Ecclesiastes 10, Coffman Commentaries on the Bible, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a … ASV. (Geier, Desvoeux, Mendelss. Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. Albeit, though the “iron” of such a man be blunt, let him use it, and he will succeed. Bible Commentary Ecclesiastes 9:10-10:3. We will now bring before you more precise illustration of the passage, but still under such views as may best excite you to the observing the benevolence of God. of intransitives has frequently the meaning of an inchoative or desiderative stem, like מעת, to become little, decrescere, Ecclesiastes 12:3; כּהה, hebescere, caligare, Ezekiel 21:12; Ewald, 120c), and he (who uses it) has not polished (whetted) the face of it, he will (must) increase the force. ḳualḳuala, ḳalḳala, of the swinging of a sword), yet קלקלו (אתו קלקל) could have been used, and, besides, פנים means, not like פי, the edge, but, as a somewhat wider idea, the front, face (Ezekiel 21:21; cf. "[9] This verse (1) is paraphrased: "Wisdom can make any job easier; if a person sharpens the knife (axe) the job is easier. It is a property, or we might rather say an infirmity of man, that he cannot give himself to incessant labour, whether it be bodily or mental, but what it soon causes him to seek relaxation and repose. Ecclesiastes 10:10 Context. If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. קלקל, or pointed with Pattach instead of Tsere (cf. Put to more strength; which is necessary to make it cut. Ecclesiastes 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. Is there no power that can uplift us and enrich us for worth and blessedness? There is one notable thing which we should do well to lay to heart, and that is that it is in Christian nations, and in Christian nations only, that true progress in arts and science and knowledge has its being. 91f.). (Note: Also the twofold Haggadic explanation, Taanith 8 a, gives to hachshir the meaning of “to set, à priori, in the right place.” Luther translated qilqal twice correctly, but further follows the impossible rendering of Jerome: multo labore exacuetur , et post industriam sequetur sapientia .). People prepare meals, invite friends over, and have a good time. 10:16-17 "Woe" This interjection (BDB 33 III), often translated "alas," is found only twice in the OT, both in Ecclesiastes (cf. The mention of cutting wood in the preceding verse suggests the illustration from the axe, exemplifying how wisdom will serve instead of strength. ... Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9 ← Prior Chapter. This principle applies to secular work. But wisdom is profitable to direct, Heb. It is certainly also possible that הכשׁ, after the manner of the Hiph. Ecclesiastes Commentary; JOHN SCHULTZ. Tyler suggests along with “right guidance” the meaning “pre-arrangement,” which we prefer. Wisdom not only reaches for the right tool, but makes sure that such a tool is working properly. Whet.—Ezekiel 21:21, where it is translated “make bright.”. usage, from the root-meaning levem esse, signifies to move with ease, i.e., quickness (as also in the Arab. He puts to, applies, more strength, but without attaining a satisfactory result. When wisdom is not employed the maximum benefit of all implements is lessened" (Kidwell p. 250). (16-20)1-3 Those especially who make a profession of religion, should keep from all appearances of evil. 4:10; 10:16), but often in rabbinical literature. Ecclesiastes 10 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary by one of the most revered Methodist leaders gives new insight into God's Word. Instead of forcing matters by main "strength" to one's own hurt (Ecclesiastes 9:16; Ecclesiastes 9:18). Iron is the very emblem of service. With vahhaylim the apodosis begins; the style of Koheleth recognises this vav apod . absol. For us there must be possibilities of good and blessing. Thus wisdom prompts one to make careful plans and preparation. והוּא does not refer to the iron, but, since there was no reason to emphasize the sameness of the subject (as e.g., 2 Chronicles 32:30), to the labourer, and thus makes, as with the other explanation, the change of subject noticeable (as e.g., 2 Chronicles 26:1). Instead of forcing matters by main “strength” to