New English Translation
11 The Lord abhors[a] dishonest scales,[b]
but an accurate weight[c] is his delight.
2 After pride[d] came,[e] disgrace followed;[f]
but wisdom came[g] with humility.[h]
3 The integrity of the upright guides them,[i]
but the crookedness of the treacherous[j] destroys them.[k]
- Proverbs 11:1 tn Heb “an abomination of the Lord.” The term יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”) is a subjective genitive.
- Proverbs 11:1 tn Heb “scales of deception.” The genitive is attributive: “deceptive scales.” This refers to dishonesty in the market where silver was weighed in the scales. God condemns dishonest business practices (Deut 25:13-16; Lev 19:35-36), as did the ancient Near East (ANET 388, 423).
- Proverbs 11:1 tn Heb “a perfect stone.” שָׁלֵם (shalem) can mean “intact, whole, perfect.” Stones were used for measuring amounts of silver on the scales and so were critical to the integrity of economic translations. Someone might cheat by tampering with the scale or the stones. The Lord is pleased with a proper stone that has not been tampered with because it represents integrity of process in the marketplace.
- Proverbs 11:2 tn Heb “presumptuousness, over-confidence.” This term is from the root זִיד (zid) which means “to be presumptuous, arrogant, impudent” in the Qal, or to behave with such characteristics in the Hiphil.
- Proverbs 11:2 tn Heb “Pride came, then shame came.” The verbs are a perfect and a preterite with vav consecutive of בּוֹא (boʾ, “to enter; to come”). Because the second verb is sequential to the first, the first may be subordinated as a temporal clause. Proverbs in Hebrew utilize the past tense as a prototypical example. English also does so, although less frequently, as in “curiosity killed the cat.”
- Proverbs 11:2 sn This proverb does not state how the disgrace will come, but affirms that it will follow pride. The proud will be brought down.
- Proverbs 11:2 tn The term “came” does not appear in the Hebrew, but is supplied in the translation from parallelism.
- Proverbs 11:2 tn Heb “modesty”; KJV, ASV “the lowly.” The adjective צְנוּעִים (tsenuʿim, “modest”) is used as a noun; this is an example of antimeria in which one part of speech is used in the place of another (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 491-506), e.g., “Let the dry [adjective] appear!” = dry land (Gen 1:9). The root צָנַע (tsanaʿ, “to be modest; to be humble”) describes those who are reserved, retiring, modest. The plural form is used for the abstract idea of humility.
- Proverbs 11:3 sn This contrasts two lifestyles, affirming the value of integrity. The upright live with integrity—blamelessness—and that integrity leads them in success and happiness. Those who use treachery will be destroyed by it.
- Proverbs 11:3 tn The verb בָּגַד (bagad) means “to act treacherously, with duplicity, or to betray.”
- Proverbs 11:3 tc The form is a Kethib/Qere reading. The Qere, יְשָׁדֵּם (yeshoddem), is a Qal imperfect of שָׁדַד (shadad, “to devastate”) and is supported by the versions. The syntactically difficult Kethib, וְשַׁדָּם (veshaddam), is a Qal perfect consecutive prefixed with the conjunction vav.