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Mishlei (Proverbs) Chapter 17
1. Better a piece of dry bread and tranquility with it, than a house =
full of sacrifices of strife.
Better a piece of dry bread and tranquility with it It would have been =
better for the Holy One, blessed be He, to destroy His Temple and His =
city, for He
would enjoy tranquility from the sins of Israel.
than a house full of sacrifices of strife For they were sacrificing =
sacrifices of strife in his Temple.
2. An intelligent slave will rule over a disgraceful son, and among the =
brothers he will divide the inheritance.
An intelligent slave, etc. Because Nebuchadnezzar was wise enough to =
take three steps in honor of the Holy One, blessed be He, he achieved =
ruled over Israel, who performed disgraceful deeds, and he divided their =
inheritance before their eyes. Another explanation: A righteous =
proselyte is better
than a wicked person who was home born, and in the future, he will share =
the spoils and the inheritance among the children of Israel, as it is =
47:23): =E2=80=9CAnd it shall be, in whatever tribe the stranger will =
3. A refining pot is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord =
tests the hearts.
A refining pot is for silver A vessel in which they refine silver and =
which is made from burnt ash on earthenware is called =
=D7=9E=D7=A6=D7=A8=D7=A3, a refining pot.
and a furnace is for gold A vessel in which gold is refined, a vessel in =
which gold is purified, like a broken pot, is called =D7=9B=D7=95=D7=A8, =
A refining pot is for silver, and a furnace is for gold The refining pot =
is made to refine silver for its work, and so is the furnace to purify =
but [peoples=E2=80=99] hearts-the Holy One, blessed be He, purifies them =
and tests them and knows their thoughts.
4. An evildoer hearkens to a language of violence; a liar lends an ear =
to destructive language.
An evildoer A wicked man.
hearkens to a language of violence and lies He accepts slander and false =
lends an ear Heb. =D7=9E=D7=96=D7=99=D7=9F like =
=D7=9E=D7=90=D7=96=D7=99=D7=9F He who lies lends an ear to destructive =
5. He who mocks a poor man blasphemes his Maker; he who rejoices at a =
misfortune will not go unpunished.
6. Children’s children are the crown of the aged, and the glory of the =
children is their fathers.
the crown of the aged when they see their children=E2=80=99s children =
going on the good way.
and the glory of the children is their fathers When their fathers are =
righteous, it is glory for the children.
7. Proud words do not befit a vile person, surely not lying speech a =
Proud words Heb. =D7=A9=D7=A4=D7=AA =D7=99=D7=AA=D7=A8, words of pride.
surely not lying speech a generous one And surely, lying speech does not =
befit a generous one.
8. A bribe is a precious stone in the eyes of the one who has it; =
wherever he turns, he prospers.
a precious stone When a person comes before the Holy One, blessed be He, =
and placates Him with words and returns to Him, in His eyes it is as a =
stone and as pearls.
a precious stone It is as a pearl in his eyes.
wherever he turns, he prospers In whatever he asks of Him, He makes him =
9. He who conceals transgression seeks love, but he who harps on a =
matter alienates the Lord.
He who conceals transgression seeks love If one man sins against =
another, and the latter conceals it for him, does not remind him of his =
sin, and does not
show him an angry face, he causes him to love him.
but he who harps on a matter Who bears a grudge and reminds him, =
=E2=80=9CYou did such and such a thing to me.=E2=80=9D =
alienates the Lord Then he alienates the Lord of the world.
10. The humility caused by the rebuke of an understanding person [is =
more effective] than a hundred blows to a fool.
The humility caused by the rebuke of an understanding person Heb. =
=D7=AA=D7=97=D7=AA. The accent in the word =D7=AA=D7=97=D7=AA is above =
on the =E2=80=9Ctav,=E2=80=9D unlike the rest of the Scriptures.
Therefore, I say that it is a noun, like =D7=AA=D7=97=D7=AA and its =
explanation is as follows. The humility caused by a rebuke is =
recognizable in an understanding person
more than one hundred blows that they strike the fool.
11. He who is only rebellious seeks evil, and a cruel angel shall be =
sent against him.
He who is only rebellious seeks evil One whose every word is =
rebelliousness and stubbornness constantly seeks evil.
12. May a bereaving bear encounter a person rather than a fool with his =
May a bereaving bear encounter a person It is better for a person that a =
bereaving bear encounter him rather than one of the foolish heathens, =
him to idolatry.
