corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Proverbs 11

 

 

Verse 1

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Proverbs 11:1 — "A false balance is abomination to the LORD" - Word Study on "false" - Strong says the Hebrew word "false" ( מִרְמָה) (H 4820) means, "deceiving, fraud," and it comes from the root verb ( רָמָה) (H 7411), which means, "to delude or betray." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "deceit 20, deceitful 8, deceitfully 3, false 2, guile 2, feigned 1, craft 1, subtilty 1, treachery 1."

Word Study on "abomination" - Strong says the Hebrew word ( תֹּועֵבָה) (H 8441) means, means, "something disgusting," and it comes from the primitive verb ( תָּעַב) (H 8581) meaning, "to loathe, to detest." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 117 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "abomination 113, abominable thing 2, abominable 2."

The phrase "a false balance" literally means, "a deceitful balance."

Proverbs 11:1 — "but a just weight is his delight" - Word Study on "just" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "just" ( שָׁלֵם) (H 8003) means, "whole, perfect, sound, safe, completed, finished." Strong says it means, "complete," and it comes from the root verb ( שָׁלַם) (H 7999), which means, "to be safe, complete." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 27 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "perfect 16, whole 4, full 2, just 1, peaceable 1, misc 3."

The phrase "a just weight" literally means, "a perfect stone."

Proverbs 11:1Comments- Proverbs 11:1 contrasts God's response to the justice and the injustice person. God hates with a passion those who are unfair with others, while He rejoices greatly in those who treat others right in daily affairs.

Practical Application - God watches the way we treat other people in this life and judges us accordingly. Each day we live under God's divine favor or judgment. God will treat us the way we have treated others. In this life God will condemn those whom He considers abominable with judgment and calamity and He will bless those in whom He delights with blessings. Many problems in people's lives come from the way they have treated others.

Psalm 18:25, "With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;"

James 2:13, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

Eternal Application - In eternity God will condemn to Hell those whom He considers abominable and He will bless those in whom He delights with a place in Heaven.

Note other translations:

HNV, "A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But accurate weights are his delight."

YLT, "Balances of deceit are an abomination to Jehovah, And a perfect weight is His delight."

Proverbs 11:1Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Leviticus 19:35-36, "Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt."

Deuteronomy 25:13-16, "Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God."

Proverbs 16:11, "A just weight and balance are the LORD"S: all the weights of the bag are his work."

Proverbs 20:10, "Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD."

Proverbs 20:23, "Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD and a false balance is not good."

Ezekiel 45:9-10, "Thus saith the Lord GOD Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD. Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath."

Hosea 12:7, "He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress."

Amos 8:4, "Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works."

Micah 6:11, "Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?"


Verse 2

Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2 — "When pride cometh, then cometh shame" - Word Study on "pride" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "pride" ( זָדֹון) (H 2087) means, "swelling, pride, haughtiness." Strong says it means, "arrogance," and it comes from ( זִיד) (H 2102), which means, "to be insolent." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 11times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "pride 6, presumptuously 2, proud 3."

Word Study on "shame" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( קָלֹון) (H 7036) means, "contempt, shame, ignomity, a shameful deed." Strong says it means, "disgrace." The Enhanced Strong says ( קָלֹון) (H 7036) is used 17 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "shame 13, confusion 1, dishonour 1, ignominy 1, reproach 1." This Hebrew word comes from a primitive root ( קָלָה) (H 7034), which literally means, "to be light," and figuratively it means, "to be in contempt." The Enhanced Strong says ( קָלָה) (H 7034) is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "seem vile 1, shall be condemned 1, lightly esteemed 1, despised 1, base 1, settest light 1."

Proverbs 11:2 — "but with the lowly is wisdom" - Word Study on "lowly" - Strong says the Hebrew word ( צָנַע) (H 6800) is a primitive root that means, "to humiliate." The Enhanced Strong says it is used only 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "lowly 1, humbly 1."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse from the New Testament:

James 1:21, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."

Proverbs 11:2Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 11:2 is seen in the fact that those who exalt themselves are rewarded with shame and thus, brought low, while those who humble themselves willingly are honored with the gift of Wisdom of Solomon , which exalts them above others.

Pride will affect us in every area of our lives: spiritually, mentally and physically. It will bring us low spiritually ( Proverbs 29:23), it will bring dishonor to our name ( Proverbs 11:2), which represents our character or mental well-being, and it will cut our life short physically ( Proverbs 16:18).

Illustrations- Proverbs 11:2 is clearly illustrated in Daniel 4:28-37, where King Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself above God by saying that his own power as having acquired all of his wealth and power. At that time, God drove him from his palace with the mind of a beast for seven years.

It is also illustrated in the life of Joseph, King David and others in the Scriptures, who walked humbly before the Lord, and were lifted up in honour and power by the hand of God. Jesus tells a parable in Luke 14:7-11 about a wedding feast, where we are to take the lowly seats and let others honor us, rather than we seeking the high seats and being humbled to lowly seats.

Luke 14:11, "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Jesus tells us of the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector in Luke 18:9-14, that we are to not trust in our own righteousness and despise others.

Luke 18:14, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Scripture References - Note similar verses.

Proverbs 3:35, "The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools."

Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Proverbs 29:23, "A man"s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."

Note other verses:

Proverbs 3:34-35, "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools."

1 Peter 5:5-6, "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"


Verse 3

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

Proverbs 11:3 — "The integrity of the upright shall guide them" - Word Study on "guide" - Strong says the Hebrew word "guide" ( נָחָה) (H 5148) means, "to guide," and it implies the meaning, "to transport." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "lead 24, guide 6, bring 4, bestowed 1, lead forth 1, govern 1, put 1, straiteneth 1."

Scripture References- Note:

Psalm 26:1, "(A Psalm of David.) Judge me, O LORD for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD therefore I shall not slide."

Proverbs 11:3 — "but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them" - Word Study on "destroy" - Strong says the Hebrew word "destroy" ( שָׁדַד) (H 7703) means, "to be burly," thus, "to be powerful," and it implies, "to ravage." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 58 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "spoil 30, spoiler 11, waste 8, destroy 2, robbers 2, misc 5."

Scripture References- Note:

Proverbs 21:7, "The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment."

Ecclesiastes 7:17, "Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?"

Isaiah 1:28, "And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed."

Proverbs 11:3Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 11:3 is seen in the idea of someone taking a journey. Integrity will guide someone safely on a journey. But perverseness will cause someone to fall prey to robbery and failure and ultimately destruction.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 11:5, "The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness."

Proverbs 13:6, "Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner."

Psalm 25:21, "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee."

Proverbs 28:18, "Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once."


Verse 4

Proverbs 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Proverbs 11:4 — "Riches profit not in the day of wrath" - Comments- Micah 6:10 calls these type of riches "treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked". In this passage ( Micah 6:9-16), God illustrates how the wealth gathered by the evil King Omri and his son Ahab, whom God judged by cutting off his seed forever, was gathered by unjust means ( 2 Kings 9:8).

2 Kings 9:8, "For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:"

Ahab had killed many of the prophets of God. But when he coveted the vineyard of Naboth the Jezerelite and took another man's possessions by murder, God sent Elijah to speak judgment upon him The prophet told King Ahab that in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs also lick his blood. Because Ahab humbled himself, this prophecy was fulfilled in Ahab's son ( 1 Kings 21:29, 2 Kings 9:25).

1 Kings 21:29, "Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son"s days will I bring the evil upon his house."

2 Kings 9:25, "Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him;"

Proverbs 11:4Comments- In this life, a man who lives by earthly wisdom believes that there is security in wealth. He believes that when he works and saves and becomes wealthy, that his problems will be taken care of. We find a similar statement of this divine truth in Proverbs 10:2-3. But the truth is that wealth gotten by ill means brings more problems. This is why the Scriptures says, "Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith." ( Proverbs 15:16) The place of greatest peace and provision is walking in God's will for our lives. For example, in the days of Noah, even rich men perished in the flood; only Noah and His family lived, and this was because his righteousness.

Genesis 7:1, "And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."

In 1 Samuel 25:1-44, the man Nabal was judged and died because he did not give to those in need.

The entirety of Psalm 49 deals with this subject of unrighteous men who trusted in riches.

Psalm 49:6-7, "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:"

This Psalm tells us that these people think that their posterity and their name will continue forever. Although they will go to the grave and their riches and glory will not follow them, God will redeem the righteous from the grave.

Psalm 49:15, "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah."

When God judged the children of Israel during the days of Ezekiel , they threw their silver in the street, because it could not save them from destruction.

Ezekiel 7:19, "They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity."

Jesus teaches that our soul is worth more than the wealth of this entire world.

Matthew 16:26, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

In the story of the rich fool found in Luke 12:13-21, we learn that life does not consist in the abundance of our wealth. We are to beware of covetousness and not to worry about our needs being met, for God will take care of us.

Luke 12:20, "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus warns us of trusting in our riches ( Luke 16:19-31. For riches can easily become a stumbling block to heaven.

