Proverbs 17:27

27 Whoever 1restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Proverbs 17:27 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 17:27

He that hath knowledge spareth his words
Or, "he that knows knowledge" F3; one that is very knowing, has a fund of knowledge in him, "spareth his words"; is generally a man of few words, he thinks much and says little; and though he may be communicative of his knowledge to proper persons, and at proper times, yet never speaks of it in a boasting and ostentatious way: or, he "restrains his words" {d}; he puts a bridle on them; and suffers not himself to speak hastily and angrily, and in a reproachful manner, when he is provoked to it; [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit;
here is a various reading; the "Cetib" is (rqw) , "of a cool spirit" F5; in opposition to a warm fiery spirit; such as was that of the apostles, who were for calling for fire from heaven on those that slighted their master, and, as he told them, knew not what spirits they were of; but a cool spirit is one that is not soon angry, calm, sedate, and not easily provoked to wrath: the "Keri", or marginal reading, is (rqy) , "of an excellent" or "precious spirit" F6; and such an one is a right spirit; a spirit of faith and love, and of a sound mind; and of such a spirit is a man of understanding in things divine and spiritual; to have a spirit of prayer, and to be tenderhearted, and of a sympathizing and forgiving spirit, is to be of an excellent spirit. The Targum is,

``humble in spirit;''
and a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price; the Lord has a great regard to such who are of an humble and contrite spirit: with these he dwells, to these he gives more grace; these are like to Christ, and have the fruits of his Spirit, and are very useful and ornamental. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it, "patient" or "longsuffering"; and to be of a patient spirit is to be of an excellent spirit: such bear afflictions and reproaches quietly; wait God's own time for hearing and helping them, and live in the comfortable expectation of heaven and happiness; and such show themselves to be wise and understanding men.

F3 (ted edwy) "qui scit scientiam", Pagninus, Vatablus, Mercerus.
F4 (wyrma Kvwx) "qui cohibet sermones suos", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F5 (xwr rqw) "frigidus spiritu", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius.
F6 (xwr rqy) "pretiosus spiritu", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Baynus.

Proverbs 17:27 In-Context

25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.
26 To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good, nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Proverbs 10:19; [James 1:19]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.