“The first to plead his case seems just, Until another comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17)

“The first evidence always sounds like the only evidence until further investigation takes place.  The two lines of this proverb form one continuous sentence.  The context appears to be that of a court of law, yet the principle of the proverb applies far more widely.  The law demanded that judges impartially hear both sides of a dispute (Deut. 1:16).  This is also essential for a parent, counselor or pastor — anyone who deals with people.  Listening before forming a fixed opinion is mandatory, if justice is to be done (Prov. 18:2, 13).

The difference between hasty judgement and the right judgment comes when one ‘examines’ that which seems so obvious.  The verb means to search, investigate or to examine.  It describes an intensive, searching probe for the truth.[i]  In relationships, a ponderous question is often more useful than a quick answer.” (p.402, Proverbs: A Mentor Commentary)

[i]. Wolf, Herbert, ‘h~qar,’ Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), 1:318.