The Meaning of Proverbs 11:16 Explained

Proverbs 11:16

KJV: A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

YLT: A gracious woman retaineth honour, And terrible men retain riches.

Darby: A gracious woman retaineth honour; and the violent retain riches.

ASV: A gracious woman obtaineth honor; And violent men obtain riches.

What does Proverbs 11:16 Mean?

Chapter Summary: Proverbs 11

1  On Deception

What do the individual words in Proverbs 11:16 mean?

A woman gracious retains honor but ruthless [men] retain riches
אֵֽשֶׁת־ חֵ֭ן תִּתְמֹ֣ךְ כָּב֑וֹד וְ֝עָרִיצִ֗ים יִתְמְכוּ־ עֹֽשֶׁר

אֵֽשֶׁת־  A  woman 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: אִשָּׁה  
Sense: woman, wife, female.
חֵ֭ן  gracious 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: חֵן  
Sense: favour, grace, charm.
תִּתְמֹ֣ךְ  retains 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: תָּמַךְ  
Sense: to grasp, hold, support, attain, lay hold of, hold fast.
כָּב֑וֹד  honor 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: כָּבֹוד  
Sense: glory, honour, glorious, abundance.
וְ֝עָרִיצִ֗ים  but  ruthless  [men] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adjective, masculine plural
Root: עָרִיץ  
Sense: awe-inspiring, terror-striking, awesome, terrifying, ruthless, mighty.
יִתְמְכוּ־  retain 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: תָּמַךְ  
Sense: to grasp, hold, support, attain, lay hold of, hold fast.
עֹֽשֶׁר  riches 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֹשֶׁר  
Sense: wealth, riches.