Proverbs 17
Wycliffe's Bible
1Better is a dry morsel with joy, than an house full of sacrifices with chiding, (or with arguments).

2A wise servant shall be lord of fond sons; and he shall part heritage among brethren. (A wise servant shall be lord over his master’s foolish sons and daughters; and in time he shall have part of the inheritance, along with the brothers and the sisters.)

3As silver is proved by fire, and gold is proved by a chimney, so the Lord proveth hearts.

4An evil man obeyeth to a wicked tongue; and a false man obeyeth to false lips. (An evil person obeyeth a wicked tongue; and a liar obeyeth lies.)

5He that despiseth a poor man, reproveth his maker; and he that is glad in the falling of another man, shall not be unpunished. (He who despiseth the poor, rebuketh his Maker; and he who is glad in the falling of another person, shall not go unpunished.)

6The crown of eld men is the sons of sons; and the glory of sons is the fathers of them.

7Words well-set together beseem not a fool; and a lying lip becometh not a prince. (Words put together well become not a fool; and lies become not a leader.)

8A precious stone most acceptable is the abiding of him that seeketh; whither ever he turneth himself, he understandeth prudently. (A gift, or a bribe, is like a most acceptable precious stone in the eyes of him who receiveth it; wherever it goeth, it bringeth prosperity to he who giveth it.)

9He that covereth trespass, seeketh friendships; he that rehearseth by an high word (but he who remembereth a wrong), separateth them that (should) be knit together in peace.

10A blaming profiteth more at a prudent man, than an hundred wounds at a fool. (A rebuke more profiteth a prudent man, than an hundred wounds to a fool.)

11Ever an evil man seeketh strives; forsooth a cruel angel shall be sent against him. (An evil person forevermore seeketh out strife, or arguments; but a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.)

12It speedeth more to meet a female bear, when her whelps be ravished, than a fool trusting to himself in his folly. (It is better to meet a female bear after she hath been robbed of her whelps, than a fool trusting himself in his own foolishness.)

13Evil shall not go away from the house of him, that yieldeth evils for goods (who giveth evil for good).

14He that letteth (out) water, is the head of strives, (or of arguments); and before that he suffereth wrong, he forsaketh doom (he deserteth judgement).

15Both he that justifieth a wicked man, and he that condemneth a just man, ever either is abominable to God. (Both he who justifieth a wicked person, and he who condemneth a righteous person, be abominable to God.)

16What profiteth it to a fool to have riches, since he may not buy wisdom? (since he cannot buy wisdom?) He that maketh his house high, seeketh falling; and he that escheweth to learn, shall fall into evils.

17He that is a friend, loveth in all time; and a brother is proved in anguishes.

18A fond man shall make joy with hands (A foolish person shall clap his hands, or shall rejoice), when he hath promised for his friend.

19He that bethinketh discords, loveth chidings; and he that enhanceth his mouth, seeketh falling. (He who thinketh up discord, loveth arguments; and he who exalteth his own mouth, seeketh his own downfall.)

20He that is of wayward heart, shall not find good; and he that (mis-)turneth the tongue, shall fall into evil.

21A fool is born in his shame; but neither the father shall be glad in a fool. (A fool is born to his parents’ shame; and the father shall never be glad, or have joy, over his foolish son.)

22A joyful soul maketh liking age (A joyful soul maketh a good life); a sorrowful spirit maketh dry bones.

23A wicked man taketh gifts from the bosom, to mis-turn the paths of doom. (A wicked person accepeth secret gifts, or bribes, to pervert the course of justice.)

24Wisdom shineth in the face of a prudent man; the eyes of fools be in the ends of earth. (Wisdom shineth in the face of the prudent; the eyes of fools be upon the ends of the earth.)

25A fond son is the ire of the father, and the sorrow of the mother that bare him.

26It is not good to bring in harm to a just man; neither to smite the prince that deemeth rightfully. (It is not good to harm the righteous; nor to strike the leader who ruleth rightfully.)

27He that measureth his words, is wise and prudent; and a learned man is of precious spirit. (He who measureth his words, is wise and prudent; and a learned person hath a precious spirit.)

28Also a fool, if he is still, shall be guessed a wise man (Even a fool, if he is silent, shall be thought to be wise); and, if he presseth together his lips, he is guessed an understanding man.


Comprising of
Wycliffe’s Old Testament


Wycliffe’s New Testament
(Revised Edition)

Translated by


A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by


Used by Permission

Bible Hub
Proverbs 16
Top of Page
Top of Page