Laughter because of paradox

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1. LAUGHTER BECAUSE OF PARADOX EDITED BY GLENN PEASE Proverbs 27:14 14 If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. It is…
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  • 1. LAUGHTER BECAUSE OF PARADOX EDITED BY GLENN PEASE Proverbs 27:14 14 If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. It is possible for a blessing to be a curse, and that is what this verse is all about, and it is laughable because the friend thinks he is being very nice and thoughtful, but he is, in fact, a beg pain in the neck. His timing is folly and aggrevating to the one he is trying to bless. BIBLEHUB RESOURCES Pulpit Commentary Homiletics Insincerity In Friendship Proverbs 27:14 E. Johnson The picture is that of one who indulges in the noisy ostentationof friendship, without having the reality of it at his heart. I. EXCESS IN PRAISE OR BLAME IS TO BE GUARDED AGAINST. Luther shrewdly observes, "He who loudly scolds, praises;and he who excessivelypraises,scolds. Theyare not believed because theyexaggerate."
  • 2. Too greatpraise is half blame. Language should be used with sobriety and temperance. II. INSINCERITYIS SUBJECT TO A CURSE. It is odious to God and to man. One of the constantmoral trials of life is in the observance ofthe golden mean of conduct in socialrelations - to be agreeable without flattery, and sincere without rudeness. Here, as ever, we must walk in the bright light of our Saviour's example, the All-loving, yet the All-faithtul. - J. Biblical Illustrator He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. Proverbs 27:14 The curse of ostentatious flattery Homilist. Flattery is a species ofconduct generallymost pleasing, always most pernicious. The flattery in the text is a loud vaunting. It intrudes itself on all occasions;it is busy and demonstrative. I. IT IS A CURSE TO ITS AUTHOR. He who practises sycophancyinflicts an incalculable injury on his ownspiritual nature. The spirit of independence, the feeling of honest manhood, give way to a crawling, creeping instinct; it is a sneaking art used to cajole and softenfools. II. IT IS A CURSE TO ITS VICTIM Perhaps this is what Solomon means when he says "it shall be counted a curse to him," i.e., the object of it. "Ofall wild beasts," says Johnson, "preserve me from a flatterer." (Homilist.)
  • 3. STUDYLIGHT RESOURCES Adam Clarke Commentary He that blessethhis friend - He who makes loud and public protestations of acknowledgments to his friend for favors received, subjects his sincerity to suspicion; and remember the Italian proverb elsewhere quoted: - "He who praises you more than he was wont to do, has either deceivedyou, or is about to do it." Extravagantpublic professions are little to be regarded. Albert Barnes'Notes onthe Whole Bible The picture of the ostentatious flatterergoing at daybreak to pour out blessings on his patron. For any goodthat he does, for any thanks he gets, he might as wellutter curses. The Biblical Illustrator Proverbs 27:14 He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. The curse of ostentatious flattery Flattery is a species ofconduct generallymost pleasing, always most pernicious. The flattery in the text is a loud vaunting. It intrudes itself on all occasions;it is busy and demonstrative. I. It is a curse to its author. He who practises sycophancyinflicts an incalculable injury on his ownspiritual nature. The spirit of independence,
  • 4. the feeling of honest manhood, give way to a crawling, creeping instinct; it is a sneaking art used to cajole and softenfools. II. It is a curse to its victim Perhaps this is what Solomon means when he says “it shall be counted a curse to him,” i.e., the objectof it. “Of all wild beasts,” says Johnson, “preserve me from a flatterer.” (Homilist.) Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible "He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It shall be counted a curse to him." Some uncertainty as to the exactmeaning of this gives us alternative interpretations. (1) It is a rebuke of loud-mouth adulation, to which the public will ascribe evil intent on the part of the flatterer. (2) A loud-mouth blessing will calldown the wrath of God, who shall considerit a curse. (Alternate interpretations by Toy).[15]Our own view of the passageis that any inconsiderate, loud-mouthed communication from a neighbor before daylight in the morning would be viewedby the recipient as rude and inappropriate, even if the words were flattering. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice,.... So as not only to be heard by him, but by others;who is extravagantin his praises and commendations of him; who exceeds allbounds 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; lestany should be before him, and getthe 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;
