Both words, adjective and noun, render different Hebrew words (from `atsel, "to be lazy," raphah, "to relax," and shaqaT, "to be quiet"). According to the Yahwistic narrative Pharaoh's retort to the complaints of the Israelites was a charge of indolence (Exodus 5:8,17). It was a favorite thought of Hebrew wisdom--practical philosophy of life--that indolence inevitably led to poverty and want (Proverbs 19:15; Ecclesiastes 10:18). The "virtuous woman" was one who would not eat the "bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:27). In Ezekiel 16:49 for the King James Version "abundance of idleness," the Revised Version (British and American) has "prosperous ease." In the New Testament "idle" generally renders the Greek word argos, literally, "inactive," "useless" (Matthew 20:3,6). In Luke 24:11 "idle talk" corresponds to one Greek word which means "empty gossip" or "nonsensical talk."
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