Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Oil and perfume make glad the heart, and the wise suggestion of a friend is sweet to the soul.
Perfume and incense make the heart glad, but the soul is torn by trouble.
Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn The first line of the proverb provides the emblem to the parallel point. The emblem is the joy that anointing oil (ointment) and incense bring, and the point is the value of the advice of a friend.
2 tn Some think the MT is unintelligible as it stands: “The sweetness of his friend from the counsel of the soul.” The Latin version has “the soul is sweetened by the good counsels of a friend.” D. W. Thomas suggests, “counsels of a friend make sweet the soul” (“Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” VT 15 : 275). G. R. Driver suggests, “the counsel of a friend is sweeter than one’s own advice” (literally, “more than the counsel of the soul”). He also suggests “more than of fragrant wood.” See G. R. Driver, “Hebrew Notes,” ZAW 52 (1934): 54; idem, “Suggestions and Objections,” ZAW 55 (1937): 69-70. The LXX reads “and the soul is rent by misfortunes.” The MT, for want of better or more convincing readings, may be interpreted to mean something like “[Just as] ointment and incense brings joy to the heart, [so] the sweetness of one’s friend [comes] from his sincere counsel.”