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Proverbs 24:30

    Proverbs 24:30 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    I went by the field of the sluggard, And by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    I went by the field of the hater of work, and by the vine-garden of the man without sense;

    Webster's Revision

    I went by the field of the sluggard, And by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

    World English Bible

    I went by the field of the sluggard, by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

    Clarke's Commentary on Proverbs 24:30

    I went by the field of the slothful - This is a most instructive parable; is exemplified every day in a variety of forms; and is powerfully descriptive of the state of many a blackslider and trifler in religion. Calmet has an excellent note on this passage. I shall give the substance of it.

    Solomon often recommends diligence and economy to his disciples. In those primitive times when agriculture was honorable, no man was respected who neglected to cultivate his grounds, who sunk into poverty, contracted debt, or engaged in ruinous securities. With great propriety, a principal part of wisdom was considered by them as consisting in the knowledge of properly conducting one's domestic affairs, and duly cultivating the inheritances derived from their ancestors. Moses had made a law to prevent the rich from utterly depressing the poor, by obliging them to return their farms to them on the Sabbatic year, and to remit all debts at the year of jubilee.

    In the civil state of the Hebrews, we never see those enormous and suddenly raised fortunes, which never subsist but in the ruin of numberless families. One of the principal solicitudes of this legislator was to produce, as far as possible in a monarchical state, an equality of property and condition. The ancient Romans held agriculture in the same estimation, and highly respected those who had applied themselves to it with success. When they spoke in praise of a man, they considered themselves as giving no mean commendation when they called him a good husbandman, an excellent laborer. From such men they formed their most valiant generals and intrepid soldiers. Cato De Re Rustica, cap. 1. The property which is acquired by these means is most innocent, most solid, and exposes its possessor less to envy than property acquired in any other way. See Cicero De Officiis, lib. 1. In Britain the merchant is all in all; and yet the waves of the sea are not more uncertain, nor more tumultuous, than the property acquired in this way, or than the agitated life of the speculative merchant.

    But let us look more particularly into this very instructive parable: -

    I. The owner is described.

    1. He was איש עצל ish atsel, the loitering, sluggish, slothful man.

    2. He was אדם חסר לב adam chasar leb, a man that wanted heart; destitute of courage, alacrity, and decision of mind.

    II. His circumstances. This man had,

    1. שדה sadeh, a sowed field, arable ground. This was the character of his estate. It was meadow and corn land.

    2. He had כרם kerem, a vineyard, what we would call perhaps garden and orchard, where he might employ his skill to great advantage in raising various kinds of fruits and culinary herbs for the support of his family.

    III. The state of this heritage:

    1. "It was grown over with thorns." It had been long neglected, so that even brambles were permitted to grow in the fields:

    2. "Nettles had covered the face thereof." It was not weeded, and all kinds of rubbish had been suffered to multiply:

    3. "The stone wall was broken down." This belonged to the vineyard: it was neither pruned nor digged; and the fence, for want of timely repairs, had all fallen into ruins, Proverbs 24:31.

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Proverbs 24:30

    The chapter ends with an apologue, which may be taken as a parable of something yet deeper. The field and the vineyard are more than the man's earthly possessions. His neglect brings barrenness or desolation to the garden of the soul. The "thorns" are evil habits that choke the good seed, and the "nettles" are those that are actually hurtful and offensive to others. The "wall" is the defense which laws and rules give to the inward life, and which the sluggard learns to disregard, and the "poverty" is the loss of the true riches of the soul, tranquility, and peace, and righteousness.