The Proverbs

Chapter 17

Various observations of moral virtues, and their contrary vices, 1-28.

1 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.

2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son who causes shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brothers.

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

4 A wicked doer gives heed to false lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker, and he who is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

6 Children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their fathers.

7 Excellent speech is not suitable for a fool, much less are lying lips for a prince.

8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him who has it. Wherever it turns, it prospers.

9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates chief friends.

10 A reproof enters more into a wise man, than one hundred stripes into a fool.

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

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

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

14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water; therefore, withdraw from contention before it is meddled with.

15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the just, even the both of them are abominations to the LORD.

16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he has no heart to it?

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

18 A man void of understanding strikes hands, and becomes surety in the presence of his friend.

19 He loves transgression who loves strife. And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

20 He who has a perverse heart finds no good, and he who has a deceitful tongue falls into mischief.

21 He who begets a fool does it to his sorrow. And the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

23 A wicked man takes a gift out of the bosom, to pervert the ways of judgment.

24 Wisdom is before him who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

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

26 Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

27 He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

28 Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise, and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 17

Notes

John Gill's Chapter Summary:

From the tenth chapter to the twenty-fifth are various proverbial sentences without any very apparent connection or coherence with each other, describing righteous and wicked men, setting forth their different temper, conduct, and actions, and the fruits and effects of them. It should be observed, that frequently in the preceding chapters two persons are represented as women: one goes by the name of "Wisdom," the other is called the "foolish" woman and a "harlot," the former is clearly to be understood of Christ, and the latter, being opposed to him, must be antichrist, the whore of Rome and mother of harlots. Now in the following part of this book two sorts of persons are spoken of, the one as wise, righteous, good, etc., and the other as foolish, wicked, etc., who are no other than the followers of Christ and antichrist, which observation is a key to the whole book.

[v.3] - "the LORD tries the hearts" - Reference, 1st Chronicles 28:9, 29:17; Psalms 7:9; Jeremiah 11:20, 17:10; Romans 8:27; 1st Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 2:23.

[v.23] - Reference, Deuteronomy 16:19; Ecclesiastes 7:7.

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