Proverbs 14:34
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.

New Living Translation
Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

English Standard Version
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

New American Standard Bible
Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

King James Bible
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

International Standard Version
Righteousness makes a nation great, but sin diminishes any people.

NET Bible
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Righteousness will exalt the people and sin diminishes a people.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Righteousness lifts up a nation, but sin is a disgrace in any society.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Righteousness exalts a people, but sin is a reproach to the nations.

King James 2000 Bible
Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

American King James Version
Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

American Standard Version
Righteousness exalteth a nation; But sin is a reproach to any people.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable.

Darby Bible Translation
Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to peoples.

English Revised Version
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Webster's Bible Translation
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

World English Bible
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

Young's Literal Translation
Righteousness exalteth a nation, And the goodliness of peoples is a sin-offering.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

14:18. Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. 19. Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. 20. Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. 21. To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. 22. How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! 23. Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. 24. The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. 25. An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light. 26,27. Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. 28. Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. 29. A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. 30. An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. 31. To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. 32. The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. 33. Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. 34. Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. 35. The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 34. - Righteousness exalteth a nation. "Righteousness" (Proverbs 10:2) is the rendering to all their due, whether to God or man. We are taught the salutary lesson that a nation's real greatness consists not in its conquests, magnificence, military or artistic skill, but in its observance of the requirements of justice and religion. Hesiod, Αργ. 223 -

Οἱ δὲ δίκας ξείνοισι καὶ ἐνδήμοισι διδοῦσιν
Ἰθείας καὶ μή τι παρεκβαίνουσι δικαίου
Τοῖσι τέθηλε πόλις λαοὶ δ ἀνθεῦσιν ἐν αὐτῇ But sin is a reproach to any people; to peoples. The words for "nation" (goi) and "peoples" (leummim) are usually applied to foreign nations rather than to the Hebrews; and Wordsworth sees here a statement a fortiori: if righteousness exalts and sin degrades heathen nations, how much more must this be the case with God's own people, who have clearer revelations and heavier responsibilities! חֶסֶד (chesed) occurs in the sense of "reproach," in Leviticus 20:17, and with a different punctuation in Proverbs 25:10 of this book. Its more usual meaning is "mercy" or "piety;" hence some have explained the clause: "The piety of the peoples, i.e. the worship of the heathen, is sin; and others, taking "sin" as put metonymically for "sin offering," render: "Piety is an atonement for the peoples." But there is no doubt that the Authorized Version is correct (comp. Proverbs 11:11). Thus Symmachus renders it by ὄνειδος, "shame;" and in the same sense the Chaldee Paraphrase. The Vulgate and Septuagint, owing to the common confusion of the letters daleth and resh, have read cheser instead of chesed, and render thus: Vulgate, "Sin makes peoples miserable;" Septuagint, "Sins diminish tribes." The sin of nations contrasted with the righteousness in the first clause must be injustice, impiety, and violence. See a grand passage in the fifth book of St. Augustine's 'De Civitate Dei,' ch. 12.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Righteousness exalteth a nation,.... Administered by the government, and exercised by subjects towards one another; doing justice between man and man: this exalts a nation, as it did the people of Israel, while practised among them; this sets a people above their neighbours, and high in the esteem of God and men; and is attended with privileges and blessings, which make a nation great and honourable. Some understand this of aims deeds, or beneficence to the poor; which, both in the Hebrew and Greek languages, is called righteousness; See Gill on Matthew 6:1. It may be put for the whole of true religion, which is an honour to a nation, where it obtains; and is what makes the holy nation, and peculiar people, so truly illustrious; and particularly the righteousness of Christ makes such who are interested in it really great and noble, and promotes and exalts them to heaven and happiness;

but sin is a reproach to any people; where vice reigns, iniquity abounds, profaneness, impiety, and immorality of all sorts prevail, a people become mean and despicable; they fall into poverty and contempt; are neither able to defend themselves, nor help their neighbours, and so are despised by them. The word rendered "reproach" most commonly signifies "mercy" or goodness; and some render it, "and the mercy of a people is a sin offering" (p); or as one: or it is so "to the nations"; it is as good as a sacrifice for sin, of which the word is sometimes used, or better, more acceptable to God, "who will have mercy, and not sacrifice", Matthew 9:13; even beneficence and kindness to the poor, the same with righteousness, as before. I think it may be as well rendered, "the piety" or religion "of the nations is sin" (q); it being idolatry, as Aben Ezra observes: such is the religion of the antichristian nations, who worship idols of gold and silver; and though they may afflict themselves, as Gersom remarks of the idolatrous nations, with fasting and penance, with whippings and scourgings; yet it is nothing else but sin, will worship, and superstition.

(p) "beneficentia expiatio est populi", Grotius; "sacrificium expiatorium", Tigurine version; "velut sacrificium pro peccato", Vatablus, Gejerus; "gratuita beneificentia nationibus est aliquid sacrificium peccati expiatorium", Gussetius, p. 74. (q) "Pietas nationum est peccatium", Munster, Mercerus; "studium nationum peccatum", Cocceius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

34. Righteousness—just principles and actions.

exalteth—raises to honor.

is a reproach—brings on them the ill-will of others (compare Pr 13:6).

Proverbs 14:34 Additional Commentaries
Context
Every Wise Woman Builds Her House
33Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. 34Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. 35The king's favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.
Cross References
Proverbs 14:33
Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.

Proverbs 14:35
A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury.
Treasury of Scripture

Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

righteousness

Deuteronomy 4:6-8 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding …

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the …

Judges 2:6-14 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went …

Jeremiah 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus said the LORD; …

Hosea 13:1 When Ephraim spoke trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when …

but

Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of …

Deuteronomy 29:18-28 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, …

Psalm 107:34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

Ezekiel 16:22,23 And in all your abominations and your prostitutions you have not …

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