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More Words of Wisdom

17 Dry crumbs in peace[a] are better
than a full meal[b] with strife.

A prudent servant will rule in place of a disgraceful son
    and will share in the inheritance among brothers.

The crucible is for silver
    and the furnace for gold—
        but the Lord assays hearts.

Whoever practices evil pays attention to wicked speech,
    and the liar listens to malicious talk.
Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their maker,
    and whoever is happy about disaster
        will not go unpunished.

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    and the pride of children is their parents.

Appropriate speech is inconsistent with the fool;
    how much more are deceitful statements[c] with a prince!

A bribe works wonders[d] in the eyes of its giver;
    wherever he turns he prospers.

Anyone who overlooks[e] an offense promotes love,
    but someone who gossips separates close friends.

10 A rebuke is more effective with a man of understanding
    than a hundred lashes to a fool.
11 A rebellious person seeks evil;
    a cruel emissary will be sent to oppose him.

12 It’s better to meet a mother bear who has lost her cubs
    than a fool in his stupidity.

13 The person who repays good with evil
    will never see[f] evil leave his home.

14 Starting a quarrel is like spilling water—
    so drop the dispute before it escalates.

15 Exonerating the wicked and condemning the righteous
    are both detestable to the Lord.

16 What is this? A fool has enough money to buy wisdom,
    but is senseless?[g]

17 A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is there[h] for times of trouble.

18 A man who lacks sense[i] cosigns a loan,[j]
    becoming a guarantor for his neighbor.

19 The person who loves transgression loves strife;
    the person who builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 The person whose mind[k] is perverse does not find good,
    and anyone with perverted speech falls into trouble.

21 The man who fathers a fool does so to his sorrow—
    the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a broken spirit drains one’s strength.[l]

23 The wicked man takes a bribe in secret
    in order to pervert the course of justice.

24 A person with understanding has wisdom as his objective,
    but a fool looks only[m] to earthly goals.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
    and bitterness to his mother.[n]

26 Furthermore, it isn’t good to fine the righteous,
    or to beat an official because of his uprightness.

27 Whoever controls what he says is knowledgeable;
    anyone who has a calm spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool is thought to be wise when he remains silent;
    he is thought to be prudent when he keeps his mouth shut.


  1. Proverbs 17:1 Lit. quiet
  2. Proverbs 17:1 Lit. house full of meat
  3. Proverbs 17:7 Lit. lips
  4. Proverbs 17:8 Lit. A gift is a stone of favor
  5. Proverbs 17:9 Lit. covers
  6. Proverbs 17:13 The Heb. lacks will see
  7. Proverbs 17:16 Lit. but has no heart
  8. Proverbs 17:17 Lit. born
  9. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. heart
  10. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. sense strikes the palm
  11. Proverbs 17:20 Lit. heart
  12. Proverbs 17:22 Lit. spirit dries the bones
  13. Proverbs 17:24 The Heb. lacks only
  14. Proverbs 17:25 Lit. to the one who bore him

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