Proverbs 6:11
So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(11) As one that travelleth.—The form of the Hebrew is intensive, “one who moves swiftly,” as in Psalm 104:3, it is applied to God’s “moving upon the wings of the wind.” While the sluggard sleeps, poverty is coming on apace.

AS an armed man.—Against whom the sleeper will be defenceless. Proverbs 6:10-11 are repeated in Proverbs 24:33-34.

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?The similitude is drawn from the two sources of Eastern terror: the "traveler," i. e., "the thief in the night," coming suddenly to plunder; the "armed man," literally "the man of the shield," the armed robber. The habit of indolence is more fatally destructive than these marauders. 11. and the fruits of their self-indulgence and indolence presented.

as … travelleth—literally, "one who walks backwards and forwards," that is, a highwayman.

armed man—that is, one prepared to destroy.

As one that travaileth, swiftly and unexpectedly. As an armed man, irresistibly or unavoidably.

So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth,.... Either swiftly and suddenly, as a traveller makes haste to get to his journey's end, and comes upon his family or friends at an unawares; or though he moves gradually, by slow paces and silent steps, yet surely: and so it signifies that poverty should come upon the sluggard very quickly, and before he was aware: and though it might come by degrees, yet it would certainly come;

and thy want as an armed man; or, "thy wants as a man of shield" (u): denoting many wants that should come rushing in one upon another, like a man armed with shield and buckler; appearing with great terror and force, not to be resisted. It denotes the unavoidableness of being brought into penury and want by sloth, and the terribleness of such a condition. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, add,

"but if thou art not slothful, thy harvest shall come as a fountain (as the inundation of a fountain, Arabic); but want shall flee as an evil racer (as an evil man, Arabic; far from thee, Vulgate Latin):''

but this is not in the Hebrew text.

(u) "tanquam vir clypei", Montanus; "vir clypeatus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.

So shall thy poverty come as one that {d} travelleth, and thy want as {e} an armed man.

(d) That is, suddenly, and when you do not look for it.

(e) It will come in such sort, as you are not able to resist it.

11. one that travelleth … an armed man] The figure is two-fold. The doom of the sluggard travels swiftly and is inevitable. While he slumbers inertly, Poverty is coming on apace, drawing nearer to him every moment; and when it comes, it falls upon him like an armed man (Heb. “man with a shield”) from whom there is no escape.

Verse 11. - So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. The inevitable consequences of sloth - poverty and want, two terms conveying the idea of utter destitution - are described under a twofold aspect: first, as certain; second, as irresistible. Poverty will advance upon the sluggard with the unerring precision and swiftness with which a traveller tends towards the end of his journey, or, as Michaelis puts it, "quasi viator qui impigre pergit ac proprius venit donec propositum itineris scopum contingat" (Michaelis, 'Notre Uberiores'). Muffet, in loc., keeping to the figure, however, explains differently, "Poverty shall overtake thee, as a swift traveller does one who walks slowly." The Authorized Version, "as one that travelleth," correctly represents the original kim'hallek. There is no ground whatever, from the use of the verb, for rendering the piel participle m'hallek as "a robber." The verb halak invariably means "to go, or walk," and the piel or intensive form of the verb means "to walk vigorously, or quickly." The participle can only mean this in the two other passages where it occurs - Psalm 104:3 and Ecclesiastes 4:14. The substantive helek in 2 Samuel 12:4 also signifies "a traveller." So the Vulgate here, quasi viator. The other view, it is stated, is required by the parallel expression in the second hemistich, "as an armed man," and receives some support from the LXX. reading, ὥσπερ κακὸς ὁδοιπόρος, "as an evil traveller," which may mean either a traveller bringing evil news, or one who wanders about with an evil intention and purpose, in the sense of the Latin grassator, "a highwayman." In this case the meaning would be that poverty shall come upon the sluggard as he is indulging in his sloth, and leave him destitute as if stripped by a robber. But the destitution of the sluggard wilt not only be certain and swift, it will be also irresistible. His want shall come upon him as an armed man (k'ish magen); literally, as a man of a shield; Vulgate, quasi vir armatus; i.e. like one fully equipped, and who attacks his foe with such onset and force that against him resistance is useless. As the unarmed, unprepared man succumbs to such an opponent, so shall the sluggard fall before want. The expressions," thy poverty" and "thy want," represent the destitution of the sluggard as flowing directly from his own habit of self-indulgence. It is his in a special manner) and he, not others, is alone responsible for it. Compare, beside the parallel passage Proverbs 24:33, the similar teaching in ch. 10:4; 13:4; 20:4. The Vulgate, LXX., and Arabic Versions at the close of this verse add, "But if thou art diligent, the harvest shall come as a fountain, and want shall flee far from thee;" the LXX. making a further addition, "as a bad runner (ὥσπερ κακὸς δρομεὺς)." It is observable, in comparing this section with the preceding, that the teacher pursues the subject of the sluggard to its close, while he leaves the end of the surety undetermined. The explanation may be in the difference in character of the two. The surety may escape the consequences of his act, but there is no such relief for the sluggard. His slothfulness becomes a habit, which increases the more it is indulged in, and leads to consequences which are as irremediable as they are inevitable. Proverbs 6:11The point of comparison, 11a, is the unforeseen, as in quick march or assault (Bttcher), and 11b the hostile and irretrievable surprise; for a man in armour, as Hitzig remarks, brings no good in his armour: he assails the opponent, and he who is without defence yields to him without the possibility of withstanding him. The lxx translate כאישׁ מגן by ὥσπερ ἀγαθὸς δρομεύς (cf. δρομεύς equals מני־ארג, Job 7:6, lxx, Aq.), for what reason we know not. After Proverbs 6:11 they interpose two other lines: "but if thou art assiduous, thy harvest will come to thee as a fountain, but want will go away ὥσπερ κακὸς δρομεύς." Also this "bad runner" we must let go; for Lagarde's retranslation, ומחסרך כחשׁ בּאישׁ נמג, no one can understand. The four lines, Proverbs 6:10, Proverbs 6:11 are repeated in the appendix of Words of the Wise, Proverbs 24:33.; and if this appendix originated in the time of Hezekiah, they may have been taken therefrom by the poet, the editor of the older Book of Proverbs. Instead of כמהלּך, מתהלך is there used (so comes forward thy poverty, i.e., again and again, but certainly moving forward); and instead of מחסרך, מחסריך is written, as also here, Proverbs 6:6, for משׁנתך is found the variant משׁנתיך with Jod as mater lectionis of the pausal Segol.
Proverbs 6:11 Interlinear
Proverbs 6:11 Parallel Texts

Proverbs 6:11 NIV
Proverbs 6:11 NLT
Proverbs 6:11 ESV
Proverbs 6:11 NASB
Proverbs 6:11 KJV

Proverbs 6:11 Bible Apps
Proverbs 6:11 Parallel
Proverbs 6:11 Biblia Paralela
Proverbs 6:11 Chinese Bible
Proverbs 6:11 French Bible
Proverbs 6:11 German Bible

Bible Hub

Proverbs 6:10
Top of Page
Top of Page