Proverbs 11:17

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

Proverbs 11:17 in Other Translations

KJV
17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
ESV
17 A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.
NLT
17 Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
MSG
17 When you're kind to others, you help yourself; when you're cruel to others, you hurt yourself.
CSB
17 A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings disaster on himself.

Proverbs 11:17 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 11:17

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul
Or "to himself": a man of mercy or grace, a liberal bountiful man, he comfortably enjoys what God has given him, ( Ecclesiastes 5:18 ) ; and he does good to others with it, and thereby does good to himself also; as well as he is solicitous in a spiritual sense for the good and welfare of his immortal soul; but [he that is] cruel troubleth his own flesh;
a sordid avaricious man withholds from himself that which is meet, will not allow himself the necessaries of life, nor will he provide that which is fit and convenient for his family; he hides himself from his own flesh, and will not communicate to the wants of his nearest friends and relations, and shuts up his bowels of compassion against his own brother; all which may be called a troubling his own flesh; see ( Isaiah 58:7 ) . R. Levi Ben Gersom interprets this of such who place religion in afflicting and macerating the body by fasting, which the law does not require; and it may fitly be applied to the Papists, who do this by penances and fastings, and whippings and scourgings; and which the apostle calls a neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh, ( Colossians 2:23 ) .

Proverbs 11:17 In-Context

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.
16 A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
19 Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death.