Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.
Many of the Proverbs are designed to help us gain perspective, and they can help us set priorities in our lives. Solomon shows here that wealth and abundance are not the most important things. Proper reverence toward God and love are essential to real happiness, even if we have few material goods.
This passage does not say that it is wrong to have treasure and delicious food. But it does show that trouble and hatred can ruin any enjoyment of those material things. Thus the wise person will avoid the temptation to put money ahead of family. He will avoid the shortcuts to wealth that lead to trouble. He will put priority on God and relationships.
For related material, see our section on “Relationships.”