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Peter Wallace: I had originally planned on preaching topically through Proverbs 10-31, but the more I dig through it, the more convinced I am that there really is a structure and pattern in these chapters that gets lost when you bounce around!

Right now we are in the “proverbs of Solomon” (10:1 – 22:16). The first section — 10:1 – 15:29 — consists of largely antithetical proverbs — proverbs that contrast the two ways: the righteous and the wicked, the diligent and the sluggard, the wise and the fool. And, as you have no doubt noticed by now, each chapter talks about words, deeds, and ends. What you say and what you do are important in shaping where you are going. The pattern may vary, but plainly these chapters were set up intentionally to be literary units. When we get to chapter 16, we will see a switch from antithetical to synthetic proverbs — where the second line adds to the first, rather than contrasts with it.

We have seen a pretty regular pattern in this opening part of the proverbs of Solomon. What you say – and how you live – form the pattern of your life. If you don’t like the trajectory – then turn – repent – change your path. How do you do that? Change your words. Change your actions.


Caleb Nelson: Talking Well and Eating Well

  1. The Foundation of Everything: Listening Well, v. 1
  2. How You Talk, What You Eat, and How You Handle Yourself are All Connected, vv. 2-3
  3. Wanting without Working is Meaningless, v. 4
  4. Righteous Talking Protects, Evil Putrefies, vv. 5-6

A.  (:1) Contrasting Responses to Discipline

A wise son accepts his father’s discipline,

But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

Allen Ross: The point of this antithetical saying is teachability. The “scorner” (lēṣ; “mocker,” NIV; GK 4370) is the highest level of a fool. He has no respect for authority, reviles religion, and because he thinks that he knows what is best, is not teachable (Whybray, 77). The use of geʿārâ (“rebuke”) shows that the mocker does not respond to any level of discipline.

Tremper Longman: This proverb provides an antithesis between wisdom and folly, here represented by one of its more extreme forms, the “mocker” (lēṣ). There is no verb in the first colon, but the idea is certainly that the wise son is wise because he is open to his father’s “discipline” (mûsār; see 1:2). Discipline entails verbal and physical corrections. The wise son is one who pays attention when his father corrects him, and thus is not apt to repeat the same wrong behavior. A mocker is someone who resists correction. Indeed, the act of mocking is a way of attacking those who might offer advice. The mocker refuses to admit wrongdoing and so cannot tolerate a rebuke that points out mistakes. Accordingly, the mocker cannot improve behavior.

B.  (:2) Contrasting Appetites

From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good,

But the desire of the treacherous is violence.

Allen Ross: Words and wishes find their just rewards. This saying concerns the outcome of conduct; as Alden, 104–5, says, a common theme in Proverbs is that you get what you deserve.

Paul Koptak: This proverb contrasts the “fruit of the mouth” (peri pi) by which a person “eats good” with hunger for violence, implying that the treacherous person both speaks and eats this dangerous fruit (cf. 10:11); the pairing of “good” (ṭob) and “unfaithful” (bogedim) appears again in 13:15.

Tremper Longman: The proverb begins by commenting on the consequences of speech (see a similar statement at 12:14). The assumption is that the speech is wise and helpful, and as a result the speaker eats well. Good advice brings its rewards to the one who gives it. The second colon contrasts negative with positive, but they are not exactly parallel. We might expect a comment on how foolish words lead to hunger. But the contrast is drawn in a different and more interesting fashion. The faithless prefer violence to satisfy their appetite. They would prefer to hurt others with their words.

Lindsay Wilson: If you use your mouth properly, you will prosper and so have plenty to eat. While the words of such a person are wholesome, a deceitful or treacherous person (niv, ‘unfaithful’) seeks only destruction and violence (v. 2b). The implication is that the violent actions that will follow are the fruit of the treacherous. The contrast between the consequence of preserving life or leading to ruin is then drawn out in verse 3.

C.  (:3) Contrasting Control of Speech and Destinies

The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;

The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Paul Koptak: These two sayings [vv. 2-3] caution us to watch what our mouths put out in speech as well as what they take in to satisfy their desires.

