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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 16:26

A worker's appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on.

Adam Clarke Commentary

He that laboureth - No thanks to a man for his labor and industry; if he do not work he must starve.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He that laboreth - literally, as in the margin, i. e., “The desire of the laborer labors for him” (or, helps him in his work), “for his mouth urges him on.” Hunger of some kind is the spring of all hearty labor. Without that the man would sit down and take his ease. So also, unless there is a hunger in the soul, craving to be fed, there can be no true labor after righteousness and wisdom (compare Matthew 5:6).


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-16.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"The appetite of the laboring man laboreth for him;

For his mouth urgeth him thereto.

A worthless man deviseth mischief;

And in his lips there is a scorching fire."

"His mouth urgeth him thereto" (Proverbs 16:26). The need to earn a living inspires men to work.

"An ungodly man diggeth up evil; and in his lips there is a burning fire."[27] "The description of agitators in this through Proverbs 16:30 needs little comment."[28] In this verse, the mischief maker is a gossip. The burning fire in his words is designed to burn up the reputations of other people.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that laboureth, laboureth for himself,.... Man is born for labour; it is a part of the curse inflicted on him for sin; and his condition and circumstances are such as make it necessary, for such who will not work ought not to eat; and it is labouring for food and raiment which is here meant, and that is for a man's self; for if he labours to be rich and lay up money, and purchase estates, these are more for others than himself, and indeed he knows not for whom he labours. It is indeed in the original, "the soul of him that laboursF12נפש עמל "anima laborantis", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "anima laboriosi", Cocceius. , labours for himself"; and it may be understood of the labour of, the soul for spiritual things, for spiritual food, for that meat which endures to everlasting life; and may intend the various exercises of religion in which men employ themselves, that they may have food for their souls, and grow thereby; such as praying, reading the Scriptures, attending on the ministry of the word and ordinances: and this labouring is for themselves; for the good and welfare of their immortal souls, for their spiritual prosperity, for the nourishing of them up unto everlasting life. It may be applied to Gospel ministers, who labour in the Lord's vineyard, in the word and doctrine; and though in the first place they labour to promote the glory of God and the interest of Christ, and the good of souls, yet it also turns to their own account; and indeed they labour to be accepted of the Lord, and at last shall hear, "Well done, good and faithful Servant; enter into the joy of thy Lord", Matthew 25:23. Some render the words, "he that is troublesome is troublesome to himself"F13"Ipse molestus molestiam affert sibi", Junius & Tremellius. , as such an one is, not only to others, but to himself also; he is the cause of great disquietude to his own mind;

for his mouth craveth it of him: that he should labour, in order to satisfy his appetite; for "all the labour of man is for his mouth", to feed that and fill his belly, Ecclesiastes 6:7; or "his mouth boweth unto him"F14אכף עליו פיהו "incurvavit se ei os suum", Pagninus; "incurvat se ei os suum"; Mercerus, Gejerus. ; it is as it were an humble supplicant to him, entreating: him to labour to get food for it, and satisfy its wants; or as a beast bows down to feed itself; or "boweth upon him"F15"Inflexit se super eum os suum", Montanus; "innititur super cum", Vatablus. ; it obliges him, as the Vulgate Latin version; it compels him, whether he will or not, to work, its necessities are so pressing: and this holds good in spiritual things; a man's mouth, or spiritual appetite, puts him upon the use of means of spiritual exercises, without which he must otherwise be in a starving condition; and is true of the ministers of the word, whose mouth obliges them; as it were; they cannot but speak the things they have heard and seen: or "his mouth reflects upon him"; upon the man that has been troublesome to himself and others; the Targum is,

"for from his mouth humiliation shall come to him;'

or his destruction, as the Syriac version.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-16.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Diligence is a duty due to one‘s self, for his wants require labor.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-16.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

26 The hunger of the labourer laboureth for him,

For he is urged on by his mouth.

