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Proverbs 6:6-11 – The Sin of Sloth


Learn from the ants: Don't be lazy!


This is the first and one of the most memorable of a good number of warnings against sloth in Proverbs. One of the classic seven deadly sins has been identified as laziness or, to use the more ancient and colorful word, sloth. The device of learning from nonhuman creatures is another one that comes up often in Proverbs (see also 30:24-28).

Proverbs 6:6-11

6 Go to the ant, you lazybones;
   consider its ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief
   or officer or ruler,
8 it prepares its food in summer,
   and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
   When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
   a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
   and want, like an armed warrior.

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