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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Proverbs 17



Verse 1

sacrifices — or, “feasts” made with part of them (compare Proverbs 7:14; Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 7:31).

with — literally, “of.”

strife — its product, or attendant.

Verse 2

(Compare Proverbs 14:35).

causeth shame — (Proverbs 10:5).

shall … inheritance — that is, share a brother‘s part (compare Numbers 27:4, Numbers 27:7).

Verse 3

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

Verse 4

Wicked doers and speakers alike delight in calumny.

Verse 5

(Compare Proverbs 14:31).

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

Verse 6

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

Verse 7

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

Verse 8

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

Verse 9

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

Verse 10

Reproof more affects the wise than severe scourging, fools.

Verse 11

Such meet just retribution (1 Kings 2:25).

a cruel messenger — one to inflict it.

Verse 12

They are less rational in anger than wild beasts.

Verse 13

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

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

Verse 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.

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

Verse 16

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

Verse 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.

Verse 18

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

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

Verse 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,” Proverbs 8:36).

Verse 20

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

Verse 21

(Compare Proverbs 23:24). Different words are rendered by “fool,” both denoting stupidity and impiety.

Verse 22

(Compare Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 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.

Verse 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.

Verse 24

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

Verse 25

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

Verse 26

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

Verse 27-28

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


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 17:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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