TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Proverbs 17

1Better a dry crust with peace Than a house full of feasting with strife.

אטוֹב פַּת חֲרֵבָה וְשַׁלְוָה־בָהּ מִבַּיִת מָלֵא זִבְחֵי־רִיב׃

2A capable servant will dominate an incompetent son And share the inheritance with the brothers.

בעֶבֶד־מַשְׂכִּיל יִמְשֹׁל בְּבֵן מֵבִישׁ וּבְתוֹךְ אַחִים יַחֲלֹק נַחֲלָה׃

3For silver—the crucible; For gold—the furnace, And Hashem tests the mind.

גמַצְרֵף לַכֶּסֶף וְכוּר לַזָּהָב וּבֹחֵן לִבּוֹת יְהֹוָה׃

4An evildoer listens to mischievous talk; A liar gives ear to malicious words.

דמֵרַע מַקְשִׁיב עַל־שְׂפַת־אָוֶן שֶׁקֶר מֵזִין עַל־לְשׁוֹן הַוּׂת׃

5He who mocks the poor affronts his Maker; He who rejoices over another's misfortune will not go unpunished.

הלֹעֵג לָרָשׁ חֵרֵף עֹשֵׂהוּ שָׂמֵחַ לְאֵיד לֹא יִנָּקֶה׃

6Grandchildren are the crown of their elders, And the glory of children is their parents.

a-TE-ret z'-kay-NEEM b'-NAY va-NEEM v'-tif-E-ret ba-NEEM a-vo-TAM

ועֲטֶרֶת זְקֵנִים בְּנֵי בָנִים וְתִפְאֶרֶת בָּנִים אֲבוֹתָם׃

 17:6   Children’s children are the crown of old men

This verse extols the blessing of grandchildren, much like the passage in Sefer Tehillim (128:6). In Sefer Tehillim, however, the blessing of grandchildren is couched between references to the well-being of Yerushalayim and Eretz Yisrael: “May you share the prosperity of Yerushalayim all the days of your life, and live to see your children’s children. May all be well with Yisrael (literally, ‘may peace be upon Yisrael’)” (Psalms 128:5- 6). What is the connection between children’s children and the welfare of Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim? It has been suggested that verse 5 should be understood as a command rather than a promise: See the good of Jerusalem. We must emphasize and talk about what is special and precious about the Land of Israel, instead of complaining and focusing on the negative. If that is how we relate to land, and that is what we convey and pass down to our children and grandchildren, then there is a hope for a future in which peace will be upon Israel.

7Lofty words are not fitting for a villain; Much less lying words for a great man.

זלֹא־נָאוָה לְנָבָל שְׂפַת־יֶתֶר אַף כִּי־לְנָדִיב שְׂפַת־שָׁקֶר׃

8A bribe seems like a charm to him who uses it; He succeeds at every turn.

חאֶבֶן־חֵן הַשֹּׁחַד בְּעֵינֵי בְעָלָיו אֶל־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר יִפְנֶה יַשְׂכִּיל׃

9He who seeks love overlooks faults, But he who harps on a matter alienates his friend.

טמְכַסֶּה־פֶּשַׁע מְבַקֵּשׁ אַהֲבָה וְשֹׁנֶה בְדָבָר מַפְרִיד אַלּוּף׃

10A rebuke works on an intelligent man More than one hundred blows on a fool.

יתֵּחַת גְּעָרָה בְמֵבִין מֵהַכּוֹת כְּסִיל מֵאָה׃

11An evil man seeks only to rebel; A ruthless messenger will be sent against him.

יאאַךְ־מְרִי יְבַקֶּשׁ־רָע וּמַלְאָךְ אַכְזָרִי יְשֻׁלַּח־בּוֹ׃

12Sooner meet a bereaved she-bear Than a fool with his nonsense.

יבפָּגוֹשׁ דֹּב שַׁכּוּל בְּאִישׁ וְאַל־כְּסִיל בְּאִוַּלְתּוֹ׃

13Evil will never depart from the house Of him who repays good with evil.

