Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 20:4

The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beggars;   Idleness;   Slothfulness;   Winter;   Thompson Chain Reference - Abundance-Want;   Beggars;   Cold, the;   Meteorology;   Sluggard, the;   Want;   The Topic Concordance - Desire;   Harvest;   Laziness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Idleness and Sloth;   Ploughing;   Winter;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hedge;   Thorn;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Harvest;   Proverbs, Book of;   Slothful;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Cold;   Harvest;   Plow;   Seasons;   Sluggard;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The sluggard will not plough - For other parts of this character, see the preceding chapter, Proverbs 19 (note). It is seldom that there is a season of very cold weather in Palestine; very cold days sometimes occur, with wind, rain, and sleet. They begin their ploughing in the latter end of September, and sow their early wheat by the middle of October. And this is often the case in England itself. The meaning of the proverb is: the slothful man, under the pretense of unfavorable weather, neglects cultivating his land till the proper time is elapsed.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Plowing time in Palestine is in November and December, when the wind blows commonly from the North.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-20.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 20:4

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

The present and the future

The present is intimately related to the future; and the future will faithfully reflect the character. Here is a principle from the operation of which none can escape. Life stands in the same relation to eternity as the time of ploughing does to the harvest. If this life is spent in neglect of the soul, there will be eternal poverty.

I. Life’s ploughing-time, or the period of preparation.

1. Note, that life is the seed-time is universally recognised and taught. The armer knows the time for preparing the soil, and is himself responsible if he does not improve it.

2. The ploughing-time is short, not too long if it is all well spent; the seasons quickly succeed each other. How short is life--

3. Though short, it is long enough. Life is short; there is no time to lose, but to each is given space for repentance.

4. Unlike the farmer, who may miss one harvest but secure the next, our opportunity once lost never returns.

II. The paltry reasons assigned as an excuse for neglect. “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold.” It is palpably unreal, the true reason is unconfessed; but it is found in the fact that the man is a sluggard--he loves not his work. (D. Thomas, D. D.)

The sluggard in harvest

This saying inculcates the lesson that men should diligently seize the opportunity whilst it is theirs. The sluggard is one of the pet aversions of the Book of Proverbs. The text contains principles which are true in the highest regions of human life. Religion recognise the same practical common-sense principles that daily business does.

I. The principles which are crystalised in this picturesque saying.

1. Present conduct determines future conditions. Life is a series of epochs, each of which has its destined work, and that being done, all is well; and that being left undone, all is ill. What a man does, and is, settles how he fares. The most trivial act has an influence on all that comes after, and may deflect a man’s whole course into altogether different paths. There come to each of us supreme moments in our lives. And if, in all the subordinate and insignificant moments we have not been getting ready for them, but have been nurturing dispositions and acquiring habits, the supreme moment passes us by, and we gain nothing from it. The mystic significance of the trivialities of life is that in them we largely make destiny, and that in them we wholly make character.

2. The easy road is generally the wrong road. There are always obstacles in the way to noble life. Self-denial and rigid self-control, in its two forms--of stopping your ears to the attractions of lower pleasures, and of cheerily encountering difficulties--is an indispensable condition of any life which shall at the last yield a harvest worth the gathering. Nothing worth doing is done but at the cost of difficulty and toil.

3. The season let slip is gone for ever. Opportunity is bald behind, and must be grasped by the forelock. Life is full of tragic might-have-beens.

II. Flash the rays of these principles on one or two subjects.

1. In business, do not trust to any way of getting on by dodges, or speculation, or favour, or anything but downright hard work.

2. In your intellects. Make a conscience of making the best of your brains.

3. In the formation of character. Nothing will come to you noble, great, elevating, in that direction unless it is sought, and sought with toil. Don’t let yourselves be shaped by accident, by circumstance. You can build yourselves up into forms of beauty by the help of the grace of God.

4. Let these principles applied to religion teach us the wisdom and necessity of beginning the Christian life at the earliest moment. There is a solemn thought still to consider. This life, as a whole, is to the future life as the ploughing-time is to the harvest. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

A beggar in harvest

No life is really secular. The sanctification of our labour for the bread that perisheth is one of the purposes of our holy religion. The principles set forth in this text in relation to earthly business have also their application to the spiritual life.

