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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Proverbs 11

 

 

Verses 1-31

Proverbs 11:1. A false balance is an abomination to the Lord. A dishonest tradesman here receives a hard stroke. Though his weight be but little short of the standard; yet by using it a thousand times the fraud becomes great, and greater still as it falls chiefly on the poor. Deuteronomy 25:13. The apologies which offenders make on the ground of accident or negligence, are often but an addition to the crime. The injured perhaps might place some sort of confidence in the excuse, were he in the habit of buying his goods, and taking his money without inspection.

Proverbs 11:4. Riches profit not in the day of wrath. Under the feudal system, princes often exempted their opulent barons from punishment by severity of fines, which aided the revenue. The laws of our ancient kings were much the same, as in Proverbs 13:8 : but in some cases of high crimes and misdemeanours, the head of the offender must be sacrificed to his country.

Proverbs 11:10. When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth. A man planted as a patriarch in any place, or as a leading tradesman, should not seek wealth for himself, but for the sake of employing the poor, and shedding smiling contentment on every cottage. His whole conduct should be distinguished by probity, honour, and equity; then every family, having confidence in his character, and most of them sharing in his prosperity, will bless his memory.

Proverbs 11:11. By the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted. A patriarchal man of religion and benevolence, elevates the moral tone of the people, the agriculturist gives employment and bread, and the commercial manufacturer fills his town with affluence. By such characters the whole cosmography of the country assumes a smiling aspect.

Proverbs 11:13. A tale-bearer revealeth secrets. He betrays the confidence reposed in him; and to say nothing of the mischief he may do to others, he gets himself despised and shunned. The Almighty, who knows all secrets, reveals them only by the operations of his providence: Proverbs 12:23.

Proverbs 11:14. In the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Sometimes the counsel of one man is quite sufficient; but in a doubtful case, men of experience should be consulted. Then a man acts with the confidence of united wisdom; and when adverse circumstances occur, he will not have to reproach himself for leaning to his own understanding: and in guiding the helm of state this should always be done.

Proverbs 11:16. A gracious woman retaineth honour, to her husband; but a woman who hates goodness is a reproach. The indolent exhaust their wealth: but the industrious are fortified with riches.

Proverbs 11:26. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him. He aims to enrich himself by oppressing the public, he denies the bounty of the year to the hungry poor, he injures himself by a dead stock, and incurs the anger of heaven by a distrust of providence.

Proverbs 11:29. He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind. His drunkenness, his prodigalities and debaucheries, his ill-advised speculations shall reduce him to poverty, and shortly we find him a servant to the wise in heart.

Proverbs 11:30. He that winneth souls is wise. We applaud men for managing their temporal affairs with discretion; and were the same counsel, and the same exertions made in spiritual as in temporal affairs, the face of religion would assume a delightful aspect. But there is in the righteous man a wisdom higher than worldly prudence; and he who winneth souls by that wisdom is truly wise. So one neighbour may sometimes win another from anger, folly or revenge; and so a minister may win souls from seeking death in the error of their life. And he who would succeed in this divine work, must study the case of each class of sinners, and, moved by divine pity, think what sort of arguments, and what sort of forms of address are most likely to gain the ear, and win the heart; and he must farther think, whether it be best to address them from the pulpit, or go among them as a physician, and hear their pleas. Both these methods may succeed; but by adopting the latter he is sure to find them, and to hit the nail by appropriate replies to their objections. Besides, the minister who would win souls, should most diligently mark in reading his bible, what sort of arguments were used by Moses, by the prophets, and by our Lord, and his apostles. Hence, taught in so divine a school, his mind will be richly stored with wisdom, and his tongue will abound with arguments to the conviction of sinners, and the success of his work. We admire the wisdom of Nathan, who brought his sovereign to unfeigned repentance by the fable of the ewe-lamb.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 11:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/proverbs-11.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 11th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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