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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:27

 

 

A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting - Because he is a slothful man, he does not hunt for prey; therefore gets none, and cannot roast, that he may eat. There is some obscurity in the original on which the versions cast little light. Coverdale translates the whole verse thus: "A discreatfull man schal fynde no vauntage: but he that is content with what he hath, is more worth than golde." My old MS. Bible: The gylful man schal not fynd wynnynge: and the substance of a man schal ben the pris of gold.

By translating hymr remiyah the deceitful, instead of the slothful man, which appears to be the genuine meaning of the word, we may obtain a good sense, as the Vulgate has done: "The deceitful man shall not find gain; but the substance of a (just) man shall be the price of gold." But our common version, allowing hymr remiyah to be translated fraudulent, which is its proper meaning, gives the best sense: "The fraudulent man roasteth not that which he took in hunting," the justice of God snatching from his mouth what he had acquired unrighteously.

But the substance of a diligent man - One who by honest industry acquires all his property - is precious, because it has the blessing of God in it.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The word rendered “roasteth” occurs nowhere else; but the interpretation of the King James Version is widely adopted. Others render the first clause thus: “The slothful man will not secure (keep in his net) what he takes in hunting,” i. e., will let whatever he gains slip from his hands through want of effort and attention.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-12.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 12:27

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting.

Indolence

Most hunters have the game they shot or entrapped cooked the same evening or the next day, but not so with this laggard of the text. Too lazy to rip off the hide; too lazy to kindle the fire, and put the gridiron on the coals. What are the causes of laziness, and what are its evil results?

1. Indolence often arises from the natural temperament. I do not know but that there is a constitutional tendency to this vice in every man. Some are very powerfully handicapped by this constitutional tendency.

2. Indolence is often a result of easy circumstances. Rough experience in earlier life seems to be necessary in order to make a man active and enterprising.

3. Another cause of indolence is severe discouragement. There are those around us who started life with the most sanguine expectation; but some sudden and overwhelming misfortune met them, and henceforth they have been inactive. Trouble, instead of making them more determined, has overthrown them. They have lost all self-reliance. They imagine that all men and all occurrences are against them! You cannot rouse them to action. Every great financial panic produces a large crop of such men.

4. Reverie is a cause of indolence. There are multitudes of men who expect to achieve great success in life, who are entirely unwilling to put forth any physical, moral, or intellectual effort. They have a great many eloquent theories of life. They pass their life in dreaming. Let no young man begin life with reverie. There is nothing accomplished without hard work. Do not in idleness expect something to turn up. It will turn down. Indolence and wickedness always make bad luck.

5. Bad habits are a fruitful source of indolence. Sinful indulgences shut a man’s shop, and dull his tools, and steal his profits. Dissoluteness is generally the end of industry. What are the results of indolence? A marked consequence of this vice is physical disease. The healthiness of the whole natural world depends upon activity. And indolence endangers the soul. Satan makes his chief conquests over men who either have nothing to do, or, if they have, refuse to do it. Idleness not only leads a man into associations which harm his morals, but often thrusts upon him the worst kind of scepticism. Loafers are almost always infidels, or fast getting to be such. I never knew a man given up to thorough idleness that was converted. Let me tell the idler that there is no hope for him either in this world or in the world that is to come. (T. De Witt Talmage.)

Labour as enhancing the relative value of a man’s possession

This applies to many things.

I. To material wealth.

II. To social position.

III. To civil liberty.

IV. To religious privileges. (Homilist.)

The castle of indolence

Thomson wrote a poem by this title. He locates the castle in a dreamy land, where every sense is steeped in the most luxurious though enervating delights. The lord of the castle was a powerful enchanter, who, by his arts, enticed thoughtless travellers within the gate, that he might destroy their strength and ruin their hopes by a ceaseless round of voluptuous pleasures.

The slothful man

1. The lazy man goes hunting. Some are full of the most bustling activity. An old mathematical professor was wont to define work as “steadily overcoming resistance occurring along a fixed line.” An intermittent, changing activity manifestly fails to answer the requirements of this definition.