1. Human co-operation is necessary in the beginnings of the religious life. God does not save men as a rule by sudden movements of His Spirit upon their souls without their co-operation with Him. Spiritual ploughing consists of self-examination in the light of God’s Word, followed by self-condemnation, the confession and renunciation of sin, and the other exercises of repentance.

2. Human co-operation in the Divine life is necessary all the way from the beginnings of repentance up to the throne of glory.

3. The text teaches not only the necessity for diligence, but also for courage. The sluggard was afraid of the cold.

4. The ploughing must be done at the right season. Youth is the best time for spiritual ploughing. (G. A. Bennetts, B. A.)

The soul-sluggard

The words “sluggard” and “sluggish” are the same derivation. We speak of sluggish water, stagnant, covered with green, breeding disease and death. What a contrast to a fountain of clear, sparkling water, dancing in the sunlight, quickening everything it touches into life! The soul’s harvest is in eternity. Why does the sinner neglect preparation for this harvest? Let us look at a few of his reasons.

1. He says that his heart is “cold”; he has not the proper feeling. He forgets--

2. The sinner urges, “The Church is ‘cold.’” He says, “No one speaks to me about my soul.” Does the traveller at the railway station wait till the train starts and the ticket-office closes because “no one speaks to him”? It is frivolous reasoning, that because Church members fail in their duty I have a right to fail in mine.

3. It is even urged by the impenitent that God is “cold”--indifferent to their salvation. They wait until He is ready--until He moves upon their hearts.

Observe--

1. The reasons urged by the impenitent are but shallow pretexts to hide their disinclination. The man would not plough because he was a sluggard.

2. “Therefore,” says the text, “shall he beg.” The begging is the effect of a sufficient cause. Eternal death is not the result of an accident.

3. They that beg in harvest shall beg in vain, “and have nothing.” The prayer of Dives was not answered. (P. S. Davis.)

Good effects of honest and earnest toil

I. Plenty. We must not think that diligence is only manual; it is also mental. It implies thought, forethought, planning, arranging. The general rule is that they who work obtain the things needful for this life, at least in sufficiency.

II. Power. It is industry, rather than genius, which commends us to our fellow-men, and leads us to positions of influence and power.

III. Personal worth. It is diligence, the capacity of taking pains, that gives to a man his actual worth, making him compact and strong and serviceable. The greatest gifts are of little worth, unless there is this guarantee of the conscientious and intelligent employment of them. (R. F. Horton, D. D.)

Duty sacrificed to convenience

There are two powers constantly pressing their claims on men: those of duty and convenience. These two generally come into collision here. The sacrificing of duty to convenience is an immense evil, because--

I. It involves a sacrifice of the cultivating season. Sluggard neglects the seed-time. It is so with men who postpone their day of religious decision. The whole of their earthly life is intended as a season for cultivation. But a very large portion of the cultivating season is already gone. The residue of their time is very short, and very uncertain.

II. Because it involves a disregard of existing facilities. The sluggard had everything else necessary to cultivate his land. He disregarded all, because it was rather cold. It is so with those who are putting off religion.

III. Because it involves the decay of individual qualification for the work. The qualification for any work consists in a resolute determination, and a sufficiency of executive energy. While the sluggard was waiting, these two things were decreasing.

IV. Because it involves the loss of great personal enjoyment. He would lose the joy arising from fresh accessions of manly power; from the consciousness of having done his duty; a freedom to engage in any other affair; prospect of reward.

V. Because it involves a certainty of ultimate ruin. Destitution. Degradation. Misery of these enhanced by their being--

1. Self-created.

2. Unpitied.

3. Irretrievable. Physical indolence brings physical ruin, moral indolence moral ruin. (Homilist)
.

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 20:4". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-20.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"The sluggard will not plow by reason of the winter; Therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing."

