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Ecclesiastes Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Navigate to Verse

Ecclesiastes 10:1 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.

a little folly. It is often true that a seemingly minor sin by an otherwise wise, honorable, and godly leader can lead to serious consequences, as in the case of Noah relaxing with wine (Genesis 9:20-27) and Moses smiting the rock (Numbers 20:7-12). We need to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil ... walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

heart is at his right hand. This proverb notes that a wise man is strong of heart, contrasting with the faint heart of a fool.

Ecclesiastes 10:3 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.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

Ecclesiastes 10:5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

Ecclesiastes 10:6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.

Ecclesiastes 10:7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

Ecclesiastes 10:8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

Ecclesiastes 10:9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 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.

Ecclesiastes 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

Ecclesiastes 10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

Ecclesiastes 10:14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

Ecclesiastes 10:15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Ecclesiastes 10:16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

eat in the morning. When the leaders of a nation spend time and energy at all-night feasting and revelry, the nation itself is in great peril.

Ecclesiastes 10:17 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!

Ecclesiastes 10:18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

Ecclesiastes 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

Ecclesiastes 10:20 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.

a bird of the air. The old saying, “A little bird told me,” probably had its origin in this verse. One should be especially cautious of blasphemy of word—or even of thought—against the King of kings.