2. The slothful man catches game when he does go hunting. Not only does he act, but he does things. But his slothfulness is made manifest in this: though he be effective, he is not efficient; for--

3. He is too lazy to cook what he does catch. The excitement of the chase is over, he is weary with dragging home his game, so the gun goes into one corner and the game into another, while the man proceeds--with a celerity which would be praiseworthy were it rightly applied--to forget all about it. He waits for the next excitement. His activity has procured no benefits to himself or any one else. There are many people who lose their labour through a disinclination to put the finishing touch to their work. Under excitement they secure certain results, which, if gathered up and made permanent, would be of immense value. But then they get weary, indifferent. They let things slide--to use an expression of the populace. All they have done gradually undoes itself. For lack of but one stone--the keystone--the arch falls. This is the application: When you commence a thing, cease not until you have gathered up the results of your labour in some form of practical and present benefit to your fellow-men. (D. C. Gilmore.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 12:27". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting; But the precious substance of men is to the diligent."

"The slothful man will not catch his prey, but the diligent man will get precious wealth."[38] This, of course, is another `guess,' based upon the uncertainty of the Hebrew text.


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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 12:27". "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 slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting,.... Because he takes none. The slothful man takes no pains to get anything for a livelihood, by hunting or otherwise; and though he loves to live well, and eat roast meat, yet what he roasts is not what he has got himself, but what another has laboured for. It is observedF15Vid. Schindler. Lexic. col. 653. that fowlers burn the wings of birds taken by them, that they may not fly away; to which the allusion may be. Or, "the deceitful"F16רמיה "vir dolosus", Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "fraudulentus", Montanus. man, as it may be rendered; though he may get much in a fraudulent way, yet it does not prosper with him, he does not enjoy it; it is taken away from him before he can partake of it, or receive any comfort from it, or advantage by it; just as a man that has took anything in hunting, he cannot keep it; it is taken away from him, perhaps by a dog or some man, before he can roast it, and make it fit for eating. Ben Melech, from Joseph Kimchi, observes, that fowlers, when they catch fowls, burn the top of their wings, that they may not fly away at once; and they do not cut their wings off, that they may be left, and appear beautiful to them that buy them: but the slothful or deceitful man does not let the fowl remain in his hands till he burns it; for before that it flies out of his hands, and it is lost to him; which is figuratively to be understood of riches and wealth, gathered by violence and deceit, and lost suddenly. What is ill gotten does not spend well; it does not last long, it is presently gone; there is no true enjoyment of it. Or he will not shut it up within latticesF17Vid. Stockium, p. 388. and reserve it, but spend it directly; see Song of Solomon 2:9;

but the substance of a diligent man is precious; what is gotten by industry and diligence, and in an honest way, is valuable; it comes with a blessing; there is comfort in the enjoyment of it, and it continues. Some render it, "the substance of a precious man is gold"F18הון אדם יקר חרוץ "substantia hominis pretiosi est aurum", De Dieu, so some in Mercerus; "substantia hominis praestantis est aurum", Gussetius, p. 255. ; so the Targum,

"the substance of a man is precious gold;'

and to the same purpose the Vulgate Latin version: a diligent man grows rich; and what he gets spends well, and his substance is daily increasing.


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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 12:27". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The slothful [man] roasteth not that which he m took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man [is] precious.

(m) Although he gets much by unlawful means, yet he will not spend it on himself.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Compare Proverbs 12:24).

took in hunting — or, “his venison.” He does not improve his advantages.

the substance … precious — or, “the wealth of a man of honor is being diligent,” or “diligence.”

precious — literally, “honor” (Ecclesiastes 10:1).


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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 12:27". "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

27 The slothful pursues not his prey;

But a precious possession of a man is diligence.

