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The Book of Proverbs: Chapter 17

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1Better a dry crust with peace than a house full of feasting with strife.

2An intelligent servant will rule over a worthless son, and will share the inheritance with the brothers.*

3The crucible for silver, and the furnace for gold, but the tester of hearts is the LORD.

4The evil man gives heed to wicked lips, and listens to falsehood from a mischievous tongue.*

5He who mocks the poor blasphemes his Maker; r Prv 14, 31 . he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

6Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their parentage.

7Fine words are out of place in a fool; how much more, lying words in a noble!

8A man who has a bribe to offer rates it a magic stone; at every turn it brings him success.

9He who covers up a misdeed fosters friendship, but he who gossips about it separates friends.

10A single reprimand does more for a man of intelligence than a hundred lashes for a fool.

11On rebellion alone is the wicked man bent, but a merciless messenger will be sent against him.

12Face a bear robbed of her cubs, but never a fool in his folly!

13If a man returns evil for good, from his house evil will not depart. s Mt 5, 39; Rom 12, 17; 1 Thes 5, 15; 1 Pt 3, 9 .

14The start of strife is like the opening of a dam; therefore, check a quarrel before it begins!

15He who condones the wicked, t Prv 24, 24; Is 5, 23 . he who condemns the just, are both an abomination to the LORD.

16Of what use in the fool's hand are the means to buy wisdom, since he has no mind for it?

17He who is a friend is always a friend, and a brother is born for the time of stress. u Prv 18, 24 .

18Senseless is the man who gives his hand in pledge, who becomes surety for his neighbor. v Prv 6, 1f; 11, 15 .

19He who loves strife loves guilt; w Prv 15, 18 . he who builds his gate high* courts disaster.

20He who is perverse in heart finds no good, and a double‐tongued man falls into trouble.

21To be a fool's parent is grief for a man; the father of a numskull has no joy.

22A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones. x Prv 12, 25; 15, 13 .

23The wicked man accepts a concealed bribe to pervert the course of justice.

24The man of intelligence fixes his gaze on wisdom, y Eccl 8, 1 . but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

25A foolish son is vexation to his father, and bitter sorrow to her who bore him. z Prv 10, 1; 29, 15 . 26It is wrong to fine an innocent man, but beyond reason to scourge princes.

27He who spares his words is truly wise, and he who is chary of speech is a man of intelligence. a Prv 10, 19; Sir 1, 21; Jas 1, 19 .

28Even a fool, if he keeps silent, is considered wise; if he closes his lips, intelligent.

Notes:

r: Prv 14, 31 .

s: Mt 5, 39; Rom 12, 17; 1 Thes 5, 15; 1 Pt 3, 9 .

t: Prv 24, 24; Is 5, 23 .

u: Prv 18, 24 .

v: Prv 6, 1f; 11, 15 .

w: Prv 15, 18 .

x: Prv 12, 25; 15, 13 .

y: Eccl 8, 1 .

z: Prv 10, 1; 29, 15 .

a: Prv 10, 19; Sir 1, 21; Jas 1, 19 .

Text Commentary view alone

17, 2 :

Intelligence and ability are esteemed more highly than nobility of blood.

17, 4 :

To justify his own evil ways, a wicked man judges evil of others. Cf Mt 7, 1–5 .

17, 19 :

Builds … high: a symbol of arrogance.

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