Luke 18:25, "For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle"s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

The Scriptures teach that these riches will not only be of no benefit, they will actually be used as a testimony that brings greater judgment upon the wicked. In James 5:1-6 God tells the rich man that his riches, gathered by robbing the wages of the poor, will stand as a witness against him on the Day of Judgment.

James 5:1-3, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."

Proverbs 11:4 Scripture References- Note other similar verses in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 10:2-3, "Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked."

Proverbs 11:28, "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch."

Note similar verses in the Scriptures:

Job 36:17, "But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee. Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength."

Jeremiah 9:23, "Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his Wisdom of Solomon , neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:"

Zephaniah 1:18, "Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD"S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land."


Verse 5

Proverbs 11:5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

Proverbs 11:5Word Study on "perfect" - Strong says the Hebrew word "perfect" ( תָּמִים) (H 8549) means, "entire, integrity, truth," and it comes from the primitive root ( תָּמַם) (H 8552), which means, "to complete." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 91times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "without blemish 44, perfect 18, upright 8, without spot 6, uprightly 4, whole 4, sincerely 2, complete 1, full 1, misc 3."

Proverbs 11:5Word Study on "shall direct" - Strong says the Hebrew word "shall direct" ( יָשַׁר) (H 3474) is a primitive root word literally meaning, "to be straight, or even," and it is used figuratively to mean, "to (make) right, pleasant, prosperous." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used is used 27 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "please 6, straight 5, direct 4, right 3, well 2, fitted 1, good 1, make straight 1, meet 1, upright 1, uprightly 1."

Proverbs 11:5Word Study on "shall fall" - Strong says the Hebrew word "shall fall"( נָפַל) (H 5307) is a primitive root meaning, "to fall," and it is used in a great variety of applications. The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 434times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "fail 318, fall down 25, cast 18, cast down 9, fall away 5, divide 5, overthrow 5, present 5, lay 3, rot 3, accepted 2, lie down 2, inferior 2, lighted 2, lost 2, misc 22."

Proverbs 11:5Comments- Darby reads, "The righteousness of the perfect maketh plain his way." As a person seeks to make righteous decisions, his direction become made straight, clear or plain, since the options become narrow under these conditions. In contrast, a wicked man has so many options that he becomes lost and unsure of his decisions. These immoral decisions will always lead down a path of failure.


Verse 6

Proverbs 11:6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

Proverbs 11:6 — "The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them" - Word Study on "deliver" - Strong says the Hebrew word "deliver" ( נָצַל) (H 5337) a primitive word that means, "to snatch away, whether in a good or a bad sense." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 213times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "deliver 179, recover 5, rid 3, escape 2, rescue 2, spoil 2, at all 2, take out 2, misc 16."

Comments- It was David's life of righteousness that allowed God to work in his life and bring him deliverance time after time. God's angels encamp about those that fear Him and He delivers them ( Psalm 34:7).

Psalm 34:7, "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

Proverbs 11:6 — "but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness" - Word Study on "taken" - Strong says the Hebrew word "taken" ( לָכַד) (H 3920) is a primitive word that means, "to catch (in a net, a trap a pit)," and it also means, "to capture or to occupy." ." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 121times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "take 112, catch 5, at all 1, frozen 1, holden 1, stick together 1."

Comments- The very plans that men use to destroy others unjustly will be the plans that are used to destroy themselves. We see this illustrated in the plans of Haman to destroy the Jews. He built gallows fifty cubits high in an effort to destroy Mordecai, when he himself would become the one to hang from it.

We see how King Saul attempted to take the life of David in battle, calling him a threat to the nation as a way of justifying his death. Saul considered David a threat to the throne, which he believed belonged to his sons. Saul himself eventually died in battle, along with his sons, cutting off his seed to the throne.

Proverbs 11:6Comments- The righteous are "snatched" from harm's way, while the transgressors are "caught or trapped" and held bondage in their sins.

Scripture References- Note similar verses.

Proverbs 1:31, "Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."

Proverbs 14:14, "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself."


Verse 7

Proverbs 11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.

Proverbs 11:7Word Study on "dieth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "dieth" ( מָוֶת) (H 4194) means, "death, the dead," and it comes from the primitive root ( מוּת) (H 4191) meaning, "to die." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 160 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "death 128, die 22, dead 8, deadly 1, slay 1."

Proverbs 11:7Word Study on "expectation" - Strong says the Hebrew word "expectation" ( תִּקְוָה) (H 8615) -literally means, "a cord," and it is also used figuratively to mean, "expectancy." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 34times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "hope 23, expectation 7, line 2, the thing that I long for 1, expected 1."

The Hebrew word ( תִּקְוָה) comes from the primitive root ( קָוָה) (H 6960) meaning, "to bind together, to collect," and it is used figuratively, "to collect." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 49 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "wait 29, look 13, wait for 1, look for 1, gathered 1, misc 4."

Proverbs 11:7Word Study on "perish…..perisheth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "perish" ( אָבַד) (H 6), which is used two times in this verse, is a primitive root that means, "to wander away," thus, "to lose oneself," and it implies, "to perish." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 184times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "perish 98, destroy 62, lose 10, fail 2, surely 2, utterly 2, broken 1, destruction 1, escape 1, flee 1, spendeth 1, take 1, undone 1, void 1."

Proverbs 11:7Word Study on "hope" - Strong says the Hebrew word "hope" ( תֹּוחֶלֶת) (H 8431) - It means, "expectation." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "hope 6."

The Hebrew word ( תֹּוחֶלֶת) comes from the primitive root ( יָחַל) (H 3176) meaning, "to wait," and it implies, "to be patient, to hope." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 42times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "hope 22, wait 12, tarry 3, trust 2, variant 2, stayed 1."

Proverbs 11:7Comments- Proverbs 11:7 literally reads, "In (the) death of a wicked man expectation shall perish and the hope of the unjust perishes."

A wicked man's hope is in this life. Our hope as Christians is in eternal life. Thus, when a wicked man dies, none of his hopeful expectations are realized, but rather disappointment and horror. His hope for anything comes to a complete end; it dies. In contrast, when a righteous man dies, his hopes are just beginning to be realizes, and far beyond his expectations and will continue throughout eternity. Note similar verses:

Job 27:8, "For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?"

Proverbs 10:28, "The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish."

Proverbs 14:32, "The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death."

In the parable of the rich fool how the rich man's hopes were in the things of this world, for he said to himself, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." But once he died, his hope of good things died with him. ( Luke 12:13-21)

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we see how poor Lazarus's hope was realized in his death, while the expectations of the rich man perished at his death ( Luke 16:19-31).


Verse 8

Proverbs 11:8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

Proverbs 11:8Comments- As we walk in the Spirit, the Lord will warn us of dangers so that we can avoid them. But the wicked walk right into danger and they only know to call it bad luck or fate.

Proverbs 11:8Illustrations:

1. As when Haman took the place of Mordecai at the gallows. Haman has prepared them for a man of righteousness, but God delivered him and put the wicked man in his place to be hanged.

Esther 7:10, "So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king"s wrath pacified."

2. As when the three Hebrew children were delivered from the fiery furnace and their executioners were thrown in.

Daniel 3:22, "Therefore because the king"s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego."

3. As when Daniel was delivered from the lion's den and his enemies were devoured by them in his place.

Daniel 6:24, "And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel , and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den."

4. In Acts 12, Peter is delivered from prison and the guards face death in his stead.


Verse 9

Proverbs 11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

Proverbs 11:9Word Study on "hypocrite" - Strong says the Hebrew word "hypocrite" ( חָנֵף) (H 2611) literally means, "soiled," and it refers figuratively to "the impious." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 13times in the Old Testament. being translated in the KJV as, "hypocrite 13."

The Hebrew word "hypocrite" ( חָנֵף) comes from the primitive root ( חָנֵף) (H 2610), which means, "to soil, especially in a moral sense." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 11times in the Old Testament. being translated in the KJV as, "pollute 4, defile 4, greatly 1, corrupt 1, profane 1."

Adam Clarke tells us that this word is better translated, "infidel" than "hypocrite." 83] The ASV and RSV translated it as "godless man." It is also translated "impious man" (JPS) The word does not imply one who is pretending, but one who is filthy within.

83] Adam Clarke, Proverbs , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Proverbs 11:8.

Proverbs 11:9 — "An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour" - Comments- The book of Hebrews tells us to be careful not to allow the root of bitterness enter our hearts and thus defile many others.

Hebrews 12:15, "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"

Paul tells the Romans that those who cause divisions within their church use words of deceit and hypocrisy to deceive the hearts of the simple.

Romans 16:17-18, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 16:29, "A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good."

Proverbs 11:9Comments- Proverbs 11:9 contrasts destruction with deliverance. The ungodly have the ability to destroy those around him because they do not know how to discern between good and evil. But because of the knowledge of God's ways, the righteous are able to find deliverance from such destructive ways of the wicked. Even through the deception of hypocrisy, the righteous find deliverance.

While the neighbour listens to the lies and deceit of the hypocrite, the righteous listens to the Words of God. Therefore, the words that we believe lead us into a path of deliverance or destruction.