Tremper Longman: This proverb fits in with the teaching on using words sparingly (10:14; 12:18; 13:16; 17:27, 28). It employs antithetical parallelism to contrast the consequences of infrequent speech with verbosity. Talking too much leads to all kinds of problems. It is not that wise persons never speak, but they choose their words very carefully. As Van Leeuwen astutely states, “Verse 3 follows logically upon verse 2. Since speech bears good or bad fruit, the organs of speech must be carefully controlled.”

D.  (:4) Contrasting Work Ethics and Fulfillment of Desires

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,

But the soul of the diligent is made fat.

Peter Wallace: The question is what do you desire? How do you desire it? And how do you go about seeking that which you desire?!

Allen Ross: Rather than spend all day hoping for things they do not have, the diligent work toward realizing their dreams. McKane, 458, writes, “Laziness is barren and encourages escapism; the illusory world of desire unrelated to attainment is a prison.”

Paul Koptak: Here “desire” (nepeš) by itself brings nothing; it must be accompanied by industry, which (lit.) “fattens” or fills one’s desire. The person who eschews violence and sloth in word and deed is rewarded accordingly.

David Guzik:  It isn’t that the lazy man or woman lacks desire; they wish for many things. Yet they have nothing because they cannot or will not apply themselves to the work required to take desires to reality.

E.  (:5) Contrasting Approaches to Falsehood and Shameful Behavior

A righteous man hates falsehood,

But a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully.

Paul Koptak: The contrast in verse 5 pits falsehood against its result of shame and disgrace, with the implication that one leads to the other and the wicked bring both with them wherever they go. “What is false” is debar-šeqer, a false word or deed. The word for shame can be translated as “smell” or “stink.”

David Guzik: The implication is that wicked men and women love the lie, and this makes them loathsome and repulsive. This will surely bring them to shame.

Caleb Nelson: Are you willing to lie? Don’t be. Lying produces disgusting, disgraceful results. Your reputation will be destroyed, and so will your character. You will be an objectively shameful condition because you are not what you ought to be. Ultimately, the liar will be destroyed by his own wickedness. Again we hear this theme sounded. God usually punishes sinners simply by letting their own sins get the best of them. The more you give yourself over to sin, the greater the risk that that sin will destroy you. Conversely, righteousness is the best protection. It’s how God takes care of His wise sons.

F.  (:6) Contrasting Paths and Protections

Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless,

But wickedness subverts the sinner.

Tremper Longman: Here is a further contrast between two groups of people: the innocent, obviously on the side of the wise, and the sinners, obviously connected to fools. The verbs contrast the consequences in store for the two groups. The righteous are protected, and the sinners are misled. The verse utilizes the two-path theology of the book to make its point. The proverb thus expresses a general principle that needs to be filled out, based on the broader teaching of the book. Murphy believes that the abstract principles of righteousness and wickedness are here personified.

Allen Ross: This little contrast shows that righteousness, like a fortress, protects the man of integrity (see 2:11; 4:6). This may work through divine intervention or natural causes. “Righteousness” (ṣedāqâ) refers to that which conforms to God’s law and to order; so it would be natural to expect that the perfect walk (tām-dārek, lit., “the way of integrity”; “the man of integrity,” NIV) would be safe. By contrast, perverse and malicious activity (riš ʿâ, “wickedness”) plunges one into sinful activity.

Charles Bridges: Righteousness is steady conformity to God’s mind.  We do not exalt it by any meritorious efficacy or put it in the place of simply looking to Jesus for life and salvation.  When a Christian lives as a man of integrity, he never loses his sense of sin or forgets his need of mercy.  This righteousness is not perfection.  Yet, blessed by God, the uprightness is accepted, and the fault is covered (2 Chronicles 15:17).


Lindsay Wilson: Wealth is a theme of a number of the proverbs (vv. 7–8, 11) in this part of the chapter, but each makes a different observation about money. What emerges in this section is an acknowledgment of wealth’s value, but also some mention of its downside and a reminder of the need to combine it with righteousness and wisdom.

Caleb Nelson: The Relative Advantages of Wealth

Proposition: Wealth is a powerful tool, but don’t worship it, because Wisdom and righteousness are better than wealth.

