Proverbs chapter 17

The collection of 375 short pithy sayings of Solomon continues in this chapter.

 


 

THE COLLECTION OF SOLOMON’S PROVERBS CONTINUES

 

VERSE 1. Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.

a dry morsel with quietness. It is better to have a simple meal in peace than to have an expensive meal in the midst of conflict.

 

VERSE 2. A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who causes shame, and shall have a part in the inheritance among the brothers.

A servant who deals wisely. That is, “A servant who is prudent.”

a son who causes shame. That is, a disgraceful son.

 

VERSE 3. The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the hearts.

the LORD tests the hearts. We are to consider it pure joy when we face any kind of suffering or temptation, difficulty or trial. This is not natural for most of us. Read more »

 

VERSE 4. An evildoer heeds wicked lips. A liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

An evildoer … A liar. Both of them are eager to hear of wicked schemes, lies, and slander.

 

VERSE 5. Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker. He who is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished.

NLT translation: Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Proverbs and from the entire Bible.

mocks the poor. In the United States, some Christians openly mock the poor. They express contempt for them and assert that they rob crucial resources from the rich. Mocking the poor is very contrary to biblical teaching.

reproaches his Maker. When we mock the poor, we mock the LORD God Almighty.

Matthew 25:45. Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’

 

VERSE 6. Children’s children are the crown of old men; the glory of children are their parents.

the crown of old men. Grandparents are thrilled with their grandchildren. Unless, of course, they are self-centered.

the glory of children. Children look up to their parents. Unless, of course, the parents are abusive. The number of abusive parents is not trivial.

 

VERSE 7. Arrogant speech isn’t fitting for a fool, much less do lying lips fit a prince.

Arrogant speech. Literally, “lips of excess.”

a fool. Foolish people should refrain from saying much, for they seldom know what they are talking about.

much less do lying lips fit a prince. It is totally inappropriate for a leader to lie. Yet in western democracies we vote for politicians who are known to lie about nearly everything.

 

VERSE 8. A bribe is a precious stone in the eyes of him who gives it; wherever he turns, he prospers.

A bribe is a precious stone. This is not recommending bribery. Rather, from the giver’s perspective, a bribe is a precious thing. Bribes are effective.

 

VERSE 9. He who covers an offense promotes love; but he who repeats a matter separates best friends.

covers an offense. Covering over an offense is evidence of love.

he who repeats a matter. Gossiping about the wrongdoings of our friends will destroy the friendship.

 

VERSE 10. A rebuke enters deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred lashes into a fool.

A rebuke enters deeper. A wise person learns from the essential truth within a rebuke.

a hundred lashes into a fool. A foolish person will not learn, even if lashed a hundred times.

 

VERSE 11. An evil man seeks only rebellion; therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

An evil man seeks only rebellion. Evil people view the world in terms of destruction. They cannot see it otherwise.

a cruel messenger shall be sent. To counter an evil person, you must send an evil person.

 

VERSE 12. Let a bear robbed of her cubs meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

rather than a fool in his folly. It is safer to meet an angry bear than a fool.

 

VERSE 13. Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

 

VERSE 14. The beginning of strife is like breaching a dam, therefore stop contention before quarreling breaks out.

The beginning of strife. To start a quarrel might seem like a small matter. However …

breaching a dam. A quarrel can go in very bad directions.

stop contention. It is best to resolve the matter peacefully.

 

VERSE 15. He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.

justifies the wicked. This is what people do when they vote for a politician who is known to be a liar.

 

VERSE 16. Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, since he has no understanding?

buy wisdom. A fool thinks he can purchase wisdom.

he has no understanding. There is one thing that is necessary for gaining wisdom: a genuine, heartfelt, persistent desire for it. A fool lacks that desire.

 

VERSE 17. A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Proverbs and from the entire Bible.

 

VERSE 18. A man void of understanding strikes hands, and becomes collateral in the presence of his neighbor.

 

VERSE 19. He who loves disobedience loves strife. One who builds a high gate seeks destruction.

 

VERSE 20. One who has a perverse heart doesn’t find prosperity, and one who has a deceitful tongue falls into trouble.

deceitful tongue. Even the most skilled of liars cannot avoid getting caught. Their legacy of lies will indeed catch up to them.

 

VERSE 21. He who becomes the father of a fool grieves. The father of a fool has no joy.

father of a fool grieves. The Hebrew word for “fool” in this phrase is isk’seel. It means one who is dull and thickheaded.

father of a fool has. The Hebrew word for “fool” in this phrase is naval. It means one who lacks spiritual perception and sensitivity.

 

VERSE 22. A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

 

VERSE 23. A wicked man receives a bribe in secret, to pervert the ways of justice.

receives a bribe in secret. These are how politicians negotiate. They negotiate back-room deals with other politicians for the purpose of personal gain.

 

VERSE 24. Wisdom is before the face of one who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth.

 

VERSE 25. A foolish son brings grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.

A foolish son. Solomon often brings up the shame a parent feels over a foolish child. However, never comments on the reverse situation. A normal child feels shame over a foolish parent.

 

VERSE 26. Also to punish the righteous is not good, nor to flog officials for their integrity.

 

VERSE 27. He who spares his words has knowledge. He who is even tempered is a man of understanding.

spares his words. A wise person is cautious in what he says. He thinks before he talks.

 

VERSE 28. Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise. When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning.

 


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