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Proverbs 17

Wisdom’s Virtues
1A simple, humble life with peace and quiet
is far better than an opulent lifestyle with nothing
but quarrels and strife at home.
2A wise, intelligent servant will be honored above a shameful son.
He’ll even end up having a portion left to him in his master’s will.
3In the same way that gold and silver are refined by fire,
the Lord purifies your heart by the tests and trials of life.
4Those eager to embrace evil listen to slander,
for a liar loves to listen to lies.
5Mock the poor, will you?
You insult your Creator every time you do!
If you make fun of others’ misfortune,
you’d better watch out—your punishment is on its way.
6Grandparents have the crowning glory of life:
And it’s only proper for children to take pride in their parents. # 17:6 Or “fathers.” There is an additional verse found in the Septuagint that is inserted here: “A whole world of riches belongs to the faithful, but the unfaithful don’t get even a cent.”
7It is not proper for a leader to lie and deceive,
and don’t expect excellent words to be spoken by a fool. # 17:7 Two absurd things are to find a fool in leadership and to have a leader in foolishness.
8Wise instruction # 17:8 “Instruction” is taken from the Aramaic and the Septuagint. The Hebrew reads “bribe.” is like a costly gem.
It turns the impossible into success.
9Love overlooks the mistakes of others,
but dwelling on the failures of others devastates friendships.
10One word of correction breaks open a teachable heart,
but a fool can be corrected a hundred times
and still not know what hit him.
11Rebellion thrives in an evil man,
so a messenger of vengeance # 17:11 Or “merciless angels.” will be sent to punish him. # 17:11 This could mean an evil spirit or calamities and sorrows.
12It’s safer to meet a grizzly bear robbed of her cubs
than to confront a reckless fool.
13The one who returns evil for good
can expect to be treated the same way for the rest of his life. # 17:13 Or “evil will haunt his house.”
14Don’t be one who is quick to quarrel,
for an argument is hard to stop,
and you never know how it will end,
so don’t even start down that road! # 17:14 The Aramaic for this verse reads “To shed blood provokes the judgment of a ruler.”
15There is nothing God hates more
than condemning the one who is innocent
and acquitting the one who is guilty.
16Why pay tuition to educate a fool?
For he has no intention of acquiring true wisdom.
17A dear friend will love you no matter what,
and a family sticks together through all kinds of trouble.
18It’s stupid to run up bills you’ll never be able to pay
or to cosign for the loan of your friend.
Save yourself the trouble and don’t do either one.
19If you love to argue,
then you must be in love with sin.
For the one who loves to boast # 17:19 Or “he who builds a high gate.” The gate becomes a picture of the mouth. This is a figure of speech for proud boasting. is only asking for trouble.
20The one with a perverse heart never has anything good to say, # 17:20 Or “can expect calamity.”
and the chronic liar tumbles into constant trouble.
21Parents of a numbskull will have many sorrows,
for there’s nothing about his lifestyle that will make them proud.
22A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul.
But the one whose heart is crushed
struggles with sickness and depression.
23When you take a secret bribe,
your actions reveal your true character,
for you pervert the ways of justice.
24Even the face of a wise man shows his intelligence.
But the wandering eyes of a fool will look for wisdom everywhere
except right in front of his nose.
25A father grieves over the foolishness of his child,
and bitter sorrow fills his mother.
26It’s horrible to persecute a holy lover of God
or to strike an honorable man for his integrity!
27Can you bridle your tongue when your heart is under pressure?
That’s how you show that you are wise.
An understanding heart keeps you cool, calm, and collected,
no matter what you’re facing.
28When even a fool bites his tongue # 17:28 The Septuagint is “When an unthinking man asks a question.”
he’s considered wise.
So shut your mouth when you are provoked—
it will make you look smart.

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