Proverbs 11:3
The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
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(3) The perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.—Fraudulent persons (literally, those who “cover” a matter up) pervert the truth, thereby ruining their own characters (inasmuch as in time they can hardly distinguish right from wrong), and losing the favour of Almighty God.

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.A rabbinic paraphrase of the second clause is: "Lowly souls become full of wisdom as the low place becomes full of water." 3. guide—to lead, as a shepherd (Pr 6:7; Ps 78:52).


destroy—with violence.

The integrity of the upright, their sincere obedience to God’s laws,

shall guide them; shall keep them from crooked and dangerous courses, and lead them in a right and safe way.

The perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them; those wicked devices by which they design and expect to secure themselves, shall be the instrument of their destruction.

The integrity of the upright shall guide them,.... The Spirit of God is the best guide of an upright man; he leads into all truth, and unto the land of uprightness, and continues to be a guide, even unto death; and it is right to walk after him, and not after the flesh: and besides him, the upright man has the word of God as a lamp to his feet, and a light to his paths, which he does well to take heed to; and next to that is the sincerity and uprightness of his heart, which will not suffer him, knowingly and willingly, to go aside into crooked paths, or to do amiss: integrity of heart and innocency of hand go together; such are the followers of the Lamb, as described, Revelation 14:4; see Psalm 25:21;

but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them; the perverse ways, words, and actions of such as transgress the law of God, deal treacherously with God and men, as the word (e) signifies, shall be their ruin: the perverse doctrines and worship of the man of sin, and his followers, shall bring destruction upon them, 2 Thessalonians 2:4. The word for "perverseness" is only used here and in Proverbs 15:4; and there plainly signifies the perverseness of the tongue or speech, and so may have respect to corrupt doctrine.

(e) "perfidosorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "perfidorum", Cocceius, Michaelis.

The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
3. perverseness] Some would render slipperiness; as we say, “a slippery fellow.” The noun occurs here only and in Proverbs 15:4, but the cognate verb is found several times in this Book (Proverbs 13:6, Proverbs 19:3, Proverbs 21:12). What is here meant is the trickiness and want of straightforwardness (the opposite of the “integrity” of the former clause) which mark the character and conduct of the treacherous (R.V.).

Verse 3. - The integrity - the simple straightforwardness - of the upright shall guide them in the right way, and give them success in their undertakings with the blessing of God (comp. ver. 5). Septuagint, "the perfection of the straightforward" (Proverbs 10:9). The perverseness (seleph); (Proverbs 15:4, and there only. Vulgate, supplantatio; Septuagint, ὑποσκελισμός, "the tripping up," making others fall, putting a stumbling block in others' way. Transgressors; treacherous and deceitful. Such persons shall be caught in their own net (Psalm 35:8); they not only bring punishment on themselves when their evil designs are discovered and frustrated, but they ruin their moral nature, lose all sense of truth and right, and are rejected of God. This clause and the following verse are omitted in the Vatican and some other manuscripts of the Septuagint. Proverbs 11:33 The integrity of the upright guideth them;

   But the perverseness of the ungodly destroyeth them.

To the upright, ישׁרים, who keep the line of rectitude without turning aside therefrom into devious paths (Psalm 125:4.), stand opposed (as at Proverbs 2:21.) the ungodly (faithless), בּגדים, who conceal (from בּגד, to cover, whence בּגד equals כּסוּת) malicious thoughts and plans. And the contrast of תּמּה, integrity equals unreserved loving submission, is סלף, a word peculiar to the Solomonic Mashal, with its verb סלּף (vid., p. 32). Hitzig explains it by the Arab. saraf, to step out, to tread over; and Ewald by lafat, to turn, to turn about ("treacherous, false step"), both of which are improbable. Schultens compares salaf in the meaning to smear (R. לף, לב, ἀλείφειν; cf. regarding such secondary formations with ש preceding, Hupfeld on Psalm 5:7), and translates here, lubricitas. But this rendering is scarcely admissible. It has against it lexical tradition (Menahem: מוטה, wavering; Perchon: זיוף, falsifying; Kimchi: עוות, misrepresentation, according to which the Graec. Venet. σκολιότης), as well as the methodical comparison of the words. The Syriac has not this verbal stem, but the Targum has סלף in the meaning to distort, to turn the wrong way (σκολιοῦν, στρεβλοῦν), Proverbs 10:10, and Esther 6:10, where, in the second Targum, פּוּמהּ אסתּלף means "his mouth was crooked." With justice, therefore, Gesenius in his Thesaurus has decided in favour of the fundamental idea pervertere, from which also the Peshito and Saadia proceed; for in Exodus 23:8 they translate (Syr.) mhapêk (it, the gift of bribery, perverts) and (Arab.) tazyf ( equals תּזיּף, it falsifies). Fl. also, who at Proverbs 15:4 remarks, "סלף, from סלף, to stir up, to turn over, so that the lowermost becomes the uppermost," gives the preference to this primary idea, in view of the Arab. salaf, invertere terram conserendi causa. It is moreover confirmed by salaf, praecedere, which is pervertere modified to praevertere. But how does סלף mean perversio (Theod. ὑποσκελισμός), in the sense of the overthrow prepared for thy neighbour? The parallels demand the sense of a condition peculiar to the word and conduct of the godless (treacherous), Proverbs 22:12 (cf. Exodus 23:8), Proverbs 19:3, thus perversitas, perversity; but this as contrary to truth and rectitude (opp. תּמּה), "perverseness," as we have translated it, for we understand by it want of rectitude (dishonesty) and untruthfulness. While the sincerity of the upright conducts them, and, so to say, forms their salvus conductus, which guards them against the danger of erring and of hostile assault, the perverseness of the treacherous destroys them; for the disfiguring of truth avenges itself against them, and they experience the reverse of the proverb, "das Ehrlich whrt am lngsten" (honesty endures the longest). The Chethı̂b ושׁדם (ושׁדּם) is an error of transcription; the Kerı̂ has the proper correction, ישׁדּם equals ישׁדדם, Jeremiah 5:6. Regarding שׁדד (whence שׁדּי), which, from its root-signification of making close and fast, denotes violence and destruction, vid., under Genesis 17.

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