יגמֵשִׁיב רָעָה תַּחַת טוֹבָה לֹא־תמיש [תָמוּשׁ] רָעָה מִבֵּיתוֹ׃

14To start a quarrel is to open a sluice; Before a dispute flares up, drop it.

ידפּוֹטֵר מַיִם רֵאשִׁית מָדוֹן וְלִפְנֵי הִתְגַּלַּע הָרִיב נְטוֹשׁ׃

15To acquit the guilty and convict the innocent— Both are an abomination to Hashem.

טומַצְדִּיק רָשָׁע וּמַרְשִׁיעַ צַדִּיק תּוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה גַּם־שְׁנֵיהֶם׃

16What good is money in the hand of a fool To purchase wisdom, when he has no mind?

טזלָמָּה־זֶּה מְחִיר בְּיַד־כְּסִיל לִקְנוֹת חָכְמָה וְלֶב־אָיִן׃

17A friend is devoted at all times; A brother is born to share adversity.

יזבְּכָל־עֵת אֹהֵב הָרֵעַ וְאָח לְצָרָה יִוָּלֵד׃

18Devoid of sense is he who gives his hand To stand surety for his fellow.

יחאָדָם חֲסַר־לֵב תּוֹקֵעַ כָּף עֹרֵב עֲרֻבָּה לִפְנֵי רֵעֵהוּ׃

19He who loves transgression loves strife; He who builds a high threshold invites broken bones.

יטאֹהֵב פֶּשַׁע אֹהֵב מַצָּה מַגְבִּיהַּ פִּתְחוֹ מְבַקֶּשׁ־שָׁבֶר׃

20Man of crooked mind comes to no good, And he who speaks duplicity falls into trouble.

כעִקֶּשׁ־לֵב לֹא יִמְצָא־טוֹב וְנֶהְפָּךְ בִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ יִפּוֹל בְּרָעָה׃

21One begets a dullard to one's own grief; The father of a villain has no joy.

כאיֹלֵד כְּסִיל לְתוּגָה לוֹ וְלֹא־יִשְׂמַח אֲבִי נָבָל׃

22A joyful heart makes for good health; Despondency dries up the bones.

כבלֵב שָׂמֵחַ יֵיטִב גֵּהָה וְרוּחַ נְכֵאָה תְּיַבֶּשׁ־גָּרֶם׃

23The wicked man draws a bribe out of his bosom To pervert the course of justice.

כגשֹׁחַד מֵחֵיק רָשָׁע יִקָּח לְהַטּוֹת אָרְחוֹת מִשְׁפָּט׃

24Wisdom lies before the intelligent man; The eyes of the dullard range to the ends of the earth.

כדאֶת־פְּנֵי מֵבִין חָכְמָה וְעֵינֵי כְסִיל בִּקְצֵה־אָרֶץ׃

25A stupid son is vexation for his father And a heartache for the woman who bore him.

כהכַּעַס לְאָבִיו בֵּן כְּסִיל וּמֶמֶר לְיוֹלַדְתּוֹ׃

26To punish the innocent is surely not right, Or to flog the great for their uprightness.

כוגַּם עֲנוֹשׁ לַצַּדִּיק לֹא־טוֹב לְהַכּוֹת נְדִיבִים עַל־יֹשֶׁר׃

27A knowledgeable man is sparing with his words; A man of understanding is reticent.

כזחוֹשֵׂךְ אֲמָרָיו יוֹדֵעַ דָּעַת וקר־[יְקַר־] רוּחַ אִישׁ תְּבוּנָה׃

28Even a fool, if he keeps silent, is deemed wise; Intelligent, if he seals his lips.

כחגַּם אֱוִיל מַחֲרִישׁ חָכָם יֵחָשֵׁב אֹטֵם שְׂפָתָיו נָבוֹן׃