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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 11

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verses 1-15

3. Wise living in various contexts 11:1-15

Things that are abhorrent to the Lord concern much of chapter 11, especially Proverbs 11:1-21.

Verse 2

A proud person refuses to accept instruction from God, which, if he or she would follow it, would result in his or her receiving honor. The humble take God’s advice, and that is their wisdom. [Note: See Plaut, p. 136.]

"The wicked invite pride to come as their guest, but, like an inseparable twin, disgrace comes along with her as an uninvited guest." [Note: Waltke, The Book . . ., p. 483.]

Verse 4

Riches do not profit in the day of God’s wrath (cf. Job 21:30; Ezekiel 7:19; Zephaniah 1:18). [Note: Whybray, The Book . . ., p. 67.]

Verse 8

The wicked do not experience deliverance from trouble ultimately, but finally they go to the place reserved for them-forever.

Verse 11

"Henrietta Mears used to say, ’God made the country, man made the city, but the devil made the small town.’" [Note: Larsen, p. 113.]

Verse 12

"Despises" means "belittles" (RSV).

Verses 16-31

4. Wise investments 11:16-31

Verse 19

The full quality of life is in view in this proverb (cf. John 10:10), not just the possession of life.

"Since life and death result from moral choices, righteousness must be pursued. . . . ’Life’ and ’death’ describe the vicissitudes of this life but can also refer to beyond the grave." [Note: Ross, p. 963.]

Verse 29

"Wind" here probably represents being left with nothing, something that cannot be grasped (Proverbs 27:16; Job 15:2; Ecclesiastes 1:14; Ecclesiastes 1:17; Isaiah 26:18; Jeremiah 5:13; Micah 2:11). It may also imply something bad and destructive such as the dreaded Palestinian sirocco (cf. Proverbs 11:17; Joshua 7:26). The foolish man who mismanages his accounts may also have to sell himself as a servant to the wise person who is a better manager. An example would be a person who gets too far in debt and has to sell all his possessions to pay off his creditors.

Verse 30

A righteous person exercises a life-giving influence. Furthermore, a wise person wins others to wisdom. That is, he or she captures others with ideas or influence (cf. 2 Samuel 15:6). [Note: See Daniel C. Snell, "’Taking Souls’ in Proverbs 11:30," Vetus Testamentum 33 (1983):362-65.] While it is true that evangelistic soul-winning is wise work, soul-winning is not all that this verse is talking about. The idea here is that wise people influence others to follow the way of wisdom, which includes turning to God for salvation. [Note: See also Lee M. Fields, "Proverbs 11:30: Soul-Winning or Wise Living?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50:3 (September 2007):517-35.]

Verse 31

No one sins with impunity. God will judge every sin. Peter quoted this proverb (1 Peter 4:18). [Note: See J. Barr, "b’rs-molis: Proverbs 11:31 and 1 Peter 4:18," Journal of Semitic Studies 20 (1975):149-64.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 11". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/proverbs-11.html. 2012.
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