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Morrish Bible Dictionary

37 Slow Slothful Idle

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The words βραδύς, νωθρός, and ἀργός have similar meanings. βραδύς occurs but three times in the N.T.; it differs from the other words in that it is used in a good as well as a bad sense, having only reference to time: 'slow,' in the sense of tardy. The Lord said, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken," Luke 24:25 ; but in James 1:19 the exhortation is "be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath."

νωθρός seems to imply more habitual slothfulness. It occurs but twice in the N.T. The Hebrew saints were "dull of hearing" when they ought by diligence to have been teachers, Hebrews 5:11 ; and are exhorted not to be 'slothful,' but followers of those that inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:12 . It occurs once in the LXX: it is not fit that one diligent in business should attend on slothful men, Proverbs 22:29 .

ἀργός (perhaps from ἀεργός, α neg., and ἔργον, 'work') differs from the above in that it is applied to things as well as to persons, and involves blameworthiness. In Matthew 12:36 , "every 'idle' word that men shall speak" will have to be accounted for. It is translated 'idle' in Matthew 20:3,6,6 ; 1 Timothy 5:13,13 . In Titus 1:12 the Cretans are said to be 'slow bellies,' or 'lazy gluttons.' In 2 Peter 1:8 , in "using all diligence . . . . . they would be "neither idle nor unfruitful."

In the LXX ἀργός occurs in 1 Kings 6:7 (11), applied to the stones for the temple, but in what sense is not clear, unless it be that there was no more work to be done upon them. Sir C. Brenton translates 'rough hewn stones.'


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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for '37 Slow Slothful Idle '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/mbd/3/37-slow-slothful-idle.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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