The Syr. translates: the soul of him who inflicts woe itself suffers it, and from his mouth destruction comes to him; the Targ. brings this translation nearer the original text ( בּיפא , humiliation, instead of אבדנא , destruction); Luther translates thus also, violently abbreviating, however. But עמל (from עמל , Arab. 'amila , to exert oneself, laborare ) means, like laboriosus , labouring as well as enduring difficulty, but not, as πονῶν τινα , causing difficulty, or (Euchel) occupied with difficulty. And labour and the mouth stand together, denoting that man labours that the mouth may have somewhat to eat (cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:10; נפשׁ , however, gains in this connection the meaning of ψυχὴ ὀρεκτική , and that of desire after nourishment, vid ., at Proverbs 6:30; Proverbs 10:3). אכף also joins itself to this circle of ideas, for it means to urge (Jerome, compulit ), properly (related to כּפף , incurvare , כּפה כּפא , to constrain, necessitate ), to bow down by means of a burden. The Aramaeo-Arab. signification, to saddle (Schultens: clitellas imposuit ei os suum ), is a secondary denom. ( vid ., at Job 33:7). The Venet . well renders it after Kimchi: ἐπεὶ κύπτει ἐπ ̓ αὐτὸν τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ . Thus: the need of nourishment on the part of the labourer works for him ( dat. commodi like Isaiah 40:20), i.e. , helps him to labour, for (not: if, ἐάν , as Rashi and others) it presses upon him; his mouth, which will have something to eat, urges him. It is God who has in this way connected together working and eating. The curse in sudore vultus tui comedes panem conceals a blessing. The proverb has in view this reverse side of the blessing in the arrangement of God.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-16.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

This is designed to engage us to diligence, and quicken us, what our hand finds to do, to do it with all our might, both in our worldly business and in the work of religion; for in the original it is, The soul that labours labours for itself. It is heart-work which is here intended, the labour of the soul, which is here recommended to us, 1. As that which will be absolutely needful. Our mouth is continually craving it of us; the necessities both of soul and body are pressing, and require constant relief, so that we must either work or starve. Both call for daily bread, and therefore there must be daily labour; for in the sweat of our face we must eat, 2 Thessalonians 3:10. 2. As that which will be unspeakably gainful. We know on whose errand we go: He that labours shall reap the fruit of his labour; it shall be for himself; he shall rejoice in his own work and eat the labour of his hands. If we make religion our business, God will make it our blessedness.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-16.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-16.html. 1706.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 16:26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

Ver. 26. He that laboureth, laboureth for himself.] He earns it to eat it, he gets it with his hands to maintain "the life of his hands," as it is therefore also called [Isaiah 57:10] Animantis cuiusque vita in fuga est, saith the philosopher; Life will away if not repaired by aliment. Et dii boni; quantum hominum unus exereet venter! (a) Oh what ado there is to provide meat for the belly! There are those who make too much ado, while they make it "their god," [Philippians 3:19] as did that Pamphagus, Nabal; those in St Paul’s time, that "served not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies"; and our Abbey lubbers, Quorum luxuriae totus non sufficit orbis; O monachi, vestri stomachi, &c. See my Common Place of Abstinence.

For his mouth craveth it of him.] Heb., Bows down to him, or upon him, either as a suppliant or as importunately urgent. (b) The belly hath no ears; necessity hath no law. Malesuada fames will have it if it be to be had. Drusus, meat being denied him, did eat the very stuffings of his bed; but that was not nourishment. (c) The stomach of man is a monster, saith one, which, being contained in so little a bulk as the body, is able to consume and devour all things; and yet is not consumed of itself, nor destroyed by that heat that digesteth all that comes into it.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-16.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 26. He that laboreth, laboreth for himself, his spirit or soul, under the pressure of life's necessities, impels him to work earnestly for his daily bread; for his mouth craveth it of him, drives him forward, compels him, goads him on, for it is the Lord's rule that man must work in order to gain the necessities of life.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-16.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For himself; for his own use and benefit. The scope of the proverb is to commend and press diligence in a man’s calling, and to condemn idleness.

Craveth it of him, Heb. boweth to him, as a suppliant; beggeth him to labour, that it may have something to put into it for its own comfort, and for the nourishment of the whole body.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-16.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

26. Laboureth… for himself — It is probable that the point and meaning of this proverb may be expressed thus: “The appetite of the labourer labours for him.” A good appetite spurs a man to work. He labours for the satisfying of his appetite, or the gratification of his desires. Stuart takes it differently, and renders: “The appetite of him that toils is toilsome to him, for his mouth urgeth him on,” and gives as the sentiment: A strong appetite is urgent and troublesome. Zockler reads: “The spirit of the labourer labours for him.” Comp. Ecclesiastes 6:7.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-16.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Mouth. The want of food, Ecclesiastes vi. 7.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

He that laboureth = the soul of him who laboureth. Hebrew. nephesh.

mouth = appetite.

craveth it of him = urgeth him on.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

He that laboureth, laboureth for himself - literally, 'The soul of him that laboureth, laboureth,' etc.

