Proverbs 12:27

ESV Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
NIV The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.
NASB A lazy person does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a person is diligence.
CSB A lazy hunter doesn't roast his game, but to a diligent person, his wealth is precious.
NLT Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.
KJV The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

What does Proverbs 12:27 mean?

This verse again contrasts the lazy person and the hard worker. The phrasing used here is awkward to translate, leading to several possibilities. The difficulty here is a Hebrew word typically translated "roast," but which isn't used anywhere else in the Bible. The person depicted might be so idle that they don't even cook the food they catch. Alternately, the point may be that they're too sluggish to seek out food, or prey, so they go hungry, instead. Either phrase, "to hunt" or "to roast" is a possible translation of the word in question.

Paul addressed the sin of laziness in his second letter to the Thessalonians. He counseled the church not to contribute to a person's laziness by including him in the church's welfare program. He said, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies" (2 Thessalonians 3:10–11).

By contrast, Solomon predicts that the hard-working person will obtain wealth. A common English proverb is that "money does not grow on trees" (Proverbs 6:6). Scripture includes the idea that hardworking people can still suffer loss (Job 1:20–21), and that evil people sometimes seem to prosper (Psalm 73:2–3; Habakkuk 1:2–4). And yet, the general case is exactly what this verse states: laziness pulls a person towards poverty, while hard work moves them in the right direction (Proverbs 10:4).
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