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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:24

 

 

The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be put to forced labor.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule - And why? because by his own industry he is independent; and every such person is respected wherever found.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Under tribute - The comparison is probably suggested by the contrast between the condition of a conquered race (compare Joshua 16:10; Judges 1:30-33), and that of the freedom of their conquerors from such burdens. The proverb indicates that beyond all political divisions of this nature there lies an ethical law. The “slothful” descend inevitably to pauperism and servitude. The prominence of compulsory labor under Solomon 1 Kings 9:21 gives a special significance to the illustration.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-12.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 12:24

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule.

The reward of the diligent

The natural estate of man is labour. Toil was the requirement of paradise. God’s Word recognises the universal law of work. “Toil is prayer”; and the Christian learns from the record of God’s will that honest, faithful, diligent, God-fearing and God-honouring work is itself a worship acceptable to the great All-worker. God enjoins diligence upon us by precept and by example. About us, all things perform their allotment of work, and do it promptly and without a thought of delay. God teaches men by His own ceaseless workings through ten thousand ever-busy forces, and revelation utters the same bidding to unremitting toil. For labour is the tenure of God’s gifts to man. It is thus the requirement of Christian duty that we should not be slothful in business. Promises of reward cluster around the fulfilment of this command. Diligent hands are speedily rendered expert. The diligent hand teaches and trains the wary and observing eye. God works no miracles on behalf of the drones of society. And the hand of the diligent shall bear rule, as Joseph the faithful slave-boy found, and Daniel the captive Hebrew boy. Another reward of the diligent is honour and renown. “He shall stand before kings.” Illustrate by the cases of Benjamin Franklin and William Carey. Learn that sloth and idleness are expressly forbidden; and so is that undue and overwrought exertion which marks the man greedy of gain. Riches are to be valued as means, not as an end. (Bp. Stevens Perry.)

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule

A young man in a leather store used to feel very impatient with his employer for keeping him year after year, for three years, handling hides. But he saw the use of it in his future career, when, in an establishment of his own, he was able to tell by the touch the exact quality of the goods. It was only by the thousands of repetitions that the lesson was learned; and so it is with everything in which we acquire skill. The half-informed, half-skilled in every business outnumber the others, dozens to one. Daniel Webster once replied to a young man who asked him if there was “any room in the legal profession,” “There is always room at the top.” The better you know your business the more you are likely to rise. You can gather much information by making a wise use of your eyes and ears, and perhaps be able to surprise your employer in an emergency by stepping into the “next man’s” place and discharging his duties satisfactorily. So, learn your business, and you will find there is “room at the top.” (Home Words.)

Diligence and its reward

Mr. Chauncey M. Depew tells the story of his visit to the mechanical department of Cornell University. He found at the head of it Professor Morris, who claimed him as a superior officer, giving as a reason that he was an old-time worker on the New York Central Railway. “How did you get here?” asked Depew. “I was stoker on the New York Central. I stood on the footboard as an engineer on the Central. While a locomotive engineer I made up my mind to get an education. I studied at night, and fitted myself for Union College, running all the time with my locomotive. I procured books, and attended, as far as possible, all lectures and recitations. I kept up with my class, and on the day of graduation I left my locomotive, washed up, put on the gown and cap, delivered my thesis, and received my diplomas, put the gown and cap in the closet, put on my working shirt, got on my engine, and made my usual run that day.” “Then,” says Depew, “I knew how he became Professor Morris.” That spirit will cause a man to rise anywhere and in any calling.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 12:24". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"The hand of the diligent shall bear rule; But the slothful shall be put under taskwork."

The mention of taskwork here reminds us that, "Forced labor was Solomon's own inglorious introduction in Israel."[34] We might add that it was also the sin that divided the kingdom and disrupted the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon's son.


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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 12:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule,.... "Shall become rich", so Jarchi interprets it, according to Proverbs 10:4; Through diligence men get riches, and through riches they arrive to power and authority over others: from apprentices and journeymen workmen they become masters of their business; diligent men become masters of families, and have servants and workmen under them; become magistrates in cities, and bear rule over their fellow citizens, and are advanced to places of power and authority in the commonwealth; see Proverbs 22:29;

but the slothful shall be under tribute; the "slothful" or "deceitful hand"F12"Manus fraudulentiae", Michaelis; "dolosa", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Mercerus, Gejerus; "fraudulenta", Tigurine version, Vatablus. , for so it may be rendered and supplied; for usually such who are slothful, and do not care for business, get their living by deceitful methods, by tricking and sharping; and such become subject to others, to them that are diligent; hence said to be "under tribute", or tributary; because those that are tributary are in subjection to those to whom they pay tribute.


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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 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 12:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-12.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

slothful — (Compare Margin), so called because he fails to meet his promises.

under tribute — not denoting legal taxes, but the obligation of dependence.


