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The one who loves pleasure will become a poor person;
the one who loves wine and oil will not become rich. Bible

“not become rich.” The phrase “will not become rich” is the figure of speech tapeinosis, or “understatement.” The truth is understated for emphasis. The person who loves pleasure will spend their money on all kinds of things that bring them pleasure but that they don’t need to spend their money on and they will eventually end up poor. The second stanza contains that same idea. the person who loves wine and oil will “not become rich,” that is, they will become poor, as the first stanza says.

One of the fruit of the spirit is self-control, and self-control is essential to long-term success in life. For example, if you want to have money to retire, you have to save regularly for a long time instead of spending all that you make on things you want and “need.” If you want your physical body to stay in shape, you have to exercise regularly year after year. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat properly and exercise over a long period of time. The Devil wants people poor and sick, so “the world” puts its emphasis on “now.” For example, “Buy it now even if you don’t have the money—just use credit.” The wise Christian knows the value of self-discipline and acting wisely, and the Bible has a number of verses on the subject (cp. Prov. 5:23; 6:6-11; 21:20; 23:20-21).


Commentary for: Proverbs 21:17