Proverbs 14:23

23 Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.

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.


FOOTNOTES:

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 It's criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor - what a blessing!
22 Isn't it obvious that conspirators lose out, while the thoughtful win love and trust?
23 Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.
24 The wise accumulate wisdom; fools get stupider by the day.
25 Souls are saved by truthful witness and betrayed by the spread of lies.