Proverbs 11:11
By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) By the blessing of the upright.—Especially by their prayers, which, like Abraham (Genesis 18:23, sqq.), and the Jews of the captivity (Jeremiah 29:7; Ezra 6:10) they offer for those with whom they live.

By the mouth of the wicked—i.e., by the “cursing, deceit, and fraud” with which his mouth is filled (Psalm 10:7).

He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour.—A warning against rash judgments (Matthew 7:1-2). It displays a want of intelligence, very noticeable in uneducated people, not to be able to understand other people’s difficulties; but “a man of understanding holdeth his peace,” not being rash to condemn, as well knowing that he may be mistaken in his estimate of another, and of the wisest course to be pursued.

Proverbs 11:11. By the blessing of the upright — Namely, by their sincere prayers, and wise, wholesome counsels, wherewith they bless their country; the city is exalted — In dignity, power, and all kinds of prosperity; but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked — By their curses, oaths, blasphemies, and wicked, pernicious counsels, whereby they both provoke God, and mislead men to their own ruin.11:1 However men may make light of giving short weight or measure, and however common such crimes may be, they are an abomination to the Lord. 2. Considering how safe, and quiet, and easy the humble are, we see that with the lowly is wisdom. 3. An honest man's principles are fixed, therefore his way is plain. 4. Riches will stand men in no stead in the day of death. 5,6. The ways of wickedness are dangerous. And sin will be its own punishment. 7. When a godly man dies, all his fears vanish; but when a wicked man dies, his hopes vanish. 8. The righteous are often wonderfully kept from going into dangerous situations, and the ungodly go in their stead. 9. Hypocrites delude men into error and sin by artful objections against the truths of God's word. 10,11. Nations prosper when wicked men are cast down. 12. A man of understanding does not judge of others by their success. 13. A faithful man will not disclose what he is trusted with, unless the honour of God and the real good of society require it. 14. We shall often find it to our advantage to advise with others. 15. The welfare of our families, our own peace, and our ability to pay just debts, must not be brought into danger. But here especially let us consider the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in becoming Surety even for enemies. 16. A pious and discreet woman will keep esteem and respect, as strong men keep possession of wealth. 17. A cruel, froward, ill-natured man, is vexatious to those that are, and should be to him as his own flesh, and punishes himself. 18. He that makes it his business to do good, shall have a reward, as sure to him as eternal truth can make it. 19. True holiness is true happiness. The more violent a man is in sinful pursuits, the more he hastens his own destruction. 20. Nothing is more hateful to God, than hypocrisy and double dealing, which are here signified. God delights in such as aim and act with uprightness. 21. Joining together in sin shall not protect the sinners. 22. Beauty is abused by those who have not discretion or modesty with it. This is true of all bodily endowments. 23. The wicked desire mischief to others, but it shall return upon themselves. 24. A man may grow poor by not paying just debts, not relieving the poor, not allowing needful expenses. Let men be ever so saving of what they have, if God appoints, it comes to nothing. 25. Both in temporal and spiritual things, God commonly deals with his people according to the measure by which they deal with their brethren. 26. We must not hoard up the gifts of God's bounty, merely for our own advantage. 27. Seeking mischief is here set against seeking good; for those that are not doing good are doing hurt, even to themselves.The blessing of the upright - Probably the prayers which he offers for the good of the city in which he dwells, and which avail to preserve it from destruction (compare Genesis 18:23-33); or "the blessing which God gives the upright." 11. By the blessing—implying active benevolence. By the blessing of the upright, where with they bless the city, to wit, by their sincere prayers, and wise and wholesome counsels.

By the mouth of the wicked; by their curses, and oaths, and blasphemies, and wicked and pernicious counsels, whereby they both provoke God, and mislead men to their own ruin. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,.... That is, either by the blessings with which they are blessed; and these are either temporal or spiritual: when good men are blessed with temporal blessings, the place where they live is the better it; and especially the poor, for they do not eat their morsel alone; and where there are many of these, and in prosperous circumstances, it is the exaltation and glory of a city taken in a literal sense; and which is the more blessed for their sakes, as well as they themselves are a blessing to it: and as the upright are blessed with spiritual blessings, with blessings indeed, with the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God; when they are fruitful and flourishing in grace, the city or church of God is in an exalted state: or rather this is to be understood of the blessings with which the upright bless others; and may be interpreted of the blessed deeds or good works which they do, and which are profitable to men; or of their blessed counsel and advice which they give on emergent occasions, and which proves salutary, and for the good of the city; or rather for their blessed prayers which they put up for the peace and prosperity of it, and which succeed. So by the blessing of the Gospel of Christ, or by the blessed doctrines of his apostles, those upright and sincere ministers of the word, the city of the living God was greatly exalted in their times; as it also was in the times of Constantine, and at the reformation; and this now is a reason why the city rejoices at its going well with the righteous, whether in temporals or spirituals. So Aben Ezra thinks the words have a connection with the former;

but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked; by the corrupt communication which proceeds out of their months; by their obscene and filthy talk the inhabitants of a place are corrupted; evil communications corrupt good manners; by their swearing and cursing, their oaths and imprecations, by their lying and perjury, they bring the judgments of God upon a city, to the overthrow of it. So by false doctrines, as the faith of particular persons is subverted, so whole cities, or visible congregated churches, have been corrupted and destroyed, as with the Arian heresy and others.

By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. the blessing of the upright] This may mean either the blessing enjoyed by them, their prosperity (as in Proverbs 11:10); or the blessing bestowed by them, by their prayers and presence (Genesis 18:26; Genesis 39:5).Verse 11. - This verse gives the reason of the rejoicing on the two occasions just mentioned (comp. Proverbs 14:34; Proverbs 28:12). By the blessing of the upright; i.e. their righteous acts, counsels, sad prayers (Wisd. 6:24). By the mouth of the wicked. Their impious language and evil advice, bring ruin upon a city. 5 The righteousness of the blameless smootheth his way,

   And by his own wickedness doth the wicked fall.

With the תּמים (cf. Proverbs 1:12), formed after the passive, more than with תּם, is connected the idea of the perfected, but more in the negative sense of moral spotlessness than of moral perfection. The rectitude of a man who seeks to keep his conscience and his character pure, maketh smooth (ישּׁר, as Proverbs 3:6, not of the straightness of the line, but of the surface, evenness) his life's path, so that he can pursue his aim without stumbling and hindrance, and swerving from the direct way; while, on the contrary, the godless comes to ruin by his godlessness - that by which he seeks to forward his interests, and to make a way for himself, becomes his destruction.

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