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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Proverbs 17

Verses 1-28

1. Lit. ’the sacrifices of strife.’ There would be no pleasure in the festal meal which followed a sacrifice (Proverbs 7:14) if it was accompanied with a quarrel. ’A little with quiet is the only diet.’

2. The Israelite slave was a member of the family (Genesis 24:12; Deuteronomy 5:14, etc.), might become the heir (Genesis 15:2-3) or marry the daughter (1 Chronicles 2:34-35).

4. Naughty] injurious.

7. The proverb writers show no hope of redeeming the lost. Their verdict is, ’He that is filthy let him be filthy still.’

8. He who gives a bribe regards it as a precious stone, a stone which brings favour; whithersoever he turns he prospers. Philip of Macedon boasted that he had taken more towns with silver than with iron.

10. A hundred strokes would be more than double the number allowed by the law (Deuteronomy 25:3).

11. The meaning is doubtful. Either, ’An evil man seeketh only rebellion,’ or, ’Rebellion seeketh only mischief.’ The rebellion may be against God or the king; if the former, cp. Psalms 78:49 for the cruel messenger.

14. Before it be meddled with] RV ’Before there be quarrelling.’ The bursting of a dam begins with a small crack. ’Little strokes fell great oaks.’

16. Money cannot buy it if the mind is indisposed to it.

19. To ’exalt the gate’ may mean to set oneself above the neighbours, and so become a target for their envy. But the original probably ran: ’He that speaketh proud words.’

24. The fool lacks the power of concentration.

27, 28. ’I have found nought of better service than silence.’ ’Silence is a fence to wisdom.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 17". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.