Chapter 27

1Do not boast for tomorrow, for you do not know what the day will bear.   אאַֽל־תִּ֖תְהַלֵּל בְּי֣וֹם מָחָ֑ר כִּ֤י לֹא־תֵ֜דַ֗ע מַה־יֵּ֥לֶד יֽוֹם:
Do not boast: Do not boast now concerning a thing that is destined to be tomorrow.  
for you do not know what the day will bear: Perhaps the day will bear some evil that will nullify it.  
2May a stranger praise you and not your mouth, an alien and not your lips.   ביְהַלֶּלְךָ֣ זָ֣ר וְלֹא־פִ֑יךָ נָ֜כְרִ֗י וְאַל־שְׂפָתֶֽיךָ:
3The weight of a stone and the burden of sand-the anger of a fool is heavier than both.   גכֹּֽבֶד־אֶ֖בֶן וְנֵ֣טֶל הַח֑וֹל וְכַ֥עַס אֱ֜וִ֗יל כָּבֵ֥ד מִשְּׁנֵיהֶֽם:
and the burden: Heb. ונטל, a burden.  
the anger of a fool: that a fool angers the Holy One, blessed be He, causes [Him] to bring anger to the world.  
4Cruelty of wrath, and destruction of anger, but who can stand up before jealousy?   דאַכְזְרִיּ֣וּת חֵ֖מָה וְשֶׁ֣טֶף אָ֑ף וּמִ֥י יַ֜עֲמֹד לִפְנֵ֥י קִנְאָֽה:
but who can stand up before jealousy: Who can stand up before the jealousy of He Who is jealous and vengeful?  
5Open rebuke is better than concealed love.   הטוֹבָה תּוֹכַ֣חַת מְגֻלָּ֑ה מֵֽאַהֲבָ֥ה מְסֻתָּֽרֶת:
6Wounds of a lover are faithful, whereas kisses of an enemy are burdensome.   ונֶאֱמָנִים פִּצְעֵ֣י אוֹהֵ֑ב וְ֜נַעְתָּר֗וֹת נְשִׁיק֥וֹת שׂוֹנֵֽא:
are burdensome: Heb. נעתרות, an expression of largeness, as in (Ezek. 35: 13): “You have multiplied (נעתרות) against Me.”  
7A sated soul tramples honeycomb, but to a hungry soul all bitter is sweet.   זנֶ֣פֶשׁ שְׂ֖בֵעָה תָּב֣וּס נֹ֑פֶת וְנֶ֥פֶשׁ רְ֜עֵבָ֗ה כָּל־מַ֥ר מָתֽוֹק:
tramples honeycomb: Heb. תבוס, tramples by foot, as in (Ps. 44:6): “we will trample (נבוס) those who rise up against us.”  
all bitter is sweet: Every sweet thing is bitter to it. This can be interpreted in regard to the study of the Torah. If one shows himself to be sated, that he has no desire for words of the Torah as a desire of his soul, he tramples honeycomb. [That is,] even the reasons that are acceptable to the heart are not important to him, but he who yearns for it, even the things that come to him with bitterness and toil are sweet to him.  
8As a bird wandering from its nest, so is a man wandering from his place.   חכְּצִפּוֹר נוֹדֶ֣דֶת מִן־קִנָּ֑הּ כֵּֽן־אִ֜֗ישׁ נוֹדֵ֥ד מִמְּקוֹמֽוֹ:
wandering from its nest: that goes and wanders, so is a man who wanders from his place, i.e., a Torah scholar who wanders away from his studies, from reviewing what he learned.  
9Oil and incense make the heart rejoice, and the sweet words of his friend more than one's own counsel.   טשֶׁ֣מֶן וּ֖קְטֹרֶת יְשַׂמַּֽח־לֵ֑ב וּמֶ֥תֶק רֵ֜עֵ֗הוּ מֵֽעֲצַת־נָֽפֶשׁ:
Oil and incense: The scent of balsamum oil and the scent of incense cause the heart to rejoice.  
and the sweet words of his friend more than one’s own counsel: He whose friend draws him near with words is better than what his [own] soul advises him. Another explanation:  
and the sweetness of his friend: who improves his deeds, that they should be sweet to the Holy One, blessed be He, is better for him than gratifying the desires of his heart.  
10Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend, and do not enter your brother's house on the day of your misfortune; a close neighbor is better than a distant brother.   ירֵֽעֲךָ֙ וְרֵ֪עַה וְרֵ֪עַ אָבִ֡יךָ אַֽל־תַּעֲזֹ֗ב וּבֵ֥ית אָחִ֗יךָ אַל־תָּ֖בוֹא בְּי֣וֹם אֵידֶ֑ךָ ט֥וֹב שָׁכֵ֥ן קָ֜ר֗וֹב מֵאָ֥ח רָחֽוֹק:
your friend and your father’s friend: The Holy One, blessed be He, Who is called a friend to Israel, and your father’s friend, for He endeared your forefathers.  
