰνεῖσθαι λίαν. Duo sunt genera prosecutorum, says St. Augustine ('In Psalm.,' 69), "sciliet vituperantium et adulantium; sed plus prosequitur lingua adulatoris, quam manus prosecutoris." "Woe unto you," said Christ (Luke 6:26), "when all men shall speak well of you." "Do I seek to please men?" asked St. Paul (Galatians 1:10); "for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Vers. 15 and 16 form a tetrastich on the subject of the termagant wife.

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.He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice,.... So as not only to be heard by him, but by others; who is extravagant in his praises and commendations of him; who exceeds all bounds of modesty, truth, and decency; who affects pompous words, and hyperbolical expressions; and shows himself to be a real sycophant and flatterer, having some sinister end to serve by it;

rising early in the morning; lest any should be before him, and get the benefit he seeks by his flattery; or as if he had not time enough in the day to finish his encomium, unless he began early in the morning, and continued it all the day; and so it denotes his being incessant at this work, always harping on this string, or expressing himself in this adulatory way; or, as some think, this is mentioned as an aggravation of his sin, that he should be acting this low, mean, and criminal part, when he should be employed in devotion and prayer to God;

it shall be counted a curse to him; either to the flatterer, by his friend whom he blesses, and by all wise men that hear him, who will despise him all one as if he cursed him: the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it to this sense, that such an one nothing differs, or nothing seems to differ, from one that curses: or else to the person blessed, whom others will curse or however detract from his character, because of the profuse praises bestowed upon him; nay, sometimes God himself curses such a man, who listens to, is fond of, and receives the fulsome flatteries of wicked men, as in the case of Herod, Acts 12:22.

Courtesy of Open Bible