1 Better a dry crust eaten in peace
than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.
2 A wise servant will rule over the master’s disgraceful son
and will share the inheritance of the master’s children.
3 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.
4 Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
liars pay close attention to slander.
5 Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.
6 Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;
parentsa are the pride of their children.
7 Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool;
even less are lies fitting for a ruler.
8 A bribe is like a lucky charm;
whoever gives one will prosper!
9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
but dwelling on it separates close friends.
10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding
than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.
11 Evil people are eager for rebellion,
but they will be severely punished.
12 It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.
13 If you repay good with evil,
evil will never leave your house.
14 Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,
so stop before a dispute breaks out.
15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—
both are detestable to the Lord.
16 It is senseless to pay to educate a fool,
since he has no heart for learning.
17 A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help in time of need.
18 It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt
or put up security for a friend.
19 Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin;
anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.
20 The crooked heart will not prosper;
the lying tongue tumbles into trouble.
21 It is painful to be the parent of a fool;
there is no joy for the father of a rebel.
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
23 The wicked take secret bribes
to pervert the course of justice.
24 Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom,
but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
25 Foolish childrenb bring grief to their father
and bitterness to the one who gave them birth.
26 It is wrong to punish the godly for being good
or to flog leaders for being honest.
27 A truly wise person uses few words;
a person with understanding is even-tempered.
28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
a. 17:6 Hebrew fathers.
b. 17:25 Hebrew A foolish son.