Proverbs 21:5
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(5) The thoughts of every one that is hasty tend only to want.—This proverb is met with on all sides: “More haste, worse speed”; “Festina lente”; “Eile mit Weile.”

Proverbs 21:5-6. The thoughts of the diligent — Who carefully and industriously prosecutes what he hath wisely contrived and resolved; tend only to plenteousness — To affluence and wealth; but every one that is hasty — That manages his affairs rashly, without due consideration; only to want — Is likely to bring himself to poverty. The getting of riches by a lying tongue — By bearing false witness, or by any deceitful words or actions, such as those by which many men get riches; is a vanity tossed to and fro — Is like the chaff or smoke, driven away by the wind; it is neither satisfactory nor durable, but quickly vanisheth away, as has been frequently observed of estates ill-gotten; of them that seek death — That take those courses which bring death or destruction on them or theirs.

21:1 The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love. 2. We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions. 3. Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness. 4. Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men. 5. The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour. 6. While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death. 7. Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever. 8. The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange.Here diligence is opposed, not to sloth but to haste. Undue hurry is as fatal to success as undue procrastination. 5. The contrast is between steady industry and rashness (compare Pr 19:2). The diligent, who carefully and industriously prosecutes what he hath wisely contrived and resolved.

That is hasty; who manageth his affairs rashly, without due consideration.

Only to want; is likely to bring himself to poverty.

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness,.... A man that is thoughtful and studious, and wisely forms schemes in his mind, and diligently pursues them; the issue of it is, generally speaking, prosperity and plenty: such a man is usually thriving and flourishing; and this holds good in things spiritual, as well as in things temporal, Matthew 25:29;

but of everyone that is hasty only to want; that is in haste to be rich, and is resolved to be so, right or wrong, he comes at last to poverty and want: or he who is rash and precipitate in acting, who never thinks before he acts, but rashly engages in an affair; or, however, does not give himself time enough to think it over, but, as soon as ever it has entered his thoughts, he immediately attempts to put it in execution; a man so thoughtless and inconsiderate, so rash and hasty, brings himself and family to poverty; see Proverbs 20:21.

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of {c} every one that is hasty only to want.

(c) He who goes rashly about his business and without counsel.

5. but of every one] i.e. but the thoughts (supplied from the first clause) of every one. It is more literal, however, and at the same time avoids attributing “thoughts” to him whose fault is want of thought, to render with R.V.

But every one that is hasty hasteth only to want.

Verse 5. - The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness. Patient industry is rewarded by a certain increase (comp. Proverbs 12:11; Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 14:23). Says an English maxim, "Diligence is a fair for tune, and industry a good estate," The Greek gnomists have said tersely -

Απαντα τὰ καλὰ τοῦ πονοῦντος γίγνεται
Τῷ γὰρ πονοῦντι καὶ Θεὸς συλλαμβάνει

"To him who labours all good things accrue
The man who labours God himself assists."
But of every one that is hasty only to want. Diligence is contrasted with hastiness. The hasting to be rich by any, even nefarious, means (Proverbs 20:21; Proverbs 28:20) will bring a man to poverty. There are numerous proverbs warning against precipitancy, which will occur to everyone: Festina lente; "More haste, less speed;" "Eile mit Weile."

Προπέτεια σολλοῖς ἐστὶν αἰτία κακῶν. (See a long dissertation on Festinatio praepropera in Erasmus's 'Adagia.') This verse is omitted in the chief manuscripts of the Septuagint. Proverbs 21:55 The striving of the diligent is only to advantage.

   And hastening all [excessive haste] only to loss;

or in other words, and agreeably to the Heb. construction:

The thoughts of the industrious are (reach) only to gain,

And every one who hastens - it (this his hastening) is only to loss.

Vid., at Proverbs 17:21. At Proverbs 10:4, Luther translates "the hand of the diligent," here "the plans of an expert [endelichen]," i.e., of one actively striving (Proverbs 22:29, endelich equals מהיר) to the end. The אץ, hastening overmuch, is contrasted with the diligent: Luther well: but he who is altogether too precipitant. Everywhere else in the Proverbs אץ has a closer definition with it, wherefore Hitzig reads אצר, which must mean: he who collects together; but אץ along with חרוץ is perfectly distinct. The thought is the same as our "eile mit Weile" [ equals festina lente], and Goethe's

Wie das Gestirn ohne Hast,

Aber ohne Rast

Drehe sich jeder

Um die eigne Last.

"Like the stars, without haste but without rest, let every one carry about his own burden," viz., of his calling that lies upon him. The fundamental meaning of אוץ is to throng, to urge (Exodus 5:13), here of impatient and inconsiderate rashness. While on the side of the diligent there is nothing but gain, such haste brings only loss; over-exertion does injury, and the work will want care, circumspection, and thoroughness. In the Book of Proverbs, the contrasts "gain" and "loss" frequently occur, Proverbs 11:24; Proverbs 14:23; Proverbs 22:16 : profit (the increase of capital by interest), opp. loss (of capital, or of part thereof), as commercial terms.

Proverbs 21:5 Interlinear
Proverbs 21:5 Parallel Texts

Proverbs 21:5 NIV
Proverbs 21:5 NLT
Proverbs 21:5 ESV
Proverbs 21:5 NASB
Proverbs 21:5 KJV

Proverbs 21:5 Bible Apps
Proverbs 21:5 Parallel
Proverbs 21:5 Biblia Paralela
Proverbs 21:5 Chinese Bible
Proverbs 21:5 French Bible
Proverbs 21:5 German Bible

Bible Hub

Proverbs 21:4
Top of Page
Top of Page