Proverbs 17:9

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love,.... He that hides the transgression of another, or of his friend, committed against himself or against another, which he is privy to; but the matter being made up, and the offence forgiven, he forgets it, and no more speaks of it to his friend, or upbraids him with it, nor spreads it among others: such a man shows that he loves his friend, and is desirous that love and friendship should be continued; and this is the way to continue it; and a man that thus seeks it finds it. Or it may be rendered, "he covereth a transgression who seeketh love" {i}; for "love covereth all things", Proverbs 10:12;

but he that repeateth a matter; the matter of the transgression, the thing that has given the offence; that rakes it up again, when it has been covered; upbraids his friend with it, when it has been passed over and forgiven; will frequently hit him on the teeth with it, and talk of it wherever he comes, and spread the knowledge of it in all places: he

separateth very friends; he sets the best of friends at variance one with another by such a practice; for this pursued, friendship cannot subsist long among men: he separates his best friend from himself, and himself from him. The word signifies a prince, leader, or governor;

See Gill on "Proverbs 16:28"; and Jarchi interprets it thus;

"he separates from himself the Governor of the world, the holy blessed God.''

{i} So Cocceius.