Proverbs 12:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

New Living Translation
Better to be an ordinary person with a servant than to be self-important but have no food.

English Standard Version
Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.

New American Standard Bible
Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant Than he who honors himself and lacks bread.

King James Bible
He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Better to be dishonored, yet have a servant, than to act important but have no food.

International Standard Version
It's better to be unimportant, yet have a servant, than to pretend to be important, but lack food.

NET Bible
Better is a person of humble standing who nevertheless has a servant, than one who pretends to be somebody important yet has no food.

New Heart English Bible
Better is he who is lightly esteemed, and has a servant, than he who honors himself, and lacks bread.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Better is a poor man who waits on himself than one who boasts and lacks bread.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Better to be unimportant and have a slave than to act important and have nothing to eat.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Better is he that is lightly esteemed, and hath a servant, Than he that playeth the man of rank, and lacketh bread.

New American Standard 1977
Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant,
            Than he who honors himself and lacks bread.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that despises himself and becomes a slave is better than he that honours himself and lacks bread.

King James 2000 Bible
He that is despised, and has a servant, is better than he that honors himself, and lacks bread.

American King James Version
He that is despised, and has a servant, is better than he that honors himself, and lacks bread.

American Standard Version
Better is he that is lightly esteemed, and hath a servant, Than he that honoreth himself, and lacketh bread.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Better is the poor man that provideth for himself, than he that is glorious and wanteth bread.

Darby Bible Translation
Better is he that is lightly esteemed, and hath a servant, than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

English Revised Version
Better is he that is lightly esteemed, and hath a servant, than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoreth himself, and is destitute of bread.

World English Bible
Better is he who is lightly esteemed, and has a servant, than he who honors himself, and lacks bread.

Young's Literal Translation
Better is the lightly esteemed who hath a servant, Than the self-honoured who lacketh bread.
Commentary
Matthew Henry Commentary
12:1 Those who have grace, will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions, are like brutes. 2. The man who covers selfish and vicious designs under a profession of religion or friendship, will be condemned. 3. Though men may advance themselves by sinful arts, they cannot settle and secure themselves. But those who by faith are rooted in Christ, are firmly fixed. 4. A wife who is pious, prudent, and looks well to the ways of her household, who makes conscience of her duty, and can bear crosses; such a one is an honour and comfort to her husband. She that is the reverse of this, preys upon him, and consumes him. 5. Thoughts are not free; they are under the Divine knowledge, therefore under the Divine command. It is a man's shame to act with deceit, with trick and design. 6. Wicked people speak mischief to their neighbours. A man may sometimes do a good work with one good word. 7. God's blessing is often continued to the families of godly men, while the wicked are overthrown. 8. The apostles showed wisdom by glorying in shame for the name of Christ. 9. He that lives in a humble state, who has no one to wait upon him, but gets bread by his own labour, is happier than he that glories in high birth or gay attire, and wants necessaries.
Study Bible
Loving Discipline and Knowledge
8A man will be praised according to his insight, But one of perverse mind will be despised. 9Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant Than he who honors himself and lacks bread. 10A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.…
Cross References
Matthew 15:8
These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.

Proverbs 12:8
A man will be praised according to his insight, But one of perverse mind will be despised.

Proverbs 12:10
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
Treasury of Scripture

He that is despised, and has a servant, is better than he that honors himself, and lacks bread.

he that is or rather, as in the old translation 'He that is despised, and is his own servant, is better than he that boasteth himself and wanteth bread;' with which the versions generally agree. That is, it is better to be in lowness and obscurity, and to support oneself by manual labour, than to want the necessaries of life, through a foolish vanity, or with the pride of birth, which refuses to labour.

despised

Proverbs 13:7 There is that makes himself rich, yet has nothing: there is that …

Luke 14:11 For whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself …

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