1. Are those who love strife innocent of sin (transgression)?
No, they love sin: “He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction” (Proverbs 17:19).
- Sin and transgression are the same things (I John 3:4).
- Strife is just the beginning of a flood of sin (Proverbs 17:14).
- Carnal hatred [not spiritual hatred – Psalms 5:4-5, Psalms 97:10, Romans 12:9, and Hebrews 1:8-9] stirs up strife (Proverbs 10:12).
- Furious individuals abound in transgression (Proverbs 29:22).
No: “He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief” (Proverbs 17:20).
- The heart and tongue are tied together (Matthew 12:34, Matthew 15:18, and Luke 6:45).
- Proverbs 6:12-15, Proverbs 8:13, and Proverbs 10:31-32.
- We should steer clear of those who have froward hearts (Psalms 101:2-4).
3. Will parents find joy in their children if their children are fools (there are two separate verses in our current context to be used in this answer)?
No: “He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy… A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him” (Proverbs 17:21; 25).
- Proverbs 10:1, Proverbs 15:20, and Proverbs 17:25.
- This is one reason for parents not to leave their children without direction (Proverbs 29:15).
4. Does it help to have a merry heart opposed to having a broken spirit?
Yes: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
- Sorrow can swallow up a person (Proverbs 12:25, Proverbs 15:13, Proverbs 18:14, and II Corinthians 2:7).
- “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD… He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he” (Psalms 144:15 and Proverbs 16:20).
5. Will a wicked man use a gift [Strong’s # 7810; “bribe”] to try and pervert judgment?
Yes: “A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment” (Proverbs 17:23).
- Exodus 23:8, Deuteronomy 16:19, I Samuel 8:1-5, Psalms 26:9-10, Proverbs 28:21, Isaiah 1:23, and Isaiah 33:15.
6. Do fools focus on wisdom or do they look in all the wrong places?
They look everywhere except for in wisdom: “Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth” (Proverbs 17:24).
- Proverbs 14:6 and Ecclesiastes 2:14.
7. Is it good to punish just individuals?
No: “Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity” (Proverbs 17:26).
- Proverbs 17:15, Proverbs 18:5, Proverbs 24:23, and Matthew 27:24-25.
8. Is it better to shut your mouth or to speak freely?
It is better to shut up: “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding” (Proverbs 17:27-28).
- Psalms 39:1, Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 13:3, Proverbs 15:28, Proverbs 21:23, Ecclesiastes 10:12-14, James 1:19, James 1:26, James 3:1-18, and I Peter 3:10-11.