Verse 10

Proverbs 11:10 When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

Proverbs 11:10 — "When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth" - Word Study on "it goeth well" - Strong says the Hebrew word "it goeth well" ( טוּב) (H 2898) is a noun that means, "good (used in the widest sense)," and it comes from the primitive root ( יָטַב) (H 2895), which means, "to be good (well)." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is use 32times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "goodness 14, good 9, goods 3, good thing 2, fair 1, gladness 1, joy 1, well 1."

Scripture Reference- Note:

Revelation 11:15-17, "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."

Proverbs 11:10 — "and when the wicked perish, there is shouting" - Comments- Despite a nation's religion, the general populace of any people appreciates a man who lives a life of righteousness and despises those who are wicked. Thus, there is shouting when the wicked perish because the wicked, when they rule, bring much sorrow to the people. Note the rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon:

Revelation 18:20-21, "Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."

Revelation 19:1-2, "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand."

Illustration- I watched today as the city of Baghdad fell to American troops. The people came out into the streets rejoicing because the regime of Saddam Hussein had fallen after decades of oppression. The people gathered into groups and cheered. They looted the government buildings that had raped the nations. They tore down statues and pictures of this evil leader. It was interesting to watch those few faithful to this regime declare foolish lies to support their wickedness. But the truth was that no one believed them. For the majority of people see the truth. Those few who ruled may have been feared, but no one loved them (April 9, 2003).

Proverbs 11:10Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 29:2, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."


Verse 11

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

Proverbs 11:11Comments- A righteous man has the divine authority to bring blessings into all that is under his domain. Therefore, when he is placed into a position of leadership, he brings heavenly blessings into this domain. The best example of this was the reign of King David. His leadership brought the blessings of God upon the entire nation.

In contrast, a wicked man is cursed in every area of his life. When he is given dominion over others, he brings these same curses into the lives of those around him. A good example of this is the stories of the wicked reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah. The most extreme example is how King Manasseh brought a divine sentence of judgment upon the nation of Israel for which there was not remedy.

2 Kings 24:3-4, "Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Prayer of Manasseh , according to all that he did; And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon."

Proverbs 11:10-11Comments- Leadership - Proverbs 11:10-11 form a couplet in the sense that they both speak of leadership over a city.


Verse 12-13

Proverbs 11:12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

Proverbs 11:12 — "He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour" - Word Study on "wisdom" - Strong says the Hebrew word "wisdom" ( לֵב) (H 3820) literally means, "the heart," and "used very widely for the feelings." It is a form of ( לֵבָב) (H 3824), which means, "the heart (as the most interior organ)." However both of these words can be used figuratively to refer to the feelings, the will and even the intellect. Strong say it also refers to "the center of anything."

Word Study on "despiseth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "despiseth" ( בּוּז) (H 936) means, "to disrespect." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 12times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "despise 10, contemned 1, utterly (inf. for emphasis) 1."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse.

Proverbs 14:21, "He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he."

Proverbs 11:12 — "but a man of understanding holdeth his peace" - Scripture References- Note:

Proverbs 10:19, "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise."

Proverbs 11:12Illustrations:

1 Samuel 10:26-27, "And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched. But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace."

2 Kings 18:36, "But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king"s commandment was, saying, Answer him not."

1 Peter 2:23, "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:"

Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Proverbs 11:13Word Study on "talebearer" - Strong says the Hebrew word "talebearer" ( הָלַךְ) (H 1980) is a primitive root that literally means, "to walk." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 500 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "go 217, walk 156, come 16, ...away 7, ...along 6, misc 98." Thus, this word describes one who goes about telling gossip to others.

Proverbs 11:13Comments - Note that the Law of Moses strictly forbade this type of activity ( Leviticus 19:16). Like a walking merchant or peddler, he offers his secrets to anyone who will listen.

Leviticus 19:16, "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD."

What is the remedy to tale bearing under the new covenant? If there is an issue, discuss it between you and your neighbour alone.

Proverbs 25:9, "Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:"

Within the setting of a church, the Gospel of Matthew gives a clear remedy so as to avoid the damage that gossip can do to a group of believers.

Matthew 18:15-17, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

This method stops the harm that slander can cause. Note:

Proverbs 26:20-22, "Where no wood Isaiah , there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 20:19, "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips."

Proverbs 11:12-13Comments- The Tongue - Proverbs 11:12-13 form a couplet in the sense that they both contrast how the wicked speaks evil against others while the righteous controls his words about others.

A fool speaks his mind, while a wise man carefully weighs the words that come out of his mouth. He develops the ability to withhold words that do not bring a benefit to others. If a fool does not like someone, he speaks poorly about him. If he knows information that is confidential, he cannot hold back, he has to tell it to someone. But a wise man will not speak quickly against someone, nor will he reveal a matter that he considers confidential.

A true friend will not talk bad about you to others. They will not develop a despiteful attitude about you as they learn your weaknesses. Instead, they will quietly work to strengthen your character. Proverbs 11:12 can describe the person who speaks poorly to a person's face, while Proverbs 11:13 shows how this fool speaks slanderous gossip behind his back.


Verse 14-15

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel Isaiah , the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Proverbs 11:14Comments- J. Vernon McGee translates Proverbs 11:14, "Where no management Isaiah , the people fall." 84] Everyone needs to learn how to take counsel, regardless of how smart he may be. The best example of this can be seen in daily business decisions. A business manager consults his attorneys, contractors, engineers, his supervisors, his colleagues and consulting firms, before he makes any significant decision. I know some businessmen who will not make any important decision without "sleeping on the matter" and taking these issues to the Lord in prayer. In comparison to this type of decision is the person who makes rash, emotional decisions with the intent of outdoing some competitor. His decisions are many times thwarted or cause more problems that they fix.

84] J. Vernon McGee, Proverbs , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Proverbs 11:14.

Illustration - A good illustration of Proverbs 11:14 is seen in the story of King Rehoboam. The ten northern tribes came to him at the beginning of his reign and asked him to lighten the yoke that his father King Solomon had placed upon them. But Rehoboam took bad counsel and thus lost these tribes (See 1 Kings 12:1-19).

Illustration - The Lord gave me a dream in 2000 that well illustrates Proverbs 11:14. I was managing a Christian television station in Kampala, Uganda, half way around the world from my supervisors. I spent much of each workday writing reports to them so that they could make decisions and give me daily counsel. In this dream, I was walking on an old wooden pier in the night, with the dark water just under this wooden bridge. There were no handrails to hold on to. Just as I was about to fall off into the dark water, my supervisors ran up and grabbed me. They were my help in staying on this narrow and difficult path. Without them, I would fall. When I awoke, I immediately knew the meaning of this dream. I was to take careful heed to their daily counsel and instructions.

Proverbs 11:14Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 15:22, "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established."

Proverbs 24:6, "For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety."

Proverbs 11:15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

Proverbs 11:15Word Study on "shall smart" - In the English phrase "He…shall smart for it" of Proverbs 11:15, we see the intensive use of two similar words ( רַע־יֵרֹוע) in the Hebrew text. Some translators use the single Hebrew word ( רוּע) (H 7321) twice, which Strong says is a primitive root that means, "to mar (especially by breaking)," and figuratively, it means, "to split the ears (with sound), i.e. to shout (for alarm or for joy)." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 46 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "shout 23, noise 7, ..alarm 4, cry 4, triumph 3, smart 1, misc 4." In translating this word in the Hebrew text, John Gill reads, "In breaking, shall be broken." 85] The ASV gives as an alternative reading the intensive rendering, "shall be sore broken."

85] John Gill, Proverbs , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Proverbs 11:15.

Other scholars believe that there are two Hebrew words used in Proverbs 11:15, which are ( רָעַע) and ( רַע). Strong says the Hebrew word ( רָעַע) (H 7489) is a primitive root that means, "to spoil (literally by breaking to pieces)," and figuratively, it means, "to make good for nothing." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 83times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, it is "evil 20, evildoer 10, hurt 7, wickedly 5, worse 5, afflict 5, wicked 4, break 3, doer 3, ill 3, harm 3, displease 2, misc 13."

Strong says the Hebrew word ( רַע) (H 7451), which is derived from the primitive root ( רָעַע) described in the previous paragraph, means, "bad, evil." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 663times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "evil 442, wickedness 59, wicked 25, mischief 21, hurt 20, bad 13, trouble 10, sore 9, affliction 6, ill 5, adversity 4, favoured 3, harm 3, naught 3, noisome 2, grievous 2, sad 2, misc 34."

Using these two words together, the DRC reads, "shall be afflicted with evil"; the NIV says, "will surely suffer"; KD translate these two words, "It fares ill, nothing but ill," and "he is badly treated in a bad way."

Proverbs 11:15Word Study on "suretiship" - Strong says the Hebrew word "suretiship" ( תָּקַע) (H 8628) is a primitive root meaning, "to clatter, i.e. to slap (the hands together), to clang." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 69 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "blow 46, fasten 5, strike 4, pitch 3, thrust 2, clap 2, sounded 2, cast 1, misc 4."