one‘s own hurt (Ecclesiastes 9:16, Ecclesiastes 9:18). The correct meaning for the whole, in general at least, is found if, after the example of Abulwalîd and Kimchi, we interpret חילים גּבּר of the increasing of strength, the augmenting of the effort of strength, not, as Aben-Ezra, of conquering, outstripping, surpassing; גּבּר means to make strong, to strengthen, Zechariah 10:6, Zechariah 10:12; and חילים, as plur. A wise man has great advantage over a fool, who is always at a loss when he has anything to do. swallow up himself--(Proverbs 10:8,14,21,32, 12:13, 15:2, 22:11). kÌ£ualkÌ£uala, kÌ£alkÌ£ala, of the swinging of a sword), yet קלקלו ( אתו קלקל ) could have been used, and, besides, פנים means, not like פי, the edge, but, as a somewhat wider idea, the front, face (Ezekiel 21:21; cf. of חיל, strength, is supported by גּבּורי חילים, 1 Chronicles 7:5, 1 Chronicles 7:7, 1 Chronicles 7:11, 1 Chronicles 7:40, the plur. Here is a lesson on service. Ecclesiastes 10:10. Hebrew, "wisdom is the best directress." Ecclesiastes 10:15 - The toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city. After being repeatedly sharpened, (Calmet) it will be more difficult to cut with it, and will expose the person to hurt himself, ver. Ecclesiastes 10:10 If the iron H1270 be blunt H6949 , and he do not whet H7043 the edge, H6440 then must he put H1396 to more strength: H2428 but wisdom H2451 is profitable H3504 to direct H3787 . See Desvoeux. If the iron be blunt — The axe wherewith a man cuts wood; he must put to more strength — To make it cut: that is, if a man do not use fit and proper means to accomplish any work, it will cost him so much the more labour and pains; but wisdom is profitable to direct — Both in the choice and in the use of means. Hitzig, Elster, and Zckl. The failure of a rebellion leaves the tyrant stronger, and also exasperated. And yet how many of us want to jump right into a project without the proper preparation? This has been singularly the case with medicines. Clarke's Ecclesiastes 10:10 Bible Commentary If the iron be blunt - If the axe have lost its edge, and the owner do not sharpen it, he must apply the more strength to make it cut: but the wisdom that is profitable to direct will teach him, that he should whet his axe, and spare his strength. Take education. Ecclesiastes 10:10 King James Version with Strong's Concordance (STRONG) - Read this chapter. He may get through a certain amount of labour, but it is only at the cost of a great expenditure of bodily strength. This holds good both of the physical and the spiritual sphere. in conditional clauses, Ecclesiastes 4:11, cf. הכשׁיר, and connect חכמה הכשׁיר, which is a phrase altogether unparalleled. (James 1:19). And we cannot but observe a display of wisdom and benevolence in the arrangement by which our world has been peopled, by no moans inferior to that which furnished us with the treasures of the earth. Made blunt. wisdom is profitable to direct—to a prosperous issue. He has been brought into contact with heavenly things, and the attrition has sharpened him again for his earthly occupations, so that when “the iron” is brought into use, “its edge” is so powerfully sharp, that what seemed adamantine was divisible, and what seemed inseparable might be cleft. The order of the words קל ... וה, et ille non faciem (ferri) exacuit, is as at Isaiah 53:9; cf. qarqar, Numbers 24:17) in bibl. 91f.). (4-10) Of foolish talk. 9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. p. 252). והוּא does not refer to the iron, but, since there was no reason to emphasize the sameness of the subject (as e.g., 2 Chronicles 32:30), to the labourer, and thus makes, as with the other explanation, the change of subject noticeable (as e.g., 2 Chronicles 26:1). Wisdom (is) profitable to direct - to a prosperous issue. (Homilist. He who was the carpenter still needs hammers as well as chisels and planes. Pearse.). There are about him all the rules of science and mechanical laws, but not knowing them they cannot be used. - Verse-by-Verse Commentary Instead of forcing matters by main "strength" to one's own hurt (Ec 9:16, 18). Hitzig, Elster, and Zöckl. Solomon desires to impress upon us the truth of what a load of trouble a man may save himself by a little