Chapter 11

1Deceitful scales are an abomination of the Lord, but a perfect weight is His will.   אמֹאזְנֵ֣י מִ֖רְמָה תּוֹעֲבַ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה וְאֶ֖בֶן שְׁלֵמָ֣ה רְצוֹנֽוֹ:
2When willful wickedness comes, then comes disgrace, but with the modest is wisdom.   בבָּֽא־ זָ֖דוֹן וַיָּבֹ֣א קָל֑וֹן וְֽאֶת־צְנוּעִ֥ים חָכְמָֽה:
When willful wickedness comes, etc. but with the modest is wisdom: comes wisdom.  
3The innocence of the upright leads them, but the distortion of the treacherous robs them.   גתֻּמַּ֣ת יְשָׁרִ֣ים תַּנְחֵ֑ם וְסֶ֖לֶף בּוֹגְדִ֣ים וְשָׁדֵּֽם יְשָׁדֵּֽם:
The innocence of the upright leads them: Heb. תנחם, will guide them.  
but the distortion of the treacherous robs them: Heb. ישדם, like ישדדם  
4Riches will not avail on the day of wrath, but charity will save from death.   דלֹא־יוֹעִ֣יל ה֖וֹן בְּי֣וֹם עֶבְרָ֑ה וּ֜צְדָקָ֗ה תַּצִּ֥יל מִמָּֽוֶת:
5The righteousness of the innocent will straighten his way, but the wicked will fall in his wickedness.   הצִדְקַ֣ת תָּ֖מִים תְּיַשֵּׁ֣ר דַּרְכּ֑וֹ וּ֜בְרִשְׁעָת֗וֹ יִפֹּ֥ל רָשָֽׁע:
6The righteousness of the upright will save them, but in the destruction, the treacherous will be caught.   וצִדְקַ֣ת יְ֖שָׁרִים תַּצִּילֵ֑ם וּ֜בְהַוַּ֗ת בֹּגְדִ֥ים יִלָּכֵֽדוּ:
but in the destruction: In the destruction that they perpetrate, they are caught; the verse is transposed. [It means] “and the treacherous in the destruction will be caught.”  
7When a wicked man dies, hope is lost, and the expectation of his children is lost.   זבְּמ֤וֹת אָדָ֣ם רָ֖שָׁע תֹּאבַ֣ד תִּקְוָ֑ה וְתוֹחֶ֖לֶת אוֹנִ֣ים אָבָֽדָה:
When a wicked man dies, hope is lost: The hope of all who trust in him.  
and the expectation of his children is lost: Heb. אונים. The expectation of his children, who are the products of his strength, is lost, for no good will come to them in his merit. But when the righteous die, their children have trust in their righteousness.  
8A righteous man is extricated from trouble, and a wicked man comes in his stead.   חצַדִּיק מִצָּרָ֣ה נֶחֱלָ֑ץ וַיָּבֹ֖א רָשָׁ֣ע תַּחְתָּֽיו:
A righteous man is extricated from trouble: when the wicked man dies, and this is connected to the preceding verse.  
9With his mouth, the flatterer destroys his neighbor; but with knowledge, righteous men are extricated.   טבְּפֶ֗ה חָ֖נֵף יַשְׁחִ֣ת רֵעֵ֑הוּ וּ֜בְדַ֗עַת צַדִּיקִ֥ים יֵחָלֵֽצוּ:
With his mouth, the flatterer: The flatterer who entices his friend on an evil way, destroys him with his mouth.  
but with knowledge, righteous men are extricated: But the righteous man is extricated from [the flatterer] with the knowledge of the Torah, which warned concerning him (Deut. 13:9): “You shall not consent to him, etc.”  
10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is song.   יבְּט֣וּב צַ֖דִּיקִים תַּעֲלֹ֣ץ קִרְיָ֑ה וּבַאֲבֹ֖ד רְשָׁעִ֣ים רִנָּֽה:
11With the blessing of the upright, the ceiling is raised, but with the mouth of the wicked it is demolished.   יאבְּבִרְכַּ֣ת יְ֖שָׁרִים תָּר֣וּם קָ֑רֶת וּבְפִ֥י רְ֜שָׁעִ֗ים תֵּהָרֵֽס:
the ceiling is raised: The ceiling of the Temple will be preserved at its height from falling. As long as the kings of Judah were upright, their prayer preserved the Temple.  