Comments- In Proverbs 1:15 this word means, "to strike hands together (in agreement)." The NIV reads, "He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe."

Proverbs 11:15Word Study on "sure" - Strong says the Hebrew word "sure" ( בָּטוּחַ) (H 982) is a primitive root literally meaning, "to hide for refuge," and figuratively it means, "to trust, to be confident or sure." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 120 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "trust 103, confidence 4, secure 4, confident 2, bold 1, careless 1, hope 1, hoped 1, ones 1, sure 1, women 1".

Proverbs 11:15Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 11:15 is seen in the fact that a person who becomes surety for a stranger will have severe problems and afflictions for it, while the one who avoids surety will find true safety from problems.

Proverbs 11:15Scripture References- Note similar passages:

Proverbs 6:1-5, "My Song of Solomon , if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my Song of Solomon , and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler."

Proverbs 17:18, "A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend."

Proverbs 20:16, "Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman."

Proverbs 22:26-27, "Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?"

Proverbs 27:13, "Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman."


Verse 16-17

Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

Proverbs 11:16Word Study on "gracious" - Strong says the Hebrew word "gracious" ( חֵן) (H 2580) means, "graciousness," and subjectively, it means, "kindness, or favor," and objectively, it means, "beauty," and it comes from the primitive root ( חָנַן) (H 2603) meaning, "to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior," thus, "to favor, or to bestow." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 69 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "grace 38, favour 26, gracious 2, pleasant 1, precious 1, wellfavoured + 028961." The Hebrew word ( חֵן) (H 2580) is used 13times in the book of Proverbs of 69 uses in the Old Testament.

Comments- This word is descriptive of the way the humble are exalted and given honor by God and man.

Proverbs 1:9, "For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck."

Proverbs 3:4, "So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."

Proverbs 3:22, "So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck."

Proverbs 3:34, "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly."

Proverbs 4:9, "She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee."

Proverbs 11:16Word Study on "retaineth…retain" - Strong says the Hebrew word "retaineth..retain" ( תָּמַךְ) (H 8551), which is used twice in this verse, means, "to sustain, to obtain, to keep fast."

Proverbs 11:16Word Study on "strong men" - Strong says the Hebrew word "strong men" ( עָרִיץ) (H 6184) means, "fearful, powerful, tyrannical," it comes from the verb ( עָרַץ) (H 6206), which means, "to awe, to dread," thus, "to harass." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 20 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "terrible 8, terrible one 5, oppressor 3, mighty 1, power 1, strong 1, violent 1."

Proverbs 11:16Comments- While a "gracious" person is given honor and exaltation, the Old Testament gives a negative description of the Hebrew word translated "strong men." Isaiah uses this same word to say that the haughtiness of the terrible ones, or "strong ones," will lay them low.

Isaiah 13:11, "And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Note how this same Hebrew word is used in the following verses to refer to people who exalt themselves being brought low by God.

Psalm 86:14, "O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them."

Isaiah 25:5, "Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low."

Isaiah 29:20, "For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:"

The contrast of Proverbs 11:16 can be seen in the fact that gracious and humble people see honor, while strong, violent people seek worldly riches. A gracious woman seeks to preserve her reputation, her modesty, her dignity and respect, but a strong, aggressive person of the world will use his strength to seek the wealth of this world.

This sense of honor would follow the same meaning as found in Proverbs 29:23.

Proverbs 29:23, "A man"s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."

We would also see the same sense in the honor given to the virtuous woman.

Proverbs 31:28-30, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

John Gill notes an addition way to interpret Proverbs 11:16. He says that some would read the verse, "A gracious woman retains honor as strong men retain riches." 86] In other words, a gracious woman holds on to honor with the same tenacity as a strong man does to his riches. As a strong man has the power to keep his riches, so does a gracious woman have the power to retain her honor without losing it.

86] John Gill, Proverbs , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Proverbs 11:16.

Illustration- Proverbs 11:16 can be illustrated in the story of Nabal and his wife Abigail. When David sought assistance from Nabal, he refused out of a heart of pride. Nevertheless, his wife Abigail humbled herself before David and spared the life of her husband ( 1 Samuel 25:2-42).

We also see this graciousness in the life of Ruth. Her humble and gracious character gained her honor in a foreign land and she was rewarded with a godly husband.

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Proverbs 11:17Word Study on "good" - Strong says the Hebrew word "good" ( גָּמַל) (H 1580) is a primitive root meaning, "to treat a person (well or ill), i.e. benefit or requite." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 37 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "wean 10, reward 8, dealt bountifully 4, do 4, bestowed 2, recompense 2, weaned child 2, do good 1, requite 1, ripening 1, served 1, yielded 1."

Comments- It carries the sense that a merciful man "repays" himself by his gracious deeds.

Proverbs 11:17Word Study on "troubleth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "troubleth" ( עָכַר) (H 5916) is a primitive root literally meaning, "to roil (water)," and figuratively, "to disturb, to afflict." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 14times in the Old Testament. being translated in the KJV as, "trouble 12, stirred 1, troubler 1."

Comments- Note other uses of this same Hebrew word. Simeon and Levi troubled their father Israel because of their cruelty.

Genesis 34:30, "And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house."

Achan troubled Israel during the Joshua's conquest of Canaan.

Joshua 6:18, "And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it."

Joshua 7:25, "And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones."

1 Chronicles 2:7, "And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed."

King Saul had troubled the land of Israel.

1 Samuel 14:29, "Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey."

King Ahab had troubled the land of Israel.

1 Kings 18:17-18, "And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim."

Note other uses of this same Hebrew word in the book of Proverbs. —

Proverbs 11:29, "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart."

Proverbs 15:6, "In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble."

Proverbs 15:27, "He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live."

Proverbs 11:17Comments- The heart and attitude of a man will affect his own physical health. This has even been shown to be the case from medical science. A happy heart brings healing to the physical body.

Proverbs 14:30, "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones."

Proverbs 15:13, "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken."

Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Proverbs 18:14, "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?"

God will even reach down and heal the one who has shown mercy to others. God always considers the merciful.

Psalm 41:1-4, "(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee."

Isaiah 58:7-8, "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward."

Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."

I have learned from being a manger for ten years that it does more harm to myself than to any other person when I get upset or angry at someone or at a situation. It is exhausting physically and mentally to be upset. It eventually brings ill health. Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts regarding sin and sickness:

"How can I give you healing for your body whilst there is anxiety in thy mind? So long as there is dis-ease in thy thoughts, there shall be disease in thy body. Ye have need of many things, but one thing in particular ye must develop for thine own preservation, and that is an absolute confidence in My loving care.

"‘Come unto Me', it is written, ‘all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.' ( Matthew 11:28) Only when your mind is at rest can your body build health. Worry is an actively destructive force. Anxiety produces tension, and tension is the road to pain. Anger throws poison into the system that no anti-biotic ever can counter.

"‘Be sure your sin will find you out', the Bible states. One of the most common ways that hidden sin is revealed is through the maladies of the body. More arthritis is brought about by resentments and r than is caused by wrong diet. Moe asthma is caused by repressed fury than by pollen or cat fur.

"There was no illness in the body of Jesus because there was no sin in His soul. There was weariness as a natural result of labor and sacrificial service, but there was no undue fatigue and exhaustion brought on by anxiety." 87]

87] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 92-3.

The cruel person is someone who cannot control his temper. He is always angry and thus behaves himself cruelly towards others. This constant expression of cruelty will eventually cause him relationships and bring him into trouble. Note:

James 2:13, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

James 5:1-5 tells us of the miseries of the rich for treating the poor cruel by holding back their wages.

Proverbs 11:17 also tells us that the remedy for a cruel person is to begin to show mercy towards others.

The contrast in Proverbs 11:17 is seen in the fact that a merciful man does good to others, while a cruel man does evil to others. Each one has their reward. Cornelius is an example of a man who was repaid with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ because of his almsgiving ( Acts 10). Judas Iscariot is an example of a man whose cruelty and greed cost him his own soul ( Acts 1:15-20). We also see this divine truth in the eternal rewards as seen in the Parable of the Judgment of the Nations in Matthew 25:31-46. In this parable, we see that God will one day separate the sheep from the goats and give each one their eternal rewards.


Verse 18-19

Proverbs 11:18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

Proverbs 11:18Comments- This deceitful work of the wicked serves to deceive two people. It often deceives the simple one who is not trained to discern the wiles of the devil. Secondly, these deceitful works eventually serve to deceive the soul of the one who created them. I have lived in Africa long enough to see how corruption works itself back to the corrupt one, exposing him and bringing him down to ruin. Although this may take some time, the worker of deceit will eventually himself be deceived and brought down. This is his sure reward.

Although a wicked man may think that he had secured his reward through deceit, it Isaiah , in fact, not his ultimate reward. As described in James 5:1-5, the very gold and silver that he has acquired through deceit will itself become a testimony against him. For he will soon lose his wealth gained by vanity and receive his judgment from God, which is sure.

