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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Idle; Idleness

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ı̄´d ' 50 , ı̄´d ' 50 - nes : Both words, adjective and noun, render different Hebrew words (from עצל , ‛ācēl , "to be lazy," רפה , rāphāh , "to relax," and שׁקט , shāḳaṭ , "to be quiet"). According to the Yahwistic narrative Pharaoh's retort to the complaints of the Israelites was a charge of indolence ( Exodus 5:8 , Exodus 5:17 ). It was a favorite thought of Hebrew wisdom - practical philosophy of life - that indolence inevitably led to poverty and want (Proverbs 19:15 ; Ecclesiastes 10:18 ). The "virtuous woman" was one who would not eat the "bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:27 ). In Ezekiel 16:49 for the King James Version "abundance of idleness," the Revised Version (British and American) has "prosperous ease." In the New Testament "idle" generally renders the Greek word ἀργός , argós , literally, "inactive," "useless" (Matthew 20:3 , Matthew 20:6 ). In Luke 24:11 "idle talk" corresponds to one Greek word which means "empty gossip" or "nonsensical talk."

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Idle; Idleness'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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