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Proverbs 17:7

7 Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool— how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

Read Proverbs 17:7 Using Other Translations

Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool; even less are lies fitting for a ruler.

What does Proverbs 17:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Proverbs 17:7

Excellent speech becometh not a fool
A wicked man. Eloquence, or a sublime grand way of speaking, a copiousness and fluency of expression, become not such; because hereby he may be capable of doing more mischief; or such a style is unsuitable to the subject of his discourse, which is nothing but folly and wickedness. The Gospel is excellent speech, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; it treats of excellent things; concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ, and salvation by him; and very unfit is a wicked man to take it into his mouth, talk of it, and declare it; much less do lying lips a prince;
they rather become a fool, as excellent speech does a prince; who neither should speak lies himself, nor encourage, but abhor them in others. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "a just man": but the word more property signifies a liberal man, as it is rendered in ( Isaiah 32:8 ) ; where it stands opposed to a churl or covetous man: and some Jewish F6 writers think by the "fool" is meant such an one to whom a "lip of abundance" {g}, as it may be rendered, is very unsuitable; or to talk of his abundance, when he makes no good use of what he has for himself or others; and so, on the other hand, it is very disagreeable to the character of an ingenuous and liberal man to promise and not perform, and never intended it. It is true of such who are made a "willing" people in the day of Christ's power, ( Psalms 110:3 ) ; where the same word is used as here; of his volunteers; that to speak lies one to another very ill becomes them; or to receive, or to speak, or profess false doctrines; for no lie is of the truth.


F6 Kabvenaki in Mercer. in loc.
F7 (rty tpv) "labium abundantiae".
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