[Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber
Or, "little sleeps, little slumbers" F19. These are the words of the sluggard, in answer to the call of him to awake and arise, desiring he might not be disturbed, but be suffered to sleep on longer: there is a very beautiful climax or gradation in the words, aptly expressing the disposition and actions of a sluggard; he first desires a "few sleeps" more, some sound sleeps one after another; which is quite agreeable to his character: and if he cannot be allowed them, then he requests a "few slumbers" at least, some dozings, till he can get himself thoroughly awake; and if these cannot be granted, yet he prays however that this might be admitted, a little folding of the hands to sleep;
or, "to lie down" F20; a few tossings and tumblings upon the bed more, with his hands folded about his breast; a sleeping gesture, and the posture of sluggards. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "a little thou wilt embrace the breast with the hands"; and the Syriac version, "and a little thou wilt put thine hand upon thy breast". The Jewish commentators understand this as a direction and command to sleep and slumber but little, since a little sleep is sufficient for nature; or otherwise poverty will come but the former sense is best.