Do not forsake: And, if you do forsake Him, retribution will befall you.  
and… your brother’s house: Do not rely on the children of Esau and Ishmael that they should befriend you. We find that when Israel was exiled to Babylon, they would say to those who led them in neck irons, “We beg of you, lead us on the way of our brethren, the sons of Esau and Ishmael,” and the sons of Esau went out toward them and welcomed them with various kinds of salty foods and blown up flasks.  
than a distant brother: It is better that the One Who is near to those who call Him dwell among you than that you should come to your brother who distanced himself by saying (Gen. 27:41): “When the days of mourning for my father are at hand, etc.”  
11Be wise, my son, and cause my heart to rejoice, that I may answer him who taunts me.   יאחֲכַ֣ם בְּ֖נִי וְשַׂמַּ֣ח לִבִּ֑י וְאָשִׁ֖יבָה חֹרְפִ֣י דָבָֽר:
Be wise, my son: Heb. חכם, become wise, my son.  
and cause my heart to rejoice: and let my heart be happy with you.  
12A cunning man saw harm and hid, but fools passed and were punished.   יבעָר֤וּם רָאָ֣ה רָעָ֣ה נִסְתָּ֑ר פְּ֜תָאיִ֗ם עָבְר֥וּ נֶעֱנָֽשׁוּ:
A cunning man saw harm: He sees the retribution coming upon the earth and hides from it by withdrawing from sin, but the fools did not hide and passed on the way of harm.  
and were punished: They suffered loss.  
13Take his garment because he stood surety for a stranger, and hold him in pledge for an alien woman.   יגקַח־בִּ֖גְדוֹ כִּי־עָ֣רַב זָ֑ר וּבְעַ֖ד נָכְרִיָּ֣ה חַבְלֵֽהוּ:
because he stood surety for a stranger: A man who stood surety brings about that the judge should say to the creditor, “Take his garment.”  
14He who blesses his friend in a loud voice early every morning, it shall be considered a curse for him.   ידמְבָ֘רֵ֤ךְ רֵעֵ֨הוּ בְּק֣וֹל גָּ֖דוֹל בַּבֹּ֣קֶר הַשְׁכֵּ֑ים קְ֜לָלָ֗ה תֵּחָ֥שֶׁב לֽוֹ:
He who blesses his friend: Someone blesses his friend daily, and the blessing is converted into a curse, for people say about him that he is generous with his money and wealthy, and everyone comes and borrows from him, and the government provokes him to collect his money. In this manner, it is interpreted in tractate Arachin (16a). Besides this, it appears in the midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma (Balak 15) as regards Balaam, who blessed Israel with a loud voice, as it is stated (Num. 23:7): “And he took up his discourse, etc.,” an expression of raising the voice, and he later counseled to cause them to sin.  
15A constant dripping on a rainstormy day, and a quarrelsome woman, are alike.   טודֶּ֣לֶף ט֖וֹרֵד בְּי֣וֹם סַגְרִ֑יר וְאֵ֥שֶׁת מִ֜דְוָנִ֗ים מִדְיָנִ֗ים נִשְׁתָּוָֽה:
A constant dripping: Rain that drips from the roof into the house and drives out the inhabitants of the house.  
on a rainstormy day: Heb. סגריר, a rainy day, when all are shut in their houses.  
and a quarrelsome woman, are alike: They are both the same…  
16He who guards her guards the wind, and he calls "the oil of his right hand."   טזצֹפְנֶ֥יהָ צָֽפַן־ר֑וּחַ וְשֶׁ֖מֶן יְמִינ֣וֹ יִקְרָֽא:
He who guards her guards the wind: He who thinks to watch her from her lewdness guards the wind; just as it is impossible to guard the wind, so will she not be guarded.  
and he calls “the oil of his right hand”: He calls “tzaraath” to come upon him until he drives her out like a “metzora,” who is purified with oil on the thumb of his right hand [as in Lev. 14:17].  
17Iron sharpens iron, and a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.   יזבַּרְזֶ֣ל בְּבַרְזֶ֣ל יָ֑חַד וְ֜אִ֗ישׁ יַ֣חַד פְּנֵֽי־רֵעֵֽהוּ:
sharpens the countenance of his friend: Heb. יחד, sharpens. Torah scholars sharpen each other in halachah.  
18He who guards a fig-tree shall eat its fruit, and he who guards his master shall be honored.   יחנֹצֵ֣ר תְּ֖אֵנָה יֹאכַ֣ל פִּרְיָ֑הּ וְשֹׁמֵ֖ר אֲדֹנָ֣יו יְכֻבָּֽד:
shall eat its fruit: and so will one who guards his master be honored and eat the fruit of his deeds.  