The lxx, Syr., Targ., and Jerome render יחרך in the sense of obtaining or catching, but the verbal stem חרך nowhere has this meaning. When Fleischer remarks, חרך , ἅπ. λεγ. , probably like לכד , properly to entangle in a noose, a net, he supports his opinion by reference to חרכּים , which signifies lattice-windows, properly, woven or knitted like a net. But חרך , whence this חרכים , appears to be equivalent to the Arab. kharḳ , fissura , so that the plur. gives the idea of a manifoldly divided (lattice-like, trellis-formed) window. The Jewish lexicographers (Menahem, Abulwalîd, Parchon, also Juda b. Koreish) all aim at that which is in accord with the meaning of the Aram. חרך , to singe, to roast (= Arab. ḥark ): the slothful roasteth not his prey, whether (as Fürst presents it) because he is too lazy to hunt for it (Berth.), or because when he has it he prepares it not for enjoyment (Ewald). But to roast is צלה , not דרך , which is used only of singeing, e.g. , the hair, and roasting, e.g. , ears of corn, but not of the roasting of flesh, for which reason Joseph Kimchi ( vid ., Kimchi's Lex .) understands צידו of wild fowls, and יחרך of the singeing of the tips of the wings, so that they cannot fly away, according to which the Venet . translates οὐ μενεῖ ... ἡ θήρα αὐτοῦ . Thus the Arab. must often help to a right interpretation of the ἅπ. λεγ. . Schultens is right: Verbum ḥarak , חרך , apud Arabes est movere, ciere, excitare , κινεῖν generatim, et speciatim excitare praedam e cubili , κινεῖν τήν θήραν . The Lat. agitare , used of the frightening up and driving forth of wild beasts, corresponds with the idea here, as e.g. , used by Ovid, Metam. x. 538, of Diana:

Aut pronos lepores aue celsum in cornua cervum

Aut agitat damas .

Thus יחרך together with צידו gains the meaning of hunting, and generally of catching the prey. רמיּה is here incarnate slothfulness, and thus without ellipse equivalent to אישׁ רמיה . That in the contrasted clause חרוץ does not mean ἀποτόμως , decreed (Löwenstein), nor gold (Targ., Jerome, Venet .), nor that which is excellent (Syr.), is manifest from this contrast as well as from Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 12:24. The clause has from its sequence of words something striking about it. The lxx placed the words in a difference order: κτῆμα δὲ τίμιον ἀνὴρ καθαρὸς ( חלוץ in the sense of Arab. khâlaṣ ). But besides this transposition, two others have been tried: הון אדם חרוץ יקר , the possession of an industrious man is precious, and הון יקר אדם חרוץ , a precious possession is that (supply הון ) of an industrious man. But the traditional arrangement of the words gives a better meaning than these modifications. It is not, however, to be explained, with Ewald and Bertheau: a precious treasure of a man is one who is industrious, for why should the industrious man be thought of as a worker for another and not for himself? Another explanation advanced by Kimchi: a valuable possession to men is industry, has the twofold advantage that it is according to the existing sequence of the words, and presents a more intelligible thought. But can חרוּץ have the meaning of חריצוּת (the being industrious)? Hitzig reads חרוץ , to make haste (to be industrious). This is unnecessary, for we have here a case similar to Proverbs 10:17, where שׁמר for שׁומר is to be expected: a precious possession of a man is it that, or when, he is industrious, חרוּץ briefly for היותו חרוּץ rof yl . The accentuation fluctuates between והון־אדם יקר (so e.g. , Cod. 1294), according to which the Targum translates, and והון־אדם יקר , which, according to our explanation, is to be preferred.


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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 12:27". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Here is, 1. That which may make us hate slothfulness and deceit, for the word here, as before, signifies both: The slothful deceitful man has roast meat, but that which he roasts is not what he himself took in hunting, no, it is what others took pains for, and he lives upon the fruit of their labours, like the drones in the hive. Or, if slothful deceitful men have taken any thing by hunting (as sportsmen are seldom men of business), yet they do not roast it when they have taken it; they have no comfort in the enjoyment of it; perhaps God in his providence cuts them short of it. 2. That which may make us in love with industry and honesty, that the substance of a diligent man, though it be not great perhaps, is yet precious. It comes from the blessing of God; he has comfort in it; it does him good, and his family. It is his own daily bread, not bread out of other people's mouths, and therefore he sees God gives it to him in answer to his prayer.


