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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Proverbs 11

Verse 1


(Proverbs 11)

Honesty and Fraud

Verse 1 reveals that the LORD notes and condemns short weight, scant measure, or dishonesty in any form. See Proverbs 20:10; Proverbs 20:23; Leviticus 19:35-36; Micah 6:10-13. Honesty is also noted and is pleasing to the LORD. Luke 6:38 goes further and encourages full measure, plus a little extra.

Verse 2

Pride and Humility

Verse 2 declares that shame is a consequence of arrogance. Other references (Proverbs 16:5; Proverbs 16:18; Daniel 4:30-33; Daniel 5:22-23; Daniel 5:30) reveal that punishment, even destruction, also follow In contrast is the commendation of humility in verse 2b; Proverbs 15:33; Micah 6:8; James 4:6.

Verse 3

Integrity and Perversity

Verse 3 affirms that integrity is a sure guide for the upright in the choices life confronts, but the obstinate insistence of the perverse, for that which is wrong, will destroy them. The noteworthy experiences of Joseph illustrate the former, Genesis 39:4; Genesis 39:7-9; Genesis 39:22-23. Saul’s rejection is an example of the latter, 1 Samuel 15:22-23.

Verse 4

Deliverance and Doom

Verse 4 declares that riches, much sought by men, will be worth nothing in the day of wrath, Luke 12:15-21; Luke 16:19-26; but righteousness delivers from death, Proverbs 14:32; Genesis 7:1; Romans 4:5-8. (See also comment on Proverbs 10:2-3. )

Verses 5-6

Guidance and Misdirection

Verses 5 and 6 -see comment of 11:3.

Verse 7

Death of Wicked

Verse 7 declares that the hope, expectation, of the wicked perish at death. Although Proverbs does not deal specifically with the state of the wicked "after death," this verse and Proverbs 14:32 Imply a hope that the wicked forfeit at death, as did the rich man in Luke 16:19-26.

Verse 8

Righteous and Wicked

Verse 8 reveals an overruling providence which protects the righteous from evil plans of the wicked. By this Mordecai was delivered from Haman and Daniel was delivered from the envious Medians. The plotters were victims of their own plans, Ezra 7:9-10; Daniel 6:24.

Verse 9

Verse 9 is not clear. The first line refers to a godless (RV) man who through his mouth destroys his neighbor. The second line may indicate that the destructive effort is aimed at undermining the righteous person by distortions and false statements which can be overcome with knowledge of truth, Proverbs 12:19; Proverbs 16:6; Psalms 91:4.

Verses 10-11

The Righteous An Asset

Verses 10 and 11 affirm that blessings of the righteous also benefit the public, but the influence of the wicked does much to destroy public good, so much so that the passing of the wicked is applauded, Ezra 7:10; Ezra 8:15; 2 Kings 11:20. The impact of providential supply, answered prayer, patience, compassion, moral standards and reverence for God is opposed but it cannot be denied. Righteousness is blessed of God and benefits the public, Proverbs 14:34; Proverbs 28:12; Proverbs 29:2; Proverbs 29:8; Genesis 30:27; Genesis 39:5; Genesis 18:32.

Verses 12-13

Restraint Or Gossip

Verses 12a and 13a portray talebearing as malicious disclosure of secrets that should be kept secret, and describes the revealer as destitute of heart. Much is said against the talebearer elsewhere in the Scriptures, Proverbs 18:8; Proverbs 26:20; Proverbs 26:22; Leviticus 19:16; Psalms 52:2; Ezekiel 22:9; James 1:26.

Verses 12b and 13b commend as faithful and understanding those who exercise restraint and hold their peace regarding such matters, Ephesians 4:29-32.

Verse 14

Value of counsel

(Proverbs 11:14)

Verse 14 recommends seeking counsel from knowledgeable sources before making important decisions. Human weakness or conceit often finds it easy to shun advice and act on one’s own initiative, then see the venture end in failure. Divine wisdom, the wisdom that created the universe, declares there is safety in counsel; get all you can before making important decisions, Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 20:18; Proverbs 24:6.

Verse 15

Verse 15 deals with suretyship. See comments on 5:1-5.

