Could anyone explain the meaning behind this proverb ?

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.

Obviously a blessing is usually speaking good about someone to bring them good and a curse is to speak evil about them to bring negative circumstances. Why is this inverted in this case ?

  • 6
    Isn't it obvious, this is more about human nature than anything "Biblical"? Blessings are "usually" speaking good about someone and the active word here is "usually." Imagine your own neighbour screeching out, very early in the morning: "Ho, Neighbour! Bless you…" How many times would you really endure that, without at least complaining? Nov 20, 2021 at 22:16
  • 4
    It's just rude to be that cheerful before someone had their coffee, duh.
    – Issel
    Nov 21, 2021 at 4:04
  • How would you react to your neighbor yelling at your house early in the morning? Such blessings I don't need... Nov 22, 2021 at 13:26

4 Answers 4


Blessings crown the head of the righteous (Proverbs 10:6) and are gifts from God. God blesses those who obey Him and curses those who disobey Him (Deuteronomy 11:27-28).

In the Bible there are many accounts of people being blessed, often from a father to a son, and done quietly with the laying of hands upon the recipient.

They are seldom shouted from the roof-tops because that would draw attention to the one giving the blessing, rather than to God from whom all blessing originate.

However, to loudly bless a neighbour, and early in the morning, suggests an ulterior motive - to draw attention to oneself.

If my next door neighbour yelled out "God bless you" as I stepped out into the street, I might be suspicious. Perhaps his "blessing" is designed to win my favour or approval, or to make out his own self-righteousness. Much better, by far, to look for the blessing that comes from above:

The LORD blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).


Some Christian friends of mine had a house next door to some retired Christians. The retired Christians would go in their backgarden early every morning to loudly sing God's praises. This included Saturdays and Sundays when the others were trying to catch up on their sleep.

The retired Christians may have thought that they were blessing their neighbours. But were they being thoughtful of their neighbours who had tiring occupations?

In their words the retired couple honoured God, but not perhaps with their social awareness.

  • 2
    Thanks - good answer and example. Makes a lot of sense. Basically even if you are doing something "good" do it with respect and curteousy for others around you otherwise they will curse you.
    – Marshall
    Nov 20, 2021 at 14:12

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" (Sigmund Freud) while all the answers are biblically insightful, doing anything loudly in the morning is generally frowned upon. If I really needed to mow my lawn and was dreading doing it and at 5:30 on Saturday morning after a tough week at work I was woken by my neighbor on his riding mower doing my lawn I would not really appreciate it aside from being sleep deprived I would feel that I was being told how lazy I was in a backhanded way. So even a blessing in deeds done loudly in the morning is as bad as one simply in words.

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Nov 21, 2021 at 4:09
  • Great answer! A pet peeve on this site is that people always aim for super-abstract, spiritual-sounding answers. This one hits the nail on the head, though.
    – adam.baker
    Nov 22, 2021 at 9:10

If one doesn't shout, but speaks loudly is as comprehensive in the eyes of G'd, for is it that G'd can't validate something aloud, and the same way as those things spoken silently? Certainly He can hear both, as we can see in Hannah's prayers to have a son (1 Samuel 1:10-13), and she had, the great Israel's Judge Samuel. Indeed, we see:

10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk

Even though her voice wasn't heard, her movements was characterized by Eli, as being drunk by such movements, then, applying to the same context, depending on the situation, it can be that a person still speaking aloud can be blessed or bless other ones.

Just as another example, I quote (1 Corinthians 14:16):

Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? (ESV)

However one can't expose by falsehood as it says (Matthew 6:5):

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (ESV)

Also, it's pointed out in 1 Corinthians 14:14 that one can't stand in vain thoughts:

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. (ESV)

Another example is (Psalm 142:1):

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer. With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. (ESV)

King David also points out again (Psalm 77:1):

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph. I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. (ESV)

So, if the loud prayer is in peace (not with anger), then it doesn't matter, in my perception, if it's loud or silently, and observing that the mind in silence can have the worst thoughts.

  • Indeed, "if the loud prayer is in peace (not with anger), then it doesn't matter". God judges our innermost thoughts and motives. We all answer to Him.
    – Lesley
    Nov 20, 2021 at 21:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.