Proverbs 17

1It is better to have only a dry piece of bread to eat in peace than to have a whole house full of food with everyone arguing. 2A smart servant will gain control over his master’s foolish son. That wise servant will be treated like a son and get a share of the inheritance. 3Gold and silver are put into fire to make them pure. But the Lord is the One who makes peoples’ hearts pure. 4An evil person listens to the evil things other people say. People who tell lies also listen to lies. 5Some people make fun of poor people. They laugh at people who have problems. This shows that those bad people don’t respect God who made them. These bad people will be punished. 6Grandchildren make old people happy. And children are proud of their parents. 7It is not wise for a fool to speak too much. In the same way, it is not wise for a ruler to tell lies. 8Some people think a bribe is like a lucky charm—wherever they go, it seems to work. 9If you forgive a person who does wrong to you, then you can be friends. But if you continue to remember the wrong that he did, then it will hurt your friendship. 10A smart person learns from the things he does wrong. But a fool learns nothing, even after a hundred lessons. 11An evil person only wants to do wrong. In the end, God will send a messenger to punish him. 12It is very dangerous to meet a mother bear that is angry because her cubs are stolen. But that is better than to meet a fool that is busy doing his foolishness. 13Don’t do bad things to people who do good things to you. If you do, then you will have trouble for the rest of your life. 14If you start an argument, it is like breaking a hole in a dam. So stop the argument before it becomes bigger and bigger. 15The Lord hates these two things—punishing someone that has done nothing wrong, and forgiving someone that is guilty. 16If a foolish person has money, it is wasted. Why? Because that foolish person does not use the money to become wise. 17A friend loves at all times. A true brother always supports you, even in times of trouble. 18Only a fool will promise to be responsible for another person’s debts. 19A troublemaker loves to start arguments. A person that likes to brag is setting himself up for a fall. Both of them will end up in trouble. 20A crooked person will not get a good profit. A liar will get into bad trouble. 21A father with a foolish son will be very sad. A fool’s father won’t be happy. 22Happiness is like good medicine. But sorrow is like a sickness. 23An evil person accepts secret payment for cheating other people. 24The wise man is always thinking of the best thing to do. But a foolish person is always dreaming about faraway places. 25A foolish son brings sorrow to his father. And a foolish son brings sadness to the mother that gave birth to him. 26It is wrong to punish a person who has done nothing wrong. It is wrong to punish leaders when they are honest. 27A wise person uses words carefully. A wise person does not become angry easily. 28Even a fool seems wise if he keeps quiet. People think he is wise if he doesn’t say anything.

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