Ecclesiastes 10:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.

New Living Translation
Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.

English Standard Version
Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.

New American Standard Bible
Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.

King James Bible
By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands the house leaks.

International Standard Version
Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.

NET Bible
Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of idle hands the house leaks.

New Heart English Bible
By slothfulness the roof sinks in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A roof sags because of laziness. A house leaks because of idle hands.

JPS Tanakh 1917
By slothfulness the rafters sink in; And through idleness of the hands the house leaketh.

New American Standard 1977
Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.

Jubilee Bible 2000
By much slothfulness the building decays, and through idleness of the hands the rain drips throughout the house.

King James 2000 Bible
By much slothfulness the building decays; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

American King James Version
By much slothfulness the building decays; and through idleness of the hands the house drops through.

American Standard Version
By slothfulness the roof sinketh in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaketh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
By slothfulness a building shall be brought down, and through the weakness of hands, the house shall drop through.

Darby Bible Translation
By much sloth fulness the framework falleth in; and through idleness of the hands the house drippeth.

English Revised Version
By slothfulness the roof sinketh in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaketh.

Webster's Bible Translation
By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

World English Bible
By slothfulness the roof sinks in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

Young's Literal Translation
By slothfulness is the wall brought low, And by idleness of the hands doth the house drop.
Study Bible
Wisdom and Folly
17Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time-- for strength and not for drunkenness. 18Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks. 19Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything.…
Cross References
Proverbs 12:24
The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be put to forced labor.

Proverbs 24:30
I passed by the field of the sluggard And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
Treasury of Scripture

By much slothfulness the building decays; and through idleness of the hands the house drops through.

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall …

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down …

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall …

Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labor.

Proverbs 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness …

Proverbs 24:30,31 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man …

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to …

2 Peter 1:5-10 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; …

(18) Droppeth--i.e., lets the rain drop through.

Verse 18. - By much slothfulness the building decayeth. The subject is still the state. Under the image of a house which falls into ruin for lack of needful repairs, is signified the decay that surely overtakes a kingdom whose rulers are given up to indolence and debauchery, and neglect to attend to the affairs which require prompt care (comp. Amos 9:11). Such were they whom Amos (Amos 6:6) denounced, "That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." "Much slothfulness" is expressed in the original by a dual form, which gives an intensive signification. Ewald and Ginsburg take it as referring to the "two idle hands;" but the intensifications of the dual is not unprecedented (see Delitzsch, in loc.). The rest of this clause is more accurately rendered, the rafters sink, i.e. the timber framework, whether of roof or wall, gives way. This may possibly not be noticed at once, but it makes itself known unmistakably ere long. And through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through; rather, the house leaketh, the roof lets in the rain. Septuagint, Ἐν ἀρχία χειρῶν στάξει ἡ οἰκία, "Through laziness of hands the house will drip." The very imperfect construction of the fiat roofs of Eastern houses demanded continual attention. Such common and annoying occurrences as a leaky roof are mentioned in the Book of Proverbs (see 19:13; 27:15). Plautus, ' Mostell.,' 1:2.28 -

"Ventat imber, lavit parietes; perpluunt
Tigna; putrefacit aer operam fabri."


"The rain comes down, and washes all the walls,
The roof is leaky, and the weather rough
Loosens the architect's most skilful work."
By much slothfulness the building decayeth,.... Or, "by slothfulnesses" (g), The word is in the dual number, and so may signify the slothfulness of the hands, as Aben Ezra, of both hands, and of both feet; or the various kinds of slothfulness, as the Arabic version, slothfulness both of body and mind; or of all sorts of persons, superiors and inferiors, princes and subjects; and with respect to all things present and future: and, as through slothfulness a material building decays; or a "beam", as the word signifies, the raftering of a house, the roof, which consists of rafters and beams joined together when the tiling is decayed by winds and rains, or any breaches made in the rafters, and no care taken to repair, the whole falls in, and the house is in ruins: so figurative buildings, families, churches, and kingdoms, come to nothing, through the sluggishness of masters of families, ministers of the word, and civil magistrates; to the latter of which more especially this is to be applied, who give up themselves to luxury and sloth;

and, through idleness of the hands, the house droppeth through; or, "through the letting" or "hanging down of the hands" (h); the remissness of them, as is to be observed in idle persons, who will not lift them up to work; particularly to repair a breach in a house, by means of which the rain drops through it, and makes it uncomfortable and unsafe being in it; and, in process of time, that itself drops to the ground: and this expresses the same thing, how, through the neglect of the civil magistrate, a commonwealth comes to nothing; or, however, the members of it become wretched and miserable.

(g) "in pigritiis", Montanus; "per duplicem pigritiam", Tigurine version; "pigritia amborum", Junius & Tremellius. (h) "per remissionem", Tigurine version; "demissione", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus; so Cocceius, Rambachius. 18. building—literally, "the joining of the rafters," namely, the kingdom (Ec 10:16; Isa 3:6; Am 9:11).

hands—(Ec 4:5; Pr 6:10).

droppeth—By neglecting to repair the roof in time, the rain gets through.10:16-20 The happiness of a land depends on the character of its rulers. The people cannot be happy when their princes are childish, and lovers of pleasure. Slothfulness is of ill consequence both to private and public affairs. Money, of itself, will neither feed nor clothe, though it answers the occasions of this present life, as what is to be had, may generally be had for money. But the soul, as it is not redeemed, so it is not maintained with corruptible things, as silver and gold. God sees what men do, and hears what they say in secret; and, when he pleases, brings it to light by strange and unsuspected ways. If there be hazard in secret thoughts and whispers against earthly rulers, what must be the peril from every deed, word, or thought of rebellion against the King of kings, and Lord of lords! He seeth in secret. His ear is ever open. Sinner! curse not THIS KING in thy inmost thought. Your curses cannot affect Him; but his curse, coming down upon you, will sink you to the lowest hell.
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