This proverb repeats the teaching of the old Aesop's fable of the grasshopper and the ant. Provision for one's future needs must be made at the expense of working at inconvenient times and under unfavorable circumstances.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold,.... Or, "in the cold"; in the time of cold, as Aben Ezra; in the time of autumn, which is the time of ploughing, when it begins to be cold weather, and winter is drawing on: and this is discouraging to the sluggard, who does not care to take his hands out of his bosom to feed himself, and much less to plough; see Proverbs 19:24;

therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing; he shall ask of those who have ploughed and sowed, and are now reaping and gathering in their increase at harvest time; but they shall give him nothing; for such as will not work should not eat; and if a man will not plough and sow, he cannot expect to reap, nor should he be encouraged in begging. This holds good in spiritual things; such who have been slothful and sluggish about their spiritual affairs, unconcerned for the grace of God, and indolent in the use of means, or performance of duty, will ask when too late, or of wrong persons, and shall not have it; as the foolish virgins ask oil of the wise, when the bridegroom is come; and the rich man for water from Abraham, when in hell, Matthew 25:8.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-20.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

beg — literally, “ask” (in this sense, Psalm 109:10).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-20.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

4 At the beginning of the harvest the sluggard plougheth not;

And so when he cometh to the reaping-time there is nothing.

Many translators (Symmachus, Jerome, Luther) and interpreters ( e.g., Rashi, Zצckler) explain: propter frigus ; but חרף is, according to its verbal import, not a synon. of קר and צנּה, but means gathering = the time of gathering (synon. אסיף ), from חרף, carpere ,

(Note: Vid ., Fleischer in Levy's Chald. Wörterbuch, i. 426.)

as harvest, the time of the καρπίζειν, the plucking off of the fruit; but the harvest is the beginning of the old Eastern agricultural year, for in Palestine and Syria the time of ploughing and sowing with the harvest or early rains ( חריף = יורה, Nehemiah 7:24; Ezra 2:18) followed the fruit harvest from October to December. The מן is thus not that of cause but of time. Thus rendered, it may mean the beginning of an event and onwards ( e.g., 1 Samuel 30:25), as well as its termination and onwards (Leviticus 27:17): here of the harvest and its ingathering and onwards. In 4b, the Chethı̂b and Kerı̂ vary as at Proverbs 18:17. The fut . ישׁאל would denote what stands before the sluggard; the perf. שׁאלו places him in the midst of this, and besides has this in its favour, that, interpreted as perf. hypotheticum, it makes the absence of an object to שׁאל more tenable. The Chethı̂b, ושׁאל, is not to be read after Psalms 109:10 : he will beg in harvest - in vain (Jerome, Luther), to which Hitzig well remarks: Why in vain? Amid the joy of harvest people dispense most liberally; and the right time for begging comes later. Hitzig conjecturally arrives at the translation:

“A pannier the sluggard provideth not;

Seeketh to borrow in harvest, and nothing cometh of it.”

But leaving out of view the “pannier,” the meaning “to obtain something as a loan,” which שׁאל from the connection may bear, is here altogether imaginary. Let one imagine to himself an indolent owner of land, who does not trouble himself about the filling and sowing of his fields at the right time and with diligence, but leaves this to his people, who do only as much as is commanded them: such an one asks, when now the harvest-time has come, about the ingathering; but he receives the answer, that the land has lain unploughed, because he had not commanded it to be ploughed. When he asks, there is nothing, he asks in vain ( ואין, as at Proverbs 14:6; Proverbs 13:4). Meîri rightly explains מחרף by מתחלת זמן החרישׁה, and 4b by: “so then, when he asks at harvest time, he will find nothing;” on the other hand, the lxx and Aram. think on חרף, carpere conviciis , as also in Codd. here and there is found the meaningless מחרף .

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-20.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

See here the evil of slothfulness and the love of ease. 1. It keeps men from the most necessary business, from ploughing and sowing when the season is: The sluggard has ground to occupy, and has ability for it; he can plough, but he will not; some excuse or other he has to shift it off, but the true reason is that it is cold weather. Though ploughing time is not in the depth of winter, it is in the borders of winter, when he thinks it too cold for him to be abroad. Those are scandalously sluggish who, in the way of their business, cannot find in their hearts to undergo so little toil as that of ploughing and so little hardship as that of a cold blast. Thus careless are many in the affairs of their souls; a trifling difficulty will frighten them from the most important duty; but good soldiers must endure hardness. 2. Thereby it deprives them of the most necessary supports: Those that will not plough in seed-time cannot expect to reap in harvest; and therefore they must beg their bread with astonishment when the diligent are bringing home their sheaves with joy. He that will not submit to the labour of ploughing must submit to the shame of begging. They shall beg in harvest, and yet have nothing; no, not then when there is great plenty. Though it may be charity to relieve sluggards, yet a man may, in justice, not relieve them; they deserve to be left to starve. Those that would not provide oil in their vessels begged when the bridegroom came, and were denied.

