Proverbs 27:9

9 1Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.[a]

Proverbs 27:9 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 27:9

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart
Meaning not the holy anointing oil for sacred use, or the perfume or incense offered on the altar of incense; but common oil or ointment used at entertainments, poured on the heads of the guests; and incense in censing of rooms, which were very delightful, pleased the senses, and so exhilarated the heart;

so [doth] the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel;
so the sweet and pleasant words, the wise and cordial counsel of a man's friend, rejoice his heart; he takes it well, he is highly delighted with it; he receives it kindly, and pursues it to advantage: or "by counsel of soul" F3, such as relates to the welfare of the soul here and hereafter; such is the counsel Christ gives, to buy of him gold tried in the fire, white raiment eye salve; and such as the Scriptures give, which, with the saints, are the men of their counsel, as they were David's; and which ministers of the Gospel give, who are therefore like ointment and perfume, "a sweet savour of life unto life": some render the words, and they will bear it, "so the sweetness of a man's friend, more than the counsel of his soul" F4 or than his own; that is, the sweet counsel of a friend is better than his own, and more rejoices his heart, and gives him more pleasure than that does; and this way go the Jewish commentators.


F3 (vpn tuem) "a consilio animae", Montanus; "propter consilium animae", Pagninus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F4 "Magis quam consilium animae, sub. propriae", Vatablus, Baynus; "quam consilium proprium", Junius & Tremellius, Mercerus, Amama.

Proverbs 27:9 In-Context

7 One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend, and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.

Cross References 1

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or and so does the sweetness of a friend that comes from his earnest counsel
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.