Proverbs 17:22
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

King James Bible
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

American Standard Version
A cheerful heart is a good medicine; But a broken spirit drieth up the bones.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A joyful mind maketh age flourishing: a sorrowful spirit drieth up the bones.

English Revised Version
A merry heart is a good medicine: but a broken spirit drieth up the bones.

Webster's Bible Translation
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

We take Proverbs 17:16-21 together. This group beings with a proverb of the heartless, and ends with one of the perverse-hearted; and between these there are not wanting noticeable points of contact between the proverbs that follow one another.

Proverbs 17:16

16 Why the ready money in the hand of the fool;

     To get wisdom when he has yet no heart?

The question is made pointed by זה, thus not: why the ready money when...? Is it to obtain wisdom? - the whole is but one question, the reason of which is founded in לבו אין (thus to be accented with Mugrash going before).

(Note: If we write ולב־ with Makkeph, then we have to accentuate לקנות חכמה with Tarcha Munach, because the Silluk word in this writing has not two syllables before the tone. This sequence of accents if found in the Codd. Ven. 1521, 1615, Basel 1619, while most editions have לקנות חכמה ולב־אין, which is false. But according to MSS we have ולב without Makkeph, and that is right according to the Makkeph rules of the metrical Accentuationssystem; vid., Torath Emeth, p. 40.)

The fool, perhaps, even makes some endeavours, for he goes to the school of the wise, to follow out their admonitions, קנה חכמה (Proverbs 4:5, etc.), and it costs him something (Proverbs 4:7), but all to no purpose, for he has no heart. By this it is not meant that knowledge, for which he pays his honorarium, remains, it may be, in his head, but goes not to his heart, and thus becomes an unfruitful theory; but the heart is equivalent to the understanding, in the sense in which the heart appears as the previous condition to the attainment of wisdom (Proverbs 18:15), and as something to be gained before all (Proverbs 15:32), viz., understanding, as the fitting intellectual and practical habitus to the reception, the appropriation, and realization of wisdom, the ability rightly to comprehend the fulness of the communicated knowledge, and to adopt it as an independent possession, that which the Greek called νοῦς, as in that "golden proverb" of Democrates: πολλοὶ πολυμαθέες νοῦν οὐκ ἔχουσι, or as in Luke 24:25, where it is said that the Lord opened τὸν νοῦν of His disciples to understand the Scriptures. In the lxx a distich follows Proverbs 17:16, which is made up of 19b and 20b, and contains a varied translation of these two lines.

Proverbs 17:22 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad.

Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works...

Romans 5:2-5 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God...

like a medicine

Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue sticks to my jaws; and you have brought me into the dust of death.

Psalm 32:3,4 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long...

Psalm 102:3-5 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth...

2 Corinthians 2:7 So that contrariwise you ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him...

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.

Cross References
Psalm 22:15
my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

Proverbs 15:13
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.

Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 18:14
A man's spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

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