Proverbs 19:24

24 1The sluggard buries his hand in 2the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

Proverbs 19:24 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 19:24

A slothful [man] hideth his hand in [his] bosom
In cold weather to keep it warm, and at other times, as unwilling to use it in labour; it is the proper posture and just attitude of a slothful man. The word for "bosom" is sometimes used for a "pot" or "platter" F21; and then the sense is, that he puts his hands under a pot over a fire to warm them; or in one removed at some distance from the fire, as Jarchi; or rather it may signify his putting his hand into a plate of food, and yet so slothful, as it follows, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again;
so sluggish, that he will rather starve than be at the pains to feed himself; he will not take his hand out of his bosom, to take food out of the dish to feed himself with; and even when his hand is in the dish, he will not take it from thence again, and lift it to his mouth; an hyperbolical expression. Gussetius F23 thinks, it may have respect to such slothful men, who are careless and negligent to their souls; who, though they have the holy Scriptures in their hands, like a vessel full of wholesome food for the soul, yet will not make use of the least mite out of them, that they may receive eternal life.


F21 (txlub) "in patinam", Tigurine version; "in lebete", Mercerus, Michaelis; "in patinia", Cocceius; "in paropsidem", Schultens.
F23 Ebr. Comment. p. 715.

Proverbs 19:24 In-Context

22 What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.
23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 26:15; [Proverbs 15:19; Proverbs 20:4]
  • 2. [Matthew 26:23; Mark 14:20]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.