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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 10

Verse 2

A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Heart — His understanding is always present with him and ready to direct him. He mentions the right hand, because that is the common instrument of action.

A fool's — His understanding is not effectual to govern his affections and actions.

Verse 3

Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

Walketh — In his daily conversation.

He saith — He discovers his folly to all that meet him.

Verse 4

If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

The spirit — The passion.

Leave not — In anger or discontent. Continue in a diligent and faithful discharge of thy duty, and modestly and humbly submit to him.

Yielding — A gentle and submissive carriage.

Verse 6

Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.

The rich — Wise and worthy men, rich in endowments of mind.

Verse 8

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

An hedge — Whereby another man's fields or vineyards are distinguished, that he may either take away their fruits, or enlarge his own fields.

Verse 9

Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

Whoso removeth — Stones too heavy for them: who rashly attempts things too high and hard for them.

Verse 10

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.

Wisdom — As wisdom instructs a man in the smallest matters, so it is useful for a man's direction in all weighty affairs.

Verse 11

Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

Without — If not prevented by the art and care of the charmer; which practice he does not justify, but only mentions by way of resemblance.

Verse 12

The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

Gracious — Procure him favour with those who hear him.

Verse 14

A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

Full of words — Forward to promise and boast what he will do, whereas none can be sure of future events, even during his own life, much more after his death.

Verse 15

The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Wearieth — Fools discover their folly by their wearisome and fruitless endeavours after things which are too high for them.

Because — He is ignorant of those things which are most easy, as of the way to the great city whither he is going.

Verse 16

Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

A child — Either in age, or childish qualities.

Eat — Give up themselves to eating and drinking.

Morning — The fittest time for God's service, for the dispatch of weighty affairs, and for sitting in judgment.

Verse 17

Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

Nobles — Not so much by birth, as by their noble dispositions.

Verse 20

Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

Thy thought — In the most secret manner.

The rich — Princes or governors.

A bird — The king will hear of it by unknown and unsuspected hands, as if a bird had heard and carried the report of it.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.