Verse 16

Grace Or Greed

(Proverbs 11:16)

Verse 16 contrasts honor and wealth and the ways such are attained. A gracious woman such as described in Proverbs 31:25-31 wins honor and respect; tight-fisted men motivated by greed achieve only material wealth, Luke 12:15-21; James 5:1-3.

Verses 17-19

Reaping What Is Sown

Verse 17 emphasizes that the actions of life affect first of all the doer. The man who shows mercy or kindness is himself blessed, Luke 6:38; Job 42:10; Isaiah 58:10-11; but he that is cruel reaps serious trouble for himself, Proverbs 15:6; James 2:13; 1 Samuel 15:33; Joshua 7:25-26; 1 Kings 18:17-18.

Verse 18 declares that the wicked earn deceitful wages (RV) (See Job 4:8; Hosea 10:13); but he that soweth righteousness will receive a sure reward, Genesis 6:22; Genesis 7:1; Hosea 10:12; Hebrews 6:13-15.

Verse 19 states that righteousness tendeth to life; but evil leads to death, Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8. Righteousness embraces both the imputed righteousness of Christ which assures eternal life, and the upright conduct of God’s children which insures blessings in this life, Genesis 15:6; Isaiah 54:14-17; John 11:26; Romans 4:3-8; Psalms 1:1-3; Philippians 4:19.

Verse 20

Divine Assessment

Verse 20 declares that a perverse heart, a mind that devises mischief and distorts truth, is hateful to the LORD; but they who are straight forward in thought and deed are His delight, Proverbs 4:24-25; Proverbs 6:12-14; Proverbs 8:13; Psalms 101:4; Jeremiah 9:24.

Verse 21

Justice Is Certain

Verse 21 emphasizes the certainty of punishment of the wicked and the unfailing security of the seed of the righteous, Proverbs 16:5; Exodus 34:7; Psalms 112:2. The "hand to hand" expression probably refers to the striking of hands as a pledge or guarantee in becoming a surety (Proverbs 6:1; Job 17:3). Its use here emphasizes the certainty of what is promised.

Verse 22

Beauty Without Grace

Verse 22 reveals that a beautiful woman, without discretion, is as much out of place as, a gold ring in the snout of a hog rooting in the mud, Isaiah 3:16-24. Discretion bids women to seek and follow the counsel of God’s word, Proverbs 11:6; Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 14:1; Proverbs 31:25-30; 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 1 Peter 3:1-2; 1 Samuel 1:20; 2 Kings 4:8-10.

Verse 23

Verse 23 see comments on 10:24.

Verses 24-26

Gaining By Giving

Verse 24 declares that the generous giver increases, even though giving away a substantial amount, and the stingy who withhold what should be given lose even more than that withheld. Proverbs 13:7; Proverbs 19:17.

Verse 25 restates the same principle: be generous and reap bountifully; be stingy and reap sparingly, 2 Corinthians 9:6-9.

Verse 26 denounces greed that ignores human suffering and unjustifiably increases prices or withholds from market for that purpose. Blessings are assured for those who act to prevent or relieve such, Psalms 41:1; Psalms 112:9; Isaiah 58:10-11; Job 42:10; Matthew 5:7.

Verse 27

Verse 27 see comments on verse 17.

Verse 28

Prosperity Or Disaster

(Proverbs 11:28)

Verse 28 contrasts the transitory nature of riches, that must eventually be relinquished, with the flourishing of the righteous that expands and continues forever, Job 14:2; Psalms 1:3-4; Jeremiah 17:7-8; James 1:9-11; 1 Peter 1:24-25.

Verse 29

Reaping and Sowing

Verse 29 repeats the principle of reaping what one sows (see comment on verse 17). The fool in 29b is the same as the fool in 1:7b.

Verse 30

Verse 30 declares that a righteous person has the potential for a life giving influence and is wise if he exercises it to win others, Daniel 12:3; James 5:20; Matthew 5:18-19; Luke 5:10.

Verse 31

No Sin Excused

Verse 31 states a sobering truth, both the righteous and the wicked reap what they sow. No sin goes unpunished. Because of sin, the righteous are scarcely saved (1 Peter 4:18); but they are saved. The atoning death of Jesus paid the eternal penalty for their sins. The sad truth is, that by rejecting His substitutionary sacrifice, the wicked are doomed to eternal punishment, Jeremiah 25:29; Ezekiel 18:24; Galatians 6:7-8.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.