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Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-20.html. 1706.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; [therefore] shall he beg in harvest, and [have] nothing.

Ver. 4. The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold.] So the spiritual sluggard either dreams of a delicacy in the ways of God, which is a great vanity; or else, if heaven be not to be had without the hardship of holiness, Christ may keep his heaven to himself. The young man in the gospel went away grieved that Christ required such things that he could not be willing to yield to. [Matthew 19:22] The Hebrews have a common proverb among them: He that on the even of the Sabbath hath not gathered what to eat, shall not at all eat on the Sabbath; meaning thereby that none shall reign in heaven that hath not wrought on earth. "Man goeth forth," saith the Psalmist, "to his work, and to his labour until the evening." [Psalms 104:23] So till the sun of his life be set, he must be working out his salvation. "This is to work the work of him that sent us," as our Saviour did. Which expression of "working a work": notes his strong intention upon it, as "to devise devices," [Jeremiah 18:18] notes strong plotting to mischief the prophet. So "with a desire have I desired," &c.; [Luke 22:15] "yea, how am I straitened, till it be accomplished" [Luke 12:50] Lo, Christ thirsteth exceedingly after our salvation, though he knew it should cost him so dear. Is not this check to our dulness and sloth?

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-20.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 4. The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold, the disagreeable weather furnishing him a welcome excuse to keep him from tilling the soil; therefore shall he beg in harvest and have nothing, that is, when he looks for grain in the season of harvest, his field has borne none, that being the reward of sloth.

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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-20.html. 1921-23.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 800

THE CONSEQUENCE OF SLOTH

Proverbs 20:4. The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold: therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

ARGUMENTS from analogy, when the analogy itself is just, are easy of apprehension, and well calculated to convince the mind: and one distinguished excellence of the Book of Proverbs is. that it abounds with such arguments: and without any formal statement of premises and conclusions, presents the truth to us in short, sententious aphorisms, that are plain, obvious, incontrovertible. Whoever has made the least observation on human affairs, must have seen the evil consequences of neglecting our proper business in life, whether in husbandry, or trade, or any other line: and it is easy to infer from thence, that similar consequences must attend a neglect of our Christian duties. Nor is it necessary that this analogy should be always pointed out to us: the whole scope of that divinely inspired book naturally leads us to make a spiritual improvement of the hints, which, in their literal sense, apply only to the things of this life.

Let us then in this view consider,

I. The sluggard’s conduct—

The duties both of the husbandman and the Christian require industry—

[It was a part of the curse introduced by sin, that man should obtain his bread by the sweat of his brow: nor will the earth yield us any thing but briers and thorns. unless we bestow much pains in the cultivation of it. Our attention to it must be unremitted: it is not the labour of a month or a year that will suffice: we must repeat again and again the same processes, in order to guard against the noxious weeds that would overrun it, and cherish the good seed, which we want it to produce. Thus also must the Christian exert himself in order to bring forth the fruits of righteousness. His heart is prolific in what is evil, but barren in what is good: he must therefore daily counteract its natural propensities, and foster the holy desires that have been sown in it. The same work of repentance and faith must be continually renewed, till the Lord himself shall come to gather in his harvest.]

