Proverbs 13:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
An unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away.

New Living Translation
A poor person's farm may produce much food, but injustice sweeps it all away.

English Standard Version
The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.

New American Standard Bible
Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice.

King James Bible
Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The uncultivated field of the poor yields abundant food, but without justice, it is swept away.

International Standard Version
The field of the poor may produce much food, but it can be swept away through injustice.

NET Bible
There is abundant food in the field of the poor, but it is swept away by injustice.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Those who do not see the way of life for themselves destroy many years of wealth, and some are destroyed utterly.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When poor people are able to plow, there is much food, but a person is swept away where there is no justice.

Jubilee Bible 2000
In the fallow ground of the poor there is much bread, but it is lost for lack of judgment.

King James 2000 Bible
Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for lack of justice.

American King James Version
Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

American Standard Version
Much food is in the tillage of the poor; But there is that is destroyed by reason of injustice.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Much food is in the tillage of fathers: but for others it is gathered with out judgment.

Darby Bible Translation
Much food is in the tillage of the poor; but there is that is lost for want of judgment.

English Revised Version
Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed by reason of injustice.

Webster's Bible Translation
Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

World English Bible
An abundance of food is in poor people's fields, but injustice sweeps it away.

Young's Literal Translation
Abundance of food -- the tillage of the poor, And substance is consumed without judgment.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

13:14. The rule by which the wise regulate their conduct, is a fountain yielding life and happiness. 15. The way of sinners is hard upon others, and hard to the sinner himself. The service of sin is slavery; the road to hell is strewed with the thorns and thistles that followed the curse. 16. It is folly to talk of things of which we know nothing, and to undertake what we are no way fit for. 17. Those that are wicked, and false to Christ and to the souls of men, do mischief, and fall into mischief; but those that are faithful, find sound words healing to others and to themselves. 18. He that scorns to be taught, will certainly be brought down. 19. There are in man strong desires after happiness; but never let those expect any thing truly sweet to their souls, who will not be persuaded to leave their sins. 20. Multitudes are brought to ruin by bad company. And all that make themselves wicked will be destroyed. 21. When God pursues sinners he is sure to overtake them; and he will reward the righteous. 22. The servant of God who is not anxious about riches, takes the best method of providing for his children. 23. The poor, yet industrious, thrive, though in a homely manner, while those who have great riches are often brought to poverty for want of judgment. 24. He acts as if he hated his child, who, by false indulgence, permits sinful habits to gather strength, which will bring sorrow here, and misery hereafter. 25. It is the misery of the wicked, that even their sensual appetites are always craving. The righteous feeds on the word and ordinances, to the satisfying of his soul with the promises of the gospel, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Bread of life.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - Much food is in the tillage (tilled ground) of the poor (Proverbs 12:11). The word rendered "tillage" (nir) means ground worked for the first time, and therefore that on which much labour is bestowed. Hence the Vulgate rightly renders, novalibus. It occurs in Jeremiah 4:3 and Hosea 10:12, where our version has "fallow ground." The poor, but righteous man, who industriously cultivates his little plot of ground, secures a good return, and is happy in eating the labour of his hands (Psalm 128:2). Intend of "the poor," the Vulgate has, "the fathers," taking ראשים in this sense; so that the meaning would be that children who properly cultivate their paternal or hereditary fields obtain good crops. But the Authorized Version rendering is doubtless preferable. There is that is destroyed for want of judgment; rather, as the Revised Version, by reason of injustice. Rich men are often brought to ruin by their disregard of right and justice (mishpat). Some (poor men) are amply supplied by honest labour; others (rich) lose all by wrong dealing. Vulgate, "For others it (food) is gathered contrary to justice;" Septuagint, quite astray, The righteous shall pass many years in wealth; but the unrighteous shall suddenly perish" - which seems to be an explanation or amplification of ver. 22.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Much food is in the tillage of the poor,.... The poor are generally employed in tilling land; from whose labours in ploughing and sowing much food arises to men, bread to the eater, and seed to the sower: or a poor farmer, that has but a small farm, a few acres of land, to till; yet through his diligence and industry, with the blessing of God upon it, he gets a comfortable livelihood for himself and family; much food, or a sufficiency of it for the present year, and seed to sow land again the following year;

but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment; or discretion in tilling his land, and managing the affairs of husbandry, which is God's gift, Isaiah 28:26; or, "through injustice" (w), as some render it; for want of doing that which is right and just; not paying his labourers their hire and wages, as he ought, and so it is blasted, and comes to ruin. This may be spiritually applied. By the "poor" may be understood the poor ministers of the Gospel; who, though poor, make many rich, 2 Corinthians 6:10; much spiritual food is to be had under their labours and ministrations, they being employed in cultivating the churches: or else the poor saints and poor churches themselves may be meant; who are tilled by them, among whom is plenty of spiritual provisions; as in the poor Protestant churches, who, though in the wilderness, are nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, when there is no food in the apostate church of Rome: and so by the "tillage" may be meant the church of Christ itself, which is "God's husbandry", 1 Corinthians 3:9; his agriculture, his tillage, his arable land; which he has separated and distinguished from the wide world, and employs his power and care about. For he is the husbandman, John 15:1; it is he that breaks up the fallow ground of men's hearts; that makes the ground good which he tills; who sows the seed of the word, and the seed of his grace there; who waters it with the dews of his grace, and causes his people to grow as the corn, and ripens them for glory: and when the harvest is come, the end of the world or of life, he sends his reapers, his angels, to gather them, the wheat, into his garner. And he employs the ministers of the word as under husbandmen, as labourers under him and with him; these are the ploughmen that hold the plough of the Gospel, and manage that; these are his sowers that go forth, bearing the precious seed of the word, and sow it under his direction; and these water the ground that is sown and planted; their doctrines distil as the rain and dew upon it; and these bring in their sheaves with joy at last. And now in this tillage is much spiritual food; in God's husbandry, the church, are the word and ordinances, in which are milk for babes, and meat for strong men, salutary, wholesome, nourishing, and strengthening food; here Christ, the best food, is set forth to faith to feed upon; true and real food, meat and drink indeed, spiritual, savoury, satisfying food; soul reviving, refreshing, and nourishing food; here is plenty of it, enough and to spare: and yet there are some that are destroyed for want of spiritual judgment and discerning; who take the poison of false teachers instead of the food to be had under a Gospel ministry; so the followers of the man of sin are given up to believe a lie and be damned; for want of judgment, they receive the grossest absurdities, and perish; as others also give in to damnable heresies, denying the deity, satisfaction, and righteousness of Christ, and other soul destroying notions; see Hosea 4:6.

(w) "ob non jus", Vatablus; i.e. "ob injustitiam", Michaelis; "sine justitia", Gejerum.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. The laboring poor prosper more than those who injudiciously or wickedly strive, by fraud and violence, to supersede the necessity of lawful labor.

Proverbs 13:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Wise Son Heeds his Father's Instruction
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. 23Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice. 24He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 21:4
and lead it down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer's neck.

Proverbs 12:11
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
Treasury of Scripture

Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

food

Proverbs 12:11,14 He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that …

Proverbs 27:18,23-27 Whoever keeps the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that …

Proverbs 28:19 He that tills his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that follows …

Ecclesiastes 5:9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is …

destroyed

Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise…

Proverbs 11:5,6 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked …

Psalm 112:5 A good man shows favor, and lends: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Ecclesiastes 8:5,6 Whoever keeps the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise …

Jeremiah 8:7-10 Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle …

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