New International Version
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
King James Bible
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Darby Bible Translation
A man of [many] friends will come to ruin but there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.
World English Bible
A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Young's Literal Translation
A man with friends is to show himself friendly, And there is a lover adhering more than a brother!
Proverbs 18:24 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly - Love begets love; and love requires love as its recompense. If a man do not maintain a friendly carriage, he cannot expect to retain his friends. Friendship is a good plant; but it requires cultivation to make it grow.
There is a kind of factitious friendship in the world, that, to show one's self friendly in it, is very expensive, and in every way utterly unprofitable: it is maintained by expensive parties. feasts, etc., where the table groans with dainties, and where the conversation is either jejune and insipid, or calumnious; backbiting, talebearing, and scandal, being the general topics of the different squads in company.
There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother - In many cases the genuine friend has shown more attachment, and rendered greater benefits, than the natural brother. Some apply this to God; others to Christ; but the text has no such meaning.
But critics and commentators are not agreed on the translation of this verse. The original is condensed and obscure. אוש רעים להתרועע ish reim lehithroea, or lehithroeang, as some would read, who translate: A man of friends may ring again; i.e., he may boast and mightily exult: but there is a friend, אהב oheb, a lover, that sticketh closer, דבק dabek, is glued or cemented, מאח meach, beyond, or more than, a brother. The former will continue during prosperity, but the latter continues closely united to his friend, even in the most disastrous circumstances.
Hence that maxim of Cicero, so often repeated, and so well known: -
Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.
"In doubtful times the genuine friend is known."
A late commentator has translated the verse thus: -
The man that hath many friends is ready to be ruined:
But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
"A frende that delyteth in love, doth a man more frendship, and sticketh faster unto him, than a brother." Coverdale.
"A man that hath friends ought to show himself friendly for a friend is nearer than a brother." Barker's Bible, 1615.
"A man amyable to felowschip, more a freend schal ben thanne a brother." - Old MS. Bible. The two last verses in this chapter, and the two first of the next, are wanting in the Septuagint and Arabic.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
'The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. 11. The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit'--PROVERBS xviii. 10,11. The mere reading of these two verses shows that, contrary to the usual rule in the Book of Proverbs, they have a bearing on each other. They are intended to suggest a very strong contrast, and that contrast is even more emphatic in the original than in our translation; because, as the margin of your Bibles …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Spirit
"And if Christ be in You, the Body is Dead Because of Sin: but the Spirit is Life Because of Righteousness. "
You are my friends if you do what I command.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.
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