The Meaning of Proverbs 11:12 Explained

Proverbs 11:12

KJV: He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

YLT: Whoso is despising his neighbour lacketh heart, And a man of understanding keepeth silence.

Darby: He that despiseth his neighbour is void of heart; but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

ASV: He that despiseth his neighbor is void of wisdom; But a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

What does Proverbs 11:12 Mean?

Chapter Summary: Proverbs 11

1  On Deception

What do the individual words in Proverbs 11:12 mean?

Despises his neighbor He who is lacking of wisdom but a man of understanding holds his peace
בָּז־ לְרֵעֵ֥הוּ חֲסַר־ לֵ֑ב וְאִ֖ישׁ תְּבוּנ֣וֹת יַחֲרִֽישׁ

בָּז־  Despises 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: בּוּז  
Sense: to despise, hold in contempt, hold as insignificant.
לְרֵעֵ֥הוּ  his  neighbor 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: רֵעַ  
Sense: friend, companion, fellow, another person.
חֲסַר־  He  who  is  lacking 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular construct
Root: חָסֵר  
Sense: in need of, lacking, needy, in want of.
לֵ֑ב  of  wisdom 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: לֵב 
Sense: inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding.
וְאִ֖ישׁ  but  a  man 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: אִישׁ 
Sense: man.
תְּבוּנ֣וֹת  of  understanding 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural
Root: תְּבוּנָה 
Sense: understanding, intelligence.
יַחֲרִֽישׁ  holds  his  peace 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: חָרַשׁ 
Sense: to cut in, plough, engrave, devise.