12He who despises his neighbor is devoid of sense, but a man of understanding is silent.   יבבָּז־לְרֵעֵ֥הוּ חֲסַר־לֵ֑ב וְאִ֖ישׁ תְּבוּנ֣וֹת יַחֲרִֽישׁ:
but a man of understanding is silent: when the one devoid of sense despises him, like Saul, as it is written (I Sam. 10:27): “And they despised him and brought him no gift; and he was as one who kept his peace.”  
13He who reveals secrets is a talebearer, but one who is of faithful spirit conceals a matter.   יגהוֹלֵ֣ךְ רָ֖כִיל מְגַלֶּה־סּ֑וֹד וְנֶאֱמַן־ר֜֗וּחַ מְכַסֶּ֥ה דָבָֽר:
14Without strategy the people falls, but with many counselors there is victory.   ידבְּאֵ֣ין תַּ֖חְבֻּלוֹת יִפָּל־עָ֑ם וּ֜תְשׁוּעָ֗ה בְּרֹ֣ב יוֹעֵֽץ:
Without strategy: When trouble befalls Israel, and they do not put their heart to understand, to fast and to repent, the people will fall.  
15He who gives surety for a stranger will be broken by it, but he who hates hand-claspers [for surety] is secure.   טורַע־יֵ֖רוֹעַ כִּי־עָ֣רַב זָ֑ר וְשׂנֵ֖א תֹקְעִ֣ים בּוֹטֵֽחַ:
will be broken by it: The wicked man who gave his heart as surety to idolatry.  
but he who hates hand- claspers: Those who clasp hands with the enticers to follow their counsel. But our Rabbis expounded this in regard to surety in monetary matters.  
16A charming woman draws near to honor, but strong men draw near to riches.   טזאֵֽשֶׁת־חֵ֖ן תִּתְמֹ֣ךְ כָּב֑וֹד וְ֜עָרִיצִ֗ים יִתְמְכוּ־עֽשֶׁר:
draws near to honor: Heb. תתמך. The people of Israel constantly draw near to the honor of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Torah. (  
but strong men draw near to riches: that it should not be lost to them.)  
17A kind man does himself good, but a cruel one troubles his own flesh.   יזגֹּמֵ֣ל נַ֖פְשׁוֹ אִ֣ישׁ חָ֑סֶד וְעֹכֵ֥ר שְׁ֜אֵר֗וֹ אַכְזָרִֽי:
does himself good: He does good to his kin.  
A kind man: lit. a man of kindness, a man who is kind.  
but a cruel one troubles his own flesh: But the cruel one troubles his kin.  
18A wicked man earns illusory wages, but he who sows charity [receives] a true reward.   יחרָשָׁ֗ע עֹשֶֹ֥ה פְעֻלַּת־שָׁ֑קֶר וְזֹרֵ֥עַ צְ֜דָקָ֗ה שֶֹ֣כֶר אֱמֶֽת:
A wicked man earns illusory wages: The wage of a wicked man lies to him. He thinks that his prosperity will remain, but all is lost.  
but he who sows charity [receives] a true reward: But he who sows charity, it is a wage of truth, for he is surely confident that he will receive his wage at the end. שכר cornial in Old French. [This appears to mean a weir in several dialects; i.e., a fence placed in the water to catch fish.] Manuscripts of Rashi yield: eclusse or esklusa, which is e’cluse [in modern French]; in German wasserschleuse, a lock or a sluice gate). Like a man who locks a canal in order to gather fish, and he is confident that he will find many fish there. A similar instance is (Isa. 19:10): “all who make dams (שכר) for still ponds.”  
19The truth of charity is for life, but one who pursues evil [leads] to his death.   יטכֵּן־צְדָקָ֥ה לְחַיִּ֑ים וּמְרַדֵּ֖ף רָעָ֣ה לְמוֹתֽוֹ:
The truth of charity: Heb. כן, the truth of charity is that its end is for life, as in (Num. 27:7): “The daughters of Zelofchad speak right (כן).”  
20Those who are perverse in heart are an abomination of the Lord, but He desires those who are sincere in their way.   כתּוֹעֲבַ֣ת יְ֖הוָה עִקְּשֵׁי־לֵ֑ב וּ֜רְצוֹנ֗וֹ תְּמִ֣ימֵי דָֽרֶךְ:
21From hand to hand the evil will not be cleansed, but the seed of the righteous escapes.   כאיָ֣ד לְ֖יָד לֹא־יִנָּ֣קֶה רָ֑ע וְזֶ֖רַע צַדִּיקִ֣ים נִמְלָֽט:
From hand to hand: From the hand of the Holy One, blessed be He, to his hand shall come to him his wage, and he will not be cleansed of the evil that he committed.  