19As in water, face answers to face, so is the heart of a man to a man.   יטכַּמַּיִם הַפָּנִ֣ים לַפָּנִ֑ים כֵּ֤ן לֵֽב־הָ֜אָדָ֗ם לָאָדָֽם:
As in water: the face that you show it, it shows you.  
is the heart of a man to a man: his friend. According to how much a man knows that his friend loves him, so he will show him his face.  
20The grave and Gehinnom will not be sated, and the eyes of man will not be sated.   כשְׁא֣וֹל וַ֖אֲבַדֹּה וַאֲבַדּוֹ לֹ֣א תִּשְׂבַּ֑עְנָה וְעֵינֵ֥י הָ֜אָדָ֗ם לֹ֣א תִשְׂבַּֽעְנָה:
The grave and Gehinnom will not be sated: from receiving the wicked therein, just as the eyes of a wicked man will not be sated from wandering after temptation and gratifying his lust.  
21The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, and a man according to his praise.   כאמַצְרֵ֣ף לַ֖כֶּסֶף וְכ֣וּר לַזָּהָ֑ב וְ֜אִ֗ישׁ לְפִ֣י מַהֲלָלֽוֹ:
The refining pot: A vessel made to refine silver. The furnace is made to refine gold. A man is refined and considered according to his praise; according to how people praise him for his good deeds, he is tested by the public, whether good or bad.  
22If you crush the fool in a mortar among grain with a pestle, his folly will not leave him.   כבאִ֥ם תִּכְתּֽוֹשׁ־אֶת־הָאֱוִ֨יל בַּֽמַּכְתֵּ֡שׁ בְּת֣וֹךְ הָ֖רִיפוֹת בַּֽעֱלִ֑י לֹא־תָס֥וּר מֵ֜עָלָ֗יו אִוַּלְתּֽוֹ:
grain: Heb. הריפות, wheat crushed in a mortar.  
in a mortar: Heb. במכתש, a mortar, in French mortier; Morser in German.  
with a pestle: Heb. בעלי, a pestle, pilon in French, Stossel in German. Since they lift it up (מעלין) and beat with it, it is called עלי.  
23Know well the condition of your flocks; give your attention to the herds.   כגיָדֹ֣עַ תֵּ֖דַע פְּנֵ֣י צֹאנֶ֑ךָ שִׁ֥ית לִ֜בְּךָ֗ לַעֲדָרִֽים:
the condition of your flocks: lit. the face of your flocks. Do not think lightly of always paying attention to them to determine what they require.  
24For riches are not forever, neither is a crown for generations.   כדכִּ֤י לֹ֣א לְעוֹלָ֣ם חֹ֑סֶן וְאִם־נֵ֜֗זֶר לְד֣וֹר דֽוֹר וָדֽוֹר:
For riches are not forever: For, if you are rich with silver and gold, perhaps it will not last forever. Therefore, do not despise your small things.  
25When the hay is carried away and the grass is visible, and the grasses of the mountains have been gathered,   כהגָּלָ֣ה חָ֖צִיר וְנִרְאָה־דֶ֑שֶׁא וְ֜נֶאֶסְפ֗וּ עִשְּׂב֥וֹת הָרִֽים:
When the hay is carried away: When the hay is carried away in the days of Nissan, the grass becomes visible, and the grasses are gathered to grow (?), then it will be beneficial to you, for you will have the fleece of the lambs for your clothing.  
26there will be lambs for your clothing, and he-goats are the worth of the field;   כוכְּבָשִֹ֥ים לִלְבוּשֶׁ֑ךָ וּמְחִ֥יר שָׂ֜דֶ֗ה עַתּוּדִֽים:
and… the worth of the field: The he-goats will be worth as much as a field because you will eat the flesh and sell the hides.  
27and enough goat milk for your food, for the food of your household, and sustenance for your maidens.   כזוְדֵ֤י חֲלֵ֬ב עִזִּ֗ים לְֽ֖לַחְמְךָ לְלֶ֣חֶם בֵּיתֶ֑ךָ וְ֜חַיִּ֗ים לְנַעֲרוֹתֶֽיךָ:
and enough: for your sustenance. For your food and the food of your household; you will have sufficient goat milk. This is the figure. The allegory is:  
the condition of your flocks: The teacher who is appointed over the congregation is required to carry them in his bosom and to lead them slowly.  
For riches are not forever: and thereby, he eats the fruit, and the principal remains.  
When the hay is carried away: When his laws are disseminated and the Torah is magnified through him, then these lambs will be his clothing, and the disciples shall be to him for a name and for raiment of glory and beauty.