Proverbs 17:25-28
Prov 17:25 (KJB)
A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
 
Grief - Anger or vexation
Bitterness - To be bitter
 
The foolish son brings much grief to his parents. He is unable to make proper decisions and he probably depends on them to bail him out. This probably uses up their family resources and that means less money for retirement or other more pressing needs the family has. These things may cause much anger on the part of the father who has probably worked hard all his life just to see his foolish son dwindle the family savings. The mother is also seeing that the son is a fool and there is no sympathy for him, in fact, his foolishness has worn out his motherís patience too since she has become bitter at his foolish existence. This son probably brings shame on this family and that means people may stay away from them and the parents may have no friends because of the foolish son. People who are fools, affect the lives of all they meet and live with.
 
Prov 17:26 (KJB)
Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
 
Punish - To impose a fine
Strike - To smite or strike dead
 
Here is a verse which is just as apropos today as when it was penned. God condemns two things in this verse. First, the imposing of a fine or punishing the innocent. Many times those who bring justice in society are the very ones who are castigated resulting in punishment. The second condemnation in this verse is the punishment of rulers who are being singled out for their uprightness or honesty. This world holds crooked politicians in high esteem while it punishes the honest ones. We see how many good politicians are voted out of office because of smear campaigns while the crooks are voted in with seeming impunity. When these two things are present in a society, the country is not long for existence because just like Israel of old, God will judge that nation for these nefarious practices.
 
Prov 17:27 (KJB)
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
 
Spareth - To keep back
Excellent - Calm and self-assured because he is knowledgeable
 
A person who has knowledge spares his words, in other words, it is not that he does not want to add anything to the conversation, it is that he knows what words to use and how to use them thus causing much less confusion with too many words. (Prov 10:19 KJV) In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. The one you really must look out for is the one who uses many words to over justify whatever they are selling or teaching. The right amount of words delivered properly will suffice to convey a teaching. The reason that the one who has knowledge uses less words is because he has a spirit which is calm and self-assured. Now this does not mean a prideful self-assurance, it means that he has studied the answer and is assured in his response or his teaching that he is delivering the right information properly. This is why we study, so we can have an answer for people coupled with assurance helping to build their confidence in that answer. If we are teaching the Bible, then we always want to be sure of what we are teaching and we must teach it with confidence.
 
Prov 17:28 (KJB)
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
 
Holdeth his peace - Remains silent
Shutteth - Closes
 
Here is where even a fool can be considered wise. A person who is constantly talking is bound to say something in error and normally tries the patience of everyone they are around. If a person is a fool and does not enter into the conversation, then even if he has a foolís reputation, at that point they will be considered a wise man. On the same line of thinking, the one who is speaking but does not continue incessantly, will be considered a man of understanding, knowing that he does not have to over-justify his position. These verses are teaching all of us that there is no need for incessant talking because if we are sure in our position, then we need only a few words to bring the message.

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