  • 5. and so it denotes his being incessantatthis work, always harping on this string, or expressing himself in this adulatory way; or, as some think, this is mentioned as an aggravationof 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, andby 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 ofthe profuse praises bestowedupon him; nay, sometimes God himself curses sucha man, who listens to, is fond of, and receives the fulsome flatteries of wickedmen, as in the case ofHerod, Acts 12:22. Geneva Study Bible He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice, rising f early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. (f) Hastily and without cause. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible Excessive zealin praising raises suspicions of selfishness. Keil & DelitzschCommentary on the Old Testament
  • 6. This proverb, passing overthe three immediately intervening, connects itself with Proverbs 27:9 and Proverbs 27:10. It is directed againstcringing, noisy complimenting: He who blessethhis neighbour with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It is reckonedas a curse to him. The first line is intentionally very heavy, in order to portray the empressementof the makerof compliments: he calls out to another his good wishes with a loud voice, so as to make the impression of deep veneration, of deeply felt thankfulness, but in reality to gain favour thereby, and to commend himself to greateracts of kindness; he sets himself to meet him, having risen up ( ‫םיּכׁשה‬ , adverbial inf . abs .; cf. Jeremiah 44:4 with Jeremiah 25:4) early in the morning, to offer his captatio benevolentiae as speedilyas possible;but this salutationof goodwishes, the affectedzeal in presenting which is a signof a selfish, calculating, servile soul, is reckonedto him as ‫םללק‬ , viz., before God and every one who can judge correctlyof human nature, also before him who is complimented in so ostentatious and troublesome a manner, the true design of which is thus seen. Others understand the proverb after the example of Berachoth14a, that one ought to salute no one till he has said his morning's prayer, because honour is due before all to God (the Book of Wisdom, 10:28); and others after Erachin 16a, according to which one is meant who was invited as a guestof a generous lord, and was liberally entertained, and who now on the public streets blesseshim, i.e. , praises him for his nobility of mind - such blessing is a curse to him whom it concerns, because this trumpeting of his praise brings upon him a troublesome, importunate crowd. But plainly the particularity of ' ‫ּבקּב‬ ‫וקּבל‬ lays the chief emphasis on the servility manifested; and one calls to mind the case ofthe clients besieging the doors of their patrons, those clientes matutini , eachof whom sought to be the first in the salutatio of his distinguished wealthy patron. Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible
  • 7. Note, 1. It is a greatfolly to be extravagantin praising even the best of our friends and benefactors. It is our duty to give every one his due praise, to applaud those who excelin knowledge, virtue, and usefulness, and to acknowledge the kindnesses we have receivedwith thankfulness; but to do this with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, to be always harping on this string, in all companies, evento our friend's face, or so as that he may be sure to hear it, to do it studiously, as we do that which we rise early to, to magnify the merits of our friend above measure and with hyperboles, is fulsome, and nauseous, and savours of hypocrisy and design. Praising men for what they have done is only to get more out of them; and every body concludes the parasite hopes to be well paid for his panegyric or epistle dedicatory. We must not give that praise to our friend which is due to Godonly, as some think is intimated in rising early to do it; for in the morning Godis to be praised. We must not make too much haste to praise men (so some understand it), not cry up men too soonfor their abilities and performances, but let them first be proved; lest they be lifted up with pride, and laid to sleepin idleness. 2. It is a greaterfolly to be fond of being ourselves extravagantlypraised. A wise man rather counts it a curse, and a reflectionupon him, not only designed to pick his pocket, but which may really turn to his prejudice. Modestpraises (as a greatman observes)invite such as are presentto add to the commendation, but immodest immoderate praises tempt them to detractrather, and to censure one that they hear over-commended. And, besides, over-praising a man makes him the objectof envy; every man puts in for a share of reputation, and therefore reckons himself injured if another monopolize it or have more given him than his share. And the greatestdangerof all is that it is a temptation to pride; men are apt to think of themselves above what is meet when others speak ofthem above what is meet. See how careful blessedPaul was not to be over-valued, 2 Corinthians 12:6. Wesley's ExplanatoryNotes He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. Blesseth— That praises him to his face.
