Proverbs 17:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

New Living Translation
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

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

New American Standard Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.

International Standard Version
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is there for times of trouble.

NET Bible
A friend loves at all times, and a relative is born to help in adversity.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A friend is loved at all times and a brother is born for trouble.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A friend always loves, and a brother is born to share trouble.

JPS Tanakh 1917
A friend loveth at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

New American Standard 1977
A friend loves at all times,
            And a brother is born for adversity.

Jubilee Bible 2000
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

King James 2000 Bible
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

American King James Version
A friend loves 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.

Darby Bible Translation
The friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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.

World English Bible
A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.

Young's Literal Translation
At all times is the friend loving, And a brother for adversity is born.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:8. Those who set their hearts upon money, will do any thing for it. What influence should the gifts of God have on our hearts! 9. The way to preserve peace is to make the best of every thing; not to notice what has been said or done against ourselves. 10. A gentle reproof will enter, not only into the head, but into the heart of a wise man. 11. Satan, and the messengers of Satan, shall be let loose upon an evil man. 12. Let us watch over our own passions, and avoid the company of furious men. 13. To render evil for good is devilish. He that does so, brings a curse upon his family. 14. What danger there is in the beginning of strife! Resist its earliest display; and leave it off, if it were possible, before you begin. 15. It is an offence to God to acquit the guilty, or to condemn those who are not guilty. 16. Man's neglect of God's favour and his own interest is very absurd. 17. No change of outward circumstances should abate our affection for our friends or relatives. But no friend, except Christ, deserves unlimited confidence. In Him this text did receive, and still receives its most glorious fulfilment. 18. Let not any wrong their families. Yet Christ's becoming Surety for men, was a glorious display of Divine wisdom; for he was able to discharge the bond.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Some find a climax in the two clauses, and translate the last as Revised Version margin, "And is born as a brother for adversity," the same person being meant in both members of the sentence. A real friend loves his friend in prosperity and adversity; yea, he is more than a friend in time of need - he is a brother, as affectionate and as trusty as one connected by the closest ties of relationship (comp. Proverbs 18:24). Siracides gives a very cruel version of this proverb, "A friend cannot be known in prosperity; and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity. In the prosperity of a man enemies will be grieved; but in his adversity even a friend will depart" (Ecclus. 12:8, etc.). Cicero had a truer notion of the stability of friendship when he quoted Ennius's dictum, "Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur" ('De Amicit.,' 17.). Misfortune, says our maxim, is the touchstone of friendship; and one Greek gnome enjoins -

Ἰδίας νόμιζε τῶν φίλων τὰς συμφοράς

"Thy friend's misfortunes deem to be thine own;"

while another runs -

Κρίνει φίλους ὁ καιρὸς ὥς χρυσὸν τὸ πῦρ.

"The crisis tests a friend, as fire the gold." Septuagint, "Have thou a friend forevery crisis, and let brethren be useful in adversities; for for this they are made." Commenting on the expression, "is born," Wordsworth fancifully remarks, "Adversity brings him forth. He comes, as it were, out of the womb of calamity, and seems to be born for it."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A friend loveth at all times,.... A true, hearty, faithful friend, loves in times of adversity as well as in times of prosperity: there are many that are friends to persons, while they are in affluent circumstances; but when there is a change in their condition, and they are stripped of all riches and substance; than their friends forsake them, and stand at a distance from them; as was the case of Job, Job 19:14; it is a very rare thing to find a friend that is a constant lover, such an one as here described;

and a brother is born for adversity; for a time of adversity, as Jarchi: he is born into the world for this purpose; to sympathize with his brother in distress, to relieve him, comfort and support him; and if he does not do this, when it is in his power to do it, he does not answer the end of his being born into the world. The Jewish writers understand this as showing the difference between a friend and a brother: a cordial friend loves at all times, prosperous and adverse; but a "brother loves when adversity is born" (s), or is, so Aben Ezra; he loves when he is forced to it; when the distress of his brother, who is his flesh and bone, as Gersom observes, obliges him to it: but this may be understood of the same person who is the friend; he is a brother, and acts the part of one in a time of adversity, for which he is born and brought into the world; it being so ordered by divine Providence, that a man should have a friend born against the time he stands in need of him (t). To no one person can all this be applied with so much truth and exactness as to our Lord Jesus Christ; he is a "friend", not of angels only, but of men; more especially of his church and people; of sinful men, of publicans and sinners; as appears by his calling them to repentance, by his receiving them, and by his coming into the world to save them: he "loves" them, and loves them constantly; he loved them before time; so early were they on his heart and in his book of life; so early was he the surety of them, and the covenant of grace made with him; and their persons and grace put into his hands, which he took the care of: he loved them in time, and before time began with them; thus they were preserved in him, when they fell in Adam; were redeemed by his precious blood, when as yet they were not in being, at least many of them: he loves them as soon as time begins with them, as soon as born; though impure by their first birth, transgressors from the womb, enemies and enmity itself unto him; he waits to be gracious to them, and sends his Gospel and his Spirit to find them out and call them: and he continues to love them after conversion; in times of backsliding; in times of desertion; in times of temptation, and in times of affliction: he loves them indeed to the end of time, and to all eternity; nor is there a moment of time to be fixed upon, in which he does not love them. And he is a "brother" to his people; through his incarnation, he is a partaker of the same flesh and blood with them; and through their adoption, they having one and the same Father; nor is he ashamed to own the relation; and he has all the freedom, affection, compassion, and condescension, of a brother in him: and now he is a brother "born"; see Isaiah 9:6; born of a woman, a virgin, at Bethlehem, in the fulness of time, for and on the behalf of his people; even "for adversity"; to bear and endure adversity himself, which he did, by coming into a state of meanness and poverty; through the reproaches and persecutions of men, the temptations of Satan, the ill usage of his own disciples, the desertion of his father, the strokes of justice, and the sufferings of death; also for the adversity of his people, to sympathize with them, bear them up under it, and deliver them out of it. The ancient Jews had a notion that this Scripture has some respect to the Messiah; for, to show that the Messiah, being God, would by his incarnation become a brother to men, they cite this passage of Scripture as a testimony of it (u).

(s) "et fater diligit quando tribulatio nascitur", Munster; so some in Vatablus. (t) "Nihil homini amico est opportuno amicus", Plauti Epidicus, Acts 3. Sc. 3. v. 43. (u) Mechilta spud Galatin. Cathol. Ver. Arcan. l. 3. c. 28.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. To the second of these parallel clauses, there is an accession of meaning, that is, that a brother's love is specially seen in adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 Additional Commentaries
Better a Dry Morsel with Quietness
16Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense? 17A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. 18A man lacking in sense pledges And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.…
Cross References
Ruth 1:16
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

2 Samuel 15:21
But Ittai replied to the king, "As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be."

Proverbs 18:24
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Treasury of Scripture

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 18:24 A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a …

Proverbs 19:7 All the brothers of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends …

Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following …

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 …

1 Samuel 20:17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for …

1 Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and …

2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant have …

2 Samuel 9:1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, …

Esther 4:14 For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall there …

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

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of …

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