He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He also that is slothful in his work.—Whatsoever it may be that is committed to his care, is “brother to him that is a great waster,” or “destroyer “; neglect of duty causes almost as much mischief in life as active wickedness.Proverbs 26:22 only. Others render it "dainties," and take the verse to describe the avidity with which people swallow in tales of scandal. They find their way to the innermost recesses of man's nature.
waster—literally, "master of washing," a prodigal.
is brother to him that is a great waster: a prodigal man, who spends his substance in riotous living: the sluggard and the prodigal are brethren in iniquity; for, though they take different courses, they are both sinful, and issue in the same manner; both bring to poverty and want. Or, "brother to a master that wastes" (p); a slothful servant and a wasteful master are near akin, and come into the same class and circumstances. Jarchi interprets it,
"he that separateth from the law, though a disciple of a wise man, is a brother to Satan;''
whose name is Apollyon, the waster and destroyer. A man that is slothful in spiritual things, though a professor of religion, and has a place in the house of God, is brother to him that is a waster and persecutor of it; see Matthew 12:30.He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. a great waster] Lit. a master of laying waste, or destroying; a destroyer, R.V. Comp. for a similar sentiment, “He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad,” Matthew 12:30.Verse 9. - He also that is slothful (slack) in his work. A man that does his work in some sort, but not heartily and diligently, as one who knows that labour is not only a duty and necessity, but a means of sanctification, a training for a higher life. Is brother to him that is a great waster; a destroyer. "Brother" is used as "companion" in Proverbs 28:24 (comp. Job 30:29), for one of like attributes and tendencies; as we say, "next door to;" and the destroyer is, as Nowack says, not merely one who wastes his property by reckless expenditure, but one who delights in such destruction, finds a morbid pleasure in haves and ruin. So the maxim asserts that remissness in duty is as mischievous as actual destructiveness. "An idle brain," say the Italians, "is the devil's workshop." The word rendered "great" is baal (Proverbs 1:19), "owner," patrono (Montanus), domino (Vatablus); and, taking this sense, according to Wordsworth and others, the sentence implies that the servant who is slothful is brother to a master who is a prodigal. But the interpretation given above is best founded. The LXX., reading מתרפא instead of, מתרפה, renders, "He who healeth not (ὁ μὴ ἰώμενος) himself in his works is brother to him who destroyeth himself." Maxims concerning laziness are found in other places; e.g. Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 12:11, 24; Proverbs 23:21. Proverbs 18:3 terminates in two proverbs (Proverbs 18:6 and Proverbs 18:7), related to the concluding verse of the foregoing:
3 If a godless man cometh, then cometh also contempt;
And together with disgrace, shame.
J. D. Michaelis, and the most of modern critics, read רשׁע; then, contempt etc., are to be thought of as the consequences that follow godlessness; for that קלון means (Hitzig) disgracefulness, i.e., disgraceful conduct, is destitute of proof; קלון always means disgrace as an experience. But not only does the Masoretic text punctuate רשׁע, but also all the old translators, the Greek, Aramaic, and Latin, have done so. And is it on this account, because a coming naturally seems to be spoken of a person? The "pride cometh, then cometh shame," Proverbs 11:2, was in their recollection not less firmly, perhaps, than in ours. They read רשׁע, because בוּז does not fittingly designate the first of that which godlessness effects, but perhaps the first of that which proceeds from it. Therefore we adhere to the opinion, that the proverb names the fiends which appear in the company of the godless wherever he goes, viz., first בוז, contempt (Psalm 31:19), which places itself haughtily above all due subordination, and reverence, and forbearance; and then, with the disgrace [turpitudo], קלון, which attaches itself to those who meddle with him (Isaiah 22:18), there is united the shame, הרפּה (Psalm 39:9), which he has to suffer from him who has only always expected something better from him. Fleischer understands all the three words in the passive sense, and remarks, "עם־קלון חרפה, a more artificial expression for קלון וחרפה, in the Turkish quite common for the copula wāw, e.g., swylh ṭbrâk, earth and water, 'wrtylh âr, the man and the woman." But then the expression would be tautological; we understand בוז and חרפה of that which the godless does to others by his words, and קלון of that which he does to them by his conduct. By this interpretation, עם is more than the representative of the copula.
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