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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Ecclesiastes 10

 

 

Introduction
1Observations of wisdom and folly;
16of riot;
18slothfulness;
19and money.
20Men's thoughts of kings ought to be reverent.

Verse 1
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.
Dead flies
Heb. Flies of death. the ointment
Exodus 30:34,35
a little
2 Chronicles 19:2; Nehemiah 6:13; 13:26; Matthew 5:13-16; Galatians 2:12-14

Verse 2
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
wise
9:10; Proverbs 14:8; Luke 14:28-32
but
10,14; Proverbs 17:16; Luke 12:18-20

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.
wisdom
Heb. heart. and he.
5:3; Proverbs 13:16; 18:2,6; 1 Peter 4:4

Verse 4
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.
leave
8:3
for
1 Samuel 25:24-44; Proverbs 25:15

Verse 5
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
an evil
4:7; 5:13; 6:1; 9:3
as an
3:16; 4:1
from
Heb. from before.

Verse 6
Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.
Folly
Judges 9:14-20; 1 Kings 12:13,14; Esther 3:1; Psalms 12:8; Proverbs 28:12,28
dignity
Heb. heights. the rich.
James 2:3-5

Verse 7
I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
Proverbs 19:10; 30:22

Verse 8
He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
that
Judges 9:5,53-57; 2 Samuel 17:23; 18:15; Esther 7:10; Psalms 7:15,16; 9:15,16; Proverbs 26:27
a serpent
Amos 5:19; 9:3

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
15; 9:15-17; Genesis 41:33-39; Exodus 18:19-23; 1 Kings 3:9; 1 Chronicles 12:32; 2 Chronicles 23:4-11; Matthew 10:16; Acts 6:1-9; 15:2-21; Romans 16:19; 1 Corinthians 14:20; Ephesians 5:15-17; Colossians 4:5; James 1:5

Verse 11
Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
the serpent
Psalms 58:4,5; Jeremiah 8:17
a babbler
Heb. the master of the tongue.
Psalms 52:2; 64:3; Proverbs 18:21; James 3:6

Verse 12
The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
words
Job 4:3,4; 16:5; Psalms 37:30; 40:9,10; 71:15-18; Proverbs 10:13,20,21,31,32; Proverbs 12:13,14,18; 15:2,23; 16:21-24; 22:17,18; 25:11,12; 31:26; Matthew 12:35; Luke 4:22; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6
gracious
Heb. grace. but.
2 Samuel 1:16; 1 Kings 20:40-42; Psalms 64:8; 140:9; Proverbs 10:8,10,14; 18:6-8; 19:5; Proverbs 26:9; Luke 19:22

Verse 13
The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
beginning
Judges 14:15; 1 Samuel 20:26-33; 22:7,8,16-18; 25:10,11; 2 Samuel 19:41-43; 2 Samuel 20:1; 2 Kings 6:27,31; Proverbs 29:9; Matthew 2:7,8,16; Luke 6:2,11; Luke 11:38,53,54; John 12:10; Acts 5:28-33; 6:9-11; 7:54-59; 19:24-28
talk
Heb. mouth.

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?
fool
5:3; Proverbs 10:19; 15:2
is full of words
Heb. multiplieth words.
Job 34:37; 35:16
a man
3:22; 6:12; 8:7; James 4:13,14

Verse 15
The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.
labour
3,10; Isaiah 44:12-17; 47:12,13; 55:2; 57:1; Habakkuk 2:6; Matthew 11:28-30
because
Psalms 107:4,7; Isaiah 35:8-10; Jeremiah 50:4,5

Verse 16
Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!
when
2 Chronicles 13:7; 33:1-20; 36:2,5,9,11; Isaiah 3:4,5,12
and
Proverbs 20:1,2; Isaiah 5:11,12; 28:7,8; Hosea 7:5-7
in the
Jeremiah 21:12

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!
when
6,7; Proverbs 28:2,3; Jeremiah 30:21
and thy
Proverbs 31:4,5

Verse 18
By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
Proverbs 12:24; 14:1; 20:4; 21:25; 23:21; 24:30,31; Hebrews 6:11; 2 Peter 1:5-10

Verse 19
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
feast
2:1,2; 7:2-6; Genesis 43:34; Daniel 5:1-12; 1 Peter 4:3
and wine
9:7; Psalms 104:15; Isaiah 24:11; 1 Samuel 25:36; 2 Samuel 13:28; Luke 12:19; Ephesians 5:18,19
maketh merry
Heb. maketh glad the life. but. Money which would have answered every good purpose, and served for every emergency, is too often spent in feastings and revellings.
7:11,12; 1 Chronicles 21:24; 29:2-9; 2 Chronicles 24:11-14; Ezra 1:6; 7:15-18; Nehemiah 5:8; Psalms 112:9; Isaiah 23:18; Matthew 17:27; 19:21; Luke 8:3; 16:9; Acts 2:45; 11:29; Philippians 4:15-19; 1 Timothy 6:17-19

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.
Curse
Exodus 22:28; Isaiah 8:21; Acts 23:5
thought
or, conscience.
7:21,22; Luke 19:40
in thy bedchamber
Luke 10:40; 12:2,3

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ecclesiastes-10.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, October 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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