  • 8. A loud voice — That both he, and others, may be sure to take notice of it. Rising early — To shew his greatforwardness. A curse — His friend will value this kind of blessing no more than a curse. John Trapp Complete Commentary Proverbs 27:14 He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. Ver. 14. He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice.]Qui leonum laudibus murem obruit, that extols a man above measure, - as the false prophets did Ahab, and the people Herod, - that praiseth him to his face;which, when a court parasite did to Sigismund the emperor, he gave him a sound box on the ear. (a) A preacherin Constantine’s time, ausus estimperatorem in os beatum dicere, saith Eusebius, presumed to call the emperor a saint to his face;but he went awaywith a check. (b) When Aristobulus the historian presentedto Alexander the greatbook that he had written of his glorious acts, whereinhe had flatteringly made him greaterthan he was, Alexander, after he had read the book, threw it into the river Hydaspes, and said to the author, ‘It were a gooddeed to throw thee after it.’ Rising early in the morning.] As afraid to be prevented by another, or that he shall not have time enoughall day after to do it in. Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible Proverbs 27:14. He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice— "He who spends all his time in nothing else but in extravagantpraises of his benefactor, rather disparages than commends him." Or, it may be, "He that is hasty to commend his friend, does him rather a disservice than a kindness." Moderate and seasonable praises,says the greatLord Bacon, uttered upon occasion, conduce both to men's fame and prosperity. But, when immoderate,
  • 9. streperous, and unseasonably poured out, they profit nothing; nay rather, according to the sense of this parable, they do much prejudice. For, first, they manifestly betray themselves either to proceedfrom too much affection, or from studious affectation;whereby they may rather ingratiate themselves with him whom they praise by false commendations, than adorn his personby just and deservedattributes. Secondly, sparing and modest praises commonly invite such as are present to add something of their own to the commendation; contrarywise, profuse and immoderate praises invite the hearers to detract and take awaysomething which belongs to them. Thirdly, which is the principal point—too much magnifying a man stirs up envy towards him; seeing all immoderate praises look like a reproach to others, who think they merit no less. Matthew Poole's EnglishAnnotations on the Holy Bible He that blessethhis friend, that saluteth, or praiseth, and applaudeth him to his face, as the manner of flatterers is, with a loud voice, that both he and others may be sure to take notice of it; rising early in the morning to perform this office, to show his great forwardness, and diligence, and zeal in his service, which was the custom of the Romans afterward, and possibly of some of the Jews atthis time; it shall be counted a curse to him his friend will value this kind of blessing no more than a curse, because it plainly discovers a base design, and is a high reflectionupon him, as if he either did not understand such gross and palpable flattery, or were so ridiculously vain-glorious as to be pleasedwith it. Whedon's Commentary on the Bible 14. Rising early in the morning — “Rising in the night.” — Vulgate. The phrase, which is only two words in the Hebrew, is used to denote greatzeal and earnestness. Extravagantand ill-timed praise is liable to excite suspicion of unworthy motives. The proverb is understood by some in this sense:That it
  • 10. is dangerous to make too much haste in praising men when they have not fully establishedtheir character. Too earlyand too much praise may be the ruin of a man, making him have a vain opinion of his own abilities and worth. (See on Proverbs 27:21.)It is uncertain whether the word him, in the last clause, means the blesseror the blessed. Forthe use of this word blesseth, in formal salutation, compare Ruth 2:4; Psalms 129:8. Expository Notes ofDr. Thomas Constable The personwho hypocritically blesses his neighbor, for example by praising him unusually loudly at an unusually early hour, will receive a curse from other people. One"s manner of blessing others will be shownto be hypocritical