Proverbs 14:34, Part 1

Proverbs 14:34 (WEB)
Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

Outline the text to make plain the flow of thought.

Outline of the text
Righteousness exalts
a nation
but,
sin is
a disgrace
to any people
Look at various translations to see how the Hebrew words are translated in this context.  Then look at a dictionary to get at the root meaning of the word.

Word Study
Righteousness (various translations):  righteousness; justice
Hebrew root:  to be straight; to walk a straight path
The Old Testament often speaks of following God’s commandments and not turning to the right or the left.

Exalts (various translations):  raises up high; exalts; lifted up;  sets up; elevates; makes great; raises; lifts up
Hebrew root:  to rise; rise up; be high; be lofty; be exalted

Nation (various translations):  nation; the people; folk
Hebrew root:  back as middle part of body;  people of nation as back or body
The idea of people as a back points to something that holds the nation together, e.g. the common culture.

Sin (various translations):  sin: sins; sinful; wickedness
Hebrew root:  measuring cord;  cord used to measure distance by which a target was missed

Disgrace (various translations):  lessens; reproach; cause of shame: sacrifice;  destruction;  makes miserable;  disgrace; diminishes;  makes wretched
Hebrew root:  bow the neck ( to have the head removed)

People ( various translations):  tribes; people; heathen;  folk; nation
Hebrew root: staff of might; people bound together
This means a people bound together or yoked together,  possibly by oath/covenant.

So an initial thought would be the common culture is exalted by righteousness, but the covenant people are disgraced when they and/or the common culture fall short of righteousness.