forethought. We may be sure there are some very wise ends, though not discoverable by us, subserved by this protracted concealment. On this ground we are justified in attaching to the word הכשיר here, the meaning, "to make right, to amend, to correct,"—a meaning, moreover, which suits the connection admirably. לא־פנים, “without an edge” ( lo for belo ), would be linguistically as correct as בּנים לא, “without children,” 1 Chronicles 2:30, 1 Chronicles 2:32; Ewald, §286 b ; and qilqal would have a meaning in some measure supported by Ezekiel 21:26. Jeremiah 37:10, and above, under Ecclesiastes 7:22. The reason is that as a nation we sharpen our axes before we begin to work. Ecclesiastes 10:10 Amplified Bible (AMP). What you can help and must help is this--that it do not remain blunt. If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength. The diversities in the interpretation of details leave the essence of this thought untouched. "the advantage of giving success"-"Wisdom teaches how to conduct matters to a successful end; for instance, it prompts the worker to sharpen his tool instead of trying to accomplish his task by an exertion of mere brute strength" (P.P. He who digs a pit will fall into it: Solomon listed several examples of those who did wrong or foolish things and then suffered because of it.i. as a Mishnic word by aptare, rectificare . ), to shake (according to which the lxx and Syr. If I am lacking in skill and learning, I will be richer in love.” Some tools are the better for not being oversharp. [2 Corinthians 4:4] These edge tools, therefore, must be whetted by the use of holy ordinances, and much strength put to, great pains taken, virtutibus corroborabitur (so the old translation hath it). 4. Jump to: Clarke Commentary • Biblical Illustrator • Coffman Commentaries • Gill's Exposition • Commentary Critical and Explanatory • Wesley's Notes • Trapp's Commentary • Poole's Annotations • Whedon's Commentary • Haydock's Catholic Commentary • Ecclesiastes 10 Commentary Summary Meaning Check out this Ecclesiastes 10 Commentary! Ecc 3:13; Job 7:4; Micah 5:7, and is fond of the inverted order of the words for the sake of emphasis, 11:8, cf. If the iron be blunt,.... With which a man cleaves wood: the axe, made of iron: and he do not whet the edge; with some proper instrument to make it sharper, that it may cut the more easily; then must he put to more strength; he must give a greater blow, strike the harder, and use more force; and yet it may not be sufficient, or; it may be to no purpose, and he himself may be in the greatest danger of being hurt; as such are who push things with all their might and main, without judgment and discretion; but wisdom is profitable to direct; this is the "excellency" of wisdom, that it puts a man in the right way of doing things, and of doing them right; it directs him to take the best methods, and pursue the best ways and means of doing things, both for his own good and the good of others; and so it is better than strength, Ecclesiastes 9:16. wisdom is profitable to direct — to a prosperous issue. 12. gracious--Thereby he takes precaution against sudden injury (Ecclesiastes 10:11). Hichsir means to set in the right position (vid., above, kaser), and the sentence will thus mean: the advantage which the placing rightly of the means serviceable to an end affords, is wisdom - i.e., wisdom bears this advantage in itself, brings it with it, concretely: a wise man is he who reflects upon this advantage. This principle applies to evangelizing work. Once again we are brought back to the truth found in . Hichsir means to set in the right position ( vid ., above, kaser ), and the sentence will thus mean: the advantage which the placing rightly of the means serviceable to an end affords, is wisdom - i.e., wisdom bears this advantage in itself, brings it with it, concretely: a wise man is he who reflects upon this advantage. render it by ταράσσειν, דּלח, to shake, and thereby to trouble, make muddy); in the Mishn. קלל "to be light," in the Pilp. הך, they unnecessarily read the inf. Then, again, let there be a daily surrender of ourselves to Him for service. 