Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 17 P. 234 – Friends and Family

Proverbs 17: King James Bible

Friends and Family – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter seventeen, Verse 17

17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Friends and Family

There are two different ways to understand the verse above, relating to a brother being born for adversity. But first, let’s get a firm grasp of what the word diversity means.


noun, plural adversities for 2.
1. adverse or unfavorable fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress: Friends will show their true colors in times of adversity.
2. an adverse or unfortunate event or circumstance: You will meet many adversities in life.

Definition is brought to us by Dictionary.com

This is what is used to translate the Hebrew word “Tsarah,” which means:

  • Trouble
  • Distress
  • Affliction
  • Adversity
  • Anguish
  • Tribulation
  • Adversary

These are the things that a brother is born for, at least according to the scripture above. As I said in the opening paragraph, there are two directions we can take this, and I believe that both are accurate. It’s all made possible because of the use of the word “for.”

You can read the scripture above, and understand the section about a brother being born for adversity, as a means of having someone to lean on. Someone who’ll be there through thick or thin, simply because he is your brother.

There are many families that are that closely knit, where one brother will stick his neck out for the other. A good brother to a good man will do such things. Or a good sister to a good woman… Whatever the combination that may be relevant to you.

However, this isn’t always true now is it? Especially when we go through the pages of the Bible, just the opposite is true. This introduces us to the other way we can take this section of verse.

A brother is born for adversity, could quite literally mean that the adversity comes from the brother. This brother could be causing issues that might bring either you or your family trouble, distress, affliction, adversity, anguish, tribulation, or is simply your adversary.

We can see this in action throughout the Bible over and over again throughout the Old Testament. We can see it to some degree in the New Testament, when we see the mocking that Jesus went through with his brothers, the day they were leaving for the temple.

Ah but a friend, that is a whole different ballgame. A friend that becomes your adversary, is no longer a friend. But a brother that becomes your adversary is still your brother, no matter what goes on.

This is why the verse above tends to lean more favorably toward the love of a friend. A friend is one by choice, not by genetics. A friend makes a point to be there for another by virtue of that friendship. Whereas a brother may instead have a sense of obligation.

Jesus himself has seen fit to call us who are of his body, friends. Even though we are of the same Father, and all that Salvation brings, he has chose friendship.

To be honest, I believe that his wording was quite deliberate, in order to fulfill and stick with Old Testament scriptures that we can find right here in the book of Proverbs. That meaning, he IS the friend, that sticks closer than a brother. That is fulfilled through Christ Jesus.

Consider this a morsel of a devotional to come, because where we find the verse speaking about a friend sticking closer than a brother, will be found in chapter 18 of proverbs.

Related New Testament Scripture

John 3: King James Bible

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

John 15: King James Bible

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

James 2: King James Bible

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.



Thank you for your Word, and for the things that you give us to contemplate and mull over for the day. Help us to understand the deeper things of your Word, as well as the more simple things. Lord, thank you for calling us who love you, friends. Though we might not fully understand how we creations can be good friends to a perfect God Almighty, your Word says it, and we look forward for you to open up our understanding. Help us do whatever part we can, to become better friends toward you. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.



Can you relate to any of the above concerning your friends and family?

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