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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Proverbs 17

Verse 4

A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

False lips — To false accusations and calumnies, which give him occasion and encouragement to do mischief.

Verse 7

Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

Excellent speech — Discourse of high and excellent things.

Verse 8

A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

A precious stone — Pleasant and acceptable; and withal dazzles his eyes.

Whithersoever — To whomsoever it is presented. But this, as also many of her proverbs, are to be understood of most men, not of all.

Verse 9

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

Covereth — That conceals as far as he may, other mens faults.

Verse 11

An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

Rebellion — Against God.

Messenger — Or, a cruel angel, the angel of death, the devil, or some bloody men employed by God to avenge his quarrel.

Verse 12

Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

Folly — In the heat of his lust or passion.

Verse 14

The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

Letteth out — By cutting the bank of a river.

Leave off — Avoid the occasions, and prevent the beginning of contention.

Verse 16

Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

A price — Opportunities and abilities of getting it.

No heart — Neither discretion to discern the worth of wisdom, nor any sincere desire to get it.

Verse 17

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Was born — Was sent into the world for this, that he might comfort and relieve his brother in adversity.

Verse 18

A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.

Friend — Debtor, for whom being his friend, he becomes surety.

Verse 20

He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

No good — Shall not get that advantage which he expects.

Verse 22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Doth good — Even to the body; it contributes much to bodily health and vigour.

Drieth — Wastes the marrow of the bones, and the moisture and strength of the body.

Verse 24

Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

In the face — His wisdom appears even in his looks.

The eyes — Minding most, those things which are remotest from him, and least concern him.

Verse 26

Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

To strike — Nor to smite magistrates, either with the hand or tongue, for the execution of justice.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.