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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 12:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

We take Proverbs 12:24-28 together as a group. In these verses the subject is the means of rising (in the world), and the two ways, the one of which leads to error, and the other to life.

24 The land of the diligent attains to dominion,

But slothfulness will become tributary.

In Proverbs 10:4 רמיּה was adj., but to כּף standing beside it; here it is to be regarded as adj. to יד (sluggish hand) supplied from 24a, but may be equally regarded as a subst. (slothfulness) ( vid ., at Proverbs 12:27). Regarding חרוּץ , vid ., p. 211. מס signifies tribute and service, i.e. , tributary service rendered to a master. In Proverbs 11:29 עבד stands for it. It is still the experience of to-day, as it was of Solomon's time, that slothfulness (indolence) brings down to a state of servitude, if not even deeper, but that vigorous activity raises to dominion or to the position of a master, i.e. , to independence, wealth, respect, and power.


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Note, 1. Industry is the way to preferment. Solomon advanced Jeroboam because he saw that he was an industrious young man, and minded his business, 1 Kings 11:28. Men that take pains in study and serviceableness will thereby gain such an interest and reputation as will give them a dominion over all about them, by which means many have risen strangely. He that has been faithful in a few things shall be made ruler over many things. The elders, that labour in the word and doctrine, are worthy of double honour; and those that are diligent when they are young will get that which will enable them to rule, and so to rest, when they are old. 2. Knavery is the way to slavery: The slothful and careless, or rather the deceitful (for so the word signifies), shall be under tribute. Those that, because they will not take pains in an honest calling, live by their shifts and arts of dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly, and will be kept under. Those that are diligent and honest when they are apprentices will come to be masters; but those that are otherwise are the fools who, all their days, must be servants to the wise in heart.


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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 12:24". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Those who will not take pains in an honest calling, living by tricks and dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly.


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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. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

Ver. 24. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule,] i.e., It shall make rich, and so get preferment; for, regina pecunia; money bears the mastery, and is a common meddler in most businesses. Agathocles, by his industry, became king of Sicily, Cromwell came to be earl of Essex, Cranmer came to be archbishop of Canterbury, &c.

But the slothful (or deceitful) shall be under tribute.] Cajetan renders it, Dolus erit ad liquefactionem; - Deceitful dealing shall melt to nothing. The same word (a) signifieth both melting and tribute, because too much tribute wastes men’s estates; as when the spleen swells, the rest of the body consumes. King John’s exactors received from his subjects no less sums of curses than of coin. He gathered money, the sinews of war; but lost their affections, the joints of peace. He had a troublesome reign, ill-beloved of his people, and far a less king, only by striving to be more than he was, the just reward of violations; what tribute he paid to the Pope’s legate at his absolution (eight thousand marks, besides other huge sums, insomuch as that John Florentinus, the legate, was nicknamed Ferentinus, for bearing away so much money) I need not here relate. (b) And yet this king was not slothful (for his endless turmoils kept his body still in motion, his mind in passions, and his prowess in use); (c) deceitful, I cannot deny him, in breaking promise with his subjects about their just liberties. But a great part of that blame may well lie upon his court parasites, who suggested, that now he was a king without a kingdom, a lord without a dominion, and a subject to his subjects. Wicked counsellors! as if it were not enough to be above men, but to be above mankind, as those princes would be that would not be under the law.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 24. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, he will reach a position of power and influence; but the slothful shall be under tribute, being obliged to serve, to hold a subordinate position, all his life.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Shall bear rule; shall procure wealth and power.

The slothful, Heb. the deceitful. So he calls the slothful, because deceit and idleness are commonly companions, and such men seek to gain by fraud what they either cannot or will not get by honest labour. Compare Proverbs 10:4.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24. Diligent… bear rule — Diligence procures wealth and promotion; idleness brings poverty and dependence. The word rendered “slothful” also means deceitful, or fraudulent. They are often connected — sloth frequently leading to fraud. In the East a conquered race were compelled to pay heavy taxes, while their conquerors were comparatively free from such burdens. Solomon’s familiarity with this fact may have suggested the illustration here.

Under tribute — “Shall be obliged to serve.” — Zockler. Comp. 1 Kings 9:21-22; Joshua 16:10; Judges 31:30, 33.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 12:24. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule — Industry is the way to preferment. An instance of which we have 1 Kings 11:28, where we learn that Solomon advanced Jeroboam because he saw he was an industrious young man. Men that take pains in an honest employment, and especially those that labour to be useful to others, will thereby gain such an interest and reputation, as will give them a superiority over all about them. Thus many have risen strangely; and he that has been faithful in a few things has been made ruler over many things. And those who are diligent while they are young, frequently procure that wealth and power which enable them to rule, and so to rest, when they are old; but the slothful shall be under tribute — Or, rather, the deceitful, as רמיה signifies. He terms the slothful deceitful, because deceit and idleness are generally companions; and such persons seek to gain by fraud, by their shifts and arts of dishonesty, what they either cannot, or will not, get by honest labour.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-12.html. 1857.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. Diligence shall secure the rule over others; but slothfulness (literally, fraud; cf. Jeremiah 48:10, margin. For they who are slothful often use fraud to save themselves the trouble of labour) brings one under the rule of others.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) Under tribute.—Like the descendants of the Amorites and other former inhabitants of Canaan, by whose forced labour Solomon executed his great works (1 Kings 9:20-21). A Hebrew from poverty might be reduced to slavery (Lev. xxv, 39),


