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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 26:13

 

 

The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!"

Adam Clarke Commentary

The slothful man saith - See the note on Proverbs 22:13; (note).


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-26.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Compare the marginal reference note. Here there is greater dramatic vividness in the two words used:

(1) A roaring one,

(2) a lion, more specifically.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-26.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 26:13

The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

A lion in the way

The reprehensible sloth of the coward does not appear in what he says, but in what he leaves unsaid. He means, but is ashamed to say, “Because there is a lion in the way, I will shirk my duty.” The brave man says, Though a lion is in the way, I will slay it; anyway I will fight with it and wound it.”

I. “There is a lion in the way.” In what way? In the way of life--of every life. Life, if it is to be a true life, is not an easy thing. There is, indeed, such a thing as a life which is no true life, only a living death. Sloth, self-indulgence, self-abandonment to a besetting sin, caring for nothing but self, and the keeping one’s self miserably alive, to live at ease, to live selfishly, to live for pleasure, all this is to be dead while we live. If you live thus you may for a time live at home quite secure, fearless of the only lions you dread. If, on the other hand, you mean to live for nobler objects than those of shameless selfishness, you too, like Saul, will have to fight with wild beasts at Ephesus or elsewhere. There will be needed the girded loin and the burning lamp, the swift foot, and the sharp sword, and the stout heart, and the strong arm; faith and prayer, and the battle, and the Cross.

2. There are many lions, and not one only. True courage does not consist in the absence of any sense of fear--that may only be due to brute apathy--but it is to feel fear and to overcome it.

I. For the brave, true man there is the lion of the world. We live in days of wonderful, and for some men, pleasant compromises. Religion walks in silver slippers. Good and evil lie flat together, side by side, in amiable neutrality. You may take your choice. If what you are content with is compromise and conventionality, and the broad beaten road, and success and popularity, you may have it for the asking: it is quite easy to offend nobody. But if you would have any of the nobleness, any of the usefulness, of the prophet or the reformer, boldly rebuke vice, denounce a fashionable iniquity, fling away from you a theological falsehood, run counter to a general delusion, deal vigorously with the “lion in the way.” The lion of the world’s hatred and opposition may be avoided. It is avoided by thousands of sleek and prosperous men.

II. But there is another lion which each man must meet, the lion of his own fleshly nature, of his own physical and mental passions. Plato describes each man as consisting, so to speak, of three beings in one: a lion, a many-headed monster, and a man. Of these the man represents the controlling reason; the lion the fierce and irascible temper; the many-headed monster the low and animal passions. The man, the reason, must absolutely rule; the irascible impulses must not be crushed, indeed, but controlled; the monster of fleshly lusts must be utterly subdued. By every one of us that lion, that multitudinous and many-headed monster, must be fought.

III. Another lion is he who “goeth about, seeking whom he may devour.” Each of us knows by experience that there are some tendencies and temptations--to pride, to falsity, to blaspheming thoughts, to causeless hatred--which often come upon a man with fierce and unlooked-for suddenness, and we know not whence or where the tempting opportunity suddenly meets the susceptible disposition. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Remember that he can be fought face to face, but the Christian has no armour for the back.

IV. Consider the duty of facing these lions in our outward life. Everywhere individual license invades public rights. The slothful man (and the slothful man is the epitome of the slothful nation) is ingenious in excuses. Happily every now and then God-strengthened, God-inspired, good, brave, unsophisticated men, have torn their way through these thorny hedges of indolence, greed, and opposition; have faced the wild beast of demoralised public opinion, in spite of its erect mane and flaming eye.

V. The slothful man pleads that many have been slain by this “lion in the way.” Yes, it is quite true. But to them, as to their Lord, through death, and after death, if not in life, hath come the glory and the victory. Slain: yet no harm has come to them. Better a thousand times their death than the life of the selfish and the base. There is one way in which a man can die even better than this. It is when, homeless, landless, wifeless, childless, without even a hope of earthly things, he faces those fearful odds, not for his own wealth or his own comfort, but for his brother man; faces them for the sake of simple duty, faces them for the common love of humanity, faces them because, if God wills it, he, too, is ready to die for those for whom Christ died. Take courage, then, all ye who are fearless enough and noble enough to care for any righteous cause. (Dean Farrar.)