I  Wealth: Not Ultimate, v. 7

A.  It can be defined in various ways

B.  It can be faked

ii.  Wealth: Highly Advantageous, v. 8

A.  It can buy your life, v. 8a

B.  It makes you learn better, v. 8b

III.  Wealth: Upstaged by Jesus, vv. 9-10

A.  Righteousness supersedes wealth, v. 9

B.  Listening brings Wisdom and therefore peace, v. 10

IV.  Wealth: How you got it matters for whether you’ll keep it, v. 11

A.  (:7) Appearances Can Be Deceiving

There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing;

Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.

Paul Koptak: Verses 7 and 8 are linked by the catchwords “poor” and “rich” to show that riches are not as clear an indication of status and worth as we often believe (though we do not often admit it). In both cases, the “poor” come off better than those who have riches or desire them. Appearances can be deceiving, as verse 7 shows, and riches are no guarantee of safety, a concern of verse 8.

David Guzik: “Our own age abounds with men who have made themselves rich, and yet have nothing. They have amassed great wealth, and yet it has no purchasing power in the true things of life. It cannot insure health, it brings no happiness, it often destroys peace.” (Morgan)

And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches: There are those who willingly make themselves poor on a material level, and do so out of generosity to others or out of fixed spiritual priorities. Such ones have great riches in this life and in the life to come.

“To make self rich, is to destroy the capacity for life. To make self poor, by enriching others, is to live.”  (Morgan)

The greatest occasion of anyone making himself poor, yet gaining great riches through it was that of Jesus Christ. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

B.  (:8) Riches Can Invite Attacks

The ransom of a man’s life is his riches,

But the poor hears no rebuke.

Allen Ross: The rich person is exposed to legal and powerful assaults and uses his wealth as ransom. The poor person is free from blackmail and so ignores the attack and endures the consequences of difficulties.

Paul Koptak: This verse allows that riches can get one out of trouble, but only as it reminds us that it is better to hear no threat of trouble at all. The source of this security is not stated, perhaps because the poor have nothing to covet or steal or because the poor are protected along with the righteous (13:6). The word for “ransom” is the same one used for “compensation” of the jealous husband in 6:35 and should therefore be understood as payment for damages or trouble, a release from obligation rather than a release from bondage (but see 21:18).

In any case, the poor do not have money to buy their way out of legal entanglements and other difficulties, but they may not need to as often as those with money do.

C.  (:9) Consequences of Righteous vs. Wicked Behavior

The light of the righteous rejoices,

But the lamp of the wicked goes out.

Tremper Longman: An antithetical proverb expressing the contrary consequences of righteousness and wickedness (the ethical reflex of the bipolar contrast between wisdom and folly). “Light” here appears to be a metaphor for life energy, and when the lamp of the wicked is extinguished, it signifies at least removal of well-being if not death itself. This metaphor is used elsewhere (Job 18:6; 21:17; Prov. 20:20; 24:20 [where colon 2 is verbatim what we have here]). As in many other proverbs, this one is stated quite generally, but it serves to encourage ethical behavior.

Charles Bridges: The wicked have their lamp, a cold profession of the name of religion.  But as it has no oil, it quickly goes out (Matthew 25:8).  But even while it lasts, they do not rejoice.  Their lamp sheds no light on the soul.  It guides no fellow pilgrim with its light.  Its end will be dreadful.

D.  (:10) Submit to Wise Counsel

Through presumption comes nothing but strife,

But with those who receive counsel is wisdom.

Tremper Longman: Insolence is a pride that will not listen to other people, especially criticism of behavior or thought. On the other side are those who are open to correction and new ideas. The latter is the way of wisdom, and the implication is that the way of wisdom avoids “quarrels” (māṣṣâ). Compare 12:15.

Lindsay Wilson: Verse 10 concerns interpersonal relations, with the valuing of advice by others being the hallmark of wisdom, and contrasted with a presumptuous self-confidence that rudely rejects the suggestions of others. Riches can also lead to self-sufficiency, but those who take advice acknowledge their need of others.

E.  (:11) Avoid Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles,

But the one who gathers by labor increases it.

