Verse 1 However men may make light of giving short weight or measure, and however common such crimes may be, they are an abomination to the Lord. Verse 2 . Considering how safe, and quiet, and easy the humble are, we see that with the lowly is wisdom. Verse 3 . An honest man's principles are fixed, therefore his way is plain. Verse 4 . ( proverbs 11:5-6 ) The ways of wickedness are dangerous. And sin will be its own punishment. Verse 7 . When a godly man dies, all his fears vanish; but when a wicked man dies, his hopes vanish. Verse 8 . The righteous are often wonderfully kept from going into dangerous situations, and the ungodly go in their stead. Verse 9 . Hypocrites delude men into error and sin by artful objections against the truths of ( proverbs 11:10-11 ) down. Verse 12 . A man of understanding does not judge of others by their success. Verse 13 . A faithful man will not disclose what he is trusted with, unless the honour of God and the real good of society require it. Verse 14 . We shall often find it to our advantage to advise with others. Verse 15 . The welfare of our families, our own peace, and our ability to pay just debts, must not be brought into danger. But here especially let us consider the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in becoming Surety even for enemies. Verse 16 . A pious and discreet woman will keep esteem and respect, as strong men keep possession of wealth. Verse 17 . A cruel, froward, ill-natured man, is vexatious to those that are, and should be to him as his own flesh, and punishes himself. Verse 18 . He that makes it his business to do good, shall have a reward, as sure to him as eternal truth can make it. Verse 19 . True holiness is true happiness. The more violent a man is in sinful pursuits, the more he hastens his own destruction. Verse 20 . Nothing is more hateful to God, than hypocrisy and double dealing, which are here signified. God delights in such as aim and act with uprightness. Verse 21 . Joining together in sin shall not protect the sinners. Verse 22 . Beauty is abused by those who have not discretion or modesty with it. This is true of all bodily endowments. Verse 23 . The wicked desire mischief to others, but it shall return upon themselves. Verse 24 . A man may grow poor by not paying just debts, not relieving the poor, not allowing needful expenses. Let men be ever so saving of what they have, if God appoints, it comes to nothing. Verse 25 . Both in temporal and spiritual things, God commonly deals with his people according to the measure by which they deal with their brethren. Verse 26 . We must not hoard up the gifts of God's bounty, merely for our own advantage. Verse 27 . Seeking mischief is here set against seeking good; for those that are not doing good are doing hurt, even to themselves. Verse 28 . The true believer is a branch of the living Vine. When those that take root in the world wither, those who are grafted into Christ shall be fruitful. Verse 29 . He that brings trouble upon himself and his family, by carelessness, or by wickedness, shall be unable to keep and enjoy what he gets, as a man is unable to hold the wind, or to satisfy himself with it. Verse 30 . The righteous are as trees of life; and their influence upon earth, like the fruits of that tree, support and nourish the spiritual life in many. Verse 31 . Even the righteous, when they offend on earth, shall meet with sharp corrections; much more will the wicked meet the due reward of their sins. Let us then seek those blessings which our Surety purchased by his sufferings and death; let us seek to copy his example, and to keep his commandments.
Proverbs 11:1-31 .
1. (Compare Margin). The Hebrews used stones for weights.
just--complete in measure.
2. Self-conceit is unteachable; the humble grow wise (compare Proverbs 16:18 , 18:12 ).
3. guide--to lead, as a shepherd ( Proverbs 6:7 , Psalms 78:52 ).
4. (Compare Proverbs 10:2 ).
wrath--that is, of God.
5. direct--or, "make plain"; wicked ways are not plain ( Proverbs 13:17 ).
6. deliver them--that is, from evil, which the wicked suffer by their own doings ( Proverbs 5:22 , Psalms 9:16 ).
7. expectation . . . perish--for death cuts short all his plans ( Luke 16:25 ).
hope of unjust--better, "hope of wealth," or "power" (compare Isaiah 40:29 , Hebrew). This gives an advance on the sentiment of the first clause. Even hopes of gain die with him.
8. Perhaps the trouble prepared by the wicked, and which he inherits (compare Proverbs 11:6 ).
9. (Compare Psalms 35:16 , Daniel 11:32 ). The just is saved by superior discernment.
10, 11. The last may be a reason for the first. Together, they set forth the relative moral worth of good and bad men.
11. By the blessing--implying active benevolence.
12. despiseth--or, "reviles," a course contrasted with the prudent silence of the wise.
holdeth his peace--as if neither hearing nor telling.
13. tale-bearer--(Compare Margin), one trading as a peddler in scandal, whose propensity to talk leads him to betray confidence.
14. counsel--the art of governing ( Proverbs 1:5 ).
counsellors--literally, "one giving counsel"; the participle used as a collective.
15. (Compare Proverbs 6:1 ).
suretiship--(Compare Margin), the actors put for the action, which may be lawfully hated.
16. retaineth--or literally, "lay hold of as a support." Honor is to a feeble woman thus as valuable as riches to men.
17. merciful--kind to others; opposed to cruel. Such benefit themselves by doing good to others (compare Proverbs 24:5 ), while the cruel injure themselves as well as others.
flesh--that is, his body, by penuriousness ( Colossians 2:23 ).
18. a deceitful work--or, "wages," which fail to satisfy, or flee away ( Proverbs 10:2 , 23:5 ).
sure reward--or, "gain," as from trading ( Hosea 10:12 , Galatians 6:8 Galatians 6:9 ).
19. Inference from Proverbs 11:18 (compare Proverbs 11:5 Proverbs 11:6 , Proverbs 10:16 ).
20. (Compare Proverbs 11:5 ).
froward--as in Proverbs 2:15 , opposed to the simplicity and purity of the upright.
in their way--or, "conduct."
21. The combined power of the wicked cannot free them from just punishment, while the unaided children of the righteous find deliverance by reason of their pious relationship ( Psalms 37:25 Psalms 37:26 ).
22. Jewels were often suspended from the nose ( Genesis 24:47 , Isaiah 3:21 ). Thus adorned, a hog disgusts less than a fair and indiscreet woman.
23. (Compare Proverbs 10:28 ).
wrath--is that of God.
24-31. The scope of the whole is a comment on Proverbs 11:23 . Thus liberality, by God's blessing, secures increase, while penuriousness, instead of expected gain, procures poverty.
25. liberal soul--(Compare Margin).
made fat--prospers ( Proverbs 28:25 , Deuteronomy 32:15 , Luke 6:38 ).
watereth . . . watered--a common figure for blessing.
26. Another example of the truth of Proverbs 11:23 ; the miser loses reputation, though he saves corn.
selleth it--that is at a fair price.
27. good [and] mischief--that is, of others.
procureth . . . seeketh--implying success.
28. (Compare Proverbs 10:15 , Psalms 49:6 , 1 Timothy 6:17 ).
righteous . . . branch--( Psalms 1:3 , Jeremiah 17:8 ).
29. troubleth--as Proverbs 15:27 explains, by greediness for gain (compare Proverbs 11:17 ).
inherit . . . wind--Even successful, his gains are of no real value. So the fool, thus acting, either comes to poverty, or heaps up for others.
30. a tree of life--Blessings to others proceed from the works of the righteous ( Proverbs 3:18 ).
winneth souls--(Compare Margin) to do them good as opposed to Proverbs 6:25 , Ezekiel 13:18 (compare Luke 5:10 ).
31. Behold--Thus calling attention to the illustrations (compare Proverbs 11:23 ), the sentiment of which is confirmed even in time, not excluding future rewards and punishments.