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17

Better is a dry morsel with quiet

than a house full of feasting with strife.

2

A slave who deals wisely will rule over a child who acts shamefully,

and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

3

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,

but the Lord tests the heart.

4

An evildoer listens to wicked lips;

and a liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue.

5

Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;

those who are glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

6

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,

and the glory of children is their parents.

7

Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;

still less is false speech to a ruler.

8

A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of those who give it;

wherever they turn they prosper.

9

One who forgives an affront fosters friendship,

but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.

10

A rebuke strikes deeper into a discerning person

than a hundred blows into a fool.

11

Evil people seek only rebellion,

but a cruel messenger will be sent against them.

12

Better to meet a she-bear robbed of its cubs

than to confront a fool immersed in folly.

13

Evil will not depart from the house

of one who returns evil for good.

14

The beginning of strife is like letting out water;

so stop before the quarrel breaks out.

15

One who justifies the wicked and one who condemns the righteous

are both alike an abomination to the Lord.

16

Why should fools have a price in hand

to buy wisdom, when they have no mind to learn?

17

A friend loves at all times,

and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.

18

It is senseless to give a pledge,

to become surety for a neighbor.

19

One who loves transgression loves strife;

one who builds a high threshold invites broken bones.

20

The crooked of mind do not prosper,

and the perverse of tongue fall into calamity.

21

The one who begets a fool gets trouble;

the parent of a fool has no joy.

22

A cheerful heart is a good medicine,

but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

23

The wicked accept a concealed bribe

to pervert the ways of justice.

24

The discerning person looks to wisdom,

but the eyes of a fool to the ends of the earth.

25

Foolish children are a grief to their father

and bitterness to her who bore them.

26

To impose a fine on the innocent is not right,

or to flog the noble for their integrity.

27

One who spares words is knowledgeable;

one who is cool in spirit has understanding.

28

Even fools who keep silent are considered wise;

when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.


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Pr 17:1-28.

1. sacrifices—or, "feasts" made with part of them (compare Pr 7:14; Le 2:3; 7:31).

with—literally, "of."

strife—its product, or attendant.

2. (Compare Pr 14:35).

causeth shame—(Pr 10:5).

shall … inheritance—that is, share a brother's part (compare Nu 27:4, 7).

3. God only knows, as He tries (Ps 12:6; 66:10) the heart.

4. Wicked doers and speakers alike delight in calumny.

5. (Compare Pr 14:31).

glad at calamities—rejoicing in others' evil. Such are rightly punished by God, who knows their hearts.

6. Prolonged posterity is a blessing, its cutting off a curse (Pr 13:22; Ps 109:13-15), hence children may glory in virtuous ancestry.

7. Excellent speech—(Compare Margin). Such language as ill suits a fool, as lying (ought to suit) a prince (Pr 16:12, 13).

8. One so corrupt as to take a bribe evinces his high estimate of it by subjection to its influence (Pr 18:16; 19:6).

9. seeketh love—(Compare Margin). The contrast is between the peace-maker and tale-bearer.

10. Reproof more affects the wise than severe scourging, fools.

11. Such meet just retribution (1Ki 2:25).

a cruel messenger—one to inflict it.

12. They are less rational in anger than wild beasts.

13. (Compare Ps 7:4; 35:12).

evil—injury to another (Pr 13:21).

14. letteth … water—as a breach in a dam.

before … meddled with—before strife has become sharp, or, by an explanation better suiting the figure, before it rolls on, or increases.

15. abomination … Lord—as reversing His method of acting (Pr 3:32; 12:2).

16. Though wealth cannot buy wisdom for those who do not love it, yet wisdom procures wealth (Pr 3:16; 14:24).

17. To the second of these parallel clauses, there is an accession of meaning, that is, that a brother's love is specially seen in adversity.

18. (Compare Pr 6:1-5; 11:15).

in the presence, &c.—that is, he either fails to consult his friend, or to follow his advice.

19. strife—contention is, and leads to, sin.

he that exalteth his gate—gratifies a vain love of costly building.

seeketh—or, "findeth," as if he sought (compare "loveth death," Pr 8:36).

20. The second clause advances on the first. The ill-natured fail of good, and the cavilling and fault-finding incur evil.

21. (Compare Pr 23:24). Different words are rendered by "fool," both denoting stupidity and impiety.

22. (Compare Pr 14:30; 15:13). The effect of the mind on the body is well known.

medicine—or, "body," which better corresponds with "bone."

drieth—as if the marrow were exhausted.

23. a gift … bosom—Money and other valuables were borne in a fold of the garment, called the bosom.

to pervert—that is, by bribery.

24. Wisdom … him—ever an object of regard, while a fool's affections are unsettled.

25. a grief—or cross, vexation (compare Pr 17:21; 10:1).

26. Also—that is, Equally to be avoided are other sins: punishing good subjects, or resisting good rulers.

27, 28. Prudence of speech is commended as is an excellent or calm spirit, not excited to vain conversation.




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