(Prov 17:1 NASB)  Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife.

Prov 17:1:      The Hebrew term for “feasting” is zebach, which is a term referring to the families portion of the peace offering.
Strife, even under the best of other conditions, makes life miserable for all involved.  Quietness, peace, and contentment are blessings beyond material wealth.


(Prov 17:2 NASB)  A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, And will share in the inheritance among brothers.

Prov 17:2:      Solomon probably had Abraham in mind with this.  Abraham sent his trusted servant Eliezar to go find a wife for Isaac.  Eliezar was going to be the sole heir to all of Abraham’s land and wealth (Gen. 15:1-3).


(Prov 17:3 NASB)  The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.

Prov 17:3:      Elohim will test His people with affliction.  Just as when Job was tested, He called upon the name of the Father.  Satan called thought Job would curse Him, but he did not (Isa. 48:10, Jer. 17:10, Zech. 13:9)


(Prov 17:4 NASB)  An evildoer listens to wicked lips, A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.
(Prov 17:5 NASB)  He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.

Prov 17:5:      The poor among us are to be taken care of by His people (1 John 3:17-18).


(Prov 17:6 NASB)  Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers.

Prov 17:6:      Children are a blessing from Elohim (Psalm 127:3-5, 128:3-6).  Having a righteous lineage is to the glory of the sons (Exod. 3:14-15).


(Prov 17:7 NASB)  Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool; Much less are lying lips to a prince.

Prov 17:7:      A fool is not fit for excellent speech (speaking of Torah) (Psalm 50:16-17, Prov. 16:7).


(Prov 17:8 NASB)  A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers.

Prov 17:8:      This is the viewpoint of one who takes a bribe.  He thinks he is just a prosperous fellow.  He sees nothing wrong with it and thinks he deserves it.


(Prov 17:9 NASB)  He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.

Prov 17:9:      Overlooking an offense is an attempt at preserving a friendship.  But if the offender repeats his offenses, he will destroy that friendship.


(Prov 17:10 NASB)  A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool.

Prov 17:10:      A reproof to a wise man will change him more than striking a fool 100 times.


(Prov 17:11 NASB)  A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

Prov 17:11:      The cruel messenger is likely law enforcement.


(Prov 17:12 NASB)  Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly.

Prov 17:12:      If the fool is powerful, his folly can be devastating (Matt. 2:16).


(Prov 17:13 NASB)  He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.

Prov 17:13:      Solomon probably had his parents in mind when he wrote this (2 Sam. 12:10).


(Prov 17:14 NASB)  The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.

Prov 17:14:      It would appear that Solomon is comparing the start of a quarrrel is like a leaking dam.  Abandon it and run away from it before the dam breaks.


(Prov 17:15 NASB)  He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
(Prov 17:16 NASB)  Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense?

Prov 17:16:      Instead of “sense,” the Hebrew word is almost always translated as “heart.”  Many fools pay to acheive knowledge in various things, but wisdom cannot be bought or stolen.  Wisdom is not for people who do not have a heart for it.


(Prov 17:17 NASB)  A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

Prov 17:17:      When trouble comes, we find out who are our friends and brothers.


(Prov 17:18 NASB)  A man lacking in sense pledges, And becomes surety in the presence of his neighbor.
(Prov 17:19 NASB)  He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction.

Prov 17:19:      The term “raises his door” or “exhalts his gate (kjv)” is a reference to arrogant and boastful words.


(Prov 17:20 NASB)  He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil.
(Prov 17:21 NASB)  He who begets a fool does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy.

Prov 17:21:      Our children will give us our greatest joy or our worst sorrows.


(Prov 17:22 NASB)  A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Prov 17:22:      We should find joy in our lives, it is even good medicine (Ecc. 9:7-9).


(Prov 17:23 NASB)  A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice.

Prov 17:23:      A bribe perverts the way of justice (Deut. 16:19-20).


(Prov 17:24 NASB)  Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

Prov 17:24:      If one has understanding, wisdom is readily available in his heart.  But fools search for what they preceive to be wisdom and never find it.


(Prov 17:25 NASB)  A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him.
(Prov 17:26 NASB)  It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.

Prov 17:26:      Elohim demands righteousness in judgment.


(Prov 17:27 NASB)  He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Prov 17:27:      This is another warning to avoid having a quick temper (James 1:19-20).


(Prov 17:28 NASB)  Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is counted prudent.

Prov 17:28:      Even a fool looks wise and prudent when he keeps his mouth shut.  The fool who does this is at least less of a fool.

Patrick McGuire

Copyright 2014
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.
Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas

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