Proverbs 15:19

19 The way of 1a sluggard is like a hedge of 2thorns, but the path of the upright is 3a level highway.

Proverbs 15:19 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 15:19

The way of the slothful [man is] as an hedge of thorns
Or, "strewed with thorns", as the Septuagint and Arabic versions; the Targum is,

``the ways of the slothful are briers and thorns.''
Either really being made so by his own conduct; who, by his slothfulness, has implicated and entangled himself in such difficulties, that he cannot extricate himself; his way is not passable, at least not very easily; it is as it were hedged up with thorns; see ( Hosea 2:6 ) ; or in his own apprehensions; who raises such difficulties about doing business, which to him seem insurmountable; at least which discourage him from attempting it, it being like breaking through thorns and briers; hence he will not plough because of the cold, nor go abroad because there is a lion in the streets, ( Proverbs 20:4 ) ( 22:13 ) ( 26:13 ) ; or the way of his duty, especially of virtue and religion, is as troublesome and disagreeable to him as breaking through a thorn hedge, or treading upon briers and thorns; to attend the duties of public worship, prayer, and hearing the word, is very irksome to him; to be present at family worship, at prayer, and hearing the Scriptures or religious discourses read, is like sitting upon thorns unto him. This, as Aben Ezra observes, is to be understood of a wicked man, as the opposition in the next clause shows; but the way of the righteous [is] made plain:
it is a castup way, as the word F16 signifies; a causeway, a highway, and a plain one, in which a truly righteous and good man finds no difficulty; yea, it is so plain, that men, though fools in other respects, shall not err therein, ( Isaiah 35:8 ) ; nor is it grievous and troublesome, but, on the contrary, very delightful, as the ways of Christ and wisdom are; his commandments are not grievous, his yoke is easy, and his paths pleasant; and the righteous man walks at liberty and with pleasure in them; and without offence or stumbling, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it.

F16 (hllo) "aggestum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "eleveta", Mercerus, Gejerus; "strata", Montanus.

Proverbs 15:19 In-Context

17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Proverbs 19:24; Proverbs 22:13
  • 2. Proverbs 22:5
  • 3. Jeremiah 18:15
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.