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Daily Proverbs - Proverb 17:2

Updated on May 17, 2012

Why Proverbs?

The wealthiest man who ever lived wrote the proverbs. He must've known something! Although the Bible was written millenia ago, its contents actually are applicable and beneficial today. When eternal principals and laws (not talking about the ten commandments when I write "law" here. I am referencing governing systems that are alive, whether we know it or not! I believe Solomon understood these "laws".) are honored, your life will benefit, even if you don't adhere to the Judaeo-Christian beliefs contained in the rest of the Bible.


Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is from the Holman Christian Study Bible; all Hebrew/Greek/Armaic references are from Strong's Concordance; all English definitions and word roots are according to Merriam-Webster.

Proverb 17:2

A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son and share an inheritance among brothers. - Proverb 17:6

This verse requires little explanation. However, I believe the statement necessitates consideration. Consider yourself in the shoes of the three subjects: a wise servant, a disgraceful son, and brothers.

"Wise" in this passage is translated from the Hebrew "sakal" (pronounced saw-kal') and means "to make or cause to be circumspect and thereby intelligent." The English word "circumspect" is derived from the Latin "circum" and "specere". Circum means "around," and specere means "to look." The English application of the Latin "to look around" is careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences: prudent .

A person of any rank or position in society can choose to be careful of all circumstances and possible consequences (relates to the Proverb 16:2 hub...) and become intelligent. Investing time to consider thoroughly all possibilities to actions and potential life paths will cause one to become wise. There is reward in wisdom -- to have a place of authority above the originally appointed one. You can apply this at work, school, athletics. Study your field. Become intimate with the logistics of your positions, and how best to formulate and execute effective plans. Do your best where you are, constantly observe. Eventually, wisdom will promote you.

What about the disgraceful son? The word "disgraceful" is translated from the Hebrew "bush" (pronounced boosh) and has many meanings, including to pale, to be ashamed, to be disappointed or delayed. The King James Version renders a more accurate translation of this verb, "a son that causeth shame". The English transitive verb "disappointed" means to fail to meet the expectation or hope of. The person described in this verse has failed to meet the expectation or hope of a son.

The word "son" is translated from the Hebrew "ben" (pronounced "bane") and means builder of the family name. The expectation of a son was one who would build - grow or strengthen - the family name. A son who failed to build the family name did so through poor choice. His actions displaced himself from a seat of authority within the family. This, too, is applicable in the traditional family, the corporate family, as well as the athletic or academic families. I don't care to be among this group.

Then, there are the brothers, or in the KJV, the brethern. This term is translated from the Hebrew word "ach" (pronounce awkh) and means a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance). In other words, this verse does not restrict the group to bloodline only - but to those who share a common affinity (building the family name, causing an entity to succeed), or resemble each other in character.

The verse ends with the circumspect servant "sharing in the inheritance among the brethern." Everyone who share the common affinity to build the family name, causing it to expand and succeed, shares in the inheritance. Those "sons" who do not cause the family to expand or succeed will be ruled by others. This verse does not indicate the disappointed son loses his inheritance, rather, forfeits his authority.

How do all of these positions apply to a person today? Beyond the applications suggested earlier (academic, professional, etc.), this applies in your faith. Are you working to expand the family of your faith? I am not talking about abandoning life in pursuit of street-corner evangelism. I am referring to living a life of integrity, being a reflection of your deepest beliefs and convictions. Are you satisfied with being an impotent member of your household - whether the household is a literal one, or a household of faith, a corporation, an athletic team or academic institution? I am not. I desire to see "fruit" for my work -- not just an empty field.

I desire to see the fruits of my labor in my children, in my husband's and my relationship, in our business, in my faith journey. Am I influencing those in my sphere - not by "preaching" but by my life? Does a stranger in the store desire to love their children like they see me love mine with patience? Do friends desire to have peace seen in my life through every circumstance? Does my husband's heart trust me to confide his concerns and aspirations? Or do my neighbors wonder what is wrong with me because I'm yelling at my kids - again? Do my clients regret choosing me as a consultant, or do they refer others to me? What about you? Can your friends trust you to hold your tongue when they confide in you? Does your employer trust that you are working for every minute he/she pays you? Do your employees trust that you will promote/reward diligence? Are you faithful with your vote in expanding the government's administration by studying voting records, and understanding the facts and implications of proposed legislation? There are many applications. I desire to be counted among "the brethern" - the influential people.


Creator of Planets and Quantum Physics -

I desire to influence people for good. Expose any area in my life where I have not carefully considered the consequences of actions or paths. Help me to choose life-giving actions. Help me to be honest with myself and with others. I do not wish to forfeit my strength or position. I desire to help others.

In Jesus' name, amen.

Thank You!

Thank you for reading! I hope this hub helps you journey successfully in life.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Thanks again for stopping by!


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    • breathe2travel profile image

      breathe2travel 5 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Thank you, Chris! Glad you enjoyed reading! :)

    • breathe2travel profile image

      breathe2travel 5 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Thank you, "The Stages of ME" :)

    • breathe2travel profile image

      breathe2travel 5 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Thank you, MsLofton. :)

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 5 years ago from Fishers, IN

      That was awesome! A great education in Hebrew etymology and English translation, as well as a thoughtful exposition of the verse. Congratulations! Up, interesting, useful!

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 5 years ago

      I love proverbs wonderful Hub ~ Blessing to you

    • MsLofton profile image

      MsLofton 5 years ago from IL