Proverbs 17:17
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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

American Standard Version
A friend loveth at all times; And a brother is born for adversity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that is a friend loveth at all times: and a brother is proved in distress.

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

Webster's Bible Translation
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Five proverbs of dangerous men against whom one has to be on his guard:

11 The rebellious seeketh only after evil,

     And a cruel messenger is sent out against him.

It is a question what is subj. and what obj. in 11a. It lies nearest to look on מרי as subj., and this word (from מרה, stringere, to make oneself exacting against any, to oppose, ἀντιτείνειν) is appropriate thereto; it occurs also at Ezekiel 2:7 as abstr. pro concreto. That it is truly subj. appears from this, that בּקּשׁ רע, to seek after evil (cf. Proverbs 29:10; 1 Kings 20:7, etc.), is a connection of idea much more natural than בּקּשׁ מרי to seek after rebellion. Thus אך will be logically connected with רע, and the reading אך מרי will be preferred to the reading אך־מרי; אך (corresponding to the Arab. âinnama) belongs to those particles which are placed before the clause, without referring to the immediately following part of the sentence, for they are much more regarded as affecting the whole sentence (vid., Proverbs 13:10): the rebellious strives after nothing but only evil. Thus, as neut. obj. רע is rendered by the Syr., Targ., Venet., and Luther; on the contrary, the older Greek translators and Jerome regard רע as the personal subject. If now, in reference to rebellion, the discourse is of a מלאך אכזרי, we are not, with Hitzig, to think of the demon of wild passions unfettered in the person of the rebellious, for that is a style of thought and of expression that is modern, not biblical; but the old unpoetic yet simply true remark remains: Loquendi formula inde petita quod regis aut summi magistratus minister rebelli supplicium nunciat infligitque. מלאך is n. officii, not naturae. Man as a messenger, and the spiritual being as messenger, are both called מלאך. Therefore one may not understand מלאך אכזרי, with the lxx, Jerome, and Luther, directly and exclusively of an angel of punishment. If one thinks of Jahve as the Person against whom the rebellion is made, then the idea of a heavenly messenger lies near, according to Psalm 35:5., Psalm 78:49; but the proverb is so meant, that it is not the less true if an earthly king sends out against a rebellious multitude a messenger with an unlimited commission, or an officer against a single man dangerous to the state, with strict directions to arrest him at all hazards. אכזרי we had already at Proverbs 12:10; the root קש חש means, to be dry, hard, without feeling. The fut. does not denote what may be done (Bertheau, Zckler), which is contrary to the parallelism, the order of the words, and the style of the proverb, but what is done. And the relation of the clause is not, as Ewald interprets it, "scarcely does the sedition seek out evil when an inexorable messenger is sent." Although this explanation is held by Ewald as "unimprovable," yet it is incorrect, because אך in this sense demands, e.g., Genesis 27:3, the perf. (strengthened by the infin. intensivus). The relation of the clause is, also, not such as Bttcher has interpreted it: a wicked man tries only scorn though a stern messenger is sent against him, but not because such a messenger is called אכזרי, against whom this "trying of scorn" helps nothing, so that it is not worth being spoken of; besides, שׁלּח or משׁלּח would have been used if this relation had been intended. We have in 11a and 11b, as also e.g., at Proverbs 26:24; Proverbs 28:1, two clauses standing in internal reciprocal relation, but syntactically simply co-ordinated; the force lies in this, that a messenger who recognises no mitigating circumstances, and offers no pardon, is sent out against such an one.

Proverbs 17:17 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 18:24 A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.


Proverbs 19:7 All the brothers of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursues them with words...


Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge...


1 Samuel 18:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.


1 Samuel 19:2 But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeks to kill you: now therefore...


1 Samuel 20:17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.


1 Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.


2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant have you been to me: your love to me was wonderful...


2 Samuel 9:1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

Esther 4:14 For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place...

John 15:13,14 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends...

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,

Cross References
Ruth 1:16
But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

2 Samuel 15:21
But Ittai answered the king, "As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be."

Proverbs 18:24
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

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