Prov 27:6 “Who (really) loves you?” ; “Do you really ‘love’ your brother?
Let’s consider who really loves us and who do we really love by discerning, spiritually considering, who we are dealing with among our brothers. Of course this applies to both men and women, brothers and sisters.
Can Proverbs 27:6 give us a clear sense of:
“Who (really) loves you?” & “Do you really ‘love’ your brother?”
‘O’hev’ (אוהב) literally means ‘lover’ in the sense of “beloved or habiby” rather than ‘friend’ and
‘So’neh’ (שונה) literally means ‘hater’ rather than ‘enemy’ – which are the common renditions.
While ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ are decent translations, they obscure a few things and confuse the ‘enemy’ thing with how Yeshua said to consider our ‘enemy’.
נֶאֱמָנִים, פִּצְעֵי אוֹהֵב;
וְנַעְתָּרוֹת, נְשִׁיקוֹת שׂוֹנֵא
27:6 Faithful (are) wounds of “Lover”
and excessive1 (are) kisses of “Hater”
This more precise translation allows one to examine the explicit “love vs hate” theme in other scriptures, rather than be caught up in the looser “friend vs enemy”.
13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Rom 9 from Malachi 1
וַיִּרְאוּ אֶחָיו, כִּי-אֹתוֹ אָהַב אֲבִיהֶם מִכָּל-אֶחָיו-
-וַיִּשְׂנְאוּ, אֹתוֹ; וְלֹא יָכְלוּ, דַּבְּרוֹ לְשָׁלֹם
and his brothers saw that their father loved him from all his brothers,
and they hated him, and they could not speak ‘shalom’ Gen 37:4
2 Samuel 19:6 “loving those who hate you and hating those who love you”
choosing family over loyalty is a ‘shame’ for David – interesting how Yeshua turns this around.
1) the root ATR (ayin tav resh) has two root meanings, which lends it to a word play in
Prov 27:6, one is “to burn incense (as to a god)” and the second “to be abundant”;
the form is simple passive like “faithful” in the first part, so it has two potential meanings, i.e. “excessive” and “let oneself be supplicated” – put that together and
you have “a hater is one who kisses you excessively and wants to be entreated”…
as opposed to “Yeshua who loves us has faithfully endured our wounds” and if we are to follow that lead… it shows us who our true, faithful brothers are… nu?!
It is easy in English to look at the word ‘love’ or ‘hate’ and presuppose what scripture means.
The Greek uses four words that our language melds into one and the Hebrew uses various others.
Friend vs enemy gets a different treatment by Yeshua – and yet, it doesn’t negate a responsibility to be a spiritual man and discern all things. i.e. 1 Cor 2:
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Obviously there is context leading up to verse 6, but by looking at the ‘construct’ of how a ‘beloved’ treats you versus a ‘hater’, along with parallels of Esau and Jacob, Saul and David, Joseph and his brothers, leading up to the example/parable that Yeshua set –
Perhaps we may be led to re-examine when either a brother or even ourselves “excessively and/or sycophantly” kisses a brother… rather than to follow Yeshua’s lead in understanding how “wounds of faithful loving” play out in our lives.