Proverbs 12:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

King James Bible
He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

Darby Bible Translation
Better is he that is lightly esteemed, and hath a servant, than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

World English Bible
Better is he who is lightly esteemed, and has a servant, than he who honors himself, and lacks bread.

Young's Literal Translation
Better is the lightly esteemed who hath a servant, Than the self-honoured who lacketh bread.

Proverbs 12:9 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

He that is despised, and hath a servant - I believe the Vulgate gives the true sense of this verse: Melior est pauper, et sufficiens sibi; quam gloriosus, et indigens pane.

"Better is the poor man who provides for himself, than the proud who is destitute of bread." The versions in general agree in this sense. This needs no comment. There are some who, through pride of birth, etc., would rather starve, than put their hands to menial labor. Though they may be lords, how much to be preferred is the simple peasant, who supports himself and family by the drudgery of life!

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

he that is or rather, as in the old translation 'He that is despised, and is his own servant, is better than he that boasteth himself and wanteth bread;' with which the versions generally agree. That is, it is better to be in lowness and obscurity, and to support oneself by manual labour, than to want the necessaries of life, through a foolish vanity, or with the pride of birth, which refuses to labour.

despised

Proverbs 13:7 There is that makes himself rich, yet has nothing: there is that makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

Luke 14:11 For whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.

Library
The Many-Sided Contrast of Wisdom and Folly
'Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 2. A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. 3. A man shall not be established by wickedness; but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. 5. The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 6. The words of the wicked are to lie
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of Having Confidence in God when Evil Words are Cast at Us
"My Son, stand fast and believe in Me. For what are words but words? They fly through the air, but they bruise no stone. If thou are guilty, think how thou wouldst gladly amend thyself; if thou knowest nothing against thyself, consider that thou wilt gladly bear this for God's sake. It is little enough that thou sometimes hast to bear hard words, for thou art not yet able to bear hard blows. And wherefore do such trivial matters go to thine heart, except that thou art yet carnal, and regardest
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Cross References
Matthew 15:8
"'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Proverbs 12:8
A person is praised according to their prudence, and one with a warped mind is despised.

Proverbs 12:10
The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

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Better Bread Despised Destitute Esteemed Food Great High Honoreth Honors Honoureth Humble Lightly Low Need Nobody Opinion Playeth Plays Position Pretend Rank Servant Somebody Standing Works
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