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Proverbs 13:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 Wealth gained by vanity will dwindle,
but he who gathers little by little will increase it.
The gist of this proverb is quite simple in that it is comparing wealth that is quickly and easily gained (inferring dishonestly) with wealth that is gained slowly (inferring honestly) by diligent work. Now, both the Old and New Testament does not condemn being wealthy in and of itself. In fact, many times, wealth is considered a blessing from God. What is disparaged is the love of wealth and wealth that is gained dishonestly: 10:2; 11:4, 18; 21:6. Again, gaining wealth quickly is suggestive of having gained wealth dishonestly at 20:21 and 28:20.
Wealth gained by vanity will dwindle: The Hebrew word (הֶבֶל hebel) rendered “vanity” literally means “breath” or “vapor.” This is the air that passes through the lungs by the way of the mouth and nostrils (the sense being briefness and lacking in content). The end result is meaningless, emptiness, futility, uselessness, having no value or significance. Dwindle (מָעַט maat) here means to gradually be reduced, decreased or disappear. “Wealth got by scheming [“wealth from gambling,” Living Bible] will diminish.”
but he who gathers little by little will increase it: The Hebrew word (קָבַץ qabats) rendered gathers means to collect, accumulate, or assemble items or things of value. The sense here is that it is done little by little or bit by bit. Of course, to increase it (רָבָה rabah) means to make the wealth bigger or more. “but he who gathers little by little will increase his store.” An American Translation.
Certainly, money has a purpose in life. Having enough money is far better than having to live a harsh way of life impoverished. (Ecclesiastes 7:11-12) However, the seeming benefits of ill-gotten wealth (quickly and easily gained) can be deceptive. This certainly could be wealth that was gained dishonestly or sinfully, for example, gambling. A person who is lured into gambling may spend the family’s hard-earned money with the dream of winning a large sum of money. This is done at the expense of his family. And even if he should win, money that came with little or no labor will not be appreciated, so it will likely go back into more gambling. Even inherited money can disappear quickly if the recipient does not have the skill to manage it. Wealth quickly gained with little labor involved is likely to disappear as quickly as it was acquired. On the other hand, wealth that has been gradually accumulated, little by little or bit by bit, through diligent work, will be little by little increased and used wisely. The moral here is to learn the financial discipline to grow one’s finances, whether it comes quickly or little by little, conserving it and watching it grow.
 Some take it as by fraud; the Greek and Latin have haste
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