Proverbs 18:24
Parallel Verses
New International Version
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

King James Bible
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Darby Bible Translation
A man of [many] friends will come to ruin but there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

World English Bible
A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Young's Literal Translation
A man with friends is to show himself friendly, And there is a lover adhering more than a brother!

Proverbs 18:24 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly - Love begets love; and love requires love as its recompense. If a man do not maintain a friendly carriage, he cannot expect to retain his friends. Friendship is a good plant; but it requires cultivation to make it grow.

There is a kind of factitious friendship in the world, that, to show one's self friendly in it, is very expensive, and in every way utterly unprofitable: it is maintained by expensive parties. feasts, etc., where the table groans with dainties, and where the conversation is either jejune and insipid, or calumnious; backbiting, talebearing, and scandal, being the general topics of the different squads in company.

There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother - In many cases the genuine friend has shown more attachment, and rendered greater benefits, than the natural brother. Some apply this to God; others to Christ; but the text has no such meaning.

But critics and commentators are not agreed on the translation of this verse. The original is condensed and obscure. אוש רעים להתרועע ish reim lehithroea, or lehithroeang, as some would read, who translate: A man of friends may ring again; i.e., he may boast and mightily exult: but there is a friend, אהב oheb, a lover, that sticketh closer, דבק dabek, is glued or cemented, מאח meach, beyond, or more than, a brother. The former will continue during prosperity, but the latter continues closely united to his friend, even in the most disastrous circumstances.

Hence that maxim of Cicero, so often repeated, and so well known: -

Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.

"In doubtful times the genuine friend is known."

A late commentator has translated the verse thus: -

The man that hath many friends is ready to be ruined:

But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.


"A frende that delyteth in love, doth a man more frendship, and sticketh faster unto him, than a brother." Coverdale.

"A man that hath friends ought to show himself friendly for a friend is nearer than a brother." Barker's Bible, 1615.

"A man amyable to felowschip, more a freend schal ben thanne a brother." - Old MS. Bible. The two last verses in this chapter, and the two first of the next, are wanting in the Septuagint and Arabic.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

that hath

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

1 Samuel 19:4,5 And Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father, and said to him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David...

1 Samuel 30:26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying...

2 Samuel 9:1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

2 Samuel 16:17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this your kindness to your friend? why went you not with your friend?

2 Samuel 17:27-29 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon...

2 Samuel 19:30-39 And Mephibosheth said to the king, Yes, let him take all, for as much as my lord the king is come again in peace to his own house...

2 Samuel 21:7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD's oath that was between them...

1 Chronicles 12:38-40 All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel...

Matthew 26:49,50 And immediately he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him...


2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant have you been to me: your love to me was wonderful...

John 15:14,15 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you...

Two Fortresses
'The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. 11. The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit'--PROVERBS xviii. 10,11. The mere reading of these two verses shows that, contrary to the usual rule in the Book of Proverbs, they have a bearing on each other. They are intended to suggest a very strong contrast, and that contrast is even more emphatic in the original than in our translation; because, as the margin of your Bibles
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Spirit
A sermon (2494) intended for reading on Lord's Day, December 6th, 1896, delivered by C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington on Thursday Evening, April 16th, 1885. "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?"--Proverbs 18:14. Every man sooner or later has some kind of infirmity to bear. It may be that his constitution from the very first will be inclined to certain disease and pains, or possibly he may in passing through life suffer from accident
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

"And if Christ be in You, the Body is Dead Because of Sin: but the Spirit is Life Because of Righteousness. "
Rom. viii. 10.--"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." "The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law," saith our apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 56. These two concur to make man mortal, and these two are the bitter ingredients of death. Sin procured it, and the law appointed it, and God hath seen to the exact execution of that law in all ages; for what man liveth and shall not taste of death? Two only escaped the common
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The remarkable change which we have noticed in the views of Jewish authorities, from contempt to almost affectation of manual labour, could certainly not have been arbitrary. But as we fail to discover here any religious motive, we can only account for it on the score of altered political and social circumstances. So long as the people were, at least nominally, independent, and in possession of their own land, constant engagement in a trade would probably mark an inferior social stage, and imply
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Cross References
John 15:14
You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

Proverbs 27:10
Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

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