9 Who so remoueth stones, shall be hurt therewith: and hee that cleaueth wood, shalbe endangered thereby. usage, from the root-meaning levem esse, signifies to move with ease, i.e., quickness (as also in the Arab. and Aethiop. And as it was God’s beneficent purpose to throw man, as it were, on his own industry and ingenuity, must we not always admit the goodness as well as the mercy of the appointment, through which it was ordered that there should be no excessive pressure on our race, but that we have been afforded time to advance in knowledge, equivalent to the increase and necessities of population? Nothing else will keep us fit for service. 2. Still, even after a failure, wisdom is profitable to direct: more literally, to make repair and reconciliation. I. Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10:1-3 (Read Ecclesiastes 10:1-3) Those especially who make a profession of religion, should keep from all appearances of evil. We therefore translate: if the iron has become blunt, hebes factum sit (for the Pih. Whetting the edge sharpens the blade. Iron.—2 Kings 6:5; Isaiah 10:34; Proverbs 27:17. Many a page of political history proves this warning true. on StudyLight.org We have often in Hebrew “mouth of the sword,” for edge of the sword, but the only parallel for the expression “face” in that sense is in the highly poetical passage in Ezekiel 21:16, just referred to. Pliny (a) calls iron the best and worst instrument of man’s life, and shows the many uses of it, as in ploughing, planting, pruning, planing, &c., but abominates the use of it in war and murdering weapons. By much slothfulness, &c., the house droppeth through — That house which is neglected by its owner, and not repaired, must needs come to ruin. 10.If the iron — Better, the axe. But with all our admiration, which the boundless stores thus laid open to us are calculated to exercise, there does seem room for something of surprise that God should have allowed a vast amount of the most beneficial productions to be brought to light, not merely by patient investigation but entirely by accident, so that the world has long been actually ignorant of many blessings which lay within its reach. Do not find fault with thy mental tools. III. There are two reasons for the woe: 1. a young, inexperienced ruler. Still, even after a failure, "The axe may be symbolic of all implements used by men in the activities of their work. I. חילים occurs elsewhere also in the sense of "powers;" and גבר in that of "to strengthen," (Zechariah 10:6; Zechariah 10:12). - Verse-by-Verse Commentary Others have adopted the less appropriate explanation, "ea est sapientiae praestantia, ut prosperum eventum consiliis suorum spondeat," appealing to the fact that כשר occurs in the sense of "prosper" in Ecclesiastes 11:6, and כשרין in that of "gain, advantage" in Ecclesiastes 5:10. A beautiful thing in the present economy is that the labour of one man raises a sufficiency for numbers, and thus others devote themselves to various pursuit, and bring about the spectacle of a stirring and well-ordered community. And how marvellously has discovery gone on from age to age! God no more directed men where to find, than how to prepare the iron. We have often in Hebrew “mouth of the sword,” for edge of the sword, but the only parallel for the expression “face” in that sense is in the highly poetical passage in Ezekiel 21:16, just referred to. But when all is done, he must needs be obtuse acutus, which seeth not that wisdom is profitable to direct; that is, that (whether the iron be blunt or sharp, whetted or not whetted, more strength added or not added) it is wisdom that rectifies all, or the benefit of rectifying is wisdom. The verb כשר is used in the sense of "to be right" in Esther 8:5; the substantive כשרון in that of "capacity, ability," in Ecclesiastes 2:21; Ecclesiastes 4:4 of this book. No genius am I at anything, but only a plain blunt tool. Learning and wisdom are useful to the Christian, and they are necessary to the Christian. pan ilippi, the forepart of a ship); "it has no edge" would have been expressed by (פּיפיּות) פּה לא והוא, or by מלטּשׁ איננו והוא (מוּחד, מורט). Uplift us and enrich us for worth and blessedness and preparation last prevail over the brute force of work! The Hiph resources more useful use the convenient a certain amount of,. 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