as smoke to the eyes, so the lazy man is to those sending him forth.”—Prov. 10:26.
Lack of heart
The foolish reasoning of a lazy individual shows him to be “in want of heart.” (Prov. 15:21) No matter what he may think, his motive is not good. He does not have love. And the servant of God who is lazy is also weak in faith. (Heb. 6:12) The slothful one’s laziness will eventually bring dire results to him, for “the very craving of the lazy will put him to death.” His craving is for things he does not deserve, or that are wrong. He may come to ruin in trying to get them. At any rate, his craving with laziness turns him away from God the Source of life.—Prov. 21:25.
The Christian who is lazy is not cultivating the fruitage of the spirit, which will enliven and activate (Acts 18:25), but is actually bringing himself into trouble. He is catering to the desires of the flesh. He may soon be “walking disorderly,” “not working at all but meddling with what does not concern” him.—2 Thess. 3:11.
HOW VIEWED IN THE CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION
In the early Christian congregation an arrangement was established to give material help to needy ones, especially to widows. It seems that some of the younger widows expressed themselves as desirous of using their freedom as widows to engage zealously in the Christian ministry. (Compare 1 Corinthians 7:34.) Evidently some of such were given material assistance. But instead of using in a proper manner the greater freedom and additional time thus afforded them, they became idle, unoccupied, beginning to gad about. They became gossipers and meddlers in other people’s affairs, talking of things they ought not. For this reason, the apostle Paul instructed the overseer Timothy not to put such persons on the list for aid, but to let them marry and use their energies and directive tendencies in having children and a household to manage.—1 Tim. 5:9-16.
In the matter of material assistance in the Christian congregation, the Bible rule is: “If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.” (2 Thess. 3:10) The family head must provide for his household, and the wife must not eat “the bread of laziness.”—Prov. 31:27; 1 Tim. 5:8.
AVOID SLUGGISHNESS IN STUDY AND IN THE MINISTRY
Counsel is given against laziness as to studying and getting a deeper understanding of God’s purposes and as to engaging in the Christian ministry. The apostle Paul reproved some unprogressive Hebrew Christians, pointing out: “You have become dull [sluggish] in your hearing. For, indeed, although you ought to be teachers in view of the time, you again need someone to teach you from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God; and you have become such as need milk, not solid food.” (Heb. 5:11, 12) He also admonishes: “Do not loiter [be slothful] at your business. Be aglow with the spirit.”—Rom. 12:11.
Jesus foretold that there would be a class of persons claiming to be his servants who would become sluggish and wicked, not working to increase the Master’s interests in the earth. The Master, on his return, would take away from them the interests committed to their care and would have them thrown as a “good-for-nothing slave” “into the darkness outside.”—Matt. 25:18, 24-30.
One of the heavier metallic elements, having the specific gravity 11.34. With understanding, therefore, Moses poetically sang in triumph that the Egyptians “sank like lead” in the Red Sea. (Ex. 15:10) The dull-gray metal was useful as weight on fishlines and nets and as heavy lids or covers. The Hebrew word translated “plummet” in Amos 7:7, 8 may mean “lead” or “tin.” The Greek word for “sounding” at Acts 27:28 is from a root meaning “to heave the lead.” For permanency and legibility liquid lead was sometimes poured into engravings on stone—a practice dating at least to Job’s day. (Job 19:23, 24) “Soldering” (Heb., deʹveq) is mentioned at Isaiah 41:7 in connection with the making of idols, but whether the solder was made of lead and tin, as today, is not known.
The most common source of lead was galena, a lead sulfide ore. It was mined in the Arabah between the S end of the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah. Tarshish (Spain) was another source of supply. (Ezek. 27:12) Lead ore had to be smelted in a furnace like the ores of other metals. (Jer. 6:29; Ezek. 22:18-20; compare Numbers 31:22, 23.) The first step in the refining process converted lead sulfide to lead oxide, which was itself sometimes used as a pottery glaze, as evidenced in the ruins of Egypt and Nineveh.—See REFINE, REFINER.
LEADER, NOBLE, PRINCE
Several Hebrew words may be translated variously as “leader,” “noble” and “prince.” Those appearing most frequently are as follows:
Na·ghidhʹ, meaning “chief,” “leader,” “head of family,” is applied to Saul and David in connection with their being designated as kings over Israel, and to Hezekiah as the king of Judah, with the responsibility of shepherding Jehovah’s people. (1 Sam. 9:16; 25:30; 2 Sam. 5:2; 2 Ki. 20:5) The tribe of Judah was selected by Jehovah to be leader of the twelve tribes of Israel. From Judah came the kingly dynasty of David.—1 Chron. 28:4; Gen. 49:10; Judg. 1:2.
Jesus is referred to as “Messiah the Leader” and “a leader and commander to the national groups,” at Daniel 9:25 and Isaiah 55:4. He counseled his disciples: “Neither be called ‘leaders,’ for your Leader [from Gr., ka·the·ge·tesʹ, a guide] is one, the Christ.” (Matt. 23:10) As regards the Christian congregation, Jesus Christ is the only one rightly bearing the title “Leader,” because no imperfect human is the leader of true Christians; they follow Christ. While there are those who ‘take the lead’ in God’s service, they are not titled “leader” or addressed as such and their example is to be followed only as they imitate Christ.—1 Cor. 11:1; Heb. 13:7.
Na·dhivʹ, meaning “noble,” “willing,” “volunteer,” is used at Numbers 21:18, paralleling the term “princes,” for the willing ones of Israel who excavated a well in the wilderness. It also describes the volunteer contributors to the tabernacle construction. (Ex. 35:5) As used at Job 12:21, positions of prominence and power are indicated.—See also Psalm 83:9-11.
The Hebrew word hhoh·rimʹ, meaning “nobles,” “free ones,” is used for certain men of influence in a city of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel (1 Ki. 21:8, 11); also for Jews who held authority under the Persian Empire. (Neh. 5:7; 13:17) Many of the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem, including Daniel and his companions, were carried captive to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in the first captivity in 617 B.C.E. and others were slaughtered by him in 607 B.C.E.—Jer. 27:20; 39:6; Dan. 1:3, 6.
Sar, meaning “prince,” “chief,” “leader,” “official,” is drawn from a verb meaning “to rule,” “to have dominion.” While it is often translated “prince,” it does not necessarily apply to the son of a king or a person of royal rank in every instance. The tribal heads of Israel were called “princes.” (1 Chron. 27:22) Those holding high office under Pharaoh of Egypt and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon were so titled. (Gen. 12:15; Jer. 38:17, 18, 22; Esther 3:12) An army chief might be termed a sar. (Neh. 2:9) Jehovah is called the “Prince of the army” and the “Prince of princes,” at Daniel 8:11, 25. Michael the archangel is “the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of [Daniel’s] people.” (Dan. 12:1) Invisible demon princes governing the world powers of Persia and Greece are mentioned at Daniel 10:13, 20.—Compare Ephesians 6:12.