22[As] a gold ring in a swine's snout, is a beautiful woman from whom sense has departed.   כבנֶ֣זֶם זָ֖הָב בְּאַ֣ף חֲזִ֑יר אִשָּׁ֥ה יָ֜פָ֗ה וְסָ֣רַת טָֽעַם:
[As] a gold ring in a swine’s snout: that bemires it in the dungheap, so is a Torah scholar who turns away from the good way.  
from whom sense has departed: Who has departed from the Torah.  
23The desire of the righteous is only good; the hope of the wicked is wrath.   כגתַּאֲוַ֣ת צַדִּיקִ֣ים אַךְ־ט֑וֹב תִּקְוַ֖ת רְשָׁעִ֣ים עֶבְרָֽה:
the hope of the wicked is wrath: They are assured and hope for Gehinnom.  
24There is one who scatters and yet is given more, and one who withholds from [giving] what is proper, only for a loss.   כדיֵ֣שׁ מְ֖פַזֵּר וְנוֹסָ֥ף ע֑וֹד וְחוֹשֵֹ֥ךְ מִ֜יּ֗שֶׁר אַךְ־לְמַחְסֽוֹר:
There is one who scatters: his money for such things as charity, and he is given more.  
and one who withholds: himself from [giving] what is proper.  
only for a loss: it will be to him.  
25A generous person will become rich, and he who sates [others] shall himself become sated as well.   כהנֶֽפֶשׁ־בְּרָכָ֥ה תְדֻשָּׁ֑ן וּ֜מַרְוֶ֗ה גַּם־ה֥וּא יוֹרֶֽא:
A generous person: [lit. a soul of blessing,] who is generous with his money, and every expression of blessing is fuison in Old French, excess.  
and he who sates: who sates the poor.  
shall himself become sated as well: He shall be sated with good.  
26He who keeps back grain-the nation will curse him, but a blessing will be bestowed on the head of him who sells grain.   כומֹ֣נֵֽעַ בָּ֖ר יִקְּבֻ֣הוּ לְא֑וֹם וּ֜בְרָכָ֗ה לְרֹ֣אשׁ מַשְׁבִּֽיר:
He who keeps back grain: [who refrains] from teaching Torah.  
27He who desires good seeks acceptance, but he who seeks evil, it will befall him.   כזשֹׁ֣חֵֽר ט֖וֹב יְבַקֵּ֣שׁ רָצ֑וֹן וְדֹרֵ֖שׁ רָעָ֣ה תְבוֹאֶֽנּוּ:
He who desires good: Who wishes to lead the people in the good way and reproves and chastises them.  
seeks acceptance: He desires that the Holy One, blessed be He, accept them and and be reconciled with them. Appaisement in Old French, besanftigen in German.  
28He who relies on his wealth will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a leaf.   כחבּוֹטֵ֣חַ בְּ֖עָשְׁרוֹ ה֣וּא יִפֹּ֑ל וְ֜כֶעָלֶ֗ה צַדִּיקִ֥ים יִפְרָֽחוּ:
29He who inherits the wind will trouble his household; the fool is a slave to the wisehearted.   כטעוֹכֵ֣ר בֵּ֖יתוֹ יִנְחַל־ר֑וּחַ וְעֶ֥בֶד אֱ֜וִ֗יל לַחֲכַם־לֵֽב:
He who inherits the wind will trouble his household: A lazy man, who always inherits the wind and does not toil in Torah or in work, will ultimately trouble the members of his household, for they will have nothing to eat.  
30The fruit of a righteous man is the tree of life, and the wise man acquires souls.   לפְּֽרִי־צַ֖דִּיק עֵ֣ץ חַיִּ֑ים וְלֹקֵ֖חַ נְפָשׁ֣וֹת חָכָֽם:
The fruit of a righteous man: The reward of the fruit of the righteous man’s deeds is a tree of life for the world.  
and the wise man acquires souls: Whoever is wise acquires souls for himself. he teaches them the good way, and they are his as though he had acquired them, as the matter is stated (Gen. 12:5): “And the souls that they acquired in Haran.”  
31Behold! The righteous man will be requited on earth; surely a wicked man and a sinner.   לאהֵ֣ן צַ֖דִּיק בָּאָ֣רֶץ יְשֻׁלָּ֑ם אַ֜֗ף כִּֽי־רָשָׁ֥ע וְחוֹטֵֽא:
Behold ! The righteous man will be requited on earth: Why should the wicked man feel confident when he prospers? Does he not see that the righteous man is requited the payment of the sins he has committed while he is still on earth, during his lifetime?  
surely a wicked man and a sinner: Surely the wicked will ultimately be requited, either during his lifetime or after his death.