The teachings of Hebrew wisdom on diligence and laziness are amazing as they are still applicable today even when several things have been changed and thousand of years have been passed. Hebrew wisdom is an inspirational source and provides solution to deal with problems of daily life (Foster, 1885). Diligence means to be aware of and being on the top of things. Laziness represents putting off the things and making lame excuses for such behavior (Hindson & Yates, 2012, p. 259). The lazy people are also regarded as sluggards. However, Hebrew wisdom, which is in the proverbs form, is an ideal example of the authentication of Bible revealed by God. The proverbs however teach many lessons and also give explanation of the conflict between diligence and laziness.
According to proverb 13:4, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” (Heukelum, 2010, p. 39). This proverb explains that the lazy person will never be satisfied and always remain wanting while the diligent person will always have all the things that he desires because he work hard to get these things. Proverb 10:4 also great proverb, which explains about diligence and laziness, it says that “The slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich (Hill, 2013). Both these proverbs are of adversative nature, but they explain the fact that if one desires to get anything he has to do work otherwise he will not be able to get the thing.
Moreover, Hebrew’s teachings on diligence and laziness can also be analyzed from other proverbs also such as Proverb 10:4 describe that a man becomes poor with the lazy hand but in case of diligent hand wealth is the ultimate result (McCartney, 2012). According to Proverb 10:5, a son is wise if he gathers the crop in summer but he is disgraceful and shameful son if he sleeps at the time of harvesting crop (McCartney, 2012). Proverb 12:24 makes it clear that the diligent person will rule and the lazy becomes slave (McCartney, 2012). Proverb 21:5 explicitly tells that diligent plans pave the way to profit maximization while laziness lead to haste and finally to poverty (McCartney, 2012). Hebrew wisdom’s teachings further clarify that God has promised to reward the labor if diligence is persevered. Therefore, we should help the people and do good with them particularly to those who are believers and who belong to family, as elucidated in proverb 6:10, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”.
The teachings of laziness and diligence however correspond to the difference between folly and wisdom. Proverb 1:7 enlighten that the fear of God is the commencement of knowledge but dupes and fools deride instructions and wisdom. The basic theme behind this fact is that wisdom is not only important in the general life and existence, but also it is vital in order to live God centered and righteous life. We acknowledge heavenly providence of God over us and revere him affectionately in fearing Him. We also acknowledge our submission to Him, consider him the wisest and follow Him to gain more wisdom. In contrast, defying and disobeying God and the instruction is a futility and is an incessant folly.
According to Hebrew, wisdom represents light and folly indicates darkness. A wise man is capable of seeing and analyzing life and also he is more productive while the fool just walks in darkness and falls into many dangers due to lack of discretion. As mentioned in proverb 10:3 that “Even when a fool walks along the way, he lacks wisdom, and he shows everyone that he is a fool” (Anonymous, 2008, p. 1087). Also, stated in proverb 7:19 that Wisdom gives more protection to a wise person and the protection is greater than the ten rulers in a city (Sturgill, 2011).
Wisdom is far beyond riches and treasures of the world because if a person cannot take riches at the time of leaving this world, but if one trusts in God and after following instructions he/she becomes wise then he/she will also be rewarded in the word hereafter. He or she will be awarded a permanent ticket to lead a peaceful life in the heaven while folly leads to indifferent directions. Hebrew wisdom still guides to lead present day life and provide immediate solutions to cope with the changing patterns of life. People can turn to Bible for gaining wisdom and knowledge and become aware of the warnings.
The real purpose of proverbs is to provide guidance throughout the life and help in the form of minute facets to remind people about the control of one God. However, mankind should try to achieve knowledge and wisdom and utilize the wisdom as God’s reflection as well as His mercy. We have only one Almighty God and we need to revere and worship Him only in order to attain Wisdom, which is the most precious and important asset to lead a valuable and contented life. Proverb 4:7-13 justify that the beginning of knowledge and wisdom is to acquire wisdom, accolade her," safeguard her and do not let her go (Baugh, 1988).
Heukelum, Richard Van. (2010). The Philosophy of a Father: Proverbs for the life of a man of God. Xulon Press. United States of America
Dale. Hill. (2013). Where are the Jobs? Practical Bible Teaching. Retrieved from:
Hindson, Ed., & Yates, Gary. (2012). The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey. B & H Publishing Group Nashville, Tennessee.
McCartney, Michael. (2012). Laziness vs diligence. SermonCentral. Retrieved from:
Foster, R. (1885). The Hebrew Wisdom. The Old Testament Student Chicago Journals, 5 (3), 104-107.
Baugh, Steven M. (1988). Wisdom and Folly. Westminster Theological Seminary, Escondido, California. Retrieved from:
Sturgill, Aaron. (2011). Wisdom vs. Folly. Ecclesiastes. Retrieved from:
Anonymous. (2008). Parallel Bible: NKJV Amplified. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. Burgundy