Proverbs 11 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 11)

Verse 1

[1] A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

A false balance — The use of all false weights and measures in commerce.

Verse 8

[8] The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

Cometh — Into trouble.

Verse 9

[9] An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

Delivered — From the infection of the hypocrite's evil counsel.

Verse 11

[11] By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

The blessing — Wherewith they bless the city, by their sincere prayers, and wise and wholesome counsels.

The mouth — By their curses, and oaths, and blasphemies, and wicked counsels.

Verse 12

[12] He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

Despiseth — Which he shews by contemptuous or reproachful expressions.

Holdeth peace — Forbears all such expressions, and silently and patiently bears those reproaches.

Verse 13

[13] A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Secrets — Such things as were committed to his trust with a charge of secrecy.

Verse 16

[16] A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

Gracious woman — A woman endued with the grace of God.

Retaineth — Or, holdeth fast her honour, or reputation.

Verse 18

[18] The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

Worketh — A work which will deceive his expectation.

Soweth — That worketh it with constancy, and diligence.

Verse 21

[21] Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

Though hand join — Though they are fortified against God's judgments by a numerous issue and kindred, and friends, and by mutual and strong combinations.

The seed — Not only their persons, but their children.

Verse 22

[22] As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

So is a fair woman without discretion — "Of beauty vain, of virtue void, What art thou in the sight of God? A slave to every base desire, A creature wallowing in the mire. Go, gaudy pageant of a day, Thy folly, with thy face display: Set all thy charms and graces out, And shew - the Jewel in thy snout!"

Verse 23

[23] The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

The desire — The desires and expectations of the righteous shall end in their happiness, but the desires and expectations of the wicked men shall be disappointed, and end in the wrath of God.

Verse 24

[24] There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

Scattereth — That gives liberally.

Increaseth — Through God's blessing upon his estate.

Poverty — By God's providence secretly blasting his estate.

Verse 25

[25] The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

Fat — Shall be enriched both with temporal and spiritual blessings.

Verse 26

[26] He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

With-holdeth corn — In a time of scarcity.

Selleth — Upon reasonable terms.

Verse 27

[27] He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

Seeketh — To do good to all men.

Favour — With God and men.

Verse 29

[29] He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

Troubleth — He who brings trouble upon himself and children, either by prodigality, or by restless endeavours to heap up riches.

Wind — Shall be as unable to keep what he gets as a man is to hold the wind in his hand.

Verse 30

[30] The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

The fruit — His discourses and his whole conversation, is like the fruit of the tree of life.

Winneth — That gains souls to God.

Verse 31

[31] Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

Recompensed — Punished for his sins.