Bible Commentaries

Proverbs 11

Verses 1-31

Verse Proverbs 11:7. The antithesis of this proverb is between the condition described and that of one not described, that is to say, the expectation or hope of the wicked lies wholly on this side of the grave, and perishes at death.

Verse Proverbs 11:12. The word "despiseth" here must be understood as marking some outward manifestation of contempt. The contrast will then be plain.

Verse Proverbs 11:16. The method of this proverb is of comparison rather than of contrast, the idea being that a "gracious woman" will defend honor with the same strength and persistency as "violent men," or "strong men," as the Authorized Version had it, will retain riches. The word "violent" here suggests evil rather than good.

Verse Proverbs 11:21. The phrase "hand join in hand" indicates either co-operation in wickedness, or continuity of the same, as from father to son. The latter would seem to be more probable, as affirming the direct contrast to the statement that the "seed of the righteous" shall be delivered.

Verse Proverbs 11:22. A ring of gold in a swine's snout is out of place, and a useless waste of precious metal. So also is beauty in a woman who lacks discretion. If the thought of the contrast be carried out a little, it will be recognized that the swine will speedily destroy the luster of the gold, and so a woman lacking discretion will surely destroy her own beauty.

Verse Proverbs 11:30. Notice the change from "He that winneth souls is wise" to "He that is wise winneth souls." Essentially the meaning is the same, but this setting makes more graphic the truth that winning souls is not easy. It needs wisdom.