Name: John Shisler
Course and Section Number: BIBL 105-D23
Hebrew Wisdom on Diligence and Laziness
Going through the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament, diligence and laziness are a common theme. It is shown many different ways which is viewed more positively and which is looked down upon. Diligence and laziness may be slightly intertwined, but they are also completely separate ideas. The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes provide much of the understanding to be gained from the Bible on all four of these ideas, making them two of the most important Old Testament books in regards to teaching.
The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes give a plethora of information on Hebrew ideas regarding diligence and laziness. But the first thing that needs to be done is to define what diligence and laziness are. Proverbs uses sluggard to define someone who is lazy. It is noted that “A diligent person, like the ant, does not need a taskmaster to find motivation”1. This is contrasted with the sluggard by Proverbs 6:6 (KJV), which states “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” This shows the contrast between the sluggard, or lazy person, and the diligent person, represented by the ant. A lazy person, or sluggard, can also be described as someone who “cannot find enough motivation to rise out of bed”2. This point is shown in Proverbs 26:14 (KJV), stating “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” All of this illustrates that Hebrew Wisdom has a much higher view of diligence over laziness. Wisdom and folly are very far apart in definition. Wisdom can be defined as making good decisions with the information that you have. Folly, on the other hand, can be defined as making a foolish decision even knowing the wise decision would have a better result. Proverbs 5:23b (KJV) shows what happens when we use folly, stating “in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” This is in contrast to Proverbs 3:13-14 (KJV), which states...
Bibliography: Hindson, Edward E., and Yates, Gary E. The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey. Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2012.
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