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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 12:27". "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

The slothful man makes no good use of the advantages Providence puts in his way, and has no comfort in them. The substance of a diligent man, though not great, does good to him and his family. He sees that God gives it to him in answer to prayer.


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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 12:27". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

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

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

Resteth not — Does not enjoy the fruit of his labours.

Precious — Yields him comfort and blessing with it.


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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
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-12.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

DEFECTIVE ENERGY

‘The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting.’

Proverbs 12:27

I. The lazy man goes hunting.—Some are full of the most bustling activity. An old mathematical professor was wont to define work as ‘steadily overcoming resistance occurring along a fixed line.’ An intermittent, changing activity manifestly fails to answer the requirements of this definition.

II. The slothful man catches game when he does go hunting.—Not only does he act, but he does things. But his slothfulness i made manifest in this: though he be effective, he is not efficient for

III. He is too lazy to cook what he does catch.—The excitement of the chase is over, he is weary with dragging home his game, so the gun goes into one corner and the game into another, while the man proceeds—with a celerity which would be praiseworthy were it rightly applied—to forget all about it. He waits for the next excitement. His activity has procured no benefits to himself or any one else. There be many people who lose their labour through a disinclination to put the finishing touch to their work. Under excitement they secure certain results, which, if gathered up and made permanent, would be of immense value. But then they get weary, indifferent. They let things slide—to use an expression of the populace. All they have done gradually undoes itself. For lack of but one stone—the keystone—the arch falls. This is the application. When you commence a thing, cease not until you have gathered up the results of your labour in some form of practical and present benefit to your fellow-men.

Illustration

‘Sloth is one of the worst evils of life. Those two lines of Watts’s, “Satan finds some mischief still For idle hands to do,” are applicable to those of older growth.

‘Sloth, by bringing on disease, shortens life. Like rust, it consumes faster than wear or tear. What a hard task it would be thought if the Church insisted upon its members giving one-tenth of their time to work!’

‘The sluggard desires to be very religious, looks for reward, hopes for heaven, but only desires. Is this rational? Apply the same to your worldly affairs in the race for wealth, chase for honours, etc. You laugh with scorn.’

‘Alas! that the religion of so many should consist of desires. They would fain see God’s kingdom extended, they would like to hear of children being converted, brought into the Church; but never do they put out their hand to help.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/proverbs-12.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:27 The slothful [man] roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man [is] precious.

Ver. 27. The slothful (or deceitful) man roasteth not that which he took in hunting.] He shall never enjoy his evil gotten goods; but "though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay, he may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver." [Job 27:16-17] I read of a dishonest butcher that, having stolen an ox and caused it to be dressed on his wedding day, was on that very day apprehended, and not long after executed. I read of Tecelius, the Pope’s pardon monger in Germany, that having by sale of indulgences scraped together a huge amount of money, and returning for Rome, he was met, and eased of his cash by an odd fellow, who being afterwards prosecuted for a felon, produced a pardon for future sins granted him by Tecelius himself, and being thereupon acquitted by the judge he roasted that which that other old fox had taken in hunting.

