Proverbs 17
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Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1Better is a dry morsel [of food served] with quietness and peace

Than a house full of feasting [served] with strife and contention.

2A wise servant will rule over the [unworthy] son who acts shamefully and brings disgrace [to the family]

And [the worthy servant] will share in the inheritance among the brothers.

3The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,

But the LORD tests hearts.

4An evildoer listens closely to wicked lips;

And a liar pays attention to a destructive and malicious tongue.

5Whoever mocks the poor taunts his Maker,

And he who rejoices at [another’s] disaster will not go unpunished.

6Grandchildren are the crown of aged men,

And the glory of children is their fathers [who live godly lives].

7Excellent speech does not benefit a fool [who is spiritually blind],

Much less do lying lips benefit a prince.

8A bribe is like a bright, precious stone in the eyes of its owner;

Wherever he turns, he prospers.

9He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love,

But he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.

10A reprimand goes deeper into one who has understanding and a teachable spirit

Than a hundred lashes into a fool.

11A rebellious man seeks only evil;

Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12Let a man meet a [ferocious] bear robbed of her cubs

Rather than the [angry, narcissistic] fool in his folly.

13Whoever returns evil for good,

Evil will not depart from his house.

14The beginning of strife is like letting out water [as from a small break in a dam; first it trickles and then it gushes];

Therefore [a]abandon the quarrel before it breaks out and tempers explode.

15He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous

Are both repulsive to the LORD.

16Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom,

When he has no common sense or even a heart for it?

17A friend loves at all times,

And a brother is born for adversity.

18A man lacking common sense gives a pledge

And becomes guarantor [for the debt of another] in the presence of his neighbor.

19He who loves transgression loves strife and is quarrelsome;

He who [proudly] raises his gate seeks destruction [because of his arrogant pride].

20He who has a crooked mind finds no good,

And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil.

21He who becomes the parent of a fool [who is spiritually blind] does so to his sorrow,

And the father of a fool [who is spiritually blind] has no joy.

22A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing,

But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

23A wicked man receives a bribe from the [hidden] pocket

To pervert the ways of justice.

24[Skillful and godly] wisdom is in the presence of a person of understanding [and he recognizes it],

But the eyes of a [thickheaded] fool are on the ends of the earth.

25A foolish son is a grief and anguish to his father

And bitterness to her who gave birth to him.

26It is also not good to fine the righteous,

Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.

27He who has knowledge restrains and is careful with his words,

And a man of understanding and wisdom has a cool spirit (self-control, an even temper).

28Even a [callous, arrogant] fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise;

When he closes his lips he is regarded as sensible (prudent, discreet) and a man of understanding.

[a] 14 The ancient rabbis derived from this statement the principle of seeking a settlement before a case comes to court (cf Matt 5:25; Luke 12:58).

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