Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Open thine eyes.—Be up and stirring.Proverbs 20:13. Love not sleep — That is, immoderate sleep, nor sloth, or idleness. Take sleep because necessity requires it, not from any love to it; lest thou come to poverty — Lest thou reduce thyself to beggary. Persons that indulge themselves in sleep to excess, not only lose the time which they spend therein, but contract a listless, indolent disposition and habit, and are generally half asleep, or never well awake, and therefore, of course, come to poverty. Open thine eyes — Awake out of sleep, shake off sloth, and betake thyself to thy employment with diligence and vigour. Thou shalt be satisfied with bread — If thou do not grow rich, yet thou shalt have what is sufficient for the supply of thy own wants, and the wants of those dependant upon thee.
lest … poverty—literally, "be deprived of inheritance."Love not sleep, i.e. immoderate sleep, or sloth, or idleness. Take sleep because necessity requires it, not from any love to it.
Open thine eyes; awake out of sleep, shake off sloth, and betake thyself to thy employment with diligence and rigour. Proverbs 6:9; and so spiritual sleep and slothfulness bring on a spiritual poverty in the souls of men, both as to the exercise of grace and the performance of duty;
open thine eyes, and thou shall be satisfied with bread; that is, open thine eyes from sleep, awake and keep so, and be sedulous and industrious in the business of thy calling; so shalt thou have a sufficiency of food for thyself and family; see Proverbs 12:11. It may be applied to awaking out of sleep in a spiritual sense, and to a diligent attendance to duty and the use of means, whereby the souls of men come to be satisfied with the goodness of the Lord, and the fatness of his house; see Ephesians 5:14.Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. Comp. Proverbs 6:9-11; Proverbs 19:15.Verse 13. - Love not sleep lest thou come to poverty (see Proverbs 6:9, etc.). The fate of the sluggard is handled again in Proverbs 23:21, as often before; e.g. Proverbs 12:11; Proverbs 19:15. The LXX., taking שֵׁנָה (shenah), "sleep," as perhaps connected with the verb שְׁנָה (shanah), translate, "Love not to rail, that thou be not exalted (ἵνα μὴ ἐξαρωῇς)," i.e. probably, "Do not calumniate others in order to raise yourself;" others translate, "lest thou be cut off." Open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satired with bread. These words seem to connect this clause with ver. 12. God gives the faculty, but man must make due use thereof. The gnomist urges, "Do not slumber at your post, or sit downwardly waiting; but be up and doing, be wakeful and diligent, and then you shall prosper."
Blessed are his children after him!
We may not take the first line as a separate clause with צדּיק, as subject (Van Dyk, Elster) or predicate (Targ.); for, thus rendered, it does not appropriately fall in as parallel to the second line, because containing nothing of promise, and the second line would then strike in at least not so unconnectedly (cf. on the contrary, Proverbs 10:9; Proverbs 14:25). We have before us a substantival clause, of which the first line is the complex subject. But Jerome, the Venet., and Luther erroneously: the just man walking in his innocence; this placing first of the adj. is in opposition to the Hebr. syntax. We must, if the whole is to be interpreted as nom., regard צדיק as permutative: one walking in his innocence, a righteous one. But, without doubt, tsedek is the accus. of the manner; in the manner of one righteous, or in apposition: as one righteous; cf. Job 31:26 with Micah 2:7. Thus Hitzig rightly also refers to these two passages, and Ewald also refers to Proverbs 22:11; Proverbs 24:15. To walk in his innocence as a righteous man, is equivalent to always to do that which is right, without laying claim to any distinction or making any boast on that account; for thereby one only follows the impulse and the direction of his heart, which shows itself and can show itself not otherwise than in unreserved devotion to God and to that which is good. The children after him are not the children after his death (Genesis 24:67); but, according to Deuteronomy 4:40, cf. Job 21:21, those who follow his example, and thus those who come after him; for already in the lifetime of such an one, the benediction begins to have its fulfilment in his children.
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