Proverbs 17: Wise Sayings

How might we make strife in the household feast better than being alone with little to eat?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 17:1–2 A dry crust of bread eaten alone in peace is better than a household feast where there is strife.
A wise servant will correct misbehaving children so they can have a place of honor in the family.
King James
Proverbs 17:1–2 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

In what ways are our hearts tested by the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:3 As gold and silver are refined in the furnace, so are our hearts tested by the Lord.
King James
Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

Why do wrongdoers and liars support deceptive speech and malicious gossip in others?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 17:4 Evildoers listen to deceptive speech. Liars are eager to hear malicious gossip.
King James
Proverbs 17:4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

To what extent should we be concerned for the poor?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:5 People who ridicule the poor insult their Creator, and those who are content with their distress will not go unpunished.
King James
Proverbs 17:5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

How do children bring glory to their parents and delight their grandparents? What might they do to bring dishonor and sadness?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:6 Children bring glory to their parents. They are their grandparents’ great delight.
Proverbs 17:21 Foolish children grieve their parents. No parent can take pleasure in a child who lacks good sense.
Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son grieves his father and makes his birth more painful for his mother.
King James
Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
Proverbs 17:21 He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.

How does a lying leader compare to an eloquent fool?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:7 No fool is expected to speak with excellence, but even worse are leaders who tell lies.
King James
Proverbs 17:7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

What do people give up when they accept a bribe? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:8 People value a bribe when they think it will give them what they want.
Proverbs 17:23 When the wicked secretly accept bribes, they keep justice from being done.
King James
Proverbs 17:8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
Proverbs 17:23 A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

Why do people spread gossip?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:9 A forgiven offense joins people in love, but gossip about the matter will separate close friends.
King James
Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

What does it take to educate a fool?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:10–12 Wise people value correction, but a hundred lashes aren’t enough to make a fool listen.
Since evildoers rebel against what God wants, a stern messenger will be sent to oppose them.
Meeting an angry bear robbed of her cubs is better than facing fools in their stupidity.
Proverbs 17:16 When fools don’t want to learn, no amount of money will buy them wisdom.
Luke 15:17 When he came to his senses, he said to himself, My father’s hired men have enough food to throw away, and here I am, starving.
King James
Proverbs 17:10–12 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool. An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
Proverbs 17:16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Since a smile usually prompts a smile in response and kindnesses encourage kindnesses in return, what would cause people to reward good with evil?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:13 Those who reward good with evil will have a houseful of trouble.
King James
Proverbs 17:13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

What can keep a disagreement from growing into a war?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:14 Quarrels begin like water seeping through a crack in the dam, so plug the leak before it breaks into a flood.
King James
Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

How are the innocent condemned and the guilty acquitted?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:15 The Lord hates condemnation of the innocent and acquitting the guilty.
Proverbs 17:26 Punishing the innocent isn’t good, and leaders should never be condemned for being honest and doing what is right.
King James
Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 17:26 Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

Upon what are the strongest relationships built upon?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:17 A friend is loving, no matter what the situation is. A brother is always there to help in troublesome times.
King James
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Under what circumstances should we guarantee another person’s debt?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:18 Payment guarantees for what someone else owes doesn’t make good sense.
King James
Proverbs 17:18 A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.

What do people get that makes them love strife?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:19–20 Those who love rebellion love contention, and the braggart is asking for trouble.
Twisted minds produce nothing good, and contentious talk leads to misery.
King James
Proverbs 17:19–20 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

How does a cheerful attitude promote good health?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful attitude promotes good health, but discouragement will steal your strength.
King James
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

What can we do to prevent our minds from filtering out what is judged unimportant when it is actually crucial?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:24 Discerning people pay attention and gain wisdom, but fools look everywhere without seeing anything.
King James
Proverbs 17:24 Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

Where is the line drawn between cautious speech and being too cautious?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 17:27–28 Smart people are careful with their words, not wanting to talk too much.
Discerning people are patient and understanding, remaining calm in difficult situations.
Even fools are considered wise when they don’t say anything. Without opening their mouths, they appear to understand.
King James
Proverbs 17:27–28 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.