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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 11

Verse 1

Proverbs 11:1. A false balance, &c.— See Leviticus 19:35. This rule may hold, not in commerce only, but also in our judgments, and in our whole conduct towards our neighbour. In every thing respecting him, employ the balance of equity, void of all selfish views, passions, and prejudices. Let justice and truth ever hold the scale; and always do to him what you would have done to yourself.

Verse 7

Proverbs 11:7. And the hope of unjust men perisheth His vain hope shall perish. Houbigant. Even his highest hope most grievously perisheth. Schultens. The LXX preserve the contrast in the verse more strongly: The just man dying, his hope doth not perish; but the boasting of a wicked man doth perish.

Verse 16

Proverbs 11:16. A gracious woman retaineth honour The LXX, Syriac, and Arabic versions have two hemistichs which are here omitted; namely, the second of this, and the first of the next verse. They read, A gracious woman raiseth honour to her husband; but a woman who hateth righteousness is a throne of disgrace. The slothful, though rich, shall come to poverty; but the laborious shall retain their riches. See Wall, and Kennicott's Dissert. vol. 1: The words may be read, obtaineth and obtain. The greater number of the additions of the LXX, says Calmet, are only glosses, or frigid and useless repetitions.

Verse 17

Proverbs 11:17. His own flesh His own relations, it may mean, as well as his own body; for the Hebrews frequently call their brethren or relations their flesh. See Genesis 29:14., 2 Samuel 19:13.

Verse 21

Proverbs 11:21. Though hand join in hand Most interpreters, by hand in hand, understand the hands of divers persons; but some take it for the hands of one and the same person, and accordingly understand the passage thus; either that, though a sinner endeavour to hide his sin as a man does the thing which he holds in one hand, and covers with the other, he shall, notwithstanding, be found out, and suffer for it; or that, though wicked men do nothing, but like an idle person have their hands folded one in the other, yet they are not free from sin, which they are devising in their mind, and which will draw a just vengeance upon them. Houbigant renders the next clause, But the arm of the righteous shall deliver them. See chap. Proverbs 16:5. The plain meaning of the verse seems to be, that the wicked, though uniting all his efforts, and strengthening himself by every possible means, shall find all his earthly hopes and reliances vain. He shall certainly meet with condign punishment; while the arm of the righteous, strengthened by the invincible protection of God, shall deliver him from every danger.

Verse 22

Proverbs 11:22. As a jewel of gold, &c.— See Job 42:11. The meaning is, "As a jewel of gold would be ill placed in the snout of a swine, which is always raking in the mire; so is beauty ill bestowed on a woman, whose mind, having lost all relish of virtue, carries her from her husband, to wallow in filthy lust and adulterous pleasures." See Bishop Patrick, and Bochart de Animal. pars i. lib. ii. c. 57.

Verse 26

Proverbs 11:26. He that withholdeth corn The truth of this is experienced in all times of scarcity. They who have the hardness of heart to withhold their corn at such seasons, are accursed of God and men. The justice of God fails not to display itself upon those who are insensible to the miseries of the public, and who are not afraid to bring upon themselves the hatred and curses of the people. The Latins have a proverb parallel to this of Solomon. Qui flagellat annonam, Dardanarius. See Amo 8:5-7 and Calmet.

Verse 29

Proverbs 11:29. He that troubleth his own house That is, either dissipates his substance by extravagance, or sows division and discord among his friends and relations. Lord Bacon takes this for a profitable admonition touching discords in families, and domestic breaches [but it may as well be applied to whole kingdoms, which are larger families]; which whosoever cherishes among his children, or servants, or people, as a means to have his affairs better administered when they have an evil eye upon and hate one another, commonly finds his hopes turn into wind. For those alterations and changes generally succeed ill, and those disturbers of their own families oftentimes meet with vexations and ingratitude from those very persons whom, passing by others, they adopt as the objects of their especial favour: nay, by this means they often draw upon themselves ill reports and doubtful rumours; for it is not ill observed by Cicero, that all reports, both good and bad fame, come from domestics; which two evils Solomon expresses by inheriting the wind: for the frustrating of expectations, and raising of rumours, are rightly compared to winds. See A Discourse of Learning, as above, and chap. Proverbs 15:7.

Verse 31

Proverbs 11:31. Behold, &c.— If David, if Job, if the apostles and choicest servants of God, have been tried in this world by affliction, what must await the impious and the sinners? If God does not even pardon the just the faults which they may commit; how can the wicked, whose whole life is but one series of crimes, flatter themselves with impunity? The LXX read, If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? And their translation is followed by St. Peter, Ephesians 1:0 chap. Pro 4:18 and the Syriac and Arabic.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 11". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/proverbs-11.html. 1801-1803.