Proverbs 11:16

16 A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.

Read Proverbs 11:16 Using Other Translations

A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.
A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.
A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.

What does Proverbs 11:16 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Proverbs 11:16

A gracious woman retaineth honour
Or "a woman of grace"


F19 one that has the grace of God in her heart, and is of a virtuous conversation, and by both amiable and lovely to others; as she receives honour or glory from them, which she deserves, so she retains the same. The Targum is,
``a gracious woman divides glory;''
that is, between herself and her husband; to which the Arabic version agrees, which renders it,
``a gracious woman raises up glory to her husband.''
Jarchi interprets it of the congregation of Israel; his note is,
``the congregation of Israel continually draws nigh to the glory of God and his law;''
and it may be applied to the true church of Christ, which seeks the glory of Christ, and retains the glory of Gospel doctrines, of Gospel ordinances, of Gospel discipline, and of Gospel conversation, when the harlot, the apostate church, has lost all honour of these things; and strong [men] retain riches:
some render it, "as strong men retain riches" F20; as they, when they have got them into their possession, keep them, it being in the power of their hands so to do, against all that would take them from them; so a gracious woman is as tenacious of her honour for chastity, modesty, wisdom, and conduct: or by those "strong men", or "terrible [and] violent" ones, as the word F21 signifies, may be meant the beast of Rome and his followers, cruel persecutors; whose principal care it is to amass the riches and wealth of others, which, when they have got, they hold fast.
F19 (Nx tva) "mulier gratiae", Montanus, Baynus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "quae gratia praedita est", Tigurine version; "uxor gratia pollens", Schultens.
F20 (w) "ut", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schultens.
F21 (Myuyre) "violenti", Piscator, Schultens; "formidabiles", Gejerus.
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