The slothful man

Man is made up of contradictions. A strong propensity to indolence, and a principle which prompts to action. There is a charm in the exercise of those physical and intellectual powers with which man is endowed. With many indolence diffuses its benumbing influence through all their faculties and powers. It becomes a disease, which strengthens itself by continuance. Habit is equally efficient in generating and confirming evil and good qualities. Extraordinary changes of moral character from bad to good have occurred in every age; but we have no right to calculate on them, so as to become indifferent to the ordinary growth of good or evil disposition. Indolence of character proceeds from a torpid state of the affections, or coldness of heart, in some partly natural, in most persons however, acquired by habit. In the state of indolence, the spellbound slumberer avails himself of every pretext for continuing to doze. The text gives one of his frivolous and groundless excuses. Consider some of the sluggard’s formidable discouragements and obstacles in the way of exertion--such as that labour is painful; that self-denial is against nature; and that there is no certain prospect of success, and that God, being all mercy, is ready to forgive at any time. You cannot question or dispute the evils, the misery and ruin to which indolence leads in this world; or the moral ruin to which the sin of lukewarmness, or indifference to your religious obligations, will lead you in the world to come. (James Flint, D. D.)

Seeing with our prejudices

We see not so much with our eyes as with our prejudices. “The wish is father to the thought.” Some men look at the religious life, and see in it nothing but what is narrow and bigoted, gloomy and morose. They do not want to see anything else. Some professing Christians look on the world’s amusements and discern no evil in them. It is to be feared they have no special desire to be convinced of any. There are members of Churches who look at Christian work in its varied departments and with its paramount claims, yet cannot be brought to discover their own qualifications to engage in it. The reason is, they have no wish to. “The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the streets.” And when anything in the shape of self-denying service is proposed to certain persons, this lion assumes most portentous dimensions, and rivals the thunder with his roar. (J. Halsey.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 26:13". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-26.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

MORE PROVERBS REGARDING SLUGGARDS

"The sluggard saith there is a lion in the way; A lion is in the streets.

As the door turneth upon its hinges, So does the sluggard upon his bed.

The sluggard burieth his hand in the dish; It wearieth him to bring it again to his mouth.

The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit Than seven men that can render a reason."

"A lion is in the streets" (Proverbs 26:13). See our comment under Proverbs 22:13.

"As the door turneth upon its hinges" (Proverbs 26:14). "Just as the door moves on its hinges, but does not go anywhere, the sluggard turns over and over in his bed but does not get out of it and go anywhere to do any work."[5] See the comments under Proverbs 6:9,10, and under Proverbs 24:33.

Proverbs 26:15 is practically identical with Proverbs 19:24. See the comments there.

The meaning of Proverbs 26:16 is that, "The idle fool sets more value upon his own opinion than that of any number of wise men."[6]

We have already had many proverbs about the slothful or sluggards. See comments under: "Proverbs 6:6-11; 10:26; 11:16; 14:4; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15; 24:30-34; 31:27."[7] We are indebted to Tate for this list.


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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 26:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-26.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The slothful man saith,.... Within himself; or to such that excite him to diligence and industry, to go about the business of his calling, to till his field, and dress his vineyard. The Septuagint and Arabic versions add, "being sent into the way"; ordered by his master to go out to work, when he makes the following excuse:

