There are times when I wonder what Bible translators had for lunch. This verse is a good example. Compare it to the NASB:
(Proverbs 18:24 NAS77) A man of many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.Notice that one has “friendly” (7489) and the other has “ruin” (7489b). For the life of me I can’t put those too together without a lot of gymnastics. A simple word study using Strong’s numbering system shows that this is the only place that the KJV translates this Hebrew word in a positive way. The most common translation is “evil.”
A second difference is not so obvious. Notice the second use of the concept of “friend” (157). This is the common Hebrew word meaning “love.” That is the most frequent translation. It is much more than a friend. So let me offer the Pumice Pathetic Paraphrase of this verse:
“Seeking too many friends can make life worse but relationships based on genuine love are stronger than family ties.” (PPP)So? Understand the difference between being friendly and loving. Everyone deserves the first but the second is where we should really build our lives.