Proverbs 18:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.

New Living Translation
The first to speak in court sounds right--until the cross-examination begins.

English Standard Version
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

New American Standard Bible
The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.

King James Bible
He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

International Standard Version
The first to put forth his case seems right, until someone else steps forward and cross-examines him.

NET Bible
The first to state his case seems right, until his opponent begins to cross-examine him.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A man is innocent in his own judgment, and when his neighbor comes, he examines him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The first to state his case seems right [until] his neighbor comes to cross-examine him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The one who is just is first in his cause, his adversary comes and seeks him out.

King James 2000 Bible
He that speaks first in his own cause seems just; until his neighbor comes and examines him.

American King James Version
He that is first in his own cause seems just; but his neighbor comes and searches him.

American Standard Version
He that pleadeth his cause first'seemeth just; But his neighbor cometh and searcheth him out.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The just is first accuser of himself: his friend cometh, and shall search him.

Darby Bible Translation
He that is first in his own cause [seemeth] just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

English Revised Version
He that pleadeth his cause first seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him out.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.

World English Bible
He who pleads his cause first seems right; until another comes and questions him.

Young's Literal Translation
Righteous is the first in his own cause, His neighbour cometh and hath searched him.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:17. It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves. 18. It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; Revised Version, he that pleadeth his cause first seemeth just. A man who tells his own story, and is the first to open his case before the judge or a third party, seems tot the moment to have justice on his side. But his neighbour cometh and searcheth him out (Proverbs 28:11). The "neighbour" is the opposing party - ὁ ἀντίδικος Septuagint, which recalls Matthew 5:25 - he sifts and scrutinizes the statements already given, shows them to be erroneous, or weakens the evidence which appeared to support them. Thus the maxims, "One story is good till the other is told," and "Audi alteram partem," receive confirmation. Vulgate, Justus prior est accusator sui. So Septuagint, "The righteous is his own accuser in opening the suit (ἐν πρωτολογίᾳ)." He cuts the ground from under the adversary's feet by at once owning his fault. St. Gregory more than once, in his 'Moralia,' adduces this rendering. Thus on Job 7:11, "To put the mouth to labour is to employ it in the confession of sin done, but the righteous man doth not refrain his mouth, in that, forestalling the wrath of the searching Judge, he falls wroth upon himself in words of self-confession. Hence it is written, 'The just man is first the accuser of himself'" (so lib. 22:33).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

He that is first in his own cause seemeth just,.... As perhaps Tertullus did, before Paul made his defence; and as Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, before his master detected him: this often appears true in telling a tale, in private conversation, in lawsuits before a judge and a court of judicature, and in theological controversies;

but his neighbour cometh, and searcheth him; his neighbour comes into the house, where he is telling his tale, and reports it in another manner, and shows the falsehood of his relation; or he comes into a court of judicature, and sets the cause in quite another light; or he comes out into the worm by public writing, and exposes the errors of a man engaged in a wrong cause, and refutes his arguments. It is generally understood of judicial affairs, that the first that opens a cause is very apt to prejudice the judge and court in his favour, and they are ready to thing at first hearing that he is in the right; but it is not proper to be hasty in forming a judgment till the other side is heard; for his antagonist comes and traverses the point, unravels the whole affair, shows the weakness of his cause, the vanity of his pretences, and makes void all his allegations; and then "he", the judge, so some interpret it, "searcheth"; inquires more narrowly into the case, in order to find out truth, and pass a right judgment and sentence.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. One-sided statements are not reliable.

searcheth—thoroughly (Pr 17:9, 19).

Proverbs 18:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Unfriendly Pursue Selfishness
16A man's gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. 17The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. 18The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones.…
Cross References
Proverbs 18:16
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

Proverbs 18:18
Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart.
Treasury of Scripture

He that is first in his own cause seems just; but his neighbor comes and searches him.

Proverbs 18:13 He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.

2 Samuel 16:1-3 And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba …

2 Samuel 19:24-27 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and …

Acts 24:5,6,12,13 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition …

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