Essay Question #3: Describe the teachings of Hebrew wisdom on diligence and laziness. How does this correspond with the contrast between wisdom and folly? Include Scripture references and quotations as appropriate.
I. A Summary of what Hebrew Wisdom Teaches about Diligence and Laziness. The dictionary defines diligence as “careful and persistent work or effort” and laziness as “the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy”. By these definitions we can see that diligence and laziness are the exact opposite of each other. “The eagerly sought after trait of diligence is often addressed within the book of Proverbs. Laziness – diligence’s lethargic antonym – is likewise frequently
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II. An Explanation of How Diligence and Laziness Corresponds and Contrasts with Wisdom and Folly. The dictionary defines wisdom as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise” and folly as the lack of good sense; foolishness. In these definitions we can see that diligence could be a synonym for wisdom and laziness could be a synonym for folly. You can't have one without the other. In reading Proverbs 10–22 it can create ethical reflection not only because they are designed to do so, but also because they are so different from the proverbs we are used to. Chapters 1-9 set chapters 10–22 in the context of building our life according to God's wisdom(Clifford, 2009). Most of this was written by Solomon, for example, in Proverbs 10:1 it says, “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son, heartache to his mother”. And in verse seven it says, “The remembrance of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot”. “The lines are not in opposition to each other. Both express the idea that lifestyle choices have consequences, but they express that idea by using contrasting terms and opposite perspectives. This type of parallelism is especially prominent in Proverbs because the contrast between the ways of wisdom and folly were developed in that book” (Hindson, Yates 2012). In someone’s life, it takes a great amount of wisdom and diligence to