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CHAPTER 17 Apr. 7 
The Family, Relationships and Integrity 
Better is a dry morsel of bread with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife. 2A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who causes shame, and shall have a part in the inheritance among the brothers. 3The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but Yahweh tests the hearts. 4An evildoer heeds wicked lips; a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue. 5Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker. He who is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished. 6Children’s children are the crown of old men; the glory of children are their parents. 7Arrogant speech isn’t fitting for a fool, much less do lying lips fit a prince. 8A bribe is a precious stone in the eyes of him who gives it; wherever he turns, he apparently prospers. 9He who covers an offence promotes love; but he who repeats a matter separates best friends. 10A rebuke enters deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred lashes into a fool. 11An evil man seeks only rebellion; therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. 12Let a bear robbed of her cubs meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly. 13Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house. 14The beginning of strife is like breaching a dam, therefore stop contention before quarreling breaks out. 15He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh. 16Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, since he has no understanding?

The Wisdom of Silence
17A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man without understanding strikes hands, and becomes collateral in the presence of his neighbour. 19He who loves disobedience loves strife. One who builds a high gate seeks destruction. 20One who has a perverse heart doesn’t find prosperity, and one who has a deceitful tongue falls into trouble. 21He who becomes the father of a fool grieves; the father of a fool has no joy. 22A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23A wicked man receives a bribe in secret, to pervert the ways of justice. 24Wisdom is before the face of one who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son brings grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him. 26Also to punish the righteous is not good, nor to flog officials for their integrity. 27He who spares his words has knowledge. He who is even tempered is a man of understanding. 28Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise. When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning. 


17:5 The poor are God manifest to us; how we treat our poor brethren is how we treat God, and is the basis of our final judgment (M 25:40). This is a common theme in Proverbs; and we need to remember it constantly, especially as we are often tempted to consider others’ poverty as the result of their own poor decision making and to think this excuses us from helping them.
17:9 He who covers an offence- This is paralleled in the second half of the verse with not gossiping about others’ failures. It doesn’t mean that we are to turn a blind eye to others’ sins, rather that we shouldn’t gossip about them to others.
 17:14 Relationship breakdown needs to be bridged as soon as possible, as a matter of urgency; otherwise irreparable damage will be done and like water bursting from a dam, many others will be affected by it.
17:19 One who builds a high gate seeks destruction- Isolationism is actually a proactive seeking of destruction for others. In our age of retreat into ourselves, this needs to be considered carefully. 18:1 likewise exhorts against isolationism- it’s a form of selfishness.
17:24 The eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth- Those whose hearts aren’t focused upon God and His word are rudderless, looking worldwide for wisdom on the internet, but never finding true direction.