Tremper Longman: It appears to be a contrast between two different ways to accumulate wealth, one right and one wrong. The wrong way is by a get-rich-quick scheme (see also 20:21): easy come, easy go. The second colon suggests that a methodical accumulation of capital will last the test of time. Perhaps haste also suggests a “kind of disreputable action.”

Lindsay Wilson: Hebel has a range of meanings, but its core meaning (outside Ecclesiastes) is ‘vapour’. The image is thus one of wealth coming out of nothing (like a win in a lottery), and the warning given here is that it will disappear just as it came. Yet the steady, regular gathering of wealth (presumably through the diligent work of our hands) will endure.


Bruce Waltke: Fulfillment through Wisdom versus Frustration through Folly

Caleb Nelson:

Proposition: Depending on whether you want to listen or want to keep on sinning, getting what you want will be the greatest blessing you could experience — or the greatest curse.

I.  Getting What You Want, vv. 12, 19

II.  Wanting to Listen to the Word, vv. 13-19

A.  Depicted

The Tree of Life, v. 12b

The Fountain of Life, v. 14a

Tasting Sweetness, v. 19a

B.  Described

Being Rewarded, v. 13b

Being Favored, v. 15a

Being a Sensible Person Acting Knowledgeably, v. 16a

Bringing Health, v. 17b

Being Honored and Enriched, v. 18b

III.  Wanting to Ignore the Word, vv. 13-19

A.  Death and Destruction for the Poor Listener, vv. 13-15

B.  Poor Health for the Wicked Messenger/Speaker, v. 17

C.  Poverty and Shame for the Poor Listener, v. 18a

D.  Wanting to Flaunt Your Folly, vv. 16b, 19b

A.  (:12) Desires Long for Fulfillment

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Allen Ross: It is invigorating to realize one’s hopes; to fail to do so can be discouraging or depressing (maḥalâlēb, “makes the heart sick”). This is a general saying applicable to believers and unbelievers alike. Plaut, 153, elaborates that people can bear frustration only so long; they must have encouragement to continue.

Paul Koptak: This proverb looks at the more basic and general topic of desire and hope, a larger category that includes our desire of material goods. The sages were not ascetics, but neither were they acquisitive. Verses 11 and 12 seem to be linked in a way similar to comparison between the tree of life and material wealth in chapter 3. The tree of life in Proverbs is associated with wisdom herself (3:18) and the speech of the righteous (11:30; 15:4). Here it speaks to the goodness of our longings (taʾ ewah; cf. 13:19) that can be distorted by laziness and greed (13:4).

Tremper Longman: The idea is that anticipation or delay in the fulfillment of a desire leads to frustration, disappointment, or depression. The “heart” stands for the core personality of a person and here seems to connect specifically with one’s emotions (see 3:1). The fulfillment of a desire is compared to the tree of life, a very positive metaphor that points not just to physical life but also to the enjoyment of it.

Lindsay Wilson: (:12, 19) — The common mention of a desire fulfilled suggests that this concept is crucial to both these proverbs. While the nature of the desire is not mentioned, the result is described as a tree of life (v. 12b, ‘ēṣ ḥayyîm) and sweet/pleasant to the soul (v. 19a). The image of the tree of life echoes the idyllic picture of Eden in Genesis 2:9 and is not uncommon in Proverbs (3:18; 11:30; 15:4). Together with the description in verse 19, it implies that a deep longing that has been met is something that sustains and encourages a person. A clear contrast is made in verse 12a with hope deferred, which drains energy from a person. More problematic is the expression used in verse 19b, to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. This suggests that the desire that is fulfilled may be a desire for wisdom, which would make good sense of the images of the tree of life and sweet to the soul. Verse 19 would then describe the wise person who turned away from evil, embraced a desire for wisdom and found satisfaction, but such a course of action was an anathema to the fool who rejected wisdom. Such a view would also give a greater cohesiveness to this section, which would then clarify what is meant by embracing wisdom and the value of doing so.

B.  (:13) Reward for Obedience

The one who despises the word will be in debt to it,

But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

Tremper Longman: Fools do not listen to advice, while the wise pay attention to those who guide and offer correction (3:11–12; 9:7–9; 12:1, 15; 27:5–6; etc.).

