Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
– Proverbs 20:6
The words for goodness and faithful are both terms that speak of loyalty, or steadfastness. The contrast in the proverb is between talk and reality. Many will claim loyalty but few are truly loyal. A true friend speaks faithfully (Proverbs 27:6), without hurting his friend (Proverbs 29:5). This proverb is counterpart to the saying about the virtuous woman (Proverbs 31:10). The proverb highlights rarity, but not impossibility, for other proverbs speak of faithful friends (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24).