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The Upright Bring Peace and Well-being While the Wicked Sow Disorder, Corruption, and Moral Decline
Proverbs 11:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted: Blessing: (בְּרָכָה berakah) When it refers to God blessing a human it is pronouncing good or showing favor, having favorable circumstances or state at a future time (Gen. 1:22), for those who have a righteous standing before him. The upright (יָשָׁר yashar) are God’s true believers, his holy ones, who are diligently seeking and searching to know, love, and obey God and to live righteously as one can within their human imperfection. In this context, exalted (רוּם rum) means that the lives of people of the city have benefited or improved to better (higher) conditions because of the blessings the upright has brought upon them.
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown: Here the mouth (פֶּה peh) of the wicked can be a reference to worthless, obscene, and hurtful talk, gossip, and idle chatter, or slander. The Hebrew word rendered wicked (רָשָׁע rasha) here is an unrighteous man that is evil, with the focus on his guilt of violating God’s standards. Overthrown (הָרַס haras) here is in referred to the people of the city again, in that, they have been destroyed or ruined by the presence of the mouth of the wicked. In other words, the mouth of the wicked has offset any blessings the upright might have bestowed on citizens because of their presence.
The upright citizens within a city bring peace and well-being by building others up either through prayers or as a side effect of their presence and God blessing these upright ones. Thus, the city is exalted in that it prospers both financially and the happiness, comfort, and security of its members. On the other hand, the mouth of the wicked who bring about worthless, obscene, and hurtful talk, gossip, idle chatter, or slander cause unrest, unhappiness, disunity, and trouble. This is even more so the case if they hold a prominent position within the city. This causes disorder, corruption, moral decline, and even economic deterioration.