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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Proverbs Chapter 17

Proverbs 17:1

pro 17:1

(Pro. 17:1-28)

sacrifices--or, "feasts" made with part of them (compare Pro 7:14; Lev 2:3; Lev 7:31).

with--literally, "of."

strife--its product, or attendant.

Proverbs 17:2

pro 17:2

(Compare Pro 14:35).

causeth shame-- (Pro 10:5).

shall . . . inheritance--that is, share a brother's part (compare Num 27:4, Num 27:7).

Proverbs 17:3

pro 17:3

God only knows, as He tries (Psa 12:6; Psa 66:10) the heart.

Proverbs 17:4

pro 17:4

Wicked doers and speakers alike delight in calumny.

Proverbs 17:5

pro 17:5

(Compare Pro 14:31).

glad at calamities--rejoicing in others' evil. Such are rightly punished by God, who knows their hearts.

Proverbs 17:6

pro 17:6

Prolonged posterity is a blessing, its cutting off a curse (Pro 13:22; Psa 109:13-15), hence children may glory in virtuous ancestry.

Proverbs 17:7

pro 17:7

Excellent speech--(Compare Margin). Such language as ill suits a fool, as lying (ought to suit) a prince (Pro 16:12-13).

Proverbs 17:8

pro 17:8

One so corrupt as to take a bribe evinces his high estimate of it by subjection to its influence (Pro 18:16; Pro 19:6).

Proverbs 17:9

pro 17:9

seeketh love--(Compare Margin). The contrast is between the peace-maker and tale-bearer.

Proverbs 17:10

pro 17:10

Reproof more affects the wise than severe scourging, fools.

Proverbs 17:11

pro 17:11

Such meet just retribution (Kg1 2:25).

a cruel messenger--one to inflict it.

Proverbs 17:12

pro 17:12

They are less rational in anger than wild beasts.

Proverbs 17:13

pro 17:13

(Compare Psa 7:4; Psa 35:12).

evil--injury to another (Pro 13:21).

Proverbs 17:14

pro 17:14

letteth . . . water--as a breach in a dam.

before . . . meddled with--before strife has become sharp, or, by an explanation better suiting the figure, before it rolls on, or increases.

Proverbs 17:15

pro 17:15

abomination . . . Lord--as reversing His method of acting (Pro 3:32; Pro 12:2).

Proverbs 17:16

pro 17:16

Though wealth cannot buy wisdom for those who do not love it, yet wisdom procures wealth (Pro 3:16; Pro 14:24).

Proverbs 17:17

pro 17:17

To the second of these parallel clauses, there is an accession of meaning, that is, that a brother's love is specially seen in adversity.

Proverbs 17:18

pro 17:18

(Compare Pro 6:1-5; Pro 11:15).

in the presence, &c.--that is, he either fails to consult his friend, or to follow his advice.

Proverbs 17:19

pro 17:19

strife--contention is, and leads to, sin.

he that exalteth his gate--gratifies a vain love of costly building.

seeketh--or, "findeth," as if he sought (compare "loveth death," Pro 8:36).

Proverbs 17:20

pro 17:20

The second clause advances on the first. The ill-natured fail of good, and the cavilling and fault-finding incur evil.

Proverbs 17:21

pro 17:21

(Compare Pro 23:24). Different words are rendered by "fool," both denoting stupidity and impiety.

Proverbs 17:22

pro 17:22

(Compare Pro 14:30; Pro 15:13). The effect of the mind on the body is well known.

medicine--or, "body," which better corresponds with "bone."

drieth--as if the marrow were exhausted.

Proverbs 17:23

pro 17:23

a gift . . . bosom--Money and other valuables were borne in a fold of the garment, called the bosom.

to pervert--that is, by bribery.

Proverbs 17:24

pro 17:24

Wisdom . . . him--ever an object of regard, while a fool's affections are unsettled.

Proverbs 17:25

pro 17:25

a grief--or cross, vexation (compare Pro 17:21; Pro 10:1).

Proverbs 17:26

pro 17:26

Also--that is, Equally to be avoided are other sins: punishing good subjects, or resisting good rulers.

Proverbs 17:27

pro 17:27

Prudence of speech is commended as is an excellent or calm spirit, not excited to vain conversation.

Next: Proverbs Chapter 18