C.  (:14) Wisdom Is Life-Giving

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,

To turn aside from the snares of death.

Tremper Longman: The metaphor of a “spring of life” (see also 10:11) is apt because water provides life, and flowing, bubbling water, compared to a stagnant pool, illustrates vitality.

D.  (:15) Value of Discernment

Good understanding produces favor,

But the way of the treacherous is hard.

E.  (:16) Actions Display Wisdom or Expose Folly

Every prudent man acts with knowledge,

But a fool displays folly.

Paul Koptak: The contrast illustrates the truth that we display either knowledge or ignorance when we act, and so we receive either favor or shame (cf. 13:15). The public nature of a person’s actions is echoed in 13:17–18.

F.  (:17) Faithfulness = Key Trait for a Messenger

A wicked messenger falls into adversity,

But a faithful envoy brings healing.

Allen Ross: The faithfulness of the messenger determines the success of the mission.

Paul Koptak: Faithful messengers do more than avoid causing trouble; they smooth it over. If you sent someone into a conflict situation, you would want one who would make it better, not worse.

Tremper Longman: Messengers played an important role in human relationships in an age long before email. They might be given a letter or perhaps an oral message to deliver. A reliable envoy would be one who delivered the message in a timely and accurate fashion. A wicked messenger could fail to deliver the message, delay it, or garble its content. In any case, according to the proverb, these wicked messengers could bring trouble on themselves by their actions, even conceivably as a direct result of their bad actions. On the other hand, the reliable envoy becomes a vehicle of healing, presumably for both the sender and the recipient of the message.

G.  (:18) Response to Discipline

Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline,

But he who regards reproof will be honored.

H.  (:19) Desires Long for Fulfillment

Desire realized is sweet to the soul,

But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Allen Ross: One can surely say that Proverbs teaches people to make their desires good so that fulfilling them is cause for joy.

Paul Koptak: With the phrase “longing fulfilled,” this saying marks the end of a frame with 13:12, but it is also linked with 13:20 by the catchword “fools.” What is implied in 13:12 is explicit here as desires are fulfilled or frustrated, depending on one’s response to instruction and correction. Fools who refuse to turn from evil will certainly not enjoy the sweetness of fulfilled desire; their actions will bear their fruits, but will they be sweet? According to 20:17, they will taste like gravel. Only a fool would fail to appreciate this truth after so many repetitions! The point is reinforced by the assonance between the Hebrew for “desire” (taʾ ewah) and “detest” (toʿ ebah; the w and b are both sounded as v in Hebrew), making the rhyme a strong component of the rhetoric.


Caleb Nelson: Who You Are, Who You’ll Be (:20-25)

Proposition: The righteous will be satisfied, but the wicked will hunger eternally.

I.  The Company and the Destination, v. 20

II.  The Long-Term Consequences of Sin and Righteousness, v. 21

A.  Righteousness Produces a Material Inheritance for Grandchildren, v. 22

B.  Wickedness Produces Material Hunger, v. 23

C.  Righteousness Produces a Moral Heritage for Children, v. 24

D.  The Wicked will Hunger Eternally, v. 25

A.  (:20) Impact of Associations

He who walks with wise men will be wise,

But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Allen Ross: Proper company contributes to safety and growth. This verse advises association with the wise and not with fools. The wordplay in the second line stresses the power of association. . .  The point cannot be missed: Examine who is influencing you.

Paul Koptak: Fools not only refuse to turn from evil, they also fail to choose good company. The first line shows the result in character; the second, the result in outcome. The truth that even one’s choice of companions has its consequences is harder to see for those making the decision, as both parents and their children know. Together, 13:19 and 20 connect wisdom and longing, encouraging the learner that having desires is not bad but good, yet those desires must be pursued in wise ways.

Tremper Longman: The most natural way of understanding this verse is that the virtues or vices of those with whom one associates will rub off on the person. But perhaps people are attracted to those who are like them, so then this observation is simply on the natural order of things. Like attracts like. Woman Wisdom herself keeps company with virtues like prudence, knowledge, and discretion; she avoids contact with pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech (8:12–13).

