Proverbs 11 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of Proverbs 11)

Pr 11:1-31.

1. (Compare Margin). The Hebrews used stones for weights.
just--complete in measure.

2. Self-conceit is unteachable; the humble grow wise (compare Pr 16:18; 18:12).

3. guide--to lead, as a shepherd (Pr 6:7; Ps 78:52).
destroy--with violence.

4. (Compare Pr 10:2).
wrath--that is, of God.

5. direct--or, "make plain"; wicked ways are not plain (Pr 13:17).

6. deliver them--that is, from evil, which the wicked suffer by their own doings (Pr 5:22; Ps 9:16).

7. expectation . . . perish--for death cuts short all his plans (Lu 16:25).
hope of unjust--better, "hope of wealth," or "power" (compare Isa 40:29, Hebrew). This gives an advance on the sentiment of the first clause. Even hopes of gain die with him.

8. Perhaps the trouble prepared by the wicked, and which he inherits (compare Pr 11:6).

9. (Compare Ps 35:16; Da 11:32). The just is saved by superior discernment.

10, 11. The last may be a reason for the first. Together, they set forth the relative moral worth of good and bad men.

11. By the blessing--implying active benevolence.

12. despiseth--or, "reviles," a course contrasted with the prudent silence of the wise.
holdeth his peace--as if neither hearing nor telling.

13. tale-bearer--(Compare Margin), one trading as a peddler in scandal, whose propensity to talk leads him to betray confidence.

14. counsel--the art of governing (Pr 1:5).
counsellors--literally, "one giving counsel"; the participle used as a collective.

15. (Compare Pr 6:1).
suretiship--(Compare Margin), the actors put for the action, which may be lawfully hated.

16. retaineth--or literally, "lay hold of as a support." Honor is to a feeble woman thus as valuable as riches to men.

17. merciful--kind to others; opposed to cruel. Such benefit themselves by doing good to others (compare Pr 24:5), while the cruel injure themselves as well as others.
flesh--that is, his body, by penuriousness (Col 2:23).

18. a deceitful work--or, "wages," which fail to satisfy, or flee away (Pr 10:2; 23:5).
sure reward--or, "gain," as from trading (Ho 10:12; Ga 6:8, 9).

19. Inference from Pr 11:18 (compare Pr 11:5, 6; 10:16).

20. (Compare Pr 11:5).
froward--as in Pr 2:15, opposed to the simplicity and purity of the upright.
in their way--or, "conduct."

21. The combined power of the wicked cannot free them from just punishment, while the unaided children of the righteous find deliverance by reason of their pious relationship (Ps 37:25, 26).

22. Jewels were often suspended from the nose (Ge 24:47; Isa 3:21). Thus adorned, a hog disgusts less than a fair and indiscreet woman.

23. (Compare Pr 10:28).
wrath--is that of God.

24-31. The scope of the whole is a comment on Pr 11:23. Thus liberality, by God's blessing, secures increase, while penuriousness, instead of expected gain, procures poverty.

25. liberal soul--(Compare Margin).
made fat--prospers (Pr 28:25; De 32:15; Lu 6:38).
watereth . . . watered--a common figure for blessing.

26. Another example of the truth of Pr 11:23; the miser loses reputation, though he saves corn.
selleth it--that is, at a fair price.

27. good [and] mischief--that is, of others.
procureth . . . seeketh--implying success.

28. (Compare Pr 10:15; Ps 49:6; 1Ti 6:17).
righteous . . . branch-- (Ps 1:3; Jer 17:8).

29. troubleth--as Pr 15:27 explains, by greediness for gain (compare Pr 11:17).
inherit . . . wind--Even successful, his gains are of no real value. So the fool, thus acting, either comes to poverty, or heaps up for others.

30. a tree of life--Blessings to others proceed from the works of the righteous (Pr 3:18).
winneth souls--(Compare Margin) to do them good as opposed to Pr 6:25; Eze 13:18 (compare Lu 5:10).

31. Behold--Thus calling attention to the illustrations (compare Pr 11:23), the sentiment of which is confirmed even in time, not excluding future rewards and punishments.