Proverbs 20:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 20:13, NIV: Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.

Proverbs 20:13, ESV: Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.

Proverbs 20:13, KJV: Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Proverbs 20:13, NASB: Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

Proverbs 20:13, NLT: If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!

Proverbs 20:13, CSB: Don't love sleep, or you will become poor; open your eyes, and you'll have enough to eat.

What does Proverbs 20:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Solomon (Proverbs 10:1) warns again about the potential consequences of laziness (Proverbs 6:4; 10:4). Hard work is not a magic spell that guarantees success—but the hardworking person is at much less risk of poverty than the person who is sluggish. Sleep is not bad (Proverbs 3:21–24) and neither is rest (Exodus 16:23–30). However, the person who sleeps when they should work is at risk. A prior proverb compared a lazy person to someone asleep: they are inactive and unaware of their surroundings (Proverbs 19:15).

Some people prefer to sleep rather than face reality. A common symptom of severe depression is unusual sleepiness or fatigue. But the reality is that God-honoring work is both therapeutic and essential. The apostle Paul actively engaged in work. Most Bible teachers believe he was a tentmaker. Acts 20:33–35 quotes him as telling the elders of the church at Ephesus, "I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.""