if he does it in excess.Therefore one needs to be careful to do goodthings in the right way and at the right time, sincerelyrather than hypocritically. JosephBenson's Commentaryof the Old and New Testaments Proverbs 27:14. He that blessethhis friend — That saluteth, praiseth, or applaudeth him to his face, as the manner of flatterers is; with a loud voice — That both he and others may be sure to take notice of it; rising early in the morning — To perform this office, to show his great forwardness and diligence, and zealin his service;which was the customof the Romans afterward, and possibly of some of the Jews atthis time. It shall be counted a curse to him — His friend will value this kind of blessing no more than a curse:because it plainly discovers a base design, and is a high reflection upon him, as if he either did not understand such gross and palpable flattery, or were so ridiculously vain-glorious as to be pleasedwith it. George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
  • 11. In the night. Or "early in the morning," de nocte, as the Hebrew implies. --- Curseth. His importunity will be equally displeasing. (Haydock) --- Flattery is dangerous, (Calmet) and unworthy of a free man. (Cicero, de Amic.) Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. He that blessethhis friend with a loud voice (with grandiloquent words and loud emphasis), rising early in the morning it shall be counted a curse to him - it shall be counted to the flatterer all the same as if he cursed his friend (cf. Proverbs 26:25). "Early in the morning" implies the affectedassiduity of the flatterer (Proverbs 8:34; Jeremiah25:3-4). The exaggeratedpraise and compliment engendersuspicion of sinister motives. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (14) He that blessethhis 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 eagerto 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 lookedupon as a nuisance; any one would as soonbe cursed as blessedby him. So God loves heartfelt gratitude offeredin secret. (Comp. Matthew 6:5-6.) Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary CRITICAL NOTES.— Pro . Secretlove. Zckler and Hitzig understand this love to be that "which from false considerationdissembles, and does not tell his friend of his faults
  • 12. when it should do so." Delitzschthinks it refers to "love which is confined to the heart alone, like a fire which, when it burns secretly, neither lightens nor warms." MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Pro ; Pro 27:9-11;Pro 27:14 TESTS OF FRIENDSHIP We group these verses togetherbecause theyall treat of the same subject, viz., friendship in reality and friendship in professiononly. The same subject occurredin the preceding chapter(see on Pro , and in chap. Pro 17:17-18, page 519.) I. He does not love us truly who does not love us well enough to tell us of our faults. The true friend must desire to see the objectof his affectionas free from faults as it is possible for him to be; the truest and the purest love seeks by every means within its reachto bless the beloved one. And as we should not considerhim a friend who would make no effort to free us from any bodily disease orphysical deformity, we ought not to call him an enemy who will strive to rid us of moral and spiritual blemishes. For such an one gives proof that he cares more for our ultimate goodthan for our present smile—he shows that he is even willing to risk our displeasure in the hope of doing us real kindness. He who gives us kisses whenhe ought to give us reproof, or who holds back deserved rebuke from cowardice, is more cruel than if he withheld from us an indispensable medicine simply because it had a bitter taste. For if we will not take the unpleasant draught from the hand that we have claspedin friendship, we are not likely to find it more pleasantwhen administered by a stranger, much less by an enemy. And if a wound is to be probed it is surely better for the patient that it should be done by a skilful and tender hand than by one who has no sympathy with us and no acquaintance with our inner life. And as it is certain that those who do not love us will either rebuke us for our faults or despise us on accountof them, the realfriend is he who, by a loving faithfulness, strives to rid us of them. What would have become
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