Ecclesiastes 10:18

18 Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.

Ecclesiastes 10:18 in Other Translations

18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
18 Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.
18 Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.
18 A shiftless man lives in a tumbledown shack; A lazy woman ends up with a leaky roof.
18 Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands the house leaks.

Ecclesiastes 10:18 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 10:18

By much slothfulness the building decayeth
Or, "by slothfulnesses" F7, The word is in the dual number, and so may signify the slothfulness of the hands, as Aben Ezra, of both hands, and of both feet; or the various kinds of slothfulness, as the Arabic version, slothfulness both of body and mind; or of all sorts of persons, superiors and inferiors, princes and subjects; and with respect to all things present and future: and, as through slothfulness a material building decays; or a "beam", as the word signifies, the raftering of a house, the roof, which consists of rafters and beams joined together when the tiling is decayed by winds and rains, or any breaches made in the rafters, and no care taken to repair, the whole falls in, and the house is in ruins: so figurative buildings, families, churches, and kingdoms, come to nothing, through the sluggishness of masters of families, ministers of the word, and civil magistrates; to the latter of which more especially this is to be applied, who give up themselves to luxury and sloth; and, through idleness of the hands, the house droppeth through;
or, "through the letting" or "hanging down of the hands" F8; the remissness of them, as is to be observed in idle persons, who will not lift them up to work; particularly to repair a breach in a house, by means of which the rain drops through it, and makes it uncomfortable and unsafe being in it; and, in process of time, that itself drops to the ground: and this expresses the same thing, how, through the neglect of the civil magistrate, a commonwealth comes to nothing; or, however, the members of it become wretched and miserable.


F7 (Mytlueb) "in pigritiis", Montanus; "per duplicem pigritiam", Tigurine version; "pigritia amborum", Junius & Tremellius.
F8 (twlqvb) "per remissionem", Tigurine version; "demissione", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus; so Cocceius, Rambachius.

Ecclesiastes 10:18 In-Context

16 Woe to the land whose king was a servantand whose princes feast in the morning.
17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time— for strength and not for drunkenness.
18 Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.
20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Proverbs 20:4; S Proverbs 24:30-34
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