Proverbs 21:26

ESV All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
NIV All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.
NASB All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back.
CSB He is filled with craving all day long, but the righteous give and don’t hold back.
NLT Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
KJV He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
NKJV He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare.

What does Proverbs 21:26 mean?

This continues a statement made in verse 25, contrasting immoral laziness with a righteous approach to work. A lazy person's desire to do nothing leads them to ruin, even to death (Proverbs 21:25).

Here, Solomon notes how those who are idle have intense desires, which cannot be fulfilled in part because of their laziness. The person who produces nothing still wants food and shelter; they become a bottomless pit that swallows everything without giving back anything in return. By contrast, a righteous person is generous. This generosity is not merely an expression of godliness, but it is also enabled by their work ethic. The righteous person understands they are a steward of all God has given; therefore, they use money and possessions wisely and with a mind to furthering the gospel.

First Corinthians 4:1–2 states: "This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful." Paul was a faithful steward. In his farewell address to the Ephesian elders, he said, "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'" (Acts 20:33–35).
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