Proverbs 21:5
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenty; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
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(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. 29 The ornament of young men is their strength;

     And the honour of the old is grey hairs.

Youth has the name בּחוּר (different from בּחוּר, chosen), of the maturity (R. בחר, cogn. בכר, בגר, whence Mishn. בּגרוּת, manhood, in contradistinction to נערוּת) into which he enters from the bloom of boyhood; and the old man is called זקן (Arab. dhikn, as Schultens says, a mento pendulo, from the hanging chin זקן, (Arab.) dhakan, chin, beard on the chin). To stand in the fulness of fresh unwasted strength is to youth, as such, an ornament (תּפארת, cf. פּארוּר, blooming colour of the countenance); on the contrary, to the old man who has spent his strength in the duties of his office, or as it is said at Proverbs 16:31, "in the way of righteousness," grey hairs (שׂיבה, from שׂב, Arab. shâb, canescere) give an honourable appearance (הדר, from הדר, turgidum, amplum esse, vid., at Isaiah 63:1).

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