Proverbs 17:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

New Living Translation
Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool; even less are lies fitting for a ruler.

English Standard Version
Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.

New American Standard Bible
Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince.

King James Bible
Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Eloquent words are not appropriate on a fool's lips; how much worse are lies for a ruler.

International Standard Version
Appropriate speech is inconsistent with the fool; how much more are deceitful statements with a prince!

NET Bible
Excessive speech is not becoming for a fool; how much less are lies for a ruler!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A trustworthy utterance is unbecoming to a fool; so is a false utterance to a righteous one.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Refined speech is not fitting for a godless fool. How much less does lying fit a noble person!

Jubilee Bible 2000
Excellent speech is not suitable for a fool: much less lying lips for a prince!

King James 2000 Bible
Excellent speech becomes not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

American King James Version
Excellent speech becomes not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

American Standard Version
Excellent speech becometh not a fool; Much less do lying lips a prince.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Eloquent words do not become a fool, nor lying lips a prince.

Darby Bible Translation
Excellent speech becometh not a vile [man]; how much less do lying lips a noble!

English Revised Version
Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

Webster's Bible Translation
Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

World English Bible
Arrogant speech isn't fitting for a fool, much less do lying lips fit a prince.

Young's Literal Translation
Not comely for a fool is a lip of excellency, Much less for a noble a lip of falsehood.
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - Excellent speech becometh not a fool. שְׂפַת יָתֶר; verba composita, Vulgate, i.e. studied, complicated, expressions; χείλη πιστά, "faithful lips," Septuagint. Others translate, "arrogant," "pretentious." It is literally, a lip of excess or superabundance, and is best taken in the above sense, as arrogant or assuming. A nabal, a "vicious fool," ought not to flaunt his unwisdom and his iniquities before the eyes of men, but to keep them hidden as much as possible. As such presumptuous behaviour is incongruous in the case of a fool, much less do lying lips [become] a prince; a noble person, such a one as is called in Isaiah (Isaiah 32:8) "liberal," where the same word, nadib, is used. This is an illustration of the saying, "Noblesse oblige." Thus the Greek gnome -

Ἐλευθέρου γὰρ ἀνδρὸς ἀλήθειαν λέγειν

"A free man's part it is the truth to speak." To John the Good, King of France, is attributed the noble maxim which well became his chivalrous character, "Si la bonne foi etait bannie du reste du monde, il faudrait qu'on la retrouvat dans le coeur des rois" (Bonnechose, 'Hist. de France,' 1:310). "My son," says the rabbi in the Talmud, "avoid lying first of all; for a lie will tarnish the brightness of thy honour." For "prince," the Septuagint has, "a just man," which makes the maxim a mere truism.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Excellent speech becometh not a fool,.... A wicked man. Eloquence, or a sublime grand way of speaking, a copiousness and fluency of expression, become not such; because hereby he may be capable of doing more mischief; or such a style is unsuitable to the subject of his discourse, which is nothing but folly and wickedness. The Gospel is excellent speech, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; it treats of excellent things; concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ, and salvation by him; and very unfit is a wicked man to take it into his mouth, talk of it, and declare it;

much less do lying lips a prince; they rather become a fool, as excellent speech does a prince; who neither should speak lies himself, nor encourage, but abhor them in others. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "a just man": but the word more property signifies a liberal man, as it is rendered in Isaiah 32:8; where it stands opposed to a churl or covetous man: and some Jewish (f) writers think by the "fool" is meant such an one to whom a "lip of abundance" (g), as it may be rendered, is very unsuitable; or to talk of his abundance, when he makes no good use of what he has for himself or others; and so, on the other hand, it is very disagreeable to the character of an ingenuous and liberal man to promise and not perform, and never intended it. It is true of such who are made a "willing" people in the day of Christ's power, Psalm 110:3; where the same word is used as here; of his volunteers; that to speak lies one to another very ill becomes them; or to receive, or to speak, or profess false doctrines; for no lie is of the truth.

(f) Kabvenaki in Mercer. in loc. (g) "labium abundantiae".

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

7. Excellent speech—(Compare Margin). Such language as ill suits a fool, as lying (ought to suit) a prince (Pr 16:12, 13).

Proverbs 17:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
Better a Dry Morsel with Quietness
6Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers. 7Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince. 8A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers.…
Cross References
Psalm 31:18
Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

Proverbs 6:17
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

Proverbs 12:22
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

Proverbs 19:10
It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury-- how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!

Proverbs 24:7
Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.

Proverbs 26:1
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.
Treasury of Scripture

Excellent speech becomes not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

excellent speech

Proverbs 26:7 The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

Psalm 50:16,17 But to the wicked God said, What have you to do to declare my statutes, …

much

Proverbs 16:10-13 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresses …

Proverbs 29:12 If a ruler listen to lies, all his servants are wicked.

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules …

Job 34:12 Yes, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert …

Psalm 101:3-5 I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them …

lying lips

Proverbs 12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue …

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