But the substance of a diligent man is precious.] Great in value, whatsoever it be in quantity; as a small boxful of pearls is more worth than mountains of pebbles. [Psalms 37:16 Proverbs 15:16; Proverbs 12:2] The house of the righteous hath much treasure; though there be but curta suppellex, res augusta dotal, he is without that care in getting, fear in keeping, grief in losing, - those three fell vultures that feed continually on the heart of the rich worldling, and dissweeten all his comforts. Jabal that dwelt in tents, and tended the herds, had Jubal to his brother, the father of music. Jabal and Jubal, diligence and complacence, good husbandry and a well contenting sufficiency, dwell usually together.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 27. The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting, literally, "catcheth not his prey," being too lazy to make use of his opportunities; but the substance of a diligent man is precious, his industry is a valuable possession and grasps the opportunities offered him.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 12:27. The slothful man roasteth not, &c.— Schultens thinks this verse parallel to the 4th verse of the 10th chapter; and he renders it, A self-deceiving sloth will not even hunt; but the opulence of a diligent man is great. See his note. The LXX render the last clause, A pure man is a precious acquisition. The author of the Observations remarks, that there is something particular in the word חרךֶ charak, used in this passage of Solomon; which is not the word commonly used for roasting, but signifies rather singeing; as appears from Daniel 3:27. No author, I think, gives us an account what this should mean, understood in this sense. Besides wild boars, antelopes, and hares, which are particularly mentioned by D'Arveaux, when he speaks of the Arabs as diverting themselves with hunting in the Holy Land, Dr. Shaw tells us, all kinds of game are found in great plenty in that country. But I do not remember an account of any thing being prepared for food by singeing, which is taken either in hunting or hawking, except hares; which I have somewhere read of as dressed in the east after this manner. A hole being dug in the ground, and the earth scooped out of it laid all around its edge, the brush-wood with which it is filled is set on fire, the hare is thrown unskinned into the hole, and afterwards covered up with the heated earth which is laid round about it; where it continues till it is thought to be done enough, and then, being brought to table, sprinkled with salt, is found to be agreeable food. See Observations, p. 182 and Miscell. Curios. vol. 3: p. 389. Parkhurst says, that the word חרךֶ charak, which we render roast, signifies "to inclose in lattice-work; to confine in a latticed cage or place, as men do what they take in hunting." He renders it, The deceitful man shall not secure (namely, in lattice-work) his prey.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-12.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The slothful man; or, the deceitful man, as Proverbs 12:24, who seeks to enrich himself by fraudulent and unjust practices.

Roasteth not that which he took in hunting; doth not enjoy the fruit of his labours or devices, either because he doth not labour, and so hath nothing to waste or enjoy; or because God ofttimes deprives him either of such ill-gotten goods, or at least of a quiet and comfortable fruition of them.

Is precious; yields him great comfort and satisfaction, partly because it abides with him, and partly because he hath God’s favour and blessing with it.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". 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

27. The slothful man roasteth not — After a somewhat careful study of this difficult passage, I incline to the following translation: The indolent man shall not “roast,” or catch, prey.

But the substance — Gain, wealth, prey, of a diligent man is precious; therefore, diligence is the best wealth. Muenscher follows the Authorized Version, and illustrates thus: It is the custom in some countries to singe and smoke dry (roast) the game taken, to preserve it. A diligent hunter in this manner preserves his game; while an indolent man, as long as his food lasts, lounges and sleeps in his hut, probably losing half of the animal by not quickly preserving or perfectly smoking it.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The lazy man does not finish his projects; he does not roast and eat the game he has hunted. He throws away his chances for something better by quitting too soon. However, the person who has mastered diligence and finishes his task has a precious tool at his disposal, namely: perseverance.

"I recall hearing some of my student friends say at seminary graduation, "Thank the Lord, no more Greek and Hebrew!" They had spent several years learning to use the Bible languages, and now they were selling their valuable language tools and thereby wasting their gains." [Note: Wiersbe, pp64-65.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-12.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 12:27. The slothful man — Or, the deceitful man, as in Proverbs 12:24, who seeks to enrich himself, not by his industry and diligence, but by fraudulent and unjust practices; roasteth not that which he took in hunting — Is too negligent and slothful to roast, or to take care that others roast, that which he took in hunting; so that he does not enjoy the fruit of his own labour. Or, if he has roast-meat, it is not that which he himself took, in hunting; but others have taken, or procured, for him. He lives upon the fruit of their labours, and not of his own. But the substance of a diligent man is precious — As being the fruit of his own industry, and of the blessing of God upon it: hence he has comfort in the enjoyment of it: it is his own daily bread, which God gives him in answer to his prayers, and not bread, so to speak, out of other people’s mouths.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Gain. Hebrew and Septuagint, "his prey," (Calmet) or what "he took in hunting." (Protestants) (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

roasteth not, &c. = starteth not his game (see the Oxford Gesenius).

substance: i.e. that which the diligent man "starts" and obtains is substantial. The proverb is not "humorous".


