Proverbs 13:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 13:4, NIV: A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Proverbs 13:4, ESV: The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Proverbs 13:4, KJV: The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

Proverbs 13:4, NASB: The soul of the lazy one craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made prosperous.

Proverbs 13:4, NLT: Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.

Proverbs 13:4, CSB: The slacker craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent is fully satisfied.

What does Proverbs 13:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse depicts something common enough to be both stereotype and sad truth. An idle person often daydreams about what they want, or what they wish to accomplish. Yet they never attain those goals because they are too lazy to work for them.

On the other hand, a hardworking person is much more likely to achieve their goals, because they work hard to get them. Proverbs 20:4 offers a companion statement about the lazy person. It observes: "The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing." Every farmer knows he must work his land, often from dusk to dawn, to enjoy a good harvest. Laziness may be easy, but it produces nothing except destitution. Even in the garden of Eden before sin entered the human race, God gave Adam the responsibility to work. Genesis 2:15 tells us, "The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." Work is both therapeutic and rewarding.

Other statements in the book of Proverbs echo this contrast between hard work and idleness (Proverbs 6:6; 10:4; 12:11).