17

1Better a dry crust eaten in peace

than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

2A wise servant will rule over the master’s disgraceful son

and will share the inheritance of the master’s children.

3Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,

but the Lord tests the heart.

4Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;

liars pay close attention to slander.

5Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;

those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.

6Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;

parents*17:6 Hebrew fathers.  are the pride of their children.

7Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool;

even less are lies fitting for a ruler.

8A bribe is like a lucky charm;

whoever gives one will prosper!

9Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,

but dwelling on it separates close friends.

10A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding

than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.

11Evil people are eager for rebellion,

but they will be severely punished.

12It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs

than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.

13If you repay good with evil,

evil will never leave your house.

14Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,

so stop before a dispute breaks out.

15Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—

both are detestable to the Lord.

16It is senseless to pay to educate a fool,

since he has no heart for learning.

17A friend is always loyal,

and a brother is born to help in time of need.

18It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt

or put up security for a friend.

19Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin;

anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.

20The crooked heart will not prosper;

the lying tongue tumbles into trouble.

21It is painful to be the parent of a fool;

there is no joy for the father of a rebel.

22A cheerful heart is good medicine,

but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

23The wicked take secret bribes

to pervert the course of justice.

24Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom,

but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25Foolish children*17:25 Hebrew A foolish son.  bring grief to their father

and bitterness to the one who gave them birth.

26It is wrong to punish the godly for being good

or to flog leaders for being honest.

27A truly wise person uses few words;

a person with understanding is even-tempered.

28Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;

with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.