|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:4. Flatterers, especially false teachers, are welcome to those that live in sin. 5. Those that laugh at poverty, treat God's providence and precepts with contempt. 6. It is an honour to children to have wise and godly parents continued to them, even after they are grown up and settled in the world. 7. A fool, in Solomon's Proverbs, signifies a wicked man, whom excellent speech does not become, because his conversation contradicts it.
Verse 4. - A wicked doer giveth heed to false (evil) lips. A bad man delights in and hearkens to evil words; he takes pleasure in those who counsel wickedness, because they are after his own heart. Like mates with like. And a liar giveth ear to a naughty (mischievous) tongue. One who is himself mendacious listens with avidity to any tale that may injure a neighbour. however monstrous and improbable it may be. Septuagint, "A wicked man listens to the tongue of transgressors; but a just man heedeth not false lips." The Greek adds here, or in some manuscripts, after ver. 6, a paragraph which is not found in the Hebrew, Syriac, or Latin: "To him who is faithful the whole world wealth belongs; but the unfaithful is not worth an obole." On this the Fathers have frequently commented (see Corn. a Lapide, in loc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips,.... A man of an ill spirit, of a mischievous disposition, that delights in doing wickedness; he carefully attends to such as speak falsehood; he listens to lies and calumnies, loves to hear ill reports of persons, and takes pleasure in spreading them to the hurt of their characters; and men of bad hearts and lives give heed to seducing spirits, to false teachers, to inch as speak lies in hypocrisy, who sooth and harden them in their wickedness;
and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue: or, "to a tongue of destruction" (a); a culumniating, backbiting tongue, which destroys the good name and reputation of men; and he that is given to lying is made up of lying, or is a lie itself, as the word signifies; who roves and makes a lie, as antichrist and his followers; such an one hearkens diligently to everything that may detract from the character of those especially he bears an ill will to: or it may be better rendered, "he that hearkens to a lie gives heed to a naughty tongue" (b); for a lying tongue is a naughty one, evil in itself, pernicious in its effects and consequences.
(a) "perniciosae linguae", Tigurine version; "linguae confractionum calamitatum, injuriarum", Vatablus; "ad linguam exiliorum", Michaelis. (b) So Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Wicked doers and speakers alike delight in calumny.
Proverbs 17:4 Parallel Commentaries
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