Proverbs 17:22
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

New Living Translation
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength.

English Standard Version
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

New American Standard Bible
A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

International Standard Version
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one's strength.

NET Bible
A cheerful heart brings good healing, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A merry heart improves the body and a depressed spirit dries the bones.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one's strength.

Jubilee Bible 2000
A joyful heart shall do good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

King James 2000 Bible
A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.

American King James Version
A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries 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.

Darby Bible Translation
A joyful heart promoteth healing; but a broken 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.

World English Bible
A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Young's Literal Translation
A rejoicing heart doth good to the body, And a smitten spirit drieth the bone.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:19. If we would keep a clear conscience and a quiet mind, we must shun all excitements to anger. And a man who affects a style of living above his means, goes the way to ruin. 20. There is nothing got by ill designs. And many have paid dear for an unbridled tongue. 21. This speaks very plainly what many wise and good men feel very strongly, how grievous it is to have a foolish, wicked child. 22. It is great mercy that God gives us leave to be cheerful, and cause to be cheerful, if by his grace he gives us hearts to be cheerful. 23. The wicked are ready to part with their money, though loved, that they may not suffer for their crimes. 24. The prudent man keeps the word of God continually in view. But the foolish man cannot fix his thoughts, nor pursue any purpose with steadiness. 25. Wicked children despise the authority of their father, and the tenderness of their mother. 26. It is very wrong to find fault for doing what is duty. 27,28. A man may show himself to be a wise man, by the good temper of his mind, and by the good government of his tongue. He is careful when he does speak, to speak to the purpose. God knows his heart, and the folly that is bound there; therefore he cannot be deceived in his judgment as men may be.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 22. - A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. So Aben Ezra, understanding the particle of comparison, which is not in the Hebrew. The ward translated "medicine" (gehah) occurs nowhere else, and probably means "healing" "relief." The clause is better rendered, a cheerful heart maketh a good healing (comp. Proverbs 15:13; Proverbs 16:25). Vulgate, aetatem floridam facit; Septuagint, εὐεκτεῖν ποιεῖ, "makes one to be in good case." A cheerful, contented disposition enables a men to resist the attacks of disease, the mind, ms every one knows, having most powerful influence over the body. Ecclus. 30:22, "The gladness of the heart is the life of man, and the joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days." A broken spirit drieth the bones; destroys all life and vigour (comp. Proverbs 3:8; Psalm 22:15; Psalm 32:4). We all remember the distich -

"A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a."
So the rabbis enjoin, "Give ears no room in thine heart, for care hath killed many" (Dukes, p. 68). Religious gladness is a positive duty, and "low spirits," as Isaac Williams says, "are a sin." Asks the Greek moralist -

Ἄρ ἐστὶ συγγενές τι λύπη καὶ βίος And Lucretius (3:473) affirms -

"Nam dolor ac morbus leti fabricator uterque est."
"Workers of death are sorrow and disease."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A merry heart doth good like a medicine,.... Does the body good, makes it healthful and vigorous. Cheerfulness of spirit has a great influence upon the body, and much contributes to the health and welfare of it; see Ecclesiastes 9:7; and especially a heart full of spiritual joy, peace of conscience, flowing from the blood of Christ, joy in the Holy Ghost, a rejoicing in Christ Jesus and his righteousness, and in hope of the glory of God, much affect even the outward man. Or, "a merry heart makes a good medicine" (x); it is a good medicine of itself; raises the spirits, invigorates the body, and fits it for service and business: or, "does a medicine good" (y); makes that operate kindly, and to a good purpose: or, as Jarchi, makes the countenance shine well, makes a serene countenance; which Schultens approves, and, from the use of the word in the Arabic language, confirms;

but a broken spirit drieth the bones; a spirit broken with sorrow, whether on spiritual or temporal accounts; as it weakens the nerves, it dries up the marrow in the bones, and emaciates the body, and reduces it to a skeleton: the joy or grief of the mind, those passions of the soul, have a very great influence upon the body, either for its good or hurt.

(x) "cor hilare bonam facit sanationem", Michaelis. (y) So R. Joseph Kimchi; "bonificat sive meliorem reddit medicinam", some in Valablus; "bene medicinam facit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

22. (Compare Pr 14:30; 15:13). The effect of the mind on the body is well known.

medicine—or, "body," which better corresponds with "bone."

drieth—as if the marrow were exhausted.

Proverbs 17:22 Additional Commentaries
Context
Better a Dry Morsel with Quietness
21He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. 22A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. 23A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice.…
Cross References
Psalm 22:15
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

Proverbs 15:13
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 18:14
The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Treasury of Scripture

A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.

merry

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 …

Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit …

Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a …

Romans 5:2-5 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, …

like a medicine

Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue sticks to …

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 …

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