Proverbs 24:33
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
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24:30-34. See what a blessing the husbandman's calling is, and what a wilderness this earth would be without it. See what great difference there is in the management even of worldly affairs. Sloth and self-indulgence are the bane of all good. When we see fields overgrown with thorns and thistles, and the fences broken down, we see an emblem of the far more deplorable state of many souls. Every vile affection grows in men's hearts; yet they compose themselves to sleep. Let us show wisdom by doubling our diligence in every good thing.See the Proverbs 6:11 note. 32-34. From the folly of the sluggard learn wisdom (Pr 6:10, 11). See this and the following verse in Proverbs 6:10,11. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,.... The sight of the field and vineyard of the slothful put Solomon in mind of an observation he had made before, which fitly describes the disposition and gesture of the sluggard, by which means his field and vineyard came to ruin; while he should be up and tilling his field and planting his vineyard, he is in his bed; and awaking, instead of rising, craves for and indulges himself in another little doze, and which he repeats again and again;

a little folding of the hands to sleep; which ought to have been employed another way; See Gill on Proverbs 6:10.

Yet a little sleep, {l} a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

(l) Read Geneva Pr 6:10

Verses 33, 34. - These verses are a repetition, with very slight variations, of Proverbs 6:10, 11 (where see notes), and possibly have been introduced here by a later editor. Ver. 33 seems to be the sluggard's own words; Ver. 34 shows the result of his sloth. There are numberless proverbs dedicated to this subject in all languages; e.g., "No sweat, no sweet;" "No pains, no gains; .... He that wad eat the kernel maun crack the nut;" "A punadas entran las buenas hadas," "Good luck enters by dint of cuffs" (Spanish); "Nihil agendo male agere discimus; .... The dog in the kennel," say the Chinese. "barks at his fleas; the dog that hunts does not feel them" (Kelly). "Sloth and much sleep," say the Arabs, "remove from God and bring on poverty." The LXX. is somewhat dramatic in its rendering: "Afterwards I repented (μετενόησα), I looked that I might receive instruction. 'I slumber a little, I sleep a little, for a little I clasp (ἐναγκαλίζομαι) my hands across my breast.' But if thou do this, thy poverty will come advancing, and thy want like a good runner (ἀγαθὸς δρομεύς)" The word ἐναγκαλίζομαι occurs in Proverbs 6:10, but nowhere else in the Septuagint. It is used by St. Mark (Mark 9:36; Mark 10:16). It has been thought that the original mashal ended with Ver. 32, the following passage being added by a scribe as illustrative in a marginal note, which afterwards crept into the text.

Warning against the establishing of a household where the previous conditions are wanting:

Set in order thy work without,

And make it ready for thyself beforehand in the fields, -

After that then mayest thou build thine house.

The interchange of בּחוּץ and בּשּׂדה shows that by מלאכת השּׂדה field-labour, 1 Chronicles 27:26, is meant. הכין, used of arrangement, procuring, here with מלאכה, signifies the setting in order of the word, viz., the cultivation of the field. In the parallel member, עתּדה, carrying also its object, in itself is admissible: make preparations (lxx, Syr.); but the punctuation עתּדהּ (Targ., Venet.; on the other hand, Jerome and Luther translate as if the words were ועתדה השּׂדה) is not worthy of being contended against: set it (the work) in the fields in readiness, i.e., on the one hand set forward the present necessary work, and on the other hand prepare for that which next follows; thus: do completely and circumspectly what thy calling as a husbandman requires of thee - then mayest thou go to the building and building up of thy house (vid., at Proverbs 24:3, Proverbs 14:1), to which not only the building and setting in order of a convenient dwelling, but also the bringing home of a housewife and the whole setting up of a household belongs; prosperity at home is conditioned by this - one fulfils his duty without in the fields actively and faithfully. One begins at the wrong end when he begins with the building of his house, which is much rather the result and goal of an intelligent discharge of duty within the sphere of one's calling. The perf., with ו after a date, such as אחר, עוד מעט, and the like, when things that will or should be done are spoken of, has the fut. signification of a perf. consec., Genesis 3:5; Exodus 16:6., Proverbs 17:4; Ewald, 344b.

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