Proverbs 18:24 King James Bible - "A MAN THAT HATH MANY FRIENDS MUST SHEW HIMSELF FRIENDLY: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
The NIV 1984 edition, ESV and NASB say "A man of MANY COMPANIONS MAY COME TO RUIN, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
The Catholic the New Jerusalem bible 1985 reads: "There are FRIENDS WHO POINT THE WAY TO RUIN, others are closer than a brother."
Jehovah Witness New World Translation 2013 edition - "THERE ARE COMPANIONS READY TO CRUSH ONE ANOTHER, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
Easy to Read Version 2001 - "SOME FRIENDS ARE FUN TO BE WITH. But a close friend can be even better than a brother."
Agreeing with the King James Bible word for word or in sense are Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568 - "A man that wyll haue frendes, must shewe hym selfe frendly", the Geneva Bible 1599, - "A man that hath friends, ought to shew him selfe friendly", Barker's Bible 1615, Webster's 1833 translation, The Longman Version 1841, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Smith Bible 1876, Young's literal 1898 - "A man with friends is to show himself friendly", The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the New Life Version 1969, the NKJV 1982, KJV 21st Century 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998.
Other English Bibles that read like the KJB are The Word of Yah 1993, The Modern Young's Literal Translation 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009, English Jubilee Bible 2010, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - "A man who has friends MUST SHOW HIMSELF FRIENDLY, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.", and The Holy Bible Modern English Version 2014 -"A man WHO HAS FRIENDS MUST SHOW HIMSELF FRIENDLY, and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
This online Hebrew Interlinear Old Testament - http://studybible.info/IHOT/PROVERBS%2018:24
Jewish Virtual Library The Tanakh [Full Text] 1998
“A man that hath friends MUST SHEW HIMSELF FRIENDLY: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003 - "A MAN HAVING FRIENDS IS FOR FRIENDSHIP; and there is a friend cleaving to over a brother."
Foreign Language Bibles
Foreign language Bibles that agree with the sense found in the KJB are the French Martin 1744 - "Que l'homme qui a des intimes amis, se tienne à leur amitié", the Italian Diodati 1649 -"Un uomo che ha degli amici deve portarsi da amico", and La Nuova Diodati 1991, the Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, the 2010 Reina Valera Gómez Bible, the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel 1861 - "O homem de muitos amigos deve mostrar-se amigável, mas há um amigo mais chegado do que um irmäo." = "The man who has many friends should show himself friendly"
The 2014 Romanian Fideli Bible - "Un om care are prieteni trebuie sa se arate el insusi prietenos", the Finnish Bible 1776 - "Ihminen, jolla on ystävä, pitää oleman ystävällinen", the Dutch Staten Vertaling - "Een man, die vrienden heeft, heeft zich vriendelijk te houden.", the Russian Synodal Bible 1876 - "Кто хочет иметь друзей, тот и сам должен быть дружелюбным; и бываетдруг, более привязанный, нежели брат." = "Who wants to have friends, he himself should be friendly."
and the Modern Greek Bible -"Ο ανθρωπος ο εχων φιλους πρεπει να φερηται φιλικως· και υπαρχει φιλος στενωτερος αδελφου." = "A MAN WHO HAS FRIENDS OUGHT INDEED TO SHOW HIMSELF FRIENDLY"
The Spanish Reina Valera reads: "El hombre que tiene amigos ha de mostrarse amigo; Y amigo hay más unido que un hermano." = "THE MAN WHO HAS FRIENDS MUST SHOW HIMSELF FRIENDLY"
Likewise the 1991 New Italian Diodati reads like the KJB with: "L'uomo che ha molti amici deve pure mostrarsi amico" = "THE MAN WHO HAS MANY FRIENDS MUST SHOW HIMSELF FRIENDLY"
Bible Commentators, like the bible versions themselves, are all over the board and in every opinion imaginable on what this Proverb means. But here are three well known commentators who agree with the sense found in the KJB and many others.
John Gill comments: A man that hath friends must show himself friendly…"Friendship ought to be mutual and reciprocal, as between David and Jonathan; a man that receives friendship ought to return it, or otherwise he is guilty of great ingratitude."
Adam Clarke writes: A man that hath friends must show himself friendly "Love begets love; and love requires love as its recompense. If a man do not maintain a friendly carriage, he cannot expect to retain his friends. Friendship is a good plant; but it requires cultivation to make it grow."
Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary - “Solomon here recommends friendship to us, and shows, 1. What we must do that we may contract and cultivate friendship; we must show ourselves friendly. Would we have friends and keep them, we must not only not affront them, or quarrel with them, but we must love them, and make it appear that we do so by all expressions that are endearing, by being free with them, pleasing to them, visiting them and bidding them welcome, and especially by doing all the good offices we can and serving them in every thing that lies in our power; that is showing ourselves friendly.”
The Bible Babble Buffet Versions in Action.
Proverbs 18:24 reads the same in the NKJV as does the KJB but it has a footnote that supports the ridiculous reading found in the previous NIVs, the NASB and Darby. The NIV 1984 edition and NASB say "A man of MANY COMPANIONS MAY COME TO RUIN, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. "
The NKJV, being in partnership to destroy faith in the words of God, includes a footnote "Or MAY COME TO RUIN". You see, some of the same "scholars" who worked on the NIV also worked on the NKJV.
The NIV 2011 edition doesn't even agree with the previous NIV editions of 1978 and 1984. Let's compare the two different NIVs.
NIV 1978 and 1984 editions: "A MAN OF MANY COMPANIONS MAY COME to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
NIV 2011 edition: "ONE WHO HAS UNRELIABLE FRIENDS SOON COMES to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
The Holman Standard 2003 is very similar with: "A MAN WITH MANY FRIENDS MAY BE HARMED."
NASB - "A MAN OF TOO MANY FRIENDS COMES TO RUIN, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
The Message has: "FRIENDS COME AND GO, but a true friend sticks by you like family."
Ancient Roots Bible 2009 — “A MAN CAN DO EVIL TO THE NEIGHBORS, BUT LOVE EXISTS TO JOIN AS A BROTHER.” OooooKaaaay...
The Judaica Press Tanach 2001 - "A MAN ACQUIRES FRIENDS WITH WHOM TO ASSOCIATE, and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
The New Jewish Version 1985 - "THERE ARE COMPANIONS TO KEEP ONE COMPANY, and there is a friend more devoted than a brother."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English 2010 - "THERE ARE FRIENDS WHO ARE FRIENDS, and there is a friend that is closer than a brother."
RSV 1952 - "THERE ARE FRIENDS WHO PRETEND TO BE FRIENDS, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
NRSV 1989 - "SOME FRIENDS PLAY AT FRIENDSHIP but a true friend sticks closer than one's nearest kin."
ESV 2001 - "A MAN OF MANY COMPANIONS MAY COME TO RUIN, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
Good News Translation 1992 - "SOME FRIENDSHIPS DO NOT LAST, but some friends are more loyal than brothers."
Easy to Read Version 2001 - "SOME FRIENDS ARE FUN TO BE WITH. But a close friend can be even better than a brother."
God's Word Translation 1995 - "FRIENDS CAN DESTROY ONE ANOTHER, but a loving friend can stick closer than family."
Common English Bible 2011 - "THERE ARE PERSONS FOR COMPANIONSHIP, but then there are friends who are more loyal than family."
Amplified Bible 1987 - "The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] WILL PROVE HIMSELF A BAD FRIEND."
Knox Bible 2012 - "A MAN ENDEARED TO THEE BY FELLOWSHIP WILL PROVE A BETTER FRIEND TO THEE THAN THY OWN KIN."
Lamsa's 1936 translation - "THERE ARE FRIENDS WHO ARE MERELY FRIENDS; and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
The Catholic Connection
The previous Douay-Rheims 1610 and the Douay Version of 1950 both read similar to the King James Bible with: "A MAN AMIABLE IN SOCIETY, shall be more friendly than a brother."
But then the Catholic Jerusalem bible 1968 changed this to: "There are FRIENDS WHO LEAD ONE TO RUIN, others are closer than a brother."
while the St. Joseph New American bible 1970 has: "SOME FRIENDS BRING RUIN OF US, but a true friend is more loyal than a brother." and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 reads: "There are FRIENDS WHO POINT THE WAY TO RUIN, others are closer than a brother."
