Proverbs 24:30

ESV I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
NIV I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
NASB I passed by the field of a lazy one, And by the vineyard of a person lacking sense,
CSB I went by the field of a slacker and by the vineyard of one lacking sense.
NLT I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense.
KJV I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

What does Proverbs 24:30 mean?

Some kings isolated themselves from the people and rarely left their palaces. That, apparently, was not the case with Solomon. He took at least some trips to view the outside world. More likely, given his reputation as a wise judge, he was more of an on-site manager of the kingdom.

What is seen here was not the purpose of Solomon's visit. Nor was it the reason he traveled. He did not leave the palace to see this; it was something seen in passing. What he sees is evidence of a lazy, inept manager (Proverbs 24:31–34). The condition of the field makes it plain that it's not merely struggling. The owner is not facing some hardship; the property shows evidence that it's being neglected.

The term "sluggard" translates a word used to describe those who put forth no effort (Proverbs 6:6, 9; 19:24; 20:4). This is the person who knows what should be done, but finds excuses not to do it. The word "fool" is used often in the Book of Proverbs, usually to describe those who ignore godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). It can also identify someone with no common sense. Laziness is condemned in the Bible. The apostle Paul drew a clear line between those who are prevented from work—such as by illness, injury, or disability—and those who choose not to work. He wrote: "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
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