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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Ecclesiastes 10

Verses 1-20

How, then, does worldly wisdom work? The preacher shows that its first manifestation is discretion based upon selfishness. This section is a series of brief sayings which are of the nature of proverbs, laying down axioms and enjoining habits. One sinner destroyeth much good. Dead flies spoil the ointment. Do not manifest your folly.

Do not fight against the ruler; yield to him. It is admitted that rulers are often foolish. Do not make the weapons of your own destruction. If your weapon is blunt, use strength, but be careful. Do not charm the serpent that has bitten you. Do not talk. Do not do too much. Be temperate. Be diligent. Be accommodating. Be cautious. This is a very condensed analysis of this section. The preacher had no idea of stating things so bluntly as this, but these are the thoughts underlying the more stately language of the discourse. They are plausible indeed, and there is an element of truth and value in them; but, taken as a whole, they are such things as men with no vision of the spiritual will accept. They constitute the essence of worldly wisdom. The inspiration of the whole of them is selfishness. All that is valuable in them might be otherwise inspired, but here they are the outcome of convictions already expressed, that in view of the vanity and emptiness of life man's only wise course is to enter into the present moment in all its fulness and abandon all attempt after deeper satisfaction.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/ecclesiastes-10.html. 1857-84.