Charles Bridges: Walking with the wise, under their instruction, encouragement, and example, makes us become wise.  Note, young people, the responsibility of the choice of friends.  The world may allure, the ungodly may mock, the evil heart may consent to their voice.  But you must seek strength from God and resolve to walk with the wise.

If we can live among the worldly without feeling out of our element, if we can breathe a tainted atmosphere without awareness of infection, if we can familiarize ourselves with the absence of religion in ordinary life, unsubdued worldliness has us in its grip.  The first warning to sinners just rescued from the fire was to save themselves from this wicked generation (Acts 2:40).

B.  (:21) Just Recompense

Adversity pursues sinners,

But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.

C.  (:22) Commensurate Inheritance

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,

And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

D.  (:23) Impact of Injustice

Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor,

But it is swept away by injustice.

Paul Koptak: The blessings of God and nature may favor the poor, but an astute observer will also note that their gain can be taken by injustice. The pessimism of this saying stands out from its context, yet its realistic outlook provides a counterbalance to the optimism of 13:22. We may say that verse 22 looks at the ultimate outcome while verse 23 looks at situations we often encounter in life. Proverbs describe what usually happens, not what always must happen. Said another way, it is true that we often see situations that look like verse 23, yet the unseen resolution of verse 22 is the one to bet on. Once again, learners are challenged to practice foresight, patience, and faith while maintaining a strong sense of justice.

Tremper Longman: While according to Proverbs the foolish behavior most commonly resulting in poverty is laziness (6:6–11; 10:4, 5; 19:15; 22:13; etc.), other reasons for poverty are also given, including indulgence (21:17). However, here folly is not in mind at all, but rather, poverty is the result of some form of injustice perpetrated toward the poor. The assumption is that some persons have worked hard and done everything within their power to gain material prosperity, but forces beyond their control have robbed them of it. The result is called a “lack of justice.” The wording makes it unlikely that a natural disaster (e.g., flooding) is in mind here, but rather some type of human malice. However, the verse gets no more specific than this because injustice can come in many different forms, for example, an exploitative landlord or unfair government taxation. This verse is significant because it acknowledges that it is not only the godless fool who can be poor.


A.  (:24) Discipline Motivated by Love

He who spares his rod hates his son,

But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Tremper Longman: one can imagine how a person who understood the importance of discipline for oneself might yet hesitate to apply it to a son. After all, it is difficult to inflict discomfort of any kind on a child that one loves. However, this admonition points out that more harm is done to a child by withholding discipline than by applying it. The sage would understand reluctance to apply discipline, whether physical or verbal, to be child neglect and child abuse.

Lindsay Wilson: Children or youths who are left to follow their own desires will usually be self-indulgent rather than self-disciplined. Echoing verse 1, we all need discipline to become the people God wants us to be, and this takes effort (e.g. 2 Pet. 1:5–8). The proper exercise of discipline is not an abuse of power, but rather the outworking of loving concern for those entrusted to our care.

B.  (:25) Sufficiency Provided to the Righteous

The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,

But the stomach of the wicked is in want.

Allen Ross: Righteousness is rewarded by the satisfaction of one’s physical needs. This saying is another general one based on the law’s teachings about God’s blessings (Lev 26). It could also be implying that what the righteous acquire will prove satisfying to them because they are righteous.

Tremper Longman: All things being equal, God will satisfy the hunger of the “righteous,” but the “wicked” (a common variant of “fool,” emphasizing its ethical nature) will go hungry. The fool is lazy (6:6–11 etc.) or indulgent (21:17) and so lacks the wherewithal necessary to grow or to acquire food.

However, as we have just seen, all things are not always equal. One may be poor and not have anything to eat not because of being wicked, but because of someone else’s wicked actions (13:23).

Charles Bridges: There is such a chaos of desires in the soul of the wicked that no abundance can satisfy his hunger.  Ahab’s crown could give him no rest without Naboth’s vineyard.  For the ungodly heart is full of insatiable cravings.  But how intolerable will be this conscious lack throughout eternity, when a drop of water to cool the tormented tongue will be denied (Luke 16:24-26).