The so called Greek Septuagint shows its usual confusion by omitting Proverbs 18:23 and 24, and also omitting 19:1, 2 and 3. By the way, instead of Proverbs 18:22 reading: "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth the favor of the LORD." (KJB and an host of others), the LXX actually says: "He that PUTS AWAY A GOOD WIFE PUTS AWAY A GOOD THING, AND HE THAT KEEPS AN ADULTERESS IS FOOLISH AND UNGODLY." Yeah..., that's pretty close, isn't it?
New English Bible 1970 - "SOME COMPANIONS ARE GOOD ONLY FOR IDLE TALK, but a friend may stick closer than a brother."
As our scholarly friend James White says: "By comparing various Bible versions we get a better idea of what God said."
Additional Help with Proverbs 18:24
Notes From the Internet on Proverbs 18:24
Brother Peter Heisey posted the following notes after seeing this study - Proof that Proverbs 18:24 should be translated as in the KJB
“A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: …”
1. Context (see the second half of the verse) indicates this.
2. It is NOT true that the hithpael [form] of “… roea” (an infinitive – “to be/show friendly”) is from the root word “raa” (though it looks similar)
3. The word in Proverbs 18:24 [in contrast to some supposed cross-references given in lexicons, etc.] is from the root word “rah” or “raiah” (resh, ayin, he; NOT resh ayin ayin) meaning “to treat as a friend” (see Gesenius’ Lexicon p. 775)
4. Wilson’s OT Word Studies (an English based concordance) p. 178 under “friend”, where he lists the root of the word as in fact “rah” – “to be/show friendly” [definition number 8], also confirms [note that word; not “proves”] the correctness of the KJB.
5. The 54 learned men did not make a mistake in translating it as they did.
The key is to get the right root word. However there’s just no good (nor necessary) reason to go to the word “raa” as the root of the word in Proverbs 18:24. The root word is “rah” which means “to be a companion or friend”. A word which comes from the same root is found in Proverbs 22:24 (“friendship”). Judges 14:20 has a similar situation with regard to the root words. The “Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon of the OT” by Davidson and published by MacDonald Publishing Co. will confirm [note that word; not “prove”] this. But again, you must get to the right root word.
From a friend:
With regards to your question below – the King James Version is unquestionably correct. The reason for the error is the fact that they rely upon lexicons one would purchase at Zondervan's! These lexicons BDB, HALOT, Gesenius – were written by westerners who really do (did) not know the Hebrew language. They use modern speculative methods to try to 'deduce' the meanings of the words. Those lexcions are not exhaustive of all possible meanings of a word, and they are often authored by unsaved people. But they then deliberately set aside the centuries of Jewish tradition by which the actual speakers of the language carried on the meanings, and especially of the biblical meanings, of the words as understood by the original authors of scripture.
Avraham Even Shoshan (the most famous Hebrew lexicographer in Israel):
Translation: to connect with people, to join, to 'hang out', to establish a connection with someone, to create a systematic relationship, to be a friend – and then, finally, 'to be evil'. In other words, the word can be 'to be evil', but for the most part, the word means 'to be friendly'. Note carefully that 'to be broken' is not listed as one of the definitions.
Now: we look at the lexical authorities that our faithful Authorised Version translators would have used: David Kimchi, Moses Kimchi, and Joseph Kimchi.
Moses Kimchi (David's brother)
להתרועע; ...וכן הוא הפירוש: איש יאהב רעים כדי שיתרועעו עמו ויתחברו אליו, כי יש אוהב שהוא דבק באיש בעת צרכו יותר מן האח.
Translation: …and this indeed is the exposition of the world: a man will love friends in order to be friendly with him, and to make friends with him, because there is one who will love who sticks to a man in the time of his need more than a brother.
Joseph Kimchi (David Kimchi's father)
Translation: להתרועע One who is regular with friends, in every season they will seek him.
[Sigh] Do you see how it is with these Bible correctors? Frankly, the modern translations are incompetent. Their translators cannot read rabbinical Hebrew and/or they do not have access to the Kimchis, Rashi, and the other commentators. In contrast, the King James translators, and Launcelot Andrewes in particular, were entirely fluent in rabbinical Hebrew, and they had all the works of the rabbis before them in their libraries, along with the embedded comments of the Kimchis in the ben Hayyim Great Rabbinical Bible of 1524-1525.
The King James Bible is always right. Get used to it.
All of grace, believing The Book,
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