Sloth and shame again (What hath Solomon to do with Franz Oppenheimer)

I speculated why a son who sleeps in harvest is said to cause “shame” rather than poverty or hunger.

Now that I’m attempting to memorize Proverbs 10, I think my answer is probably not the message of Proverbs.

Here is the verse in context:

The proverbs of Solomon.

A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.

These proverbs start with the basic contrast between wisdom and foolishness in terms of parents. Then it correlates two pairs of options: righteousness and wickedness and diligence and slothfulness.

These are related because if one is not willing to work to provide and to save, then one will have to rob and defraud.

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

With these four lines Solomon reminds us of Chapter 1 where he addressed the temptation to join a gang of robbers. The contrast between the righteous and the wicked is introduces in terms of provision and production. One can work or one can plunder.

So the son causes shame because he is likely to enter a life of crime.

2 thoughts on “Sloth and shame again (What hath Solomon to do with Franz Oppenheimer)

  1. Pingback: Mark Horne » Blog Archive » Robbery, honest labor, and speech

  2. Pingback: Four reasons to memorize Proverbs

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