What does Proverbs 14:17 mean?
ESV: A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.
NIV: A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.
NASB: A quick-tempered person acts foolishly, And a person of evil devices is hated.
CSB: A quick-tempered person acts foolishly, and one who schemes is hated.
NLT: Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.
KJV: He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
The danger of our temper is that it operates on instinct, not on careful thought. Flying off the handle at the slightest provocation, or for no reason at all, or without exerting self-control shows how foolish a person is (2 Peter 2:12). People controlled by their temper may say things they will later regret or do things that land them in trouble (Proverbs 14:3, 14).
Scripture warns believers to put aside anger (Ephesians 4:31). James 1:19–20 teaches: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." Fortunately, the Lord can transform an angry heart into a loving heart. He transformed the apostle John from a "son of thunder" into the apostle who appealed for brotherly love (Mark 3:17; Luke 9:54; 1 John 3:11).
A crafty person, who schemes to inflict harm on others is the person with "evil devices." Such a person can expect to be despised by others, to say nothing of those they harm. This pattern is seen in the workplace, the neighborhood, and even within the family. Those who manipulate or plot to take advantage of other people are seldom liked, and almost never respected.
Proverbs 14:15–35 continues Solomon's wise sayings, once again mostly contrasting the wicked and the upright. He points out that those who do evil, by rejecting God's wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) are foolish and have no security. Those who do God's will (Proverbs 3:5) are wise and have unfailing security.
This continues a series of literal "proverbs:" short statements of general-case wisdom. The first ten verses of this chapter contrast positive and negative traits related to work ethic, self-control, and seeking wisdom. Then come several verses contrasting the fate of the righteous with that of the wicked. The rest of this passage provides statements on a broad range of subjects.
Proverbs 14 continues King Solomon's wise sayings. In this chapter he discusses a variety of topics such as wisdom and folly, honesty and dishonesty, righteousness and evil, national security and national disgrace, personal security and destruction, the fear of the Lord, generosity, and wise servanthood. This series of astute comments will continue for several more chapters.
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 11/30/2023 5:53:35 AM
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