Proverbs 26:16

16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly.

Read Proverbs 26:16 Using Other Translations

The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.
Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.

What does Proverbs 26:16 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Proverbs 26:16

The sluggard [is] wiser in his own conceit
It is a sort of a solecism, a kind of a contradiction in terms for a sluggard to be wise, who is so slothful as to make no use of the means of getting wisdom and knowledge. And it must be a mere conceit in him that he is wise, and especially that he is wiser than seven men that can render a reason;
not alluding to the number of a king's counsellors, who return him an answer to what he inquires of them, as Aben Ezra thinks; such as were the "seven" princes of the king of Persia, ( Esther 1:14 ) . Since to have such an exact number might not obtain in Solomon's time, either in Persia, or in his own court, or elsewhere: but it signifies a large number, many wise men, as Gersom observes, that render a reason to everyone that asks it of them; who, having been diligent and industrious, have got such a competency of knowledge, that they are able to give a proper reason of what they say, believe, or do: and such are they, who, by the blessing of grace in the use of means, are wise in a spiritual sense; know themselves, and Christ Jesus, and the way of salvation by him; have an understanding of the Scriptures, and of the doctrines of the Gospel; have their spiritual senses exercised, to discern between truth and error; are of established judgments, and capable of teaching others good judgment and knowledge; and of giving a reason of their faith, hope, and practice; see ( 1 Peter 3:15 ) . Now such is the conceit of an ignorant sluggard, that he is wiser than ten thousand or ever so many of these; he thinks himself the wisest man, inasmuch as he enjoys ease and quiet in his stupid sottish way, while they are toiling and labouring, and taking a great deal of pains to get knowledge; and that he sleeps in a whole skin, and escapes the censure and reproaches of men, which they endure for being precise in religious duties, and constant in the performance of them; and fancies he can get to heaven in an easier way, without all this care and toil and trouble, only by saying, Lord, have mercy on me, at last.

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