Proverbs 11

Proverbs 11 is a contrast of the wicked and the righteous — their desires, means, and ends. The desires of the wicked are to undermine and destroy the righteous, to take what he can get, to amass for himself riches. He tears down his neighbor with his mouth, slandering and exposing secrets. He relies on his wealth and his cunning. The chapter begins, “A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh, but a just weight is his delight.” The Lord takes cheating in seemingly simple economic transactions as an abomination, an act of defiance against God, a serious injustice that would cause the nation to be spewed from the land.* This way causes the wicked to walk into trouble, to stumble and fall, to be taken captive, to be overthrown and destroyed.

The righteous is the one who desires good; he diligently seeks good and pursues it. He deals justly; he remains humble and keeps his integrity. His words bring blessing, exaltation, and deliverance to those around him. He does not trust in his riches but is generous, and the fruit of his righteousness is a tree of life. Because he keeps his ways blameless, he is a delight to the Lord, and the Lord will deliver him and his children from destruction.

* See Peter Leithart for more on this economic injustice.