Proverbs 14:23

23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Read Proverbs 14:23 Using Other Translations

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!

What does Proverbs 14:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
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.
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