Proverbs 10:2, "Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death."

In contrast, the man who sows righteousness knows the surety of his reward. For he has not deceived others, neither is he deceived about his reward. He knows the certainty of his reward. His rewards are permanent, while the wicked man's rewards are temporal.

Proverbs 11:18Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Hosea 10:12, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you."

Galatians 6:7-9, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

James 3:18, "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

Proverbs 11:19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

Proverbs 11:19 — "As righteousness tendeth to life" - Word Study on "life" - The Hebrew word "life" ( חַי) (H 2416) a commonly used word meaning, "alive, life" (Strong). Strong says it comes from the primitive root ( חָיָה) (H 2421), which means, "to live." This word is found in the plural form in the Hebrew text of Proverbs 11:19. It is called an abstract plural, which is used to show quality rather than quantity. It sums up either the conditions or the qualities inherent within the idea of abstract nouns. 88]

88] F. W. Gesenius, Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, 2nd English ed, eds. E. Kautzsch and S. A. E. Cowley (2003), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 396 (section 1241.d).

Proverbs 11:19 — "so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death" - Comments- The phrase "he that pursueth evil" describes a person who is given over to wickedness, compared to a person who may fall into sin, but does not become ensnared with its grip. The more aggressively a man pursues evil, the faster is his end.

Proverbs 11:19Comments- As Proverbs 11:17 has told us that sowing either righteousness or evil brings physical rewards, and Proverbs 11:18 says that these rewards are certain, thus Proverbs 11:19 tells us that outcome is either life or death. There are no verbs in the Hebrew of Proverbs 11:19, thus, the verse reads literally, "As righteousness to life, and he that pursues evil to his death."

From the plural use of "life," we see the emphasis upon the abundant life that righteousness brings contrasted with the certainty of one's own death if evil is pursued. This verse tells us that godliness promotes a long physical life.

Psalm 55:23, "But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee."

Proverbs 11:19 also applies to eternal life.

Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Illustrations- There are many examples of the divine truths found in the proverbs. King David was a man that pursued righteousness and he found abundant and eternal life. King Saul is a man that pursued evil and his life was cut off before its time.

The story of Abimelech found in Judges 9:1-57 teaches us how wickedness eventually catches up with us. He killed his brothers to gain the throne and was eventually killed by a millstone, having died a shameful death at the hands of a woman. Thus, divine providence rendered upon him all of the evil that he had sown in the lives of others.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 8:35-36, "For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death."

Proverbs 10:16, "The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin."

Proverbs 12:28, "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death."

Proverbs 19:16, "He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die."

Proverbs 19:23, "The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil."

James 1:14-15, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."


Verse 20-21

Proverbs 11:20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

Proverbs 11:20Word Study on "froward" - Strong says the Hebrew word "forward" ( עִקֵּשׁ) (H 6141) means, "distorted," hence, "false," and it comes from ( עָקַשׁ) (H 6140), which a primitive root that means, "to knot, or distort," and it is used figuratively to mean, "to pervert, to make crooked." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 11times in the Old Testament. being translated in the KJV as, "froward 6, perverse 4, crooked 1."

Proverbs 11:20Word Study on "abomination" - Strong says the Hebrew word ( תֹּועֵבָה) (H 8441) means, means, "something disgusting," and it comes from the primitive verb ( תָּעַב) (H 8581) meaning, "to loathe, to detest." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 117 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "abomination 113, abominable thing 2, abominable 2."

Proverbs 11:20Word Study on "upright" - Strong says the Hebrew word "upright" ( תָּמִים) (H 8549) means, "entire, integrity, truth," and it comes from the primitive root ( תָּמַם) (H 8552), which means, "to complete." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 91times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "without blemish 44, perfect 18, upright 8, without spot 6, uprightly 4, whole 4, sincerely 2, complete 1, full 1, misc 3."

Proverbs 11:20Word Study on "delight" - Strong says the Hebrew word "delight" ( רָצֹון) (H 7522) means, "delight." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 56 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "favour 15, will 14, acceptable 8, delight 5, pleasure 5, accepted 4, desire 3, acceptance 1, selfwill 1."

Comments- As we serve the Lord, we will find His divine favor.

Proverbs 11:20Comments- God despises a heart that is not genuine, whether it be in the business, or in the church. This tells us that God prefers that we be honest with Him, rather than pretending to be righteous. We will find more blessings in a genuine heart, regardless of our weaknesses and failures, rather than come to Him pretending to be righteous. Psalm 5:6 says that God abhors the deceitful man and will destroy him. He may appear righteous before men, such as the Pharisees, but God looks upon the heart. Note that the underlined word in this verse is used in Proverbs 11:20 as "abomination."

Psalm 5:6, "Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man."

The upright will find delight, or favor, in God's eyes. Note that the underlined word in these verses is used in Proverbs 11:20 as "delight."

Psalm 5:12, "For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield."

Psalm 30:5, "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Psalm 119:1, "ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD."

Proverbs 19:12, "The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass."

David prayed before the Lord," I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee." ( 1 Chronicles 29:17)

God will show Himself upright to the upright and froward to the froward.

Psalm 18:25-26, "With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward."

A clear illustration of this verse can be seen in the lives of King Saul and King David. Saul pretended to be upright by offering sacrifices to the Lord and it cost him his kingship. But David found favor in the eyes of the Lord because of his upright heart.

Proverbs 11:20Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Psalm 11:7, "For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright."

Psalm 140:13, "Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence."

Proverbs 12:22, "Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight."

Proverbs 15:8, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight."

Proverbs 21:29, "A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way."

Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

Proverbs 11:21 — "Though hand join in hand" - Comments- The Hebrew phrase ( יָד לְיָד) literally means, "hand to hand." The KJV brings out the idea of a handshake in this phrase. Scholars give several interpretations for the phrase "hand in hand," which determines how one contrasts Proverbs 11:21.

(1) The Handing Down from One Generation to the Other- First, the phrase "hand in hand" may carry the concept of handing down from one generation to the other, which contrasts well with the "seed of the righteous" in the second part of the verse. JFB quotes Mercer, DeDieu, and Maurer, who believe that this phrase refers to the succession of parents and children. 89] KD refer to Bottcher, who interprets the phrase "hand to hand" to means, "from one hand to another." 90] Just as the seed of the righteous will benefit from these blessings, so will the descendants of the wicked find punishment. E. H. Plumpter says, "From hand to hand, from one generation to another, punishment shall descend on the evil doers." 91] Note this principle in Exodus 20:5-6.

89] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Proverbs , in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Proverbs 11:21.

90] C. F. Keil, and F. Delitzsch, Proverbs , in Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Proverbs 11:21.

91] E. H. Plumpter, Proverbs , in The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 4, ed. F. C. Cook (London: John Murray, 1873), 560.

Exodus 20:5-6, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

The blessings of the righteous will forever be handed down to his descendants as it brings never-ending blessings from one generation to the next. But the punishment that God hands down to the wicked will cut off their seed after the fourth generation and thus, purge the world of this wickedness. For example, Jesus Christ gave His blessings to twelve apostles. The blessings from the Gospel of Jesus have been handed down for thousands of years, and even into eternity. In contrast, the Lord cut off Ahab and other wicked leaders in Israel in their fourth generation.

(2) God Hands Down His Divine Judgment- John Gill quotes Jarchi's (Rashi's) interpretation of Proverbs 11:21, which says, "from the hand of the Holy One, blessed be Hebrews , to his hand shall come to him his wage, and he will not be cleansed of the evil that he committed." 92] In other words, this phrase would mean that God hands down His divine judgment from His hand into the hand of the sinners.

92] John Gill, 1 Kings , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on comments on Proverbs 11:21; The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary, ed. A. J. Rosenberg (New York: The Judaica Press Company, 1963) [on-line]; accessed 13December 2009; available from http//www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16445/showrashi/true; Internet, comments on Proverbs 11:21.

(3) A Handshake and a Covenant- This phrase may carry the idea of a handshake and a covenant. JFB says, "The combined power of the wicked cannot free them from just punishment." 93] It would mean that the wicked may have many joined in agreement, but this will not protect him from divine wrath. It refers to the protection that comes in the ancient societies from joining in league and covenants with neighbours. This practice of covenant-making was the best assurance of protection against other warlords and bands of marauders.

93] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Proverbs , in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Proverbs 11:21.

(4) The Concept of Certainty- Most modern translations interpret this phrase "hand to hand" to be a Hebrew idiom that means, "You have my word on it." Thus, it refers to a pledge made in a handshake, giving the figurative interpretation "certainly." KD prefer to side with Ewald's view that this phrase refers to a pledge or a guarantee. They quote Job 17:3 as an example. 94]

94] C. F. Keil, and F. Delitzsch, Proverbs , in Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Proverbs 11:21.

Job 17:3, "Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?"

Thus, the idea of a promise, a guarantee, or a certainty that something will come to pass is implied. Note how many versions translate this phrase with this idea:

BBE, "Certainly the evil-doer will not go free from punishment, but the seed of the upright man will be safe."

