|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:6-11 Diligence in business is every man's wisdom and duty; not so much that he may attain worldly wealth, as that he may not be a burden to others, or a scandal to the church. The ants are more diligent than slothful men. We may learn wisdom from the meanest insects, and be shamed by them. Habits of indolence and indulgence grow upon people. Thus life runs to waste; and poverty, though at first at a distance, gradually draws near, like a traveller; and when it arrives, is like an armed man, too strong to be resisted. All this may be applied to the concerns of our souls. How many love their sleep of sin, and their dreams of worldly happiness! Shall we not seek to awaken such? Shall we not give diligence to secure our own salvation?
Verse 9-Vers. 9-11 contain a call to the sluggard to rouse himself from his lethargy, and the warning of the evil consequences if he remains heedless of the reproof. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? It is the same as if it were said, "What infatuation is this which makes you lie and sleep as if you had nothing else to do?" The double question stigmatizes the sluggard's utter indolence, and suggests the picture of his prolonging his stay in bed long after every one else is abroad and about his business. How long (Hebrew, ad-matha; Vulgate, usquequo); literally, till when? When; Hebrew, matha; Vulgate, quando. The came words are used in the same order in introducing a question in Nehemiah 2:6, "For how long will the journey be? and when wilt thou return?" Wilt thou... sleep. The Hebrew tish'kar is literally "wilt thou lie," but the verb easily passes to the secondary meaning of "to sleep." The delineation of the sluggard is again drawn in Proverbs 24:30-34 in almost identical language, but with some additions.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?.... Or "lie" (q) in bed, indulging in sloth and ease; while the industrious ant is busy in getting in its provisions, even by moonlight, as naturalists (r) observe;
when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? and be about thy lawful calling? doing the duties of religion, and the business of life; providing things honest in the sight of all men; things necessary for thyself and family, and wherewith to do good to others; exercising a conscience void of offence both to God and men. Time should not be slept away, to the neglect of the affairs of life, nor of the concerns of the immortal soul and a future state; men should not be slothful in things temporal or spiritual: whatever may be the proper time to awake and arise out of sleep in a morning, which seems to be according to a man's circumstances, health and business; it is always high time for the sinner to awake out of the sleep of sin, and arise from the dead; and for the drowsy saint to arise out of his lethargy and carnal security.
(q) "jacebis", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus; "cubabis", Piscator, Cocceius. (r) Aelian. de Animal. l. 4. c. 43.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9, 10. Their conduct graphically described;
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