Yet are we ever ready to neglect our work on frivolous pretences—

[A regard to temporal interest will often overcome men’s natural sloth, and excite them to diligence in their several vocations. Yet are there many instances, where the indulgence of sloth makes men blind to their own happiness, and deaf to the cries of their distressed families. With respect to spiritual concerns, an indisposition to labour universally prevails. The work of the soul is irksome and difficult; and every one either deems it altogether unnecessary, or desires to defer it as long as possible. But it is observable that the sluggard does not absolutely say, “I hate my work, and therefore will not do it;” much less does he say, “I am determined never to plough at all:” but he finds some excuse for neglecting what he is averse to perform; and fixes on some plea, which, in certain circumstances and to a certain extent, might be sufficient. Thus the Christian does not say, “I hate repentance and faith in Christ; much less does he resolve never to repent and believe: but he always has some reason at hand for deferring this unpleasant work, and promises himself a more convenient season, before the time for ploughing; be entirely passed away. He has the cares of a family, or a pressure of business, or something that serves him for an excuse: but, upon examination, it will either be found a mere excuse, or a reason, on which he lays a very improper stress; making use of it to justify a total and habitual neglect, when, at the most, it would only account for a partial and occasional omission. But as a husbandman who should yield to such a disposition, is denominated by God himself, “a sluggard,” so we are sure, that he, who on such frivolous pretexts intermits his Christian duties, will receive no better appellation at the day of judgment than that of a “wicked and slothful servant.”]

But in whomsoever such conduct is found, he will at last have reason to deplore,

II. The consequences of it—

As industry and wealth, so idleness and want, are very closely connected—

[Circumstances occur in this world to interrupt the natural operation of causes and effects: but in general, where any man’s subsistence depends upon his labour, the consequences of sloth or activity will be such as might be expected. In spiritual things the rule is absolute and invariable. Every man’s progress will be according to his labour. Some indeed may enjoy more of comfort than others, from other causes than their own diligence: but every person’s real proficiency in grace will be proportioned to the improvement he makes of the talents committed to him: without detracting at all from the grace of God, we may safely affirm, that the difference between one Christian and another in respect of victory over sin, and happiness in the divine life, must be traced in a very great measure to their different degrees of watchfulness in secret duties.]

This truth however will not appear in its full extent till the day of judgment—

[At the time of harvest the care or negligence of the husbandman will very clearly appear; and, if we should suppose a man to have wholly neglected the cultivation of his fields, he would find himself destitute, while others were satiated with abundance: nor, if he were reduced to beggary, would he find any one to pity his forlorn condition. But his situation, deplorable as it would be, is not to be compared with that of a negligent Christian in the day of judgment. He will see others reaping a glorious harvest, while he is not permitted even to glean an ear: he will behold others “crowned with glory and honour and immortality.” while nothing remains for him but “indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish.” The foolish virgins, who slept while they should have been procuring oil for their lamps, came and pleaded in vain for admittance, when the door was once shut against them: none but the wise virgins were suffered to participate the nuptial feast. In the same manner, the Rich Man, who lived only to the flesh, sought in vain for one drop of water to mitigate his anguish, while Lazarus, who had lived to nobler purposes, had a fulness of joy in Abraham’s bosom. Thus also will it be with all, when the great harvest shall arrive: they, who had improved their season of grace, will be partakers of glory; while they, who had wasted it in sloth and self-indulgence, will reap the fruits of their folly, in deserved shame, in perpetual want, in unalleviated, unpitied, everlasting misery.]

Application—

1. Let us, in the view of this subject, take shame to ourselves—

[How long has our season of grace been protracted: and what little improvement have we made of it! How apt are we to yield to sloth, and to defer the most important of all duties on slight and frivolous pretences, which we know beforehand will never satisfy our Judge! But what can ever equal this folly? A sluggard in temporal things may find some one to pity his distress; and may learn from his experience to amend. But who will ever pity the self-ruined sinner? Or what further opportunity for amendment will be afforded him? Let us then begin, and prosecute without remission, the work of our souls. Let us “plow up the fallow ground, and sow in righteousness,” knowing assuredly, that “the diligent hand shall make us rich,” and that, “if we sow in tears we shall reap in joy.”]

2. Let us look forward with earnestness to the future harvest—

[The husbandman waits with patience, in expectation that the harvest will compensate his labours. And will not our harvest repay all the exertions we can use, and all the self-denial we can exercise? Let us then put forth all the energies of our souls in preparing for that day. Let us not suffer any difficulties or discouragements to abate our ardour; but “whatever our our hand findeth to do, let us do it with our might,” “and so much the more as we see the day approaching.”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/proverbs-20.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

By reason of the cold of the ploughing season, which is in autumn and towards winter. He hates and avoids all laborious and difficult work, although his own necessity and interest oblige him to it.

