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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Proverbs 11

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The Book of Proverbs

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Pro 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 Pro 16:18 18:12 ).

      3. guide--to lead, as a shepherd ( Pro 6:7 Psa 78:52 ).
      destroy--with violence.

      4. (Compare Pro 10:2 ).
      wrath--that is, of God.

      5. direct--or, "make plain"; wicked ways are not plain ( Pro 13:17 ).

      6. deliver them--that is, from evil, which the wicked suffer by their own doings ( Pro 5:22 Psa 9:16 ).

      7. expectation. . . perish--for death cuts short all his plans ( Luk 16:25 ).
      hope of unjust--better, "hope of wealth," or "power" (compare Isa 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 Pro 11:6 ).

      9. (Compare Psa 35:16 Dan 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 ( Pro 1:5 ).
      counsellors--literally, "one giving counsel"; the participle used as a collective.

      15. (Compare Pro 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 Pro 24:5 ), while the cruel injure themselves as well as others.
      flesh--that is, his body, by penuriousness ( Col 2:23 ).

      18. a deceitful work--or, "wages," which fail to satisfy, or flee away ( Pro 10:2 23:5 ).
      sure reward--or, "gain," as from trading ( Hsa 10:12 Gal 6:8, 9 ).

      19. Inference from Pro 11:18 (compare Pro 11:5, 6 10:16 ).

      20. (Compare Pro 11:5 ).
      froward--as in Pro 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 ( Psa 37:25, 26 ).

      22. Jewels were often suspended from the nose ( Gen 24:47 Isa 3:21 ). Thus adorned, a hog disgusts less than a fair and indiscreet woman.

      23. (Compare Pro 10:28 ).
      wrath--is that of God.

      24-31. The scope of the whole is a comment on Pro 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 ( Pro 28:25 Deu 32:15 Luk 6:38 ).
      watereth. . . watered--a common figure for blessing.

      26. Another example of the truth of Pro 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 Pro 10:15 Psa 49:6 1Ti 6:17 ).
      righteous. . . branch-- ( Psa 1:3 Jer 17:8 ).

      29. troubleth--as Pro 15:27 explains, by greediness for gain (compare Pro 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 ( Pro 3:18 ).
      winneth souls--(Compare Margin) to do them good as opposed to Pro 6:25 Eze 13:18 (compare Luk 5:10 ).

      31. Behold--Thus calling attention to the illustrations (compare Pro 11:23 ), the sentiment of which is confirmed even in time, not excluding future rewards and punishments.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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