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Proverbs 17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

17 Better is a dry morsel [of food served] with quietness and peace
Than a house full of feasting [served] with strife and contention.

A 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.

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests hearts.

An evildoer listens closely to wicked lips;
And a liar pays attention to a destructive and malicious tongue.

Whoever mocks the poor taunts his Maker,
And he who rejoices at [another’s] disaster will not go unpunished.

Grandchildren are the crown of aged men,
And the glory of children is their fathers [who live godly lives].

Excellent speech does not benefit a fool [who is spiritually blind],
Much less do lying lips benefit a prince.

A bribe is like a bright, precious stone in the eyes of its owner;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.

He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love,
But he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.
A reprimand goes deeper into one who has understanding and a teachable spirit
Than a hundred lashes into a fool.
A rebellious man seeks only evil;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
Let a man meet a [ferocious] bear robbed of her cubs
Rather than the [angry, narcissistic] fool in his folly.
Whoever returns evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.
The 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.
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous
Are both repulsive to the Lord.
Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom,
When he has no common sense or even a heart for it?
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
A man lacking common sense gives a pledge
And becomes guarantor [for the debt of another] in the presence of his neighbor.
He who loves transgression loves strife and is quarrelsome;
He who [proudly] raises his gate seeks destruction [because of his arrogant pride].
He who has a crooked mind finds no good,
And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil.
He 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.
A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
A wicked man receives a bribe from the [hidden] pocket
To pervert the ways of justice.
[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.
A foolish son is a grief and anguish to his father
And bitterness to her who gave birth to him.
It is also not good to fine the righteous,
Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
He 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).
Even 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.


  1. Proverbs 17:14 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).
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 17 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Better a bite of dry bread eaten in peace
    than a family feast filled with strife.
A wise slave will become master over a son who acts shamefully,
    and he will share the inheritance with the brothers.
The crucible is for refining silver and the smelter for gold,
    but the one who purifies hearts by fire is the Lord.
An evildoer pays attention to wicked lips.
A liar opens his ears to a slanderous tongue.
    Whoever makes fun of a poor person insults his maker.
    Whoever is happy to see someone’s distress will not escape punishment.
Grandchildren are the crown of grandparents,
    and parents are the glory of their children.

The Consequences of Being a Fool

Refined speech is not fitting for a godless fool.
    How much less does lying fit a noble person!
A bribe seems like a jewel to the one who gives it.[a]
    Wherever he turns, he prospers.
Whoever forgives an offense seeks love,
    but whoever keeps bringing up the issue separates the closest of friends.

10 A reprimand impresses a person who has understanding
    more than a hundred lashes impress a fool.
11 A rebel looks for nothing but evil.
    Therefore, a cruel messenger will be sent to punish him.
12 Better to meet a bear robbed of its cubs
    than a fool carried away with his stupidity.
13 Whoever pays back evil for good—
    evil will never leave his home.
14 Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,
    so stop before the argument gets out of control.
15 Whoever approves of wicked people
    and whoever condemns righteous people
        is disgusting to the Lord.

16 Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
    when he doesn’t have a mind to grasp anything?
17 A friend always loves,
    and a brother is born to share trouble.
18 A person without good sense closes a deal with a handshake.
    He guarantees a loan in the presence of his friend.
19 Whoever loves sin loves a quarrel.
Whoever builds his city gate high invites destruction.
20     A twisted mind never finds happiness,
        and one with a devious tongue repeatedly gets into trouble.
21 The parent of a fool has grief,
    and the father of a godless fool has no joy.
22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but depression drains one’s strength.
23 A wicked person secretly accepts a bribe to corrupt the ways of justice.
24 Wisdom is directly in front of an understanding person,
    but the eyes of a fool are looking around all over the world.

How Fools Live

25 A foolish son is a heartache to his father
    and bitter grief to his mother.

26 To punish an innocent person is not good.
To strike down noble people is not right.
27     Whoever has knowledge controls his words,
        and a person who has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even a stubborn fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent.
He is considered intelligent if he keeps his lips sealed.


  1. Proverbs 17:8 Or “who receives it.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

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