HNV, "Most assuredly, the evil man will not be unpunished, But the seed of the righteous will be delivered."

JPS, "My hand upon it! the evil man shall not be unpunished; but the seed of the righteous shall escape."

NIV, "Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free."

We find this same entire Hebrew phrase in Proverbs 16:5 ( יָד לְיָד לֹא־יִנָּקֶה).

Proverbs 16:5, "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished."

Note how other translations of Proverbs 16:5 carry the idea of certainty.

Brenton, "Every one that is proud in heart is unclean before God, and he that unjustly strikes hands with hand shall not be held guiltless."

DRC, "Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord: though hand should be joined to hand, he is not innocent."

JPS, "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD my hand upon it! he shall not be unpunished."

NIV, "The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished."

(5) The Making of Unjust Agreements- The LXX says that this phrase refers to people who make "unjust" agreements with others bringing punishment upon themselves.

Brenton, "He that unjustly strikes hands shall not be unpunished: but he that sows righteousness he shall receive a faithful reward."

Proverbs 11:21 — "the wicked shall not be unpunished" - Word Study on "unpunished" - Strong says the Hebrew word "unpunished" ( נָקָה) (H 5352) is a primitive root used literally and figuratively to mean, "to be (made) clean," and it implies, "to be bare, i.e. extirpated or acquitted." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 44times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "unpunished 11, guiltless 5, innocent 5, clear 4, cleanse 3, free 2, by no means 2, acquit 2, altogether 2, cut off 2, at all 1, blameless 1, desolate 1, quit 1, utterly 1, wholly 1."

Proverbs 11:21 — "but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered" - Word Study on "delivered" - Strong says the Hebrew word "delivered" ( מָלַט) (H 4422) is a primitive root meaning, "to be smooth, i.e. (by implication) to escape (as if by slipperiness)," and used in the causative, it carries the meaning, "to release or to rescue." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 95 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "escape 47, deliver 33, save 5, ...out 4, alone 1, get away 1, lay 1, preserve 1, speedily 1, surely 1."

Comments- The phrase "the seed of the righteous" implies that within every human being can be sown seeds of righteousness or seeds of unrighteousness which will determine that person's destiny. A righteous man produces righteous offspring while a wicked man produces wicked offspring. Any child can be taken and developed into either offspring. This is why Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Comments- Not only will the righteous find God's protection, but his children will partake of these divine blessings. Note:

Genesis 17:7, "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."

Psalm 37:25-26, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed."

Psalm 112:1-2, "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed."

Proverbs 11:21Comments- In this uncertain world, there are two things that are certain. The contrast Proverbs 11:21 is seen in the fact that the wicked will certainly have to pay for their sins, while the righteous will be rescued from them and from the problems and punishment that result from sins. We know that this deliverance is accomplished only through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Both the wicked and the righteous live in the same neighborhood. They met together and work together. The travel the same roads together and shop at the same markets. Yet, one will find calamity while the other finds divine protection.


Verse 22-23

Proverbs 11:22 As a jewel of gold in a swine"s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

Proverbs 11:22 — "As a jewel of gold in a swine"s snout" - Comments- This phrase alludes to the practice of placing an iron ring in the snout of the pig in order to prevent him from rooting up the soil. Because animals were kept close to the houses of their owners, the habit of the pig to root the earth would be discouraged in this manner.

It also alludes to the practice in ancient times of giving an adornment of fine jewelry to a beautiful woman. Oriental women often wore nose jewels (see Isaiah 2:21).

Isaiah 3:18-21, "In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels,"

Therefore, the jewel of gold in the pig's snout may refer to the oriental nose jewel. Also, JFB tells us that the pig in Egyptian hieroglyphics represents a fool (quoting Gejer). 95]

95] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Proverbs , in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Proverbs 11:22.

Proverbs 11:22 — "so is a fair woman which is without discretion" - Word Study on "without" - Strong says the Hebrew word "without" ( סוּר) (H 5493) is a primitive root meaning, "to turn off." In Proverbs 11:22, modern English versions translate it: "is without" (ASV, Darby, RSV), "abandoned" (Rotherham).

Comments- This phrase can literally mean someone who "departs from discretion." Thus, the woman in this verse would choose to ignore wisdom and continue in foolishness.

Word Study on "discretion" - Strong says the Hebrew word "discretion" ( טַעַם) (H 2940) literally means, "taste," and in a figurative sense, "perception," and it comes from the root verb ( טְעַם) (H 2939), which means, "to taste." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 13times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "taste 5, behaviour 2, advice 1, understanding 1, judgment 1, discretion 1, reason 1, decree 1."

Comments- It is used literally of the taste of manna.

Exodus 16:31, "And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

It is used of intellectual advice.

1 Samuel 25:33, "And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand."

It is used of ethical judgment.

Psalm 119:66, "Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments."

In Proverbs 11:22 it seems to refer to a woman who lacks moral character. The WBC calls it "moral perception." 96]

96] Charles Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, eds, Proverbs , in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database (Chicago: Moody Press, c 1962), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on Proverbs 11:22-23.

Proverbs 11:22Comments- Wisdom and its virtues, such as discretion, are considered an ornament in the book of Proverbs. Note:

Proverbs 1:9, "For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck."

Proverbs 4:9, "She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee."

Proverbs 25:12, "As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear."

Peter calls a meek and quiet spirit an "ornament."

1 Peter 3:4, "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Thus, the jewel of gold is parallel with the ornament of discretion in this verse. Just as it is not fitting to use gold in a swine"s snout, so it is not fitting for beauty to cloth a foolish woman. The moral deficiency of this woman is compared with an ugly pig, an animal that was considered unclean to the Jews. The immoral woman is compared to unclean pig regardless of her outward beauty. As a beautiful gold ring does not compliment an ugly pig snout, neither does beauty go with a foolish woman. Physical attraction does not go with moral deficiency, but rather they contradict one another, as does a gold ring in a pig's snout.

Some men marry a woman; and not having looked past the beautiful "gold jewel," they find themselves married to a foolish woman. Proverbs warns us of this woman later when describing the virtuous woman.

Proverbs 31:30, "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

Thus, the character of the woman in Proverbs 11:22 is contrasted with the virtuous woman.

Proverbs 11:23 The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

Proverbs 11:23Word Study on "only" - Strong says the Hebrew word "only" ( אַךְ) (H 389) is a particle of affirmation that means, "surely, hence by limitation, only." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 22times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "also, but, certainly, even, howbeit, least, nevertheless, notwithstanding, only, save, scarce, surely, surety, truly, verily, wherefore, yet."

Proverbs 11:23Comments- Proverbs 11:23 tells us that the righteous man has a heart that desires only good things. He desires good for all those about him, and wish no harm. He may stubble into sin, but his desire is to overcome sin and please God in everything that he does. Because of his good desires, the Lord will grant him his expectations. He has a happy end.

Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desire."

In contrast, the wicked man desires things that appease his unending wrath and anger towards others. He only desires things that displease God, thus bringing wrath upon his live. This person seeks evil, and he gets it. In vain, he may hope for a good outcome amidst his sins, but his end is only problems and punishment. His mischief will come upon his own head. He has an unhappy end. Note:

Romans 2:8-10, "But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:"

Proverbs 11:23Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 10:28, "The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish."


Verses 24-31

Proverbs 11:24-31 — Wealth Gained by Sowing and Reaping - This section in Proverbs 11:24-31 places emphasis upon man's financial realm, as the previous sections have placed emphasis upon the heart ( Proverbs 10:1-9), the mind ( Proverbs 10:10-32) and the body ( Proverbs 10:27 to Proverbs 11:22).

This passage in Proverbs 11:24-31 deals largely with the rewards of those who give liberally. It teaches us about sowing and reaping. These verses tell us that those who give will be blessed with an increase of the same ( Proverbs 11:24), with fatness (or more than enough) ( Proverbs 11:25), with blessings from others ( Proverbs 11:26), with favour ( Proverbs 11:27), and with God's divine recompense ( Proverbs 11:31). In other words, we will be blessed in every area of our lives: spiritually, mentally, physically and materially. We will receive blessings from other people as well as from God above. The theme of this passage can be seen in Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Proverbs 11:24 compares a generous heart with a covetous heart. In Proverbs 11:25, we see the liberal heart of a giver, while Proverbs 11:26 shows us the heart of a covetous person. Proverbs 11:24 emphasizes the quantity of giving, while Proverbs 11:25 emphasizes the quality of the giving, by revealing the heart of a giver. A true giver does it with a liberal heart. These same two aspects of giving are also seen in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, where Proverbs 11:6 tells us that God rewards us according to the quantity that we give, while Proverbs 11:7 tells us that God looks on the quality of our heart when we give.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

Proverbs 11:24 also mentions the covetous person who will not give in times of need. Proverbs 11:26 reveals the true heart of covetousness in someone who will not give. One man seeks the good of others as well as himself, while the other seeks mischief and both receive God's divine payment for their behaviour ( Proverbs 11:27). The problem is further revealed in Proverbs 11:28, where one man trusts in his riches, while the other place their trust in the Lord.

