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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:17

 

 

He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The thought which lies below the surface is that of the inseparable union between truth and justice. The end does not justify the means, and only he who breathes and utters truth makes the righteous cause clear.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-12.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"He that uttereth truth showeth forth righteousness; But a false witness, deceit."

"Most of the proverbs in the rest of this chapter deal with the tongue. There are a hundred verses in this whole book that deal, one way or another, with the use of the tongue."[24] It may be a source of life or death. The sacred writer James devotes the greater part of his James 3 to the truth regarding the tongue. It is like a wild beast that cannot be tamed; it must be bridled and controlled. "The reference here is to the depositions of witnesses before a legal tribunal."[25]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness,.... He that "blows" or "breathes out truth"F4יפיח "effiat", Junius & Tremellius; "spirat", Schultens. , as the word signifies; that utters it freely and fully without any hesitation; that speaks nothing but truth, and speaks out the whole truth without any reserve; such a man upon every occasion will declare that which is just and right, and show himself to be an honest and upright man; he that uses himself to speak truth in common conversation, will, in a court of judicature, whether upon his oath or not, testify that which is just and the real matter of fact; there is a connection between truth and righteousness, for though they are distinct things they go together, what is true is just, and what is just is true; so he that speaks the truth of the Gospel, or is a faithful preacher of it, will show forth righteousness, what is the righteousness of the law, and what is the righteousness of faith; how insufficient a man's own righteousness is to justify him in the sight of God; the necessity of the righteousness of Christ, how free and full, excellent and glorious, suitable and useful it is, Romans 1:17;

but a false witness deceit; that is, one that is used to lying, when he is called to give testimony upon any affair in judgment, he will declare that which is false and deceitful, having no regard to truth and justice. So a false teacher, instead of showing men the insufficiency of their own righteousness, and directing them to the righteousness of Christ for justification, will utter deceitful doctrine, and build up their hopes upon the sandy and deceitful foundation of their own works; as Popish teachers, and such as verge towards them.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-12.html. 1999.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Most of the remaining parables of this section refer to the right use and the abuse of the tongue.

17 He that breathes the love of truth, utters that which is right;

But a lying tongue, deceit

This verse is similar in meaning to Proverbs 14:5 (where 5b = Proverbs 6:19); the second line of the distich = Proverbs 14:25. Everywhere else יפיח כּזבים stand together, only here יפיח is joined to אמוּנה ; vid ., regarding this יפיח forming an attributive clause, and then employed as an adjective, but with distinct verbal force, at Proverbs 6:19. Viewed superficially, the proverb appears tautological; it is not so, however, but places in causal connection the internal character of men and their utterances: whoever breathes אמוּנה , truth or conscientiousness (the property of the אמוּן , vid ., at Psalms 12:2), i.e. , lets the voice of this be heard in his utterances, such an one speaks צדק , i.e. , uprightness, integrity, that which is correct, right (Isaiah 45:19, cf. Isaiah 41:26), in relation to truth in general, and to the present case in particular; but he who עד שׁקרים , i.e. , he who, against better knowledge and the consciousness of untruth, confirms by his testimony (from עוּד , revertere , to say again and again), therewith gives utterance to his impure character, his wicked intention, proceeding from delight in doing evil or from self-interest, and diverted towards the injury of his neighbour. As אמונה and מרמה correspond as statements of the contents of the utterances, so צדק and שקרים as statements of their motive and aim. מרמה is obj. accus. of the יגּיד (from הגּיד , to bring to light, cf. נגד , visibility) to be supplied, not the pred. nom. dolorum structor , as Fleischer poetically finds.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Here is, 1. A faithful witness commended for an honest man. He that makes conscience of speaking truth, and representing every thing fairly, to the best of his knowledge, whether in judgment or in common conversation, whether he be upon his oath or no, he shows forth righteousness; he makes it to appear that he is governed and actuated by the principles and laws of righteousness, and he promotes justice by doing honour to it and serving the administration of it. 2. A false witness condemned for a cheat; he shows forth deceit, not only how little conscience he makes of deceiving those he deals with, but how much pleasure he takes in it, and that he is possessed by a lying spirit, Jeremiah 9:3-5. We are all concerned to possess ourselves with a dread and detestation of the sin of lying (Psalm 119:163) and with a reigning principle of honesty.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.

Deceit — He who uses himself to lying in his common talk, will use falsehood and deceit in judgment.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:17 [He that] speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.

Ver. 17. He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness.] Will be ready to help the truth in necessity, and will do it boldly, as the word signifies - even with a courage not budging, for "Charity rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, hut rejoiceth in the truth." [1 Corinthians 13:6]

But a false witness uttereth deceit.] Coloureth his sycophancies with plausible pretences, and faceth down an untruth. "The proud have forged a lie against me." [Psalms 119:69] The Hebrew hath it, Assuunt mendacium mendacio, They eke out one lie with another; they are loud and lewd liars; as Egesippus saith of Pilate, that he was Vir nequam et parvi faciens mendacium. What is truth? said he, scornfully, to our Saviour, q.d., Thy life is in question, and dost thou talk of truth?


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 17. He that speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness; breathing the atmosphere of the love of truth, he utters that which is strictly just; but a false witness deceit, he breathes and speaks lies.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He that speaketh truth, Heb.

He that will speak truth, i.e. he who accustometh himself to speak truth in common conversation; for the future tense in the Hebrew tongue oft notes a continued act or habit.

Showeth forth righteousness, to wit, as a witness in public judgment; he will speak nothing but what is true and just; you may depend upon his testimony.

But a false witness deceit; he who useth himself to lying in his common talk will use falsehood and deceit in judgment.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17. Speaketh — Hebrew, breathes forth.

Truth — Makes an honest and faithful statement.

Showeth forth — Publishes or establishes.

Righteousness — A just cause.

A false witness (shows or establishes) deceit — An habitually faithful man can be relied upon to testify to the right; but a false witness supports fraud. The thought lying below the surface of this truism is the inseparable union between truth and justice.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 12:17. He that speaketh truth — He that makes conscience of representing every thing fairly, to the best of his knowledge, whether in judgment or common conversation, whether he be upon his oath or not; he showeth forth righteousness — He makes it appear that he is governed by the principles and laws of righteousness; and he promotes justice by doing honour to it, and serving the administration of it; but a false witness shows forth deceit — He not only manifests how little conscience he makes of deceiving those he deals with, but how much pleasure he takes in it, and that he is possessed of a lying spirit, Jeremiah 9:3-5. It is of unspeakable concern to us all, to possess ourselves with a dread and detestation of the sin of lying, and a reigning principle of honesty.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

That. Hebrew, "the truth announceth justice." We easily give credit to an honest man. (Calmet)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-12.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.

(He that) speaketh (literally, breatheth; Hebrew, yaphiach) truth showeth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. He who, with full breath, speaketh out the whole truth without reserve, and without injustice, and this habitually-whose very breath is truth-showeth forth what is righteous, doing injustice to none; like Messiah, "the Faithful and True Witness" (Isaiah 55:4; Revelation 3:14). But a false witness sets forth what does injustice to others by "deceit."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
that
14:5,25; 1 Samuel 22:14,15
but
6:19; 19:5,28; 21:28; 24:28; Matthew 15:19; 26:59; Acts 6:13; 1 Peter 3:16

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

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