I never had a “sister” (269). My wife tells me that if I had, I would understand women a lot more. I think there is some truth to that. This speaks of a relationship that sees us when our guard is down. Of course the same is true of a brother but somehow the idea of “closer than a brother” seems to have a different flavor.
(Proverbs 18:24 NASB) A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.I tend to think of a brother sticking up for you when you are attacked. I think of a sister pointing out all of my faults but expecting me to protect her. Of course the roles could be reversed, but you get the idea.
An “intimate friend” (4129) is a different proposition. It is interesting that the KJV uses a feminine noun but the dictionary says it is a masculine noun. The KJV is probably looking at the context of sister while the NASB is looking to contrast different types of relationships. Who knows? A friend is different from a sister. A friend takes work. “Understanding” (998) can be ours. It can be a real friend, but it requires us to work at it. Again we come to study, worship and contemplation.
So? Grace is given by the choice of God. It is a free gift. Wisdom and knowledge seem to be available but we have to work at them. Go for the gold.