Illustrations- Job was a man with a liberal soul.

Job 29:11-17, "When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow"s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth."

Job 31:16-21, "If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother"s womb;) If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:"

This was the things that God called Israel to do as a method restoring the people's health and their land to prosperity.

Isaiah 58:7-8, "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward."

In the parable of the Judgment of the Nations ( Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus teaches us that these are the conditions by which God will judge a man's soul.

Matthew 25:34-36, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

Generosity leads to prosperity in this life and a reward in eternity. Selfishness and stinginess lead to poverty, lack and curses in this life and punishment in eternal life.

Proverbs 11:24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

Proverbs 11:24 — "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth" - Comments- The English phrase "and yet increaseth" reads in the Hebrew, "and increases yet more."

Proverbs 11:24 — "and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty" - Word Study on "there is that withholdeth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "withholdeth" ( חָשַׂךְ) (H 2820) is a primitive root that means, "to restrain, or (reflexive) to refrain." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 28 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "spare 8, keep back 3, withhold 3, refrain 3, asswage 2, reserved 2, hold back 1, variant 1, forbear 1, hindereth 1, kept 1, punished 1, withholdeth 1."

Word Study on "more than is meet" - Strong says the Hebrew word "more than is meet" ( ישֶׁר) (H 3476) word means, "right," and it comes from the primitive root ( יָשַׁר) (H 3474) meaning, "to be straight or even; figuratively, to be (causatively, to make) right, pleasant, prosperous."

Comments- Rotherham reads, "who withholdeth of what is due." For example, the tithe is due to God, and those who do not pay a tithe to their church have destruction and lack in their lives. In other words, God gives us seed enough for bread and seed for sowing. If we consume all of our seed, we will soon have no harvest to meet our needs. Note:

2 Corinthians 9:10, "Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)"

Just as there is a proper amount of seed to hold back for sowing, so is there always a proper amount to give to others.

Word Study on "it tendeth to poverty" - Strong says the Hebrew word "it tendeth to poverty" ( מַחְ׳סור) (H 4270) means, "deficiency,", hence, "impoverishment." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 13times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "want 8, lack 1, need 1, poor 1, poverty 1, penury 1."

Comments- The Hebrew text literally reads, "to only lack."

Proverbs 11:24Comments- The Hebrew of Proverbs 11:24 literally reads, "There is him who distributes and increases yet more, and there is him that holds back (what is) right, but to poverty." The contrast of this verse is clearly seen in that a person who liberally gives what he has will always be increasing in substance. But the person who holds back what should be given will never have enough. God rewards such a person according to how much he gives. The more he gives, the greater the increase. Note:

Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Proverbs 11:24Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 28:27, "He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse."

Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

Proverbs 11:25 — "The liberal soul shall be made fat" - Word Study on "liberal" - Strong says the Hebrew word "liberal" ( בְּרָכָה) (H 1293) means, "benediction," but carries the implication of "prosperity," and it comes from the primitive root ( בָּרַךְ) (H1288), which means, "to kneel," which implies the meaning, "to bless (God as an act of adoration) or to bless (man as a benefit)." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 69 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "blessing 61, blessed 3, present 3, liberal 1, pools 1."

Word Study on "fat" - Strong says the Hebrew word "fat" ( דָּשֵׁן) (H 1878) is a primitive root meaning, "to be fat," and it means figuratively, "to satisfy." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 11times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "made fat 6, wax fat 1, take away ashes 1, anoint 1, receive his ashes 1, accept 1."

Comments- In the phrase "the liberal soul," the Hebrew reads literally, "the soul that blesses." This person blesses those in need with gracious lips and generous hands.

Regarding the phrase "shall be made fat," in developing countries, the lean, skinny person represents the poor Prayer of Manasseh , who lives off of scarcity of meals. The fat person represents one who has plenty of substance and wealth. The phrase " shall be made fat" is used in other Scriptures.

Proverbs 13:4, "The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."

Proverbs 15:30, "The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

Proverbs 28:25, "He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat."

Deuteronomy 32:15, "But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation."

Deuteronomy 31:20, "For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

Psalm 22:29, "All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul."

Isaiah 10:16, "Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire."

Proverbs 11:25 — "and he that watereth shall be watered also himself" - Word Study on "he that watereth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "watereth" ( רָוָה) (H 7301) is a primitive root meaning, "to slake the thirst." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 14times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "water 4, make drunk 2, fill 2, satiate 2, bathed 1, satisfied 1, abundantly satisfy 1, soaked 1."

Comments- Note other similar figurative uses of this same Hebrew word in the books of Psalm and Proverbs.

Psalm 36:8, "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures."

Psalm 65:10, "Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof."

Proverbs 5:19, "Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love."

Proverbs 7:18, "Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves."

Word Study on "shall be watered" - Strong says the Hebrew word "shall be watered" ( יָרֵא) (H 3384) is a primitive root meaning, "to flow (as water, i.e. to rain)," and it can mean, "to lay or throw (an arrow, i.e. to shoot), and figuratively used, it means, "to point out (as if by aiming the finger), or to teach." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 84times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "teach 42, shoot 18, archers 5, cast 5, teacher 4, rain 2, laid 1, direct 1, inform 1, instructed 1, shewed 1, shooters 1, through 1, watered 1."

The common meaning "to teach" led the Targum to translate this phrase as, "and he that teacheth, also he himself shall learn." 97]

97] John Gill, Proverbs , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Proverbs 11:25.

Comments- He that refreshes the souls of others, both spiritually, mentally and physically, will also himself be refreshed. This phrase may carry the concept of the early and latter rains that refresh the dry land. Note:

Job 29:23, "And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain."

Psalm 72:6-7, "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth."

This figurative language of waters representing blessings is used earlier in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 5:15-18, "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers" with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth."

The Lord will bring the dew in the mornings and showers of blessings in the evening. In every season, everything we do and every place we go will abound with divine blessings. Note:

Deuteronomy 28:12, "The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow."

Proverbs 11:25Comments- Proverbs 11:25 emphasizes the attitude of the heart in giving, while the preceding verse emphasizes the quantity of giving. A man who always tries to bless and benefit others as an act of worshiping God will always have enough to satisfy his needs plus an abundance for others. The person giving will receive more blessings than the one who receives.

Acts 20:35, "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Proverbs 11:26 He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

Proverbs 11:26 — "He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him" - Comments- Scholars suggest Proverbs 11:26 reveals a common situation during times of famine when a greedy person would withhold corn during times of famine until the price is forced up ( Amos 8:4-6).

Amos 8:4-6, "Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?"

Proverbs 11:26 — "but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it" - Word Study on "of him that selleth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "of him that selleth" ( שָׁבַר) (H 7666) means, "to deal (in grain)." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 21times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "buy 15, sell 6."

Proverbs 11:26Comments- Joseph certainly did not withhold the corn. Because of his wise planning and generous heart, he fed the nations during a famine. In contrast, when Nabal was given the opportunity to give bread to David and his men in their time of need, he withheld his abundance and brought a curse upon himself ( 1 Samuel 25:1-44).

Scholars also interpret this verse symbolically to say that the corn represents the Word of God and those who withhold the message of the Gospel from the people will bring a curse upon themselves, but blessed is the man who liberally declares the knowledge of the Most High.

Proverbs 11:27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

Proverbs 11:27 — "He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour" - Word Study on "diligently seeketh" - Strong says the Hebrew word "diligently seeketh" ( שָׁחַר) (H 7836) is a primitive root that literally means, "to dawn," and it is used figuratively to mean, "to be (up) early (at any task)," it implies "earnestness," and it could also means, "to search for (with painstaking)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 12times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "seek early 4, seek 2, diligently seek 2, betimes 1, misc 3."

Word Study on "procureth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "procureth" ( בָּקַשׁ) (H 1245) is a primitive root that means, "to search out," and it implies, "to strive after." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 225 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "seek 189, require 14, request 4, seek out 4, enquired 3, besought 2, ask 2, sought for 2, begging 1, desire 1, get 1, inquisition 1, procureth 1."

Comments- This statement describes a man who sets priorities in his life to choose good above his own desires. He makes a conscience effort to do the right thing at all times.

Proverbs 11:27 — "but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him" - Word Study on "seeketh" - Strong says the Hebrew word "seeketh" ( דָּרַשׁ) (H 1875) is a primitive root that means, "to tread, or frequent," it also means, "to follow (for pursuit or search)," and it implies, "to seek or ask." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 164times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "seek 84, enquire 43, require 12, search 7, misc 18."

Word Study on "mischief" - Strong says the Hebrew word "mischief" ( רַע) (H 7451) means, "bad, evil." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 663times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "evil 442, wickedness 59, wicked 25, mischief 21, hurt 20, bad 13, trouble 10, sore 9, affliction 6, ill 5, adversity 4, favoured 3, harm 3, naught 3, noisome 2, grievous 2, sad 2, misc 34."

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Esther 7:10, "So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king"s wrath pacified."

Psalm 7:15-16, "He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate."

