Proverbs 12:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 12:24, NIV: "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor."

Proverbs 12:24, ESV: "The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor."

Proverbs 12:24, KJV: "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute."

Proverbs 12:24, NASB: "The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy hand will be put to forced labor."

Proverbs 12:24, NLT: "Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave."

Proverbs 12:24, CSB: "The diligent hand will rule, but laziness will lead to forced labor."

What does Proverbs 12:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The term translated "diligent" here is also used in Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 12:27, and Proverbs 13:4. The term is related to words that imply something sharp or cutting. The impression seems to be someone effective, in control, and making progress. The other verses where this idea is used also imply someone who is hardworking, in contrast to someone lazy or distracted with trivial things. For the most part, "diligent" workers are more likely to be promoted into positions of authority, while those who are lazy tend to be left to the least desirable tasks.

A diligent person has self-control. He rules the circumstances in which he finds himself, rather than being ruled by them. The apostle Paul was diligent. He disciplined his body (1 Corinthians 9:26–27), and he pressed on to become spiritually mature (Philippians 3:12). Even when he was under house arrest in Rome, he did not let harsh circumstance dominate his thoughts and feelings. He learned to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:11). He writes also: "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:12–13).