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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Proverbs 11

 

 

Introduction

Pro 10-12. 16. Second Section. The Proverbs of Solomon.—For the character and date see Introduction. The general plan of this Commentary requires that the paragraph and not the verse be taken as the unit of exegesis. But in this part of Pr., and, indeed, almost throughout the rest of the book, there are no paragraphs and very little indication of unity of purpose underlying the collection of aphorisms. Hence, as the scale of the Commentary precludes verse by verse annotation, the notes will be devoted chiefly to the elucidation of difficulties and obscurities, giving the renderings to be preferred, and the most probable emendations where emendation appears necessary.


Verses 1-31

Proverbs 11. The orthodox view of strictly retributive justice found in Proverbs 10:24 f., Proverbs 11:27-30 is represented by a further group (Proverbs 11:2-8, Proverbs 11:18-21, and Proverbs 11:31). Proverbs concerning speech are also frequent (Proverbs 11:9; Proverbs 11:12 f.). There are, moreover, several new points—e.g. the value of wisdom to the community (Proverbs 11:14); the popularity of the prosperity of the righteous (Proverbs 11:10), possibly referring to the popular story of Mordecai and Haman; the value of discretion in a woman (Proverbs 11:16 and Proverbs 11:22); liberality, especially in the handling of the corn supply, evidently reflecting a city point of view (Proverbs 11:24-26); also a proverb dealing with commercial ethics (Proverbs 11:1), reflected in D and H (Deuteronomy 25:15, Ezekiel 45:10, Leviticus 19:36).

Proverbs 11:7. Lit. "When a wicked man dies hope perishes, and the expectation of vigour perishes." There is no satisfactory antithesis in Proverbs 11:7 b, and Proverbs 11:7 a is metrically irregular. The LXX preserves an antithesis, "When the righteous man dies his hope does not perish, but the boasting of the wicked perishes." The original is perhaps preserved here. Toy's objection that Pr. does not deal with a future life (Proverbs 14:32*) depends on the date of individual aphorisms, and a collection of early proverbs might easily contain isolated aphorisms of a much later period.

Proverbs 11:8. in his stead: this has occasioned difficulty; it does not mean that the wicked suffers instead of the righteous, but that ultimately Divine justice assigns his proper place to each. It asserts the principle of Proverbs 10:24 f.*

Proverbs 11:16. An antithesis between women and men is found only here in Pr. The contrast is not apposite, and the two lines may (so LXX) be the first and last lines respectively of two pairs of contrasts, one between women and the other between men.

Proverbs 11:18. Render "wages of deceit," i.e. illusory gain.

Proverbs 11:19 a is very uncertain, (a) The AV should be more exactly "so righteousness tendeth, etc.," and "he that pursueth, etc.," connecting the verse with the previous one. (b) RV "he that is steadfast" is without philological justification. (c) The LXX reads "son," which yields a good sense.

Proverbs 11:21. Read mg.

Proverbs 11:22. jewel: read "nose-ring" (Genesis 24:22), the regular ornament of women in the East.

Proverbs 11:24. Read mg.

Proverbs 11:30. Difficult. Lit. "the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and a wise man takes souls" (i.e. persons). Both AV and RV give impossible translations of Proverbs 11:30 b. A slight change, suggested by LXX, gives a good sense and satisfactory antithesis: "the fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, but violence destroys (men's) lives."

Proverbs 11:31. There is probably some connexion between 1 Peter 4:18 and this verse. Possibly we should substitute "recompensed" for "punished," following the line of exegesis suggested in 1 P. The Heb. verb means "to repay," "give what is due." The righteous do not escape the consequences of their faults, how much less will the sinner!

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 11:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/proverbs-11.html. 1919.

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