Proverbs 18:17

17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh#stm8804 and searcheth him.

Proverbs 18:17 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 18:17

He that is first in his own cause [seemeth] just
As perhaps Tertullus did, before Paul made his defence; and as Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, before his master detected him: this often appears true in telling a tale, in private conversation, in lawsuits before a judge and a court of judicature, and in theological controversies; but his neighbour cometh, and searcheth him;
his neighbour comes into the house, where he is telling his tale, and reports it in another manner, and shows the falsehood of his relation; or he comes into a court of judicature, and sets the cause in quite another light; or he comes out into the worm by public writing, and exposes the errors of a man engaged in a wrong cause, and refutes his arguments. It is generally understood of judicial affairs, that the first that opens a cause is very apt to prejudice the judge and court in his favour, and they are ready to thing at first hearing that he is in the right; but it is not proper to be hasty in forming a judgment till the other side is heard; for his antagonist comes and traverses the point, unravels the whole affair, shows the weakness of his cause, the vanity of his pretences, and makes void all his allegations; and then "he", the judge, so some interpret it, "searcheth"; inquires more narrowly into the case, in order to find out truth, and pass a right judgment and sentence.

Proverbs 18:17 In-Context

15 The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
16 A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
18 The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
The King James Version is in the public domain.