Join us as we study the proverbs of King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs and follow up on the 21 Days to Knowing Jesus Christ Bible Study. I hope that you enjoy this study and that it will be helpful to you in building a daily Bible study habit. Click the appropriate links below to access the content for the day. You can select what version of the Bible you prefer at the top of the page in the link below (King James Version is the default):
There are two links below to the Matthew Henry Commentary on Proverbs Chapter 11. There is a Concise version and a Complete version. The Concise version is a short, abbreviated version while the Complete version is typically a lot longer and can sometimes be longer than the Biblical text itself. Choose whichever one you have time for. The Complete version goes further in depth but the Concise version is illuminating while not as lengthy.
Observations from the text:
In Verses 11-15 of Proverbs Chapter 11 we continue in our reading of the wise sayings or proverbs of Solomon which began in verse 1 of Chapter 10. These wise sayings of Solomon are principles that we can put to use in our lives. A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. In this case, these principles are the foundation for righteous living and living in a way that both works and is pleasing to the Lord. In these verses, Solomon contrasts various aspects of the lives of the righteous and the wicked and provides valuable words of wisdom to live by.
All of these verses have something to do with how a person deals with others. The way that we deal with other people says a lot about what we believe about God. Gods word tells us that we should first love and respect Him with all our being and second to love others as ourselves. If we don’t treat others with love and respect, then we either don’t believe God or have consciously chosen not to follow His commands.
In verse 11, Solomon says that the city is exalted by the blessings of the upright while, by contrast, it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. Here the upright and wicked are compared in that the city is exalted (or elevated) by the blessings of the upright but is overthrown (or brought down) by the mouth (or verbal actions) of the wicked. The actions of an individual or group will have an effect on society as a whole because society is simply the sum total of those individuals or groups. A city can be profoundly influenced by the actions of its individual inhabitants or influential groups.
In verse 12, Solomon says that one who is devoid of understanding despises his neighbor while a man of understanding holds his peace. Understanding is directly related to wisdom. One who is lacking understanding does not love his or her neighbor. One who hates or despises their neighbor does not exhibit understanding but rather a failure of understanding of the godly concept of love. Also one who has wisdom knows when to hold their peace and uses discretion in communicating and dealing with others.
In verse 13, we are told that a talebearer reveals secrets while one who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. A talebearer is one who does not exercise discretion but rather exploits information exclusively to their own advantage regardless of the effect on others. A person who is of a faithful spirit is considerate of others and would not unjustly reveal information given to them in confidence.
In verse 14, it is said that where there is no counsel, the people fall; but where there are a multitude of counselors, there is safety. Godly and wise counsel is critical for right living. Ungodly counsel, by Biblical definition, is not wise counsel. Godly advise or counsel is based on truth and reality and can be counted on to guide us down the right path. Where people either don’t have good counsel or don’t listen to it, there is failure. Where people have and follow wise counsel, there is success and safety.
In verse 15, Solomon says that he who is surety for a stranger will suffer while one who hates being surety is secure. It is foolish for a person to agree to be responsible for the obligations of someone they don’t know (a stranger). In fact, it is best to not assume responsibility for the obligations of others in the first place. The Bible consistently speaks against being surety for others because we can’t control the actions of others. Assuming responsibility for the actions of others is to foolishly put yourself and your family at risk for things you have no direct control over.
Lets review the Scripture:
11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,
But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12 He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor,
But a man of understanding holds his peace.
13 A talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
15 He who is surety for a stranger will suffer,
But one who hates being surety is secure.
The words of wisdom of King Solomon are perfect Biblical guides to living in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to God. They also are practical guidelines for living in a way that works in the reality that God has created. Let us all embrace these truths and apply them in our lives every day.
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What are some key take-aways for you from the Chapter we reviewed today? Feel free to dig further on your own if you have time. Have a GREAT and Blessed Day!
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