there is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets; in the way to his field or vineyard, and in the streets, where his business lies or leads unto it: a very idle excuse this; since lions are usually in woods, forests, and desert places, and not in public roads, and much less in streets of cities; see Proverbs 22:13. This may be applied to a man slothful in the duties of religion; the "way" and "streets" may denote public ordinances, which are the ways of God's appointing, prescribing, and directing to; and in which good men walk, and find pleasure and profit; and are the streets where Wisdom cries, or Christ is preached, and where he is sought for and found: but many are the excuses some men make not to attend them; see Luke 14:17; though they are vain, frivolous, and foolish, as this here; for in these ways and streets may true seen the feet of the messengers of peace; here the turtle's voice, the joyful sound of salvation by Christ, may be heard; here the Lamb of God is directed to, to be looked at, as taking away the sins of men, having been slain, and having shed his blood for the redemption of them: and though the terrible voice of the law may be sometimes heard, which is necessary to arouse and awaken sleepy sinners, and unhinge self-righteous persons from a dependence on the works of the law; yet, afterwards comes the still small voice of the Gospel, proclaiming freedom from the curse and condemnation of the law by Christ. Indeed, in some ages, there have been violent persecutors, comparable to lions; and informers have been in the way and in the streets, to terrify saints from their duty; but none of these could move them from it, nor separate fully gracious souls from their love to Christ: though carnal slothful professors are offended, when tribulation or persecution arise because of the word, these are lions to them; and, in times of peace and liberty, they can paint lions, very terrible to themselves, and raise such difficulties as are insuperable to them; a slight disorder of body, a small inclemency of the weather, little danger of catching cold, and the like, shall be a lion to them: not considering they have a devouring lion nearer them in their houses, chambers, and on their beds with them; even Satan, in whose clutches they are, who keeps their goods in peace, by whom they are led captive, and to whom they fall a prey: nor fearing the wrath of the King of kings, which is as the roaring of a lion: the wrath of God and of the Lamb, who is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and whose day of wrath will be such as none will be able to bear.


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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 26:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-26.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The slothful [man] saith, h [There is] a lion in the way; a lion [is] in the streets.

(h) Read (Proverbs 22:13).

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-26.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Compare Proverbs 22:13).


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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 26:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-26.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

There follows now a group of proverbs regarding the slothful:

13 The slothful saith there is a lion without,

A lion in the midst of the streets;

cf. the original of this proverb, Proverbs 22:13. שׁוּעל , to say nothing of שׁחל , is not the jackal; שׁחל is the bibl. name for the lion. בּין is the more general expression for בּקרב , Isaiah 5:25; by the streets he thinks of the rows of houses that form them.


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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 26:13". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-26.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

When a man talks foolishly we say, He talks idly; for none betray their folly more than those who are idle and go about to excuse themselves in their idleness. As men's folly makes them slothful, so their slothfulness makes them foolish. Observe, 1. What the slothful man really dreads. He dreads the way, the streets, the place where work is to be done and a journey to be gone; he hates business, hates every thing that requires care and labour. 2. What he dreams of, and pretends to dread - a lion in the way. When he is pressed to be diligent, either in his worldly affairs or in the business of religion, this is his excuse (and a sorry excuse it is, as bad as none), There is a lion in the way, some insuperable difficulty or danger which he cannot pretend to grapple with. Lions frequent woods and deserts; and, in the day-time, when man has business to do, they are in their dens, Psalm 104:22, Psalm 104:23. But the sluggard fancies, or rather pretends to fancy, a lion in the streets, whereas the lion is only in his own fancy, nor is he so fierce as he is painted. Note, It is a foolish thing to frighten ourselves from real duties by fancied difficulties, Ecclesiastes 11:4.


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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 26:13". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-26.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

The slothful man hates every thing that requires care and labour. But it is foolish to frighten ourselves from real duties by fancied difficulties. This may be applied to a man slothful in the duties of religion.


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.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-26.html. 1706.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

LAZINESS AND COWARDICE

‘The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.’

Proverbs 26:13

I. There is a lion in the way!—In what way? I answer, In the way of life, of every life. Life, if it is to be a true life, is not an easy thing. The men who live for nobler objects than those of shameful selfishness, like St. Paul, will have to fight with wild beasts at Ephesus or elsewhere.

II. ‘There is a lion in the way.’—Yes, and not one, but many lions: (1) the lion of the world’s opposition and hatred; (2) the lion of our own fleshly nature, of our own physical and mental passions; (3) our ‘adversary the devil.’

III. These lions—the world, the flesh, and the devil—for all their seeming strength and ferocity and the passion in their throats, prove but cowardly beasts after all. But the slothful man not only says, ‘There is a lion in the way,’ but adds, ‘I shall be slain in the streets,’ and then in a reproachful and injured tone, ‘You well know that many have been so slain.’ Yes, it is quite true; they have been so slain; but to them, as to their Lord, through death and after death, if not in life, have come the glory and the victory.

