Proverbs 17

Listen to Proverbs 17
1 1Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting[a] with strife.
2 A servant who deals wisely will rule over 2a son who acts shamefully and 3will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
3 4The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, 5and the LORD tests hearts.
4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
5 Whoever mocks the poor 6insults his Maker; he who is 7glad at calamity will not go 8unpunished.
6 9Grandchildren are 10the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.
7 Fine speech is not 11becoming to a fool; still less is 12false speech to a prince.
8 13A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers.
9 Whoever 14covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter 15separates close friends.
10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
11 An evil man seeks only rebellion, and 16a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12 Let a man meet 17a she-bear robbed of her cubs 18rather than a fool in his folly.
13 If anyone 19returns evil for good, 20evil will not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so 21quit before the quarrel breaks out.
15 He who 22justifies the wicked and he who 23condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
16 Why should a fool have money in his hand 24to buy wisdom when he has no sense?
17 25A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
18 One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
19 Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who 26makes his door high seeks destruction.
20 27A man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
21 He who 28sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.
22 29A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit 30dries up the bones.
23 The wicked accepts 31a bribe in secret[b] to 32pervert the ways of justice.
24 33The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25 34A foolish son is a grief to his father 35and bitterness to 36her who bore him.
26 37To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good, nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27 Whoever 38restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool 39who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Images for Proverbs 17

Proverbs 17 Commentary

Chapter 17

Verse 1 These words recommend family love and peace, as needful for the comfort of human life. Verse 2 . The wise servant is more deserving, and more likely to appear one of the family, than a profligate son. Verse 3 . God tries the heart by affliction. He thus has often shown the sin remaining in the heart of the believer. Verse 4 . Flatterers, especially false teachers, are welcome to those that live in sin. Verse 5 . Those that laugh at poverty, treat God's providence and precepts with contempt. Verse 6 . It is an honour to children to have wise and godly parents continued to them, even after they are grown up and settled in the world. Verse 7 . A fool, in Solomon's Proverbs, signifies a wicked man, whom excellent speech does not become, because his conversation contradicts it. Verse 8 . Those who set their hearts upon money, will do any thing for it. What influence should the gifts of God have on our hearts! Verse 9 . The way to preserve peace is to make the best of every thing; not to notice what has been said or done against ourselves. Verse 10 . A gentle reproof will enter, not only into the head, but into the heart of a wise man. Verse 11 . Satan, and the messengers of Satan, shall be let loose upon an evil man. Verse 12 . Let us watch over our own passions, and avoid the company of furious men. Verse 13 . To render evil for good is devilish. He that does so, brings a curse upon his family. Verse 14 . What danger there is in the beginning of strife! Resist its earliest display; and leave it off, if it were possible, before you begin. Verse 15 . It is an offence to God to acquit the guilty, or to condemn those who are not guilty. Verse 16 . Man's neglect of God's favour and his own interest is very absurd. Verse 17 . No change of outward circumstances should abate our affection for our friends or relatives. But no friend, except Christ, deserves unlimited confidence. In Him this text did receive, and still receives its most glorious fulfilment. Verse 18 . Let not any wrong their families. Yet Christ's becoming Surety for men, was a glorious display of Divine wisdom; for he was able to discharge the bond. Verse 19 . If we would keep a clear conscience and a quiet mind, we must shun all excitements to anger. And a man who affects a style of living above his means, goes the way to ruin. Verse 20 . There is nothing got by ill designs. And many have paid dear for an unbridled tongue. Verse 21 . This speaks very plainly what many wise and good men feel very strongly, how grievous it is to have a foolish, wicked child. Verse 22 . It is great mercy that God gives us leave to be cheerful, and cause to be cheerful, if by his grace he gives us hearts to be cheerful. Verse 23 . The wicked are ready to part with their money, though loved, that they may not suffer for their crimes. Verse 24 . The prudent man keeps the word of God continually in view. But the foolish man cannot fix his thoughts, nor pursue any purpose with steadiness. Verse 25 . Wicked children despise the authority of their father, and the tenderness of their mother. Verse 26 . It is very wrong to find fault ( proverbs 17:27-28 ) wise man, by the good temper of his mind, and by the good government of his tongue. He is careful when he does speak, to speak to the purpose. God knows his heart, and the folly that is bound there; therefore he cannot be deceived in his judgment as men may be.

Cross References 39

  • 1. Proverbs 15:17
  • 2. ver. 21, 25; Proverbs 10:5; Proverbs 19:26
  • 3. [2 Samuel 16:4]
  • 4. Proverbs 27:21
  • 5. 1 Chronicles 29:17; Psalms 26:2; Jeremiah 17:10; Malachi 3:3
  • 6. Proverbs 14:31; [Matthew 25:40, 45]
  • 7. Job 31:29; Obadiah 12; [Proverbs 24:17]
  • 8. Proverbs 16:5
  • 9. Psalms 128:6; [Psalms 127:3, 4]
  • 10. Proverbs 16:31
  • 11. [Proverbs 19:10; Proverbs 26:1]
  • 12. Proverbs 6:17
  • 13. ver. 23; Proverbs 18:16; Proverbs 19:6; Proverbs 21:14; [Exodus 23:8; Isaiah 1:23; Amos 5:12]
  • 14. Proverbs 10:12
  • 15. Proverbs 16:28
  • 16. [1 Kings 2:29]
  • 17. 2 Samuel 17:8; Hosea 13:8
  • 18. [Proverbs 27:3]
  • 19. Psalms 35:12; Psalms 109:4, 5; [Proverbs 20:22; Matthew 5:39]
  • 20. [2 Samuel 12:10]
  • 21. Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 25:8
  • 22. Proverbs 24:24; Exodus 23:7; Isaiah 5:23
  • 23. Job 34:17; Psalms 94:21; [ver. 26; Proverbs 18:5]
  • 24. [Proverbs 23:23]
  • 25. Proverbs 18:24; Proverbs 27:10; [Ruth 1:16; Job 6:14]
  • 26. [Proverbs 11:2; Proverbs 29:23]
  • 27. [Proverbs 11:20]
  • 28. Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 19:13
  • 29. See Proverbs 15:13
  • 30. Psalms 22:15; [Proverbs 12:25]
  • 31. See ver. 8
  • 32. [Micah 3:11; Micah 7:3]
  • 33. [Proverbs 14:6; Proverbs 15:14; Ecclesiastes 2:14]; See Deuteronomy 30:11-14
  • 34. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 35. Proverbs 10:1
  • 36. Proverbs 23:25
  • 37. [ver. 15]
  • 38. Proverbs 10:19; [James 1:19]
  • 39. Job 13:5

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of some buildings of Solomon for himself, 1Ki 7:1-12; and of other things for the use of the temple; of two pillars of brass, 1Ki 7:13-22; of the molten sea, 1Ki 7:23-26; and of ten bases, and ten layers on them, 1Ki 7:27-39; with other utensils and ornaments, 1Ki 7:40-51.

Proverbs 17 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.