THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING
A Dry Morsel and Friends – Proverbs 17:1-9
Verse 1 – Many of the sacrificial times in the Old Testament were also times of feasting. There are seven feasts mentioned in OT Scriptures. A dry morsel with peace is better than a house of “feasting” with strife.
“Prov. 17:1 Like 15:17, this proverb asserts that a poor but loving home is better than a home filled with feasting and strife. As the esv footnote indicates, “feasting” is lit., “sacrifices,” specifically peace offerings; such offerings would provide for a meal including meat—a luxury in ancient times.” From ESV study Bible online
Verse 2 – There are examples of servants who were teachers for sons and daughters of their “master”. Abraham’s servant (Gen 24) is a good example. He goes to find a bride for Isaac. Isaac was not foolish son, but the servant did seek a wife for him. At one time Abraham even asked the LORD to give his inheritance to the servant Eliezer (Gen 15:1-4).
In the Law there is no provision for this; but it must have been a feasible possibility. No wise father would turn the inheritance over to a son who was causing shame to the name of the family; nor to a son who would foolishly squander away the business/inheritance.
Verse 3 – Refining for silver and gold requires fire. When the gold and silver is melted down the impurities of each comes to the surface. The refiner can then take a metal scoop, and skim the surface, removing the impurities. The more the fine metals are refined through the fire the more pure they become.
Why is it when we want to prepare ourselves for a marathon run, a mountain climb, and we suffer to prepare for those things without too much complaining; but let God use adversity (the weights, the climbs, the trials), and we ask, “Why is God doing this to me?” He does know what is best for us; and exactly where we are going. He knows the trail ahead.
It is a great comfort to know that the LORD is the One who tries the hearts of men. Yet that too is sometimes like fire.
Verse 4 – Those people involved in wickedness will often listen to “false lips”; those who give bad, and false witness. It is easier, many times, to believe a lie; than it is to believe the truth.
People who are prone to lying themselves are also more likely to listen to lies, and believe them. This may have more to do with malicious gossip than other things.
Verse 5 – Many times I have probably “Mocked the poor”. If we say things like, “Well some poor people are that way, because they want to be.” Is that not mocking? At least the mockery which the verse speaks of. We are told in this verse that it “Reproaches his Maker”; that is GOD.
Have we ever rejoiced to see someone, some place or city striken by calamity? Woe be to the one’s who do such things. They shall not be “Unpunished”.
Verse 6 – See Psalm 127:3-4 and 128:6
Verse 7 – A “fool” in the Biblical sense is one who despises God, Godly wisdom and understanding. There are many eloquent, proficient, even thoughtful speakers who are foolish concerning the things of God.
What is worse than a fool who despises God, godliness, and wisdom and understanding; is the “Prince”, future ruler, or ruler who has lying lips.
Verse 8 – Bribery is the idea that is being written of in this passage. The one who has the means to bribe, and will bribe others to his own advantage holds this as though it were a precious gem in his sight. Much greed and selfish things can be accomplished through bribery.
v. 23; 18:16; 19:6; 21:14; Exodus 23:8; Isaiah 1:23; Amos 5:12
Verse 9 – Covering a trangression is an act of love; if the transgression being covered is that of another. Someone who is always bringing up another’s transgression is separating friendships. We can look at Galations 6:1.
-Tim A. Blankenship