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Proverbs 11



Proverbs of Solomon, Continued (11:1–31)

1–31 Verse 1: This proverb about dishonest scales and weights encompasses all kinds of dishonest dealings between human beings; the Lord abhors all dishonest dealings (see Leviticus 19:35–37 and comment).

Verse 2: Pride and self-confidence lead to disgrace, to a fall—usually in this life, but if not, surely in the next (see Proverbs 16:18; 1 Corinthians 10:12).

Verse 4: Wealth (of any kind) is worthless when God’s judgment falls; only righteousness—rightness with God—will deliver one from spiritual death (see Proverbs 10:2).

Verse 5: The blameless45 have a straight way made for them, a way free from crookedness, stumbling, and sin (see Proverbs 3:6).

Verse 9: With his mouth (by speaking slander) the godless destroys his neighbor. Those who slander others often think they are godly, but Scripture indicates otherwise. Through knowledge of the half-truths of the slanderer, the righteous are able to escape destruction.

Verse 11: The blessing of the upright consists of their good words and deeds; their “blessing” brings honor to their city.

Verse 12: To deride (speak against, slander) one’s neighbor shows lack of judgment; a wise man holds his tongue (see Proverbs 10:19). In regard to our neighbor, if we have nothing kind to say, we should say nothing.

Verse 13: There is a very fine line between a gossip and a slanderer. The gossip’s main subject of conversation is the shortcomings of others—and there is no lack of subject matter! Most gossips end up slandering others without even being aware they are doing so (see Proverbs 16:28).

Verse 14: This proverb affirms the wisdom of having many advisors, not only on a national or public level, but on a personal level as well (see Proverbs 15:22).

Verse 15: See Proverbs 6:1–5 and comment.

Verse 16: This proverb teaches that it is better to gain respect than to gain wealth (see Proverbs 22:1).

Verse 17: A kind (generous, merciful) man benefits himself (see Matthew 5:7). This is a spiritual principle (see verse 25).

Verse 18: The wages earned by a wicked man are deceptive—that is, they do not last. But the reward obtained by a righteous man is sure.

Verse 19: Here again we see the stark contrast between the “wages” of the righteous and the “wages” of evildoers: spiritual life versus spiritual death (see Proverbs 10:2,16).

Verses 24–25: These verses illustrate one of the most important spiritual principles in Scripture: the more we give, the more we receive. This principle was established first by God: Freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8). Jesus is our example: He gave His life for us; we should give our all for others. If we do, we shall not be the losers! To give to others is the road to blessing for ourselves. This truth applies not only to us as individuals but to our churches as well (see Psalm 112:9; Proverbs 22:9; Luke 6:38; 2Corinthians 9:6–11).

Verse 26: This proverb describes a man who hoards grain in order to increase its price. But the man who is willing to sell his grain to the needy at a fair price will be blessed (see Genesis 41:53–57).

Verse 27: What we seek we shall usually find: if we seek good (mercy, justice, righteousness) we shall find it; if we seek evil in order to do evil, we shall also “find” it—it will come to us. The evil we plan will come back upon us (Proverbs 1:18).

Verse 30: The fruit of the righteous is a tree (source) of life for others (see Proverbs 3:18). Through their deeds and words, the righteous win souls; through their witness, they bring others into the kingdom of God.

Verse 31: Even the righteous receive their due (their punishment) on earth; even Moses and David were punished (Numbers 20:11–12; 2 Samuel 12:10). How much more, then, will the ungodly be punished! (see 1 Peter 4:18).