And have nothing; and not obtain an alms; not in that time of plenty and bounty, because men’s hearts are justly hardened against that man who by his own sloth and wilfulness hath brought himself to want.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-20.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.Not plough by reason of the cold , (mehhoreph.) The word without the prefix means, the autumn, which is made also to include winter. In Palestine the people begin ploughing in September, and sow their early wheat by the middle of October. Very cold days meantime may occur, with wind, rain, and sleet, but there is seldom a long season of cold weather. There are two important lessons in this proverb. First, An indolent man is deterred by the smallest difficulty from undertaking the most needed work; secondly, He who neglects the work appropriate to the season will suffer the most serious consequences. The principle has its application to the whole of this life, as well as to the particular parts of it. Life is the seed-time, the future life, the harvest. See Land and Book, vol.207. Comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-20.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 20:4. The sluggard will not plough by reason of cold — The cold of the ploughing season, being in the latter end of autumn, and toward winter, or early in the spring. He hates and avoids all laborious and difficult work, although his own necessity and interest oblige him to do it; therefore shall he beg, and have nothing — And not obtain any alms; not even in harvest, that time of plenty and bounty, because men’s hearts are justly hardened against that man, who, by his own sloth and wilfulness, hath brought himself to want.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-20.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

plow. Plowing always done during the early rains.

cold = autumn. Put by Figure of speech Metalepsis, "cold" put for Autumn, and "Autumn" put for abundance of fruits possessed at that time.

Therefore. This word is read in the text in some codices, with five early printed editions.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold - Hebrew, the winter. Disinclination is never in want of excuses. Small difficulties are great to the lazy.

(Therefore) shall he beg in harvest, and (have) nothing. He who will, not plow shall not reap. The Hebrews say, 'He who hath not prepared on the eve of the Sabbath shall not eat on the Sabbath.' Religion now costs something, but the want of it shall hereafter cost infinitely more. 'The shrinking from the cold is the avoiding the cross' (Melancthon).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-20.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
sluggard
10:4; 19:15,24; 26:13-16
cold
or, winter. therefore.
6:10,11; 19:15; 24:34; Matthew 25:3-10,24-28; 2 Peter 1:5-11
Reciprocal: Exodus 16:27 - and they found none;  Proverbs 6:6 - thou;  Proverbs 21:25 - GeneralProverbs 24:31 - and the;  Ecclesiastes 4:5 - fool;  Ecclesiastes 10:18 - GeneralEcclesiastes 11:4 - GeneralLuke 16:3 - to beg;  2 Thessalonians 3:10 - that

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-20.html.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Посмотрите, каким злом является лень и любовь к праздности.

1. Она удерживает людей от самого необходимого занятия – от занятия земледелием, когда для этого приходит время. Ленивец имеет землю и может выращивать на ней хлеб; он может возделывать ее, но не пашет, находя те или иные отговорки, чтобы избежать этого занятия, но истинная причина заключается в том, что холодно (англ.пер.). Хотя зимой не пашут, но в преддверье весны, когда ленивец считает, что на улице лишком холодно, этим можно заниматься. Но тот, кто ради благополучия своего бизнеса не может в сердце найти желания немного поработать и вспахать землю, кто не готов немного пострадать от холодного ветра, тот является позорным лентяем. Так же беспечны многие люди в вопросах собственной души; незначительные трудности отпугивают их от самого важного долга, но хорошие солдаты должны уметь переносить лишения.

2. Она лишает их самых необходимых средств. Кто не пашет во время сева, тот может не готовиться пожинать во время сбора урожая; из-за этого ему придется выпрашивать для себя хлеб, когда усердные земледельцы с радостью принесут домой снопы. Тот, кто не желает заниматься земледелием, будет вынужден с позором попрошайничать. Ему придется просить во время сбора урожая, но он ничего не получит (англ.пер.), даже если будет изобилие всего. Хотя из благотворительности можно помогать ленивцам, но по справедливости им можно не помогать; они заслуживают голодной смерти. Девы, не обеспечившие себя маслом в сосудах, просили его, когда пришел жених, и им было отказано.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
>
>on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-20.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business.

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.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
>
>on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-20.html. 1706.