Proverbs 17


     Pr 17:1-28.

     1. sacrifices—or, "feasts" made with part of them (compare Pr 7:14; Le 2:3; 7:31).

      with—literally, "of."

      strife—its product, or attendant.

     2. (Compare Pr 14:35).

      causeth shame— (Pr 10:5).

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

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

     4. Wicked doers and speakers alike delight in calumny.

     5. (Compare Pr 14:31).

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

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

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

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

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

     10. Reproof more affects the wise than severe scourging, fools.

     11. Such meet just retribution (1Ki 2:25).

      a cruel messenger—one to inflict it.

     12. They are less rational in anger than wild beasts.

     13. (Compare Ps 7:4; 35:12).

      evil—injury to another (Pr 13:21).

     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.

     15. abomination . . . Lord—as reversing His method of acting (Pr 3:32; 12:2).

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

     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.

     18. (Compare Pr 6:1-5; 11:15).

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

     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," Pr 8:36).

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

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

     22. (Compare Pr 14:30; 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.

     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.

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

     25. a grief—or cross, vexation (compare Pr 17:21; 10:1).

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

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

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