Proverbs 14:23

23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk 1tends only to poverty.

Proverbs 14:23 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 14:23

In all labour there is profit
Or "abundance" F21; much is got by it, food, raiment, riches, wealth, wisdom, honour; either with the labour of the hands or head, and nothing is to be got without labour; and he that is laborious in his calling, whether it be by manual operation, working with his hands that which is good; or by hard study, much reading, and constant meditation, is like to gain much for his own use and the good of others; but the talk of the lips [tendeth] only to penury;
or "want" F23, of food and raiment, the common necessaries of life; a man that spends his time in idle talk, boasting of what he can do and does, and yet does nothing, is in a fair way to come to beggary: so all talk about wisdom, and knowledge, and religion, without making use of the proper means of improvement, tends to the poverty of the mind; and generally they are most empty of knowledge, natural or spiritual, that talk and brag most of it; empty casks make the greatest sound; good discourse, wholesome words, sound doctrine, thoroughly digested, tend indeed to edification, to the enriching of the mind; but vain words, the enticing words of men's wisdom; logomachies, striving about words to no profit; and all great swelling words of vanity, which are all mere lip labour; they tend to spiritual poverty and leanness of soul.


F21 (rtwm) "abundantia", Tigurine version, Baynus, Mercerus, Gejerus.
F23 (rwoxml) "ad defectum", Pagninus, Montanus; "ad egestatem", Tigurine version, Piscator, Cocceius.

Proverbs 14:23 In-Context

21 Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meetsteadfast love and faithfulness.
23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.

Cross References 1

  • 1. [Proverbs 11:24; Proverbs 21:5; Proverbs 22:16]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.