Proverbs 17:1

Chapter 17 continues the “Proverbs of Solomon.” The proverbs in this chapter are general with no grouping. They touch on a variety of topics, such as fools, speech, friendships, etc.

Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.
– Proverbs 17:1

The overall statement of this proverb is being poor but having peace is better than being prosperous but having contentions. A dry morsel is a crust of bread without anything on it or to dip it in. It is a poor meal (Proverbs 15:17). The word for quietness means peace and security. A house full refers to abundance and sacrifices, by the parallelism, refers to a feast. The word for strife means controversy or dispute. Opportunities abound in life for strife, but wisdom avoids and appeases it, while folly starts it or enflames it (Proverbs 15:17; 17:14; 18:6; 20:3; 26:17, 21).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 16:7

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
– Proverbs 16:7

This proverb is in the group themed on God’s sovereignty and it’s best to take it that way. In this light, the proverb encourages trust in the Lord rather than being moved by fear of man (Proverbs 21:1; 29:25). On another level, the proverb presents a general truism because walking in wisdom means a man reconciles broken relationships and doesn’t unnecessarily stir up strife (Proverbs 15:1, 4, 18; 25:21-22).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 12:20

Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.
– Proverbs 12:20

Wisdom here considers the results, or by-products, of intentions for others. The word for imagine means to devise and evil is calamity or all sorts of bad. The gain from devising evil is deceit, or treachery. It refers to the state of mind of the one who devises evil. A counsellor is an adviser. The word for peace means well-being or general wholeness or welfare. So the counsellor is promoting peace and speaking peace to others. They gain joy, or happiness, as a result.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:17

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
– Proverbs 3:17

Psalm 49 considers wisdom with poverty and riches with folly. David notes that fools are often increased with material goods, but those things cannot deliver the soul and they still die like a beast without understanding (Psalm 49:16-20). Jesus expressed the similar thought this way: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). In this section of Proverbs, wisdom is shown superior to earthly substance. It’s more preferable than silver, gold, rubies, or anything else we can desire. Wisdom does not guarantee earthly prosperity in this life, but she does bring the best gifts and all her ways are pleasantness and peace. Pleasantness is delightfulness and beauty. Peace is a state of contentment and conveys the idea of soundness or health. The way of wisdom is the good way.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:2

For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
– Proverbs 3:2

These are blessings of wisdom. This is a general truism. It doesn’t guarantee that every individual who is wise lives a long life on the earth. Solomon reminds in Ecclesiastes that advantage and prosperity are not always to the wise (Ecclesiastes 9:11). However, this is the general trend of wisdom. One who walks in wisdom generally avoids the pitfalls of folly that end life early for those who walk that way. Beside this, the days, whatever number, of the wise are generally in peace, which points to safety and a contented happiness. The one who dwells in wisdom is generally at peace with neighbors and family and not dwelling in a continual state of agitation and strife.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series