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

The slothful (man) roasteth not that which he took in hunting. The Hebrew for "roasteth" [ chaarak (Hebrew #2760)] does not occur in this sense elsewhere. In the Chaldee, in which Daniel 3:27 is written, it is found in this sense. The slothful man cloth not take in hunting anything to roast; for hunting would require labour, which he dislikes. Jacob acted the part of such a slothful man, who is also a deceitful man (Proverbs 12:24, note), when he roasted for his father that which he had not taken in hunting, and deceived him. Fuller ('Miscellanea') takes the Hebrew from the kindred word karakim, 'lattice,' or enclosure-work within which the wild beasts were caught (cf. the Hebrew, Song of Solomon 2:9). The Septuagint confirm this [ouk epiteuxetai theeran], 'Shall not obtain prey in hunting.' So the Vulgate Chaldaic, Syriac, Arabic. Ewald, from the Arabic, supports the English version.

But the substance of a diligent man (is) precious - `but precious substance (will be the portion) of a diligent man.' Like a successful hunter by his "diligent" labour ensures "precious substance," which he both takes and permanently enjoys. DeDieu takes the words in their Hebrew order, thus-`But the substance of a precious man is gold' (as the Hebrew, chaaruwts (Hebrew #2742), English version, "diligent," may also mean). I prefer the English version.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "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

(27) The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting.—Or, does not net, (i.e., secure) his prey; but a valuable possession to a man is diligence.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
slothful
13:4; 23:2; 26:15
but
15:16; 16:8; Psalms 37:16

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . The word translated roast does not occur in this sense elsewhere. In the Chaldee of Dan 3:27, it is used in this sense. It may be read "catcheth not his prey." The second clause should be, "a precious treasure is diligence," or "a diligent man."

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

I. Even the slothful man may be sometimes roused to activity. He is here represented as having made an effort, he has "taken spoil in hunting." There are probably few men who are not sometimes roused to exertion, who do not every now and then make a start towards an industrious life, but they lack perseverance, they do not let one act of industry follow upon another so as to form industrious habits. Therefore—

II. The slothful man loses by negligence what he has gained. "He roasteth not that which he took in hunting." He is too lazy to finish his work. He neutralises the one action by neglecting to perform the other. The food that he has taken is wasted because he is too lazy to roast it, and therefore he might as well have remained idle altogether.

III. He may thus rob an industrious man. The game which he has taken and wasted might have fallen into better hands. Another man might have taken it and put it to a good use. A man has no right thus to deprive another of what he is too lazy to put to a good use himself.

IV. A diligent habit of life is a fortune in itself.

1. It is a possession of which a man cannot be robbed by any of the mischances of life. A habit is a second nature, and if a man has once acquired the habit of a diligent improvement of his time and opportunities, he can no more lose it than he can his identity. It can be touched by no rise or fall of the market, nor affected by any commercial panic. If he is rich, he will be diligent, and if he become poor he will make the most of what still remains to him.

2. It is a source of continual satisfaction. God has made man for work, and a rightly constituted mind is never so happy as when all its powers are actively employed. It is a great source of consolation in times of sorrow to have acquired industrious, active habits, for they often help a man to forget, or to rise above his trials.

3. It makes a man, in one respect, an imitator of God. The Eternal Ruler of the universe is ever active; diligence is one of His attributes. It is the boast of the Hebrew prophet, concerning the everlasting God, that "He fainteth not, neither is weary" (Isa ). Christ declares that He and His Father are unceasing in their activities: "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (Joh 5:17).

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

What a diligent man gains becomes, in his hands, precious by the use he makes of it. It is the means of further increase. And his substance becomes "precious" to others as well as to himself. It is industriously, profitably, benevolently used. In this lies the true value of a man's substance;—not in the acquisition, but in the use.—Wardlaw.

