Proverbs 6:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 6:10, NIV: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--

Proverbs 6:10, ESV: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,

Proverbs 6:10, KJV: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

Proverbs 6:10, NASB: 'A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest,'

Proverbs 6:10, NLT: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--

Proverbs 6:10, CSB: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest,

What does Proverbs 6:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This passage warns against the dangers of laziness, contrasting it with the positive example of the ant (Proverbs 6:6–9). Those who are lazy are depicted as excessively sleeping, which is often used as a symbol of irresponsibility. The end of this section warns that laziness puts a person at risk when they fall into hard times (Proverbs 6:11). Here, Solomon points out that tolerating even a little laziness is risky: what starts off as "a little" can become a crippling habit.

Perhaps the lazy person depicted here plans to work after a little more sleep, but he is fooling himself. He soon falls into a deep, prolonged sleep and never goes to work. Or he habitually avoids work and gets behind. The risk involved here is the loss of preparation. When hard times strike, there is no opportunity to "make up" for those lost hours. A person can work ahead to prepare for a crisis (Proverbs 6:8) but cannot go back in time to recover wasted opportunity.

In the garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was agonizing in prayer and anticipating His crucifixion, His disciples were supposed to be praying but were sleeping. When Jesus found them sleeping a third time instead of watching and praying, as He had commanded them to do, He told them, "Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand" (Matthew 26:45–46).