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Proverbs 17 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lord Tests Hearts

17 Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of [a]feasting with strife.

A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers.

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

An evildoer gives heed to false lips;
A liar listens eagerly to a [b]spiteful tongue.

He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

Children’s children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.

Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
Much less lying lips to a prince.

A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.

He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.

11 An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.

13 Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.

14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?

17 A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

18 A man devoid of [c]understanding [d]shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes [e]surety for his friend.

19 He who loves transgression loves strife,
And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

20 He who has a [f]deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.

21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A merry heart [g]does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

23 A wicked man accepts a bribe [h]behind the back
To pervert the ways of justice.

24 Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding,
But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him.

26 Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.

27 He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 17:1 Or sacrificial meals
  2. Proverbs 17:4 Lit. destructive
  3. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. heart
  4. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. strikes the hands
  5. Proverbs 17:18 guaranty or collateral
  6. Proverbs 17:20 crooked
  7. Proverbs 17:22 Or makes medicine even better
  8. Proverbs 17:23 Under cover, lit. from the bosom
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 17 New International Version (NIV)

17 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
    than a house full of feasting, with strife.

A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
    and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.

A wicked person listens to deceitful lips;
    a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
    whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
    and parents are the pride of their children.

Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—
    how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it;
    they think success will come at every turn.

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person
    more than a hundred lashes a fool.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
    the messenger of death will be sent against them.

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
    than a fool bent on folly.

13 Evil will never leave the house
    of one who pays back evil for good.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
    so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent
    the Lord detests them both.

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom,
    when they are not able to understand it?

17 A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
    and puts up security for a neighbor.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
    whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper;
    one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief;
    there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

23 The wicked accept bribes in secret
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
    but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
    and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

26 If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good,
    surely to flog honest officials is not right.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
    and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
    and discerning if they hold their tongues.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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