—Dean Farrar.

Illustration

‘The sluggard is ever imagining difficulties. He sees lions where there is none (22:13). His only real difficulty is his own indolence. He would rather starve than put forth any exertion. Yet he is full of self-conceit. Wiser than seven men, the number of perfection.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/proverbs-26.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 26:13 The slothful [man] saith, [There is] a lion in the way; a lion [is] in the streets.

Ver. 13. The slothful man sayeth, There is a lion.] {See Trapp on "Proverbs 22:13"}


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-26.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Proverbs 26:13

I. There is a lion in the way? In what way? I answer, In the way of life, of every life. Life, if it is to be a true life, is not an easy thing. The men who live for nobler objects than those of shameful selfishness, like St. Paul, will have to fight with wild beasts at Ephesus or elsewhere. Every step of the road requires effort, courage, resolution, watchfulness; it needs the girded loins and the burning lamp; it needs the swift foot, and the sharp sword, and the stout heart, and the strong arm; it needs faith, and prayer, and the battle, and the cross; it needs the will to toil on though the feet bleed, and to fight on though the heart faint, to do all this unto death. That is the way, dim, thorny, and lion-haunted; and all the best and noblest of the earth have trodden it.

II. "There is a lion in the way." Yes, and not one, but many lions: (1) the lion of the world's opposition and hatred; (2) the lion of our own fleshly nature, of our own physical and mental passions; (3) our "adversary the devil."

III. These lions—the world, the flesh, and the devil—for all their seeming strength and ferocity and the passion in their throats, prove but cowardly beasts after all; and though Timorous and Mistrust may not find it out, they are but chained lions, and we stand beyond their spring But the slothful man not only says, "There is a lion in the way," but adds, "I shall be slain in the streets," and then in a reproachful and injured tone, "You well know that many have been so slain." Yes, it is quite true; they have been so slain: but to them, as to their Lord, through death and after death, if not in life, have come the glory and the victory.

F. W. Farrar, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxiii., p. 17.


References: Proverbs 26:20.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ii., p. 41. Proverbs 27:1.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii., No. 94; W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 2nd series, p. 333; New Manual of Sunday-school Addresses, p. 8; F. E. Paget, Helps and Hindrances to the Christian Life, vol. ii., p. 231. Proverbs 27:4.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 468; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 289; New Manual of Sunday-school Addresses, p. 37. Proverbs 27:7.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxi., No. 1227. Proverbs 27:10.—Ibid., My Sermon Notes: Genesis to Proverbs, p. 192. Proverbs 27:15.—S. Cox, Expositor, 2nd series, vol. vi., p. 250.




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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/proverbs-26.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 26:13. The slothful man saith, &c.— In this and the following verses, three degrees of sloth are represented; the first, when a man is loth to stir out of doors about his business in the field, in this verse; the second, when he is loth so much as to leave his bed; Proverbs 26:14 and the third and highest, when he will scarcely put his hand to his mouth: Proverbs 26:15. By which hyperbolical expression, the wise man admirably sets forth the incredible laziness of some, which increases upon them continually, if they will not shake it off: and yet so presumptuous are they withal, he observes Proverbs 26:16 that they laugh at those who take a great deal of pains to be wise, and fancy themselves much wiser; because without any pains they can find fault sometimes with other men's works. After this follows an admonition against rashly intermeddling in other men's affairs: against backbiters and dissemblers; especially such as are malicious, and cover the malignity of their minds under fair shews of friendship and esteem.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-26.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

To excuse his idleness, and keeping himself at home. See Poole "Proverbs 22:13".


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-26.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13. Lion in the way — Compare Proverbs 22:13, where we have the same proverb almost verbatim.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-26.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a lion = a black lion.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-26.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

(There is) a lion in the way. Energy soon puts to flight such lions (Proverbs 22:13).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-26.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way . . .—See above on Proverbs 22:13.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-26.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
15:19; 19:15; 22:13

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-26.html.

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