Psalm 9:15-16, "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah."

Psalm 10:2, "The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined."

Psalm 57:6, "They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah."

Proverbs 17:11, "An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him."

Proverbs 11:27 Comments- We have just been told of the righteous man who desires only good ( Proverbs 11:23).

Proverbs 11:23, "The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath."

Proverbs 11:27 tells us that he will be given favor, both with God and man. We have been told about this favor to those who walk in mercy in truth earlier in Proverbs 3:3-4.

Proverbs 3:3-4, "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."

For those who seek to mistreat others, this mistreatment will come upon him from both God and man. Note:

Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

James 2:13, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

Note the contrast in this verse between those who "diligent seek" good and those who "seek" evil. We are seeking either of the two and there are only two paths to follow.

The emphasis in Proverbs 11:27 is the divine justice that invades man's plans. God brings blessings upon those who pursue good and He brings problems to those who cause problems in other people's lives. This law of divine rewards in clearly stated in Proverbs 11:31.

Proverbs 11:31, "Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner."

Proverbs 11:28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

Proverbs 11:28 — "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall" - Scripture References- Note similar passages.

Deuteronomy 8:12-14, "Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;"

Psalm 52:7-8, "Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever."

Psalm 62:10, "Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them."

Mark 10:24, "And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!"

Luke 12:20-21, "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

1 Timothy 6:17, "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;"

Proverbs 11:28 — "but the righteous shall flourish as a branch" - Word Study on "branch" - Strong says the Hebrew word "branch" ( עָלֶה) (H 5929) means, "leaf, foliage." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 18 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "leaf 12, branch 5, branches + 060861."

YLT, "Whoso is confident in his wealth he falleth, And as a leaf, the righteous flourish."

Scripture References- Note other similar verses regarding the righteous.

Psalm 1:3, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

Psalm 52:8, "But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever."

Psalm 92:12-14, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;"

Isaiah 60:21, "Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified."

Jeremiah 17:8, "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

Proverbs 11:28Comments- Allen Ross says the leaf the leaf was a symbol of prosperity in the Middle East, while the image of a person falling symbolized ruin. 98] We can also use Isaiah 34:4 as an illustration of a falling leaf representing destruction. This would stand in direct contrast to the flourishing branch in the second part of this verse.

98] Allen P. Ross, Proverbs , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 5, ed. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), comments on Proverbs 11:29.

Isaiah 34:4, "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree."

The contrast is seen in the fact that a person who trusts in riches will fail at some point in his life, but he that puts his trust in God will find that he flourishes, even in times when others fall. Those who grow their roots in the things of this world will soon wither and dry up, but those who plant their roots in the living waters will always come through in seasons of trouble. Even in death, the righteous will be ushered into the presence of Almighty God so that in life and in death, the righteous flourish, for they have been grafted in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Proverbs 11:29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

Proverbs 11:29 — "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind" - Comments- The wind is symbolic of vanity and futility.

Job 7:7, "O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good."

Ecclesiastes 1:14, "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit."

Psalm 78:39, "For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again."

Psalm 103:16, "For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more."

Ecclesiastes 5:16, "And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?"

Proverbs 11:29Comments- The first part of this proverb says that those evil men who mismanage their own households will cause their own ruin. The second part says that those who mismanage their relationships with their neighbours will become servants to those who are wise. For the effects of a home that is out of order will overflow into the community.

There are several similar verses in Proverbs that tell us we will trouble ourselves and our own homes if we are cruel ( Proverbs 11:17) or if we are greedy and do not learn to give ( Proverbs 15:27).

Proverbs 11:17, "The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh."

Proverbs 15:27, "He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live."

Proverbs 11:29Illustration- Simeon and Levi troubled their family and clan by killing the men of Hamor and Shechem.

Genesis 34:30, "And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house."

Therefore, they did not receive an inheritance, but were scattered like the wind among their brethren.

Genesis 49:5-7, "Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a Prayer of Manasseh , and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."

When Achan committed a trespass against the Lord by stealing a garment with gold and silver, he caused much troubled for the children of Israel. Therefore, he and his entire household were slain.

Joshua 7:24-25, "And Joshua , and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones."

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Proverbs 11:30 — "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life" - Word Study on "life" - The Hebrew word "life" ( חַי) (H 2416) a commonly used word meaning, "alive, life" (Strong). Strong says it comes from the primitive root ( חָיָה) (H 2421), which means, "to live." This word is found in the plural form in the Hebrew text of Proverbs 11:19. It is called an abstract plural, which is used to show quality rather than quantity. It sums up either the conditions or the qualities inherent within the idea of abstract nouns. 99]

99] F. W. Gesenius, Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, 2nd English ed, eds. E. Kautzsch and S. A. E. Cowley (2003), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 396 (section 1241.d).

Comments- Trees symbolized "life" in the arid Middle East. This phrase tells us that a person who lives a life of righteousness will receive the fruit of this lifestyle, which is called "a tree of life", meaning abundant life: a life of peace, health and prosperity. Righteousness proceeds from the heart, but affects the entire man. It gives him a peace of mind, health in his body and financial prosperity. These are the "fruits" of righteousness.

The phrase "tree of life" has been used in Proverbs 3:18 earlier to describe the benefits of wisdom.

Proverbs 3:18, "She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Psalm 1:3, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

Proverbs 11:30 — "and he that winneth souls is wise" - Word Study on "winneth" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "winneth" ( לָקַח) (H 3947) means, "to take, receive." Strong says it is a primitive root meaning, "to take (in the widest variety of applications)," The Enhanced Strong says it is used 965 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "take 747, receive 61, take away 51, fetch 31, bring 25, get 6, take out 6, carry away 5, married 4, buy 3, misc 26." This Hebrew word is used 19 times in the book of Proverbs.

Comments- Because of the wide application of this common Hebrew word ( לָקַח), the meaning of this phrase has been subjected to a variety of interpretations.

(1) Literal Translation of Taking- Some translate its literal meaning.

LITV, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he who takes souls is wise."

YLT, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And whoso is taking souls is wise."

(2) The Destruction of Life- Other translations interpret the Hebrew word ( לָקַח) to mean, "to take a life" in the sense of "to destroy." This is the way these same two Hebrew words "winneth souls" ( לֹקֵ֖חַ נְפָשׂ֣וֹת) are used together in two other Scriptures.

1 Kings 19:4, "But he himself went a day"s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers."

Psalm 31:13, "For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life."

Therefore, a number of translations, including the LXX, follow this meaning.

BBE, "The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, but violent behaviour takes away souls."

Brenton, "Out of the fruit of righteousness grows a tree of life; but the souls of transgressors are cut off before their time."

RSV, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, but lawlessness takes away lives."

(3) Conquering a Battle- However, most translations follow the KJV, in which the English word "win" carries the meaning of conquering a battle or the gaining of a possession.

ASV, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that is wise winneth souls."

DRC, "The fruit of the just man is a tree of life: and he that gaineth souls, is wise."

Rotherham, "The fruit of the righteous, is a tree of life, and, he that rescueth souls, is wise."

NIV, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise."

(4) Doctrine- John Gill notes how the noun form of this Hebrew verb ( לֶקַח) (H 3948) is used in Proverbs 4:2 to means "doctrine," thus supporting the interpretation of winning or teaching souls. 100] We clearly see this fourth meaning in Daniel 12:3.

100] John Gill, Proverbs , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Proverbs 11:30.

Daniel 12:3, "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

Proverbs 11:30Comments- Just as foolishness brings one to ruin in Proverbs 11:29, so righteousness causes one's life to be both long and fruitful. The blessings that come in his life overflow into the lives of those under his influence.

Proverbs 11:29-30Comments- As the fool is unable to manage his own household and this mismanagement is reflected in his business affairs so that he becomes servants to the wise ( Proverbs 11:29), so righteousness brings fruitful blessings into one's personal life as well as gaining an influence in the lives of others so that he wins them by his pure conduct and godly testimony.

Proverbs 11:31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

Proverbs 11:31 — "Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth" - Comments- In the context of this section on sowing and reaping in Proverbs 11:24-31, the righteous are those who give liberally. Note similar verses on those who give from a liberal heart:

Deuteronomy 15:10, "Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto."

Proverbs 19:17, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD and that which he hath given will he pay him again."

Proverbs 11:31Comments- Proverbs 11:31 tells us that divine providence will repay both the righteous and the wicked. God judges the righteous in this life so that he will not have to be judged at the Great White Throne. Peter quotes this same verse in his first epistle from the LXX, "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (Brenton)

1 Peter 4:18, "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Proverbs 11:31 is quoted within the context of the suffering Christian, where it tells us that the righteous will be judged first in order to encourage the saint to endure the hardships of life out of reverence and fear of the Lord.

1 Peter 4:16-17, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Moses was within held from the Promised Land and David received the judgment of Nathan's prophecy that destroyed some of his children. Although God's process of judging His children may seem difficult at times, it is nothing to compare to the judgment that will be inflicted upon the sinners.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 11:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/proverbs-11.html. 2013.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology