Proverbs 17:23

23 The wicked accepts 1a bribe in secret[a] to 2pervert the ways of justice.

Proverbs 17:23 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 17:23

A wicked [man] taketh a gift out of the bosom
Of another, of a rich man, who takes it out from thence, and offers it to him as a bribe. This he takes in the most secret manner, that it might not be seen by others; though the Arabic version renders it, "he that receives a gift in his own bosom commits iniquity"; it is true of both the giver and the receiver; the one gives out of his bosom, and the other takes if from thence, and puts it into his own, and both are wicked. And the words are by some rendered, though it seems contrary to the accents, "a gift out of the bosom of the wicked he will take" F26; the unjust judge, who is bribed with it: to pervert the ways of judgment;
to turn the course of justice, and hinder it from taking place; favouring a bad cause, and pronouncing a wrong sentence, which is wresting judgment.


F26 (xqy evr qyxm dxv) "munus de sinu impii accipiet", Baynus.

Proverbs 17:23 In-Context

21 He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.
22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23 The wicked accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice.
24 The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.

Cross References 2

  • 1. See ver. 8
  • 2. [Micah 3:11; Micah 7:3]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew a bribe from the bosom
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.