The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!”
This is the first of four verses (:13-16) all discussing the “sluggard.” They get a bad rep in Proverbs – but he or she has earned every word of it!
Virtually identical to 26:13, “the sluggard” says sometime pretty dumb. That’s a regular part of their lives – regularly thinking, saying or doing inappropriate, even wrong, things. Here they just say something dumb.
Apparently settled safely inside his house, this sluggard announces, “There’s a lion outside!” The fact that the ancients lived inside walled cities with closed gates, it’s pretty hard to believe this was true.
Even if it was true, since we are talking about a lazy guy I’m not sure how he would even know – especially without television, radio, Facebook or twitter!
But, now that he’s decide this is the situation, he also declares, “I’ll be killed in the public square!” Of course, if it was true, this would be a wise decision, but his character and history suggest his words should be considered suspect.
I imagine the ancients used this wise saying, as a rhetorical response to something. They probably rolled their eyes and spoke this verse like the modern rhetorical response, “Is the Pope Catholic!”