Proverbs 12:9

He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better then he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
– Proverbs 12:9

This is one of the proverbs that deals with reality versus appearances. Despised here refers to someone of mean standing in the community. They have humility of circumstances. The fact they have a servant illustrates they have some means, though modest, through honest work and gain. To be better means to be better off, or in a better state than another. In this case, the first is better than the one who boasts and promotes himself to be seen as wealthy, powerful, etc. when he is poor in reality. Jesus spoke of this sort of humility when he taught that we should let another honor us if honor is indeed due us rather than taking honor to ourselves (Luke 14:8-11).

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Proverbs 11:2

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
– Proverbs 11:2

The word for pride indicates a high arrogance, or hubris. It speaks of one who must have his own way, and Proverbs points out the end of that way is shame, or disgrace, and elsewhere destruction (Proverbs 16:18; 18:12). The word for lowly means humility and it is the way of wisdom. Humility with wisdom is better than great riches (Proverbs 16:19). Humility always precedes any true promotion (Proverbs 15:33).

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Proverbs 6:3

Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
– Proverbs 6:3

Solomon employs the language of urgency and immediate action. If you have found yourself in this situation, get out of it as soon as possible. Deliver means to tear away and answers to the image of being ensnared in the previous verse. Humble has the thought of trample. It is a picture of lying down on the ground and being walked on. The point is to humble yourself to whatever extent necessary. To make sure means to urge and implies strenuously. Solomon does not advise trickery or deceit, but he does implore to lower yourself however far necessary and to pursue urgently the release from your hasty suretyship.

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Proverbs 3:34

Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
– Proverbs 3:34

The lowly is one who bends himself and so it means the humble. It is the humble who receive favor from God. Proverbs has much to say in condemnation of the proud and so the scorners receive scorning. God resists the proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5) and does not show them favor. Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord and bends oneself to receive her counsels.

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