For his mouth craveth it of him - literally, 'is bowed,' or 'boweth itself unto him,' as a suppliant craving food for its wants. Or, more literally, 'boweth itself upon him' - i:e., imposes labour upon him. Solomon exhorts here to 'labour,' which is man's appointed portion (Genesis 3:17-19; Ecclesiastes 6:7, "All the labour of man is for his mouth"). Labour tends to the good of him that laboureth, and supplies his pressing needs (cf. Proverbs 9:12). So in our spiritual needs labour (i:e., diligence and earnestness) is the path to the heavenly rest. The spiritual appetite created by God the Holy Spirit 'craves' laborious diligence of the man, so as to obtain the free gift of the bread of life.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(26) He that laboureth laboureth for himself.—Rather, the desire, or hunger, of the labourer laboureth for him, for his mouth urges him on; the feeling that he is supplying his own needs gives him strength for his work.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.
He
Heb. The soul of him. laboureth.
9:12; 14:23; Ecclesiastes 6:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12; 2 Thessalonians 3:8-12
craveth it of him
Heb. boweth unto him.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-16.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . He that laboureth, laboureth for himself, etc. Zöckler translates "The spirit of the labourer laboureth for him, for his mouth urgeth him on." Stuart—"The appetite of him who toils is toilsome to him (i.e., make him exert himself) for his mouth urgeth him on." Delitzsch—"The hunger of the labourer laboureth for him," etc. Miller—"The labouring soul labours for it, for its mouth imposeth it upon him. (See his comment.)

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

THE MAINSPRING OF HUMAN INDUSTRY

I. God intends every man to be a labourer. Adam in Paradise was required to dress and keep the Garden of Eden, so that the labourer's patent of nobility dates from before the fall. The Son of God, in human flesh, laboured with His own hands for the supply of His daily wants, and thus for ever sanctified the ordinary toil of life. (On the profitableness of labour, see on chap. Pro .)

II. God has taken means to ensure the continuance of labour. He has so created man that if the majority do not labour neither can they eat, nor can those eat who do not labour. There must be always a large proportion of workers in the great hive of human creatures, or both they and the drones would starve. It is hunger that keeps the world in motion, and it is the craving of man's mouth that builds our cities and our ships, that stimulates invention, and sends men abroad in quest of fresh fields of industry. It is this necessity to eat that keeps all the members of the human family in a state of ceaseless activity, and prevents them from sinking into a state of mental stagnation and bodily disease. It is a noteworthy fact that those nations who have to work hard to supply their physical wants are more intellectually and spiritually healthy than those who live in lands where the needs of life are satisfied with little labour. God has promised that "while the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest shall not cease" (Gen ); but He has also, by the constitution of man, ordained that he must be unceasingly active if he is to reap the fruits of the earth—if, indeed, he is to continue to exist upon the face of the earth; and He has so ordained because of the many blessings which flow from this necessity.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

Since that which causes us to labour and trouble becomes a means of our subsistence, it in turn helps us to overcome labour and trouble, for this very thing, by virtue of God's wise regulating providence, becomes for us a spur to industry.—Von, Gerlach.

A man's industry in his calling is no sure sign of virtue, for although it is a duty commanded by God, and necessary to be practised, yet profit and necessity may constrain a man to labour, who has no regard either to God or man. But this proves that idleness is a most inexcusable sin. It is not only condemned in the Scripture, but it is a sign that a man wants common reason as well as piety, when he can neither be drawn by interest, nor driven by necessity, to work. Self-love is a damning sin where it reigns as the chief principle of action; but the want of self-love where it is required is no less criminal.—Lawson.

To labour is man's punishment, and that man laboureth for himself is God's mercy. For as it is painful to labour, so it is made more painful when another reapeth the fruit thereof; but when ourselves are comforted with the fruit thereof, the labour is much eased in the gathering of it. God himself does not look for any benefit from our labour, it is all for ourselves, whatever we do. And therefore as God doth command labour, so the mouth of our benefit doth call for it.—Jermin.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:26". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-16.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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