An iron-one is sharpening in [against] an iron-one; and a man is sharpening the faces of his friend. Prov 27:17 FLT
“Faces” is the literal translation of the word. A plural word.The verb sharpen is in the Hiphil causative form and not the normal Qal active. The Hiphil verb means that the object, iron, causes something else to sharpen. It is not iron itself sharpening. Or is it….
Another insight to gain is that the Hebrew authors list metals as cryptic symbols—gold, silver, bronze, iron? What/who could those represent?
Let’s make things more interesting. The verb sharpen (Strong’s #2300) is only found 6 times in the biblical text. In every other context it looks to be used of judgment. Habakkuk gives us a picture of its figurative use:
“They have been disesteemed from the leopards, his horses, and they have become sharpened from the wolves of the dusk.” Habakkuk 1:8 FLT
Horses, leopards, and wolves? These horses? What are they? Or perhaps who are they?
Sharp is figuratively used of a fierce face like that of the wolf of the dusk/evening. What is an evening wolf? A cryptic word incorporating a specific time of day and a specific animal.
“Son-of-Right-Hand [Benjamin] is a wolf, he is tearing-off. In the Dawn he is eating a perpetual-one. And to the Dusk he is smoothing the drawn-out-one.” Genesis 49:27 FLT