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The poor person makes his palm idle,
but a diligent hand makes one rich. Bible

“idle.” The Hebrew word is remiyah (#07423 רְמִיָּה), and has two fundamental meanings: 1) slackness; sluggish, lax, negligent, and careless behavior, and 2) deceitfulness, treachery. It occurs 16 times in the OT, of which 5 are in Psalms and 4 are in Proverbs (Prov. 10:4; 12:24, 27; 19:15), and it has the definition of slackness; sluggish, lax, negligent, and careless behavior all four times in Proverbs. The difficulty of the reading of the Hebrew text has caused most versions to word this verse in a way that is more easily understood in English, but it is true that most poor people could work more diligently if they decided to and cut expenses, increase income, or both. Many poor people do indeed “make” their palm idle.


Commentary for: Proverbs 10:4