Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Proverbs 11

Verse 1

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

What a blessed thought is it, that when our poor nature, weighed in the balance was found wanting; Jesus more than compensated what we needed, and, thereby delighted his Father. Daniel 5:27; Proverbs 8:30; John 10:17

Verses 2-7

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.

I pause here to remark the striking expressions, by which the everlasting ruin of the unregenerate is marked. Job 27:8. See as a contrast, a striking portrait, Jeremiah 17:5-8.

Verses 8-15

The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered. When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

I can never pass over any passage respecting suretyship, without thinking of Jesus. Oh! thou Almighty Surety of thy redeemed! thou didst smart for it indeed; or as the phrase in this verse might have been rendered, shall be sore broken; for thou wast bruised, and broken, and put to grief, Isaiah 53:4-5 whereas, hadst thou refused to have stood forth for thy people, or as this verse renders it, hadst thou hated suretyship, thou hadst been sure. For resting in thine own eternal, uninterrupted glory with the Father: nothing could have arisen to have broken in upon thy felicity. Oh! matchless love! Oh! peerless grace! Teach me, dearest Jesus, to love thee, who hath so loved us!

Verses 16-24

A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches. The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight. Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

I wish that this last verse, and the great truth contained in it, was but better understood, and better put in practice by my poor heart. Jesus, I am sure, taught it in his whole life and glorious example. How hath he scattered grace, mercy, peace, and pardon, among the unworthiest of creatures. And how hath he increased in bringing forth to himself an everlasting revenue of praise and glory, from the millions, which he hath thereby snatched from hell. My Brother! how are we following the plan of Jesus, when we withhold, and in our scanty souls, so far from scattering, are living but to ourselves; and our own enjoyments. Reader! pray turn to that sweet portion of Jesus's sermon, which may be construed in a general way, both for spirituals and temporals; as a gracious direction on this point. Matthew 5:44-48.

Verses 25-31

The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

If Joseph was blessed in Egypt for selling corn, how blessed is Jesus in our spiritual Egypt in giving it? Genesis 41:55-57; and that giveth it forever; and that giveth without upbraiding; and all this in opposition to unworthiness, ingratitude, and a thousand, and ten thousand provocations of evil.---Yea, more; that giveth not merely the corn of this life, but the wine, and oil, and bread of eternal life: yea, becometh all these, and infinitely more, in giving himself to them and for them. Precious Jesus! thou art indeed the bread of life, and the bread of God, which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world! Lord! evermore give me this bread! John 6:32-34.

Verse 31

REFLECTIONS.

I BESEECH thee, gracious Master, to give me a right understanding in all things. Taught by thee, I shall then discover, that thou art here folded up in this chapter. And however, as so many parables, I may first read what is here written, soon, under thy teaching, I shall learn that of thee they treat, and to thee they are intended to lead me. - And have I, my soul, so learned Christ? Was Jesus the parable of the Gospel upon many occasions? And is he not very frequently in the Old Testament scripture? Was Jesus the Lazarus there depictured, poor, and without food, or resting place: bruised, and laying at the gate of the rich Scribes and Pharisees, despised, and at length dead; and while they knew him not, carried amidst the chariots of Angels to his Father's bosom - and do I not behold him here, amidst the parables, the surety for the poor stranger and smarting for it? - him that scattereth, and yet increaseth: the liberal soul that maketh fat - and having watered the thirsty souls of sinners, is now glorified of his Father; and all power is given to him, as the glory-man mediator, in heaven and in earth? Hail! blessed, precious Jesus! thou art he whom thy people shall adore, and blessings shall be upon the head of him that was separated from his brethren; whom God our Father, hath made Universal Lord of our Egypt; and in whose wisdom, provision is laid for selling corn, for the salvation of our souls, when without thee, the famine of the bread of life, would have caused us to have perished forever.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Proverbs 11 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/proverbs-11.html. 1828.