Proverbs 28:11
The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) The rich man is wise in his own conceit.—For the blinding effect of wealth comp. Revelation 3:17.

Proverbs 28:11. The rich man is wise in his own conceit — Thinks himself wise when he is not, being puffed up by the opinion of his riches; but the poor, &c., searcheth him out — Knows him better than he knows himself, and, looking through all his pomp and vain show, sees him to be, what indeed he is, a foolish and miserable man, notwithstanding all his riches, and discovers the folly of his words and actions.

28:1 Sin makes men cowards. Whatever difficulties the righteous meet in the way of duty, they are not daunted. 2. National sins disturb the public repose. 3. If needy persons get opportunities of oppressing, their extortion will be more severe than that of the more wealthy. 4. Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways. 5. If a man seeks the Lord, it is a good sign that he understands much, and it is a good means of understanding more. 6. An honest, godly, poor man, is better than a wicked, ungodly, rich man; has more comfort in himself, and is a greater blessing to the world. 7. Companions of riotous men not only grieve their parents, but shame them. 8. That which is ill got, though it may increase much, will not last long. Thus the poor are repaid, and God is glorified. 9. The sinner at whose prayers God is angry, is one who obstinately refuses to obey God's commands. 10. The success of ungodly men is their own misery. 11. Rich men are so flattered, that they think themselves superior to others. 12. There is glory in the land when the righteous have liberty. 13. It is folly to indulge sin, and excuse it. He who covers his sins, shall not have any true peace. He who humbly confesses his sins, with true repentance and faith, shall find mercy from God. The Son of God is our great atonement. Under a deep sense of our guilt and danger, we may claim salvation from that mercy which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. 14. There is a fear which causes happiness. Faith and love will deliver from the fear of eternal misery; but we should always fear offending God, and fear sinning against him. 15. A wicked ruler, whatever we may call him, this scripture calls a roaring lion, and a ranging bear. 16. Oppressors want understanding; they do not consult their own honour, ease, and safety. 17. The murderer shall be haunted with terrors. None shall desire to save him from deserved punishment, nor pity him.Wealth blunts, poverty sharpens, the critical power of intellect. 11. A poor but wise man can discover (and expose) the rich and self-conceited. Is wise in his own conceit; thinks himself to be wise when he is not, being puffed up with the opinion of his riches, which also he imputes to his own wisdom, and with the admirations and applauses of flatterers, which commonly attend upon them.

Searcheth him out; knoweth him better than he knoweth himself; and, looking through all his pomp and vain show, he sees him to be what indeed he is, a foolish and miserable man, notwithstanding all his riches, and discovers the folly of his words and actions.

The rich man is wise in his own conceit,.... Ascribing his getting riches to his great sagacity, wisdom, and prudence; and being flattered with it by dependents on him;

but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out: a man of good understanding, whether in things natural, civil, moral, or spiritual, though poor, as a man may be poor and yet a wise man; such an one, when he comes into company with a rich man, wise in his own conceit, he soon by conversation with him finds him out to be a very foolish man, and exposes him as one; for riches are not always to men of understanding, or all that have them are not such; and better is a poor wise man than even a foolish king; see Ecclesiastes 9:11.

The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor man that hath understanding searcheth {e} him out.

(e) And judge that he is not wise.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. searcheth him out] sees through him, as we should say, “Bene novit, neutiquam, ut Euripidis utamur dicto, τὸν εὐτυχοῦντα πάντʼ ἐπίστασθαι καλῶς,” Maurer.

Verse 11. - The rich man is wise in his own conceit (comp. Proverbs 18:11). A rich man thinks so highly of his position, is so flattered by parasites, and deems himself placed so immeasurably above social inferiors, that he learns to consider himself possessed of other qualifications, even mental and intellectual gifts, with which wealth has no concern. This purse-proud arrogance which looks upon financial skill and sharpness in bargaining as true wisdom, is confined to no age or country. But the poor man that hath understanding searcheth him out (Proverbs 18:17). Wisdom is not to be bought with money. A poor man may be wise, his poverty probably making him a keener critic; and if he is brought into communication with this self-deluding plutocrat, he soon sees through him and recognizes his real value. Septuagint, "An intelligent poor man will condemn him." Proverbs 28:1111 A rich man deems himself wise;

     But a poor man that hath understanding searcheth him out,

or, as we have translated, Proverbs 18:17, goes to the bottom of him, whereby is probably thought of the case that he seeks to use him as a means to an ignoble end. The rich man appears in his own eyes to be a wise man, i.e., in his self-delusion he thinks that he is so; but if he has anything to do with a poor man who has intelligence, then he is seen through by him. Wisdom is a gift not depending on any earthly possession.

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