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Proverbs 17 Good News Translation (GNT)

17 Better to eat a dry crust of bread with peace of mind than have a banquet in a house full of trouble.

A shrewd servant will gain authority over a master's worthless son and receive a part of the inheritance.

Gold and silver are tested by fire, and a person's heart is tested by the Lord.

Evil people listen to evil ideas, and liars listen to lies.

If you make fun of poor people, you insult the God who made them. You will be punished if you take pleasure in someone's misfortune.

Grandparents are proud of their grandchildren, just as children are proud of their parents.

Respected people do not tell lies, and fools have nothing worthwhile to say.

Some people think a bribe works like magic; they believe it can do anything.

If you want people to like you, forgive them when they wrong you. Remembering wrongs can break up a friendship.

10 An intelligent person learns more from one rebuke than a fool learns from being beaten a hundred times.

11 Death will come like a cruel messenger to wicked people who are always stirring up trouble.

12 It is better to meet a mother bear robbed of her cubs than to meet some fool busy with a stupid project.

13 If you repay good with evil, you will never get evil out of your house.

14 The start of an argument is like the first break in a dam; stop it before it goes any further.

15 Condemning the innocent or letting the wicked go—both are hateful to the Lord.

16 It does a fool no good to spend money on an education, because he has no common sense.

17 Friends always show their love. What are relatives for if not to share trouble?

18 Only someone with no sense would promise to be responsible for someone else's debts.

19 To like sin is to like making trouble. If you brag all the time,[a] you are asking for trouble.

20 Anyone who thinks and speaks evil can expect to find nothing good—only disaster.

21 There is nothing but sadness and sorrow for parents whose children do foolish things.

22 Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.

23 Corrupt judges accept secret bribes, and then justice is not done.

24 An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.

25 Foolish children bring grief to their fathers and bitter regrets to their mothers.

26 It is not right to make an innocent person pay a fine; justice is perverted when good people are punished.

27 Those who are sure of themselves do not talk all the time. People who stay calm have real insight. 28 After all, even fools may be thought wise and intelligent if they stay quiet and keep their mouths shut.


  1. Proverbs 17:19 brag … time; or make a show of your wealth.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Proverbs 17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

17 Better is a dry morsel with quiet
    than a house full of feasting with strife.
A slave who deals wisely will rule over a child who acts shamefully,
    and will share the inheritance as one of the family.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.
An evildoer listens to wicked lips;
    and a liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue.
Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
    those who are glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    and the glory of children is their parents.
Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
    still less is false speech to a ruler.[a]
A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of those who give it;
    wherever they turn they prosper.
One who forgives an affront fosters friendship,
    but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.
10 A rebuke strikes deeper into a discerning person
    than a hundred blows into a fool.
11 Evil people seek only rebellion,
    but a cruel messenger will be sent against them.
12 Better to meet a she-bear robbed of its cubs
    than to confront a fool immersed in folly.
13 Evil will not depart from the house
    of one who returns evil for good.
14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water;
    so stop before the quarrel breaks out.
15 One who justifies the wicked and one who condemns the righteous
    are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
16 Why should fools have a price in hand
    to buy wisdom, when they have no mind to learn?
17 A friend loves at all times,
    and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.
18 It is senseless to give a pledge,
    to become surety for a neighbor.
19 One who loves transgression loves strife;
    one who builds a high threshold invites broken bones.
20 The crooked of mind do not prosper,
    and the perverse of tongue fall into calamity.
21 The one who begets a fool gets trouble;
    the parent of a fool has no joy.
22 A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
    but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
23 The wicked accept a concealed bribe
    to pervert the ways of justice.
24 The discerning person looks to wisdom,
    but the eyes of a fool to the ends of the earth.
25 Foolish children are a grief to their father
    and bitterness to her who bore them.
26 To impose a fine on the innocent is not right,
    or to flog the noble for their integrity.
27 One who spares words is knowledgeable;
    one who is cool in spirit has understanding.
28 Even fools who keep silent are considered wise;
    when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.


  1. Proverbs 17:7 Or a noble person
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 17 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

17 Better a dry piece of bread with calm
    than a house full of food but also full of strife.

An intelligent slave will rule a shameful son
    and share the inheritance with the brothers.

The crucible [tests] silver, and the furnace [tests] gold,
    but the one who tests hearts is Adonai.

An evildoer heeds wicked lips;
    a liar listens to destructive talk.

He who mocks the poor insults his maker;
    he who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    while the glory of children is their ancestors.

Fine speech is unbecoming to a boor,
    and even less lying lips to a leader.

A bribe works like a charm, in the view of him who gives it —
    wherever it turns, it succeeds.

He who conceals an offense promotes love,
    but he who harps on it can separate even close friends.

10 A rebuke makes more impression on a person of understanding
    than a hundred blows on a fool.

11 An evil person seeks only rebellion,
    but a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12 Rather meet a bear robbed of its cubs
    than encounter a fool in his folly.
13 Evil will not depart from the house
    of him who returns evil for good.

14 Starting a fight is like letting water through [a dike] —
    better stop the quarrel before it gets worse.

15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous —
    both alike are an abomination to Adonai.

16 Why would a fool wish to pay for wisdom
    when he has no desire to learn?

17 A friend shows his friendship at all times —
    it is for adversity that [such] a brother is born.

18 He who gives his hand to guarantee a loan
    for his neighbor lacks good sense.

19 Those who love quarreling love giving offense;
    those who make their gates tall are courting disaster.

20 A crooked-hearted person will find nothing good,
    and the perverse of speech will end in calamity.

21 He who fathers a fool does so to his sorrow,
    and the father of a boor has no joy.

22 A happy heart is good medicine,
    but low spirits sap one’s strength.

23 From under a cloak a bad man takes a bribe
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 The discerning person focuses on wisdom there before him,
    but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
25 A son who is a fool means anger for his father
    and bitterness for the mother who gave him birth.

26 To punish the innocent is not right,
    likewise to flog noble people for their uprightness.

27 A knowledgeable person controls his tongue;
    a discerning person controls his temper.

28 Even a fool, if he stays silent, is thought wise;
    he who keeps his mouth shut can pass for smart.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 17 The Message (MSG)

A Whack on the Head of a Fool

17 A meal of bread and water in contented peace
    is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child
    and is honored as one of the family.

As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan,
    so our lives are assayed by God.

Evil people relish malicious conversation;
    the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.

Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator;
    gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.

Old people are distinguished by grandchildren;
    children take pride in their parents.

We don’t expect eloquence from fools,
    nor do we expect lies from our leaders.

Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
    any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.

Overlook an offense and bond a friendship;
    fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!

10 A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense
    does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

11 Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
    won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!

12 Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs
    than a fool hellbent on folly.

13 Those who return evil for good
    will meet their own evil returning.

14 The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
    so stop it before it bursts.

15 Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people
    are equally abhorrent to God.

16 What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!
    They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!

One Who Knows Much Says Little

17 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

18 It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing,
    or run up huge bills you can never pay.

19 The person who courts sin marries trouble;
    build a wall, invite a burglar.

20 A bad motive can’t achieve a good end;
    double-talk brings you double trouble.

21 Having a fool for a child is misery;
    it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.

22 A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
    gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.

23 The wicked take bribes under the table;
    they show nothing but contempt for justice.

24 The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard;
    fools look for it everywhere but right here.

25 A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father,
    a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.

26 It’s wrong to penalize good behavior,
    or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.

27 The one who knows much says little;
    an understanding person remains calm.

28 Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise;
    as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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