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
hand
10:4; 13:4; 17:2; 22:29; 1 Kings 11:28; 12:20
but
27; 19:15; 21:25,26; 22:13; 24:30-34; 26:13-16
slothful
or, deceitful.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

THE REWARD OF DILIGENCE

I. What is here meant by diligence? It is not being always active, but active in the right direction—active in the right use of talents and opportunities. There is an activity that is worse than idleness, an activity that brings men into contempt and bondage instead of enabling them to rule themselves or others. Men may have great talent and keep it in constant exercise, and yet their diligent use of it may be destroying both themselves and others. A machine that is constructed to work in one direction may be very active in going in the opposite direction—this is worse than if it stood still, for it will certainly work injury to itself, and may do so to other things and to those who have to work it. A thief may be very diligent, but his diligent hand will not bring him to "bear rule." It will probably, in the end, bring him into a most irksome servitude. There was once a Roman Emperor who was very active in catching flies; this was certainly not the diligence which would enable him to bear rule. If a man who is capable of a high and noble work spends his time in a childish and ignoble manner, he is not diligent although he may be very active. Diligence consists not in being very busy, but in being busy in what will build up our own moral nature and, as a necessity, bless our fellow-creatures. Moreover, diligence is not the right exercise of our talent or the wise use of our time at intervals, by fits and starts, but a constant and steady continuance of that exercise and activity.

II. The consequence of such diligence. He who is thus diligent will bear rule over the slothful man—over the man who wastes his time or his talent.

1. This is right. Even the slothful man himself must, in his conscience, feel that he deserves to be ruled by the diligent. The human conscience will not sanction such waste—such a destruction of character, and, while it is allowed to speak at all, will utter its testimony against it. And all impartial judges must concede that it is the just reward of diligence—that, when a man has rightly used that which the Great Ruler of the universe has committed to his trust, it is right that he should receive the award, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things" (Mat ).

2. It is necessary. First, for the slothful man himself. When he is under the rule of a diligent man he is doing better with his life than if he were left to himself; he is compelled to act, whether he will or not, and he has the guidance of the wisdom of another when his slothfulness has prevented him from gaining any of his own. His slothfulness grows greater, and therefore his guilt is increased every day that he is his own master. His powers will become more and more incapable of being exercised the longer they are unused, and the only thing that can save him from being entirely buried in the grave of his own sloth is that he become a servant to a diligent man. Secondly, for humanity in general. A slothful man in power is a curse to society. If he is a husband and father he is a curse to his children; if he is a master he is a curse to his servants, and will endanger their characters and industrious habits. Those who rule ought to be wise, and no slothful man can be a wise man.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

"Diligent;" from a root meaning to cut. Hence the idea of something incisive or decided. The primary idea is promptness or determination. "Sloth;" primarily remissness or what is indecisive. In this world, diligence puts a man at the head. In the eternal world, it will have made the man a king, and made all hell, and of course, all "sloth, under tribute" to him.—Miller.

This was Joseph's road to bearing rule (chap. Pro ). But if it does not raise in the world, it will command in its own sphere. The faithful steward is made ruler over his lord's household (Mat 24:45-47). The active trader bears rule over many cities (Ib. Pro 25:21). Diligence, therefore, is not a moral virtue separate from religion, but rather a component part of it.—Bridges.

The slothful are like Issachar, who saw that the rest was good, and bowed down his shoulder to bear, and became a servant to tribute; by their laziness they expose themselves to want, and reduce themselves to a slavish dependence on those who, through the blessing of God on their own diligence, or on that of their fathers, are in better circumstances. Spiritual sloth weakens men, and exposes them to the spiritual sloth of their spiritual enemies. We must be strong, resolute, and active, if we would escape the tyranny of the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph ).—Lawson.

The comparison is suggested by the contrast common in most ancient monarchies in the east, between the condition of a conquered race, compelled to pay heavy taxes in money or in kind (like the Canaanites in Israel, Jos ; Jud 1:30-33), and that of the freedom of their conquerors from such burdens. The proverb indicates that beyond all political divisions of this nature there lies an ethical law. The "slothful" descend inevitably to pauperism and servitude. The prominence of this compulsory labour under Solomon (1Ki 9:21), gives a special significance to the illustration.—Plumptre.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:24". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-12.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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