By translating remiyah the deceitful, instead of the slothful man, which appears to be the genuine meaning of the word, we may obtain a good sense, as the Vulgate has done. "The deceitful man shall not find gain, but the substance of a (just) man shall be the price of gold." But our version, allowing remiyah to be translated fraudulent, gives the best sense. "The fraudulent man roasteth not that which he took in hunting," the justice of God snatching from him what he had acquired unrighteously. Coverdale translates "A dis-creatfull man schal fynde no vauntage: but he that is content with what he hath, is more worth than golde."—A. Clarke.

The substance of a diligent man is great in value, whatsoever it be in quantity, as a small boxful of pearls is more worth than mountains of pebbles. The house of the righteous hath much treasure. He is without that care in getting, fear in keeping, grief in losing—those three fell vultures that feed continually on the heart of the rich worldling, and dis-sweeten all his comforts. Jabal, that dwelt in tents, and tended the herds, had Jubal to his brother, the father of music. Jabal and Jubal, diligence and complacence, good husbandry and a well-contenting sufficiency, dwell usually together.—Trapp.

Is not this a graphical picture of the slothful professor? He will take up religion under strong excitement. He begins a new course, and perhaps makes some advance in it. But, "having no root in himself," his good frames and resolutions wither away (Mat ). The continued exertion required, the violence that must be done to his deep-rooted habits, the difficulties in his new path, the invitations to present ease, all hang as a weight upon his efforts.… No present blessing can be enjoyed without grasping something beyond (Php 3:12-14). Godliness without energy loses its full reward (2Jn 1:8).—Bridges.

The impenitent, who wait for something to turn up, are the same type of lazy people as love hunting and fishing better than more regular labour. The wise man goes to the root and says, There are no such hunting gains in the spiritual world. He goes further. He seems to remind his reader that character is all that will be left for a man at the last. He seems to imply that man will bring home from his hunt nothing but "his laziness," and would ask whether one can "roast" that like a quail or a duck. And though we start at such horrible absurdity, yet it brings out in keen light a very different possibility for diligence. Diligence can be roasted. It earns for us an eternal heaven, and yet, for all it gets, it is itself our richest dainty. "One cannot roast laziness as something he has taken in the chase; but a precious treasure of a man is a diligent one." It is tantalising to come so near other and important renderings. Many see very plausibly a meaning like this: The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting" (so far the English version), meaning that he is wasteful, and suffers what he has actually now to run to loss; "but the substance of a common man" (making the distinction as in Pro ) "is precious" (that is, made account of, and kept) "by a man of diligence." A sinner throws away treasures; a saint values the very smallest. This would be a fine sense if the verse before meant that the "saint gains from his neighbour." Per contra, though, there are difficulties. "The slothful man" (E.V.) in the Hebrew is the "sloth" or "laziness" itself. And the word is feminine, and must be the object rather than the subject of the verb. The meaning is, that sloth cannot be roasted and eaten, but diligence can.—Miller.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-12.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

Proverbs 12:27

"The substance of a diligent man is precious." — Proverbs 12:27

If the Lord has done anything for our souls by his Spirit and grace, and given us anything to taste, handle, realize, and enjoy for ourselves, we know there is a substance and reality in the things that we believe. Religion is our chief employment; our daily meditation or exercise—the main concern of our thoughts and what lies with the greatest weight upon our minds. And justly so; for it is our all. If we have religion, the religion of God"s giving, it will be uppermost in our heart.

It is true we are surrounded with and often hampered by a body of sin and death; we have many worldly cares and anxieties which will intrude upon our minds; and those engaged in business have many things especially to drag them down from heaven to earth. Still, religion will be for the most part uppermost in a man"s soul, where God has begun and is carrying on a gracious work. Not but what he is often very cold and dead, lifeless in his prayers, and unfeeling in his affections; not but what he may be carried away by the things of time and sense and dragged down into darkness, carnality, and lethargy; but with it all, there is something in his bosom that struggles upward—there is that in his heart which goes after the precious things of Christ, and the solemn realities of eternity.


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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:27". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/proverbs-12.html.

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