Proverbs 17

1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.
2 A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who causes shame, and shall have a part in the inheritance amongst the brothers.
3 The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the hearts.
4 An evildoer heeds wicked lips. A liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
5 Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker. He who is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished.
6 Children’s children are the crown of old men; the glory of children are their parents.
7 Arrogant speech isn’t fitting for a fool, much less do lying lips fit a prince.
8 A bribe is a precious stone in the eyes of him who gives it; wherever he turns, he prospers.
9 He who covers an offense promotes love; but he who repeats a matter separates best friends.
10 A rebuke enters deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred lashes into a fool.
11 An evil man seeks only rebellion; therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
12 Let a bear robbed of her cubs meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
13 Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is like breaching a dam, therefore stop contention before quarreling breaks out.
15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
16 Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, since he has no understanding?
17 A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.
18 A man void of understanding strikes hands, and becomes collateral in the presence of his neighbor.
19 He who loves disobedience loves strife. One who builds a high gate seeks destruction.
20 One who has a perverse heart doesn’t find prosperity, and one who has a deceitful tongue falls into trouble.
21 He who becomes the father of a fool grieves. The father of a fool has no joy.
22 A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23 A wicked man receives a bribe in secret, to pervert the ways of justice.
24 Wisdom is before the face of one who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth.
25 A foolish son brings grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.
26 Also to punish the righteous is not good, nor to flog officials for their integrity.
27 He who spares his words has knowledge. He who is even tempered is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise. When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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 for doing what is duty.

Verses 27, 28

A man may show himself to be a 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.

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