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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 27:17

This intimates both the pleasure and the advantage of conversation. One man is nobody; nor will poring upon a book in a corner accomplish a man as the reading and studying of men will. Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men's wits; and those that have ever so much knowledge may by conference have something added to them. It sharpens men's looks, and, by cheering the spirits, puts a briskness and liveliness into the countenance, and gives a man such an air as shows he is pleased himself and... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpeneth iron ,.... A sword or knife made of iron is sharpened by it; so butchers sharpen their knives; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend ; by conversation with him; thus learned men sharpen one another's minds, and excite each other to learned studies; Christians sharpen one another's graces, or stir up each other to the exercise of them, and the gifts which are bestowed on them, and to love and to good works. So Jarchi and Gersom understand it of the sharpening... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpeneth iron - As hard iron, viz., steel, will bring a knife to a better edge when it is properly whetted against it: so one friend may be the means of exciting another to reflect, dive deeply into, and illustrate a subject, without which whetting or excitement, this had never taken place. Had Horace seen this proverb in the Septuagint translation when he wrote to the Pisos? Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum Reddere quae ferrum valet, exors ipsa secandi read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Proverbs 27:2-21

The praise of man How far we should go in praising others, and in what spirit we should accept their praise, is a matter of no small importance in the conduct of life. I. THE DUTY OF PRAISING OTHERS . "Let another man praise thee" can hardly be said to be imperative so far as he is concerned. But it suggests the propriety of another man speaking in words of commendation. And the duty of praising those who have done well is a much-forgotten and neglected virtue. I. It is the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Proverbs 27:5-19

Four services of friendship (And see homily on "Friendship," Proverbs 13:20 .) We have suggested in the nineteenth verse two conditions of friendship: There can be no true friendship where one heart does not answer to another as the face reflected from a mirror answers to that which is before it. Men must be like minded in their principles and sympathies; and they must be sensitive enough to feel with one another and to give back the thoughts which are expressed by one or the other,... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpeneth iron. The proverb deals with the influence which men have upon one another. So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. So the Vulgate, Homo exacuit faciem amici sui . The action of the file is probably meant ( 1 Samuel 13:21 ); and the writer names iron as the sharpener rather than the whetstone, because he wishes to denote that one man is of the same nature as another, and that this identity is that which makes mutual action possible and advantageous. Some... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Proverbs 27:17

The advantages of society I. OBSERVE IN WHAT THE ADVANTAGES OF SOCIETY CONSIST . We have ancient authority for the idea that it is not good for man to be alone ( Genesis 2:18 ). Man is naturally a gregarious being. Though some people are more sociable than others, no one can be healthy in perpetual solitude. The isolation of the hermit engendered the wildest hallucinations of fanaticism together with the narrowest conception of the world. Prisoners of the Bastille, in... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Proverbs 27:17-22

Wisdom for self and for others I. THE BENEFIT OF INTELLIGENT SOCIETY . ( Proverbs 27:17 , Proverbs 27:19 .) 1 . The collision of mind with mind elicits truth , strikes out flashes of new perception . A man may grow wiser by an hour's discourse than by a day's meditation. "Speech is like embroidered cloth opened and put abroad," said the mistochs to the King of Persia. In the collision of minds the man brings his own thoughts to light, and whets his wits against a... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17. Iron sharpeneth iron Iron tools are made sharp, and fit for use, by rubbing them against the file, or some other iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend Quickens his ingenuity, enlivens his affections, strengthens his judgment, excites him to virtuous and useful actions, and makes him, in all respects, a better man. The countenance is here put for the mind or spirit, the state and disposition of which are commonly visible in men’s countenances. read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Proverbs 27:1-27

The valuable things of life (27:1-27)Over-confidence, self-praise, stupidity and jealousy must all be avoided (27:1-4). True friends will show the inner love they have for each other by being open and honest with each other. Over-pleasantness may be a sign of a deceitful heart (5-6). Those with many possessions do not find contentment; the poor are more than satisfied if they can get what the rich throw away (7). Among the most priceless of possessions are a happy home and faithful friends... read more

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