Proverbs 12:17-23

17 An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies.
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.
21 No harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

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Proverbs 12:17-23 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter gives an account of the charge David gave to his son Solomon, a little before his death, to walk in the ways of the Lord, 1Ki 2:1-4; and of some instructions delivered to him concerning some particular persons he should either show favour to, or execute justice on, 1Ki 2:5-9; and the next account in it is concerning his death and burial, and the years of his reign, 1Ki 2:10,11; after which it relates an address of Bathsheba to Solomon in favour of Adonijah, which was refused, and the issue of it was his death, 1Ki 2:12-25; and the deposition of Abiathar from the priesthood, 1Ki 2:26,27; and the putting of Joab to death for his treason and murders, 1Ki 2:28-34; in whose post Benaiah was put, as Zadok was in the place of Abiathar, 1Ki 2:35; and lastly the confinement of Shimei in Jerusalem, who had cursed David, 1Ki 2:36-38; who upon transgressing the orders given him was put to death, 1Ki 2:39-46.

Cross References 10

  • 1. S Psalms 12:2; Proverbs 14:5,25
  • 2. S Psalms 55:21; Proverbs 25:18; Psalms 57:4
  • 3. Proverbs 15:4
  • 4. S Romans 14:19
  • 5. S Job 4:7; Psalms 91:10
  • 6. 1 Kings 13:18; Proverbs 6:17; Revelation 22:15
  • 7. Psalms 18:19
  • 8. S Proverbs 11:20
  • 9. S Proverbs 10:14; Proverbs 13:16
  • 10. S Psalms 38:5; S Psalms 59:7; Proverbs 18:2
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