13. He who repays evil for good-evil will not depart from his house.
14. The beginning of strife is like letting out water, and before you =
are exposed, abandon the quarrel.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water Whoever commences a =
quarrel is like one who opens a hole in the stone walls of a water =
canal, and the
water goes out through it, and the hole becomes progressively wider; so =
does the quarrel constantly escalate.
and before you are exposed Before your shame is exposed, abandon the =
15. He who vindicates the wicked and condemns the righteous-both are an =
abomination to the Lord.
16. Why is there a price in the fool’s hand to buy wisdom, when the =
heart is not here?
Why is there a price in the fool=E2=80=99s hand to buy wisdom To learn =
when the heart is not here In his heart, he has no intention of =
fulfilling it, and he learns only to gain a reputation.
17. At all times, love a friend, for he is born a brother for adversity.
At all times, love a friend You should always love friends, i.e., to =
acquire people who love you.
for he is born a brother for adversity At the time of adversity, the =
friend will be born to you as a brother, to help you and to participate =
in your adversity.
18. A person without sense clasps hands; he becomes surety before his =
A person without sense clasps hands [This refers to] surety of money. =
Another explanation: He clasps with the wicked to go in their ways, =
while he is already
a guarantor for his friend. He already accepted surety for the Holy One, =
blessed be He, to keep His commandments.
19. He who delights in transgression delights in quarrels; he who speaks =
haughtily seeks disaster.
He who delights in transgression to sin against his friend.
delights in quarrels To quarrel and strive.
he who speaks haughtily lit. he who raises his opening, speaks with =
haughtiness, as in (Micah 7:5) =E2=80=9Cguard the openings of your =
20. He who is of a perverse heart will find no good, and he who has a =
hypocritical tongue will fall into evil.
21. He who begets a fool, does so to his sorrow; neither will the father =
of a vile man rejoice.
22. A happy heart enhances one’s brilliance, and a broken spirit dries =
A happy heart enhances one=E2=80=99s brilliance Heb. =D7=92=D7=94=D7=94. =
When a person is satisfied with his lot, his countenance shines.
23. He will take a bribe from a wicked man’s bosom, to pervert the roads =
He will take a bribe from a wicked man=E2=80=99s bosom The Holy One, =
blessed be He, accepts words of humility and appeasement from the bosom =
of the wicked; i.e.,
in secret, between Him and them.
to pervert the roads of justice To overturn his verdict from evil to =
24. Wisdom is directly in front of an understanding man, but the eyes of =
a fool are at the end of the earth.
Wisdom is directly in front of an understanding man The wisdom is =
directly in front of an understanding man.
but the eyes of a fool are at the end of the earth saying, =
=E2=80=9CWisdom is inaccessible to me [lit. The wisdom is not found =
before me] because it is far from
me. How will I be able to learn the Order Nezikin, which consists of =
thirty chapters; Tractate Kelim, consisting of thirty chapters; Tractate =
consisting of twenty-four chapters?=E2=80=9D But, for the wise man, it =
is an easy matter: =E2=80=9CToday I learn two chapters and tomorrow two =
chapters.=E2=80=9D And he says,
=E2=80=9CThis is what those who preceded me from time immemorial =
25. A foolish son causes anger to his father, and bitterness to her who =
A foolish son causes anger to his father [A foolish son] like Jeroboam =
causes anger to the Holy One, blessed be He.
and bitterness to her who bore him To the people of Israel, whom he =
caused to sin.
26. To punish also the righteous man is not good-to strike the generous =
who possess uprightness.
To punish also the righteous man is not good The Holy One, blessed be =
He, did not decide to obliterate the name of Israel from upon the earth, =
as it was
not good in his sight to punish all of them.
to strike the generous who possess uprightness To strike the good people =
among them, who were generous and possessing uprightness, as it is said =
19: 18): =E2=80=9CAnd I will leave over in Israel seven thousand-all the =
knees that did not kneel to the Baal.=E2=80=9D
the generous who possess uprightness Heb. =
=D7=A0=D7=93=D7=99=D7=91=D7=99=D7=9D =D7=A2=D7=9C=D7=99 =
=D7=99=D7=A9=D7=A8, an analogy of what is stated elsewhere (Isa. 32:8): =
=E2=80=9CBut the generous person plans generous deeds,
and he, because of generous deeds, shall stand.=E2=80=9D We find =
=E2=80=9Ca generous man because of generous deeds.=E2=80=9D
27. He who has knowledge keeps back his words; he whose breath is dear =
is a man of understanding.
keeps back his words He who has knowledge does not talk excessively.
he whose breath is dear (Whose words are dear; Salonica ed.) He who =
keeps back his words is a man of understanding.
28. He who silences even a fool is considered a wise man; one who shuts =
his lips, a man of understanding.