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The fool folds his hands and consumes his flesh.

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In contrast to the over achiever, the foolish man does no work at all and thus brings himself to ruin. Over-achieving is meaningless; being lazy is like suicide; both extremes are outside of God’s plan.


1: “Consumes his flesh”

All 28 Bible versions that I consulted translate this clause in a way that indicates that “the fool brings destruction upon himself.”  Some commentaries point toward the idea that “even the fool eats meat” meaning that “even the one who hardly works gets by.” That does not appear to be what the text actually says. The image of one folding his hands was a common word picture of that era; it was not that of a person who works the bare minimum, but of a person who does no work at all.

There is no introductory statement to indicate that this statement stands in contrast to what was said in the previous verse. However, it must be a contrast for no other interpretation is viable.