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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Ecclesiastes

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FRAMEWORKS: Ecclesiastes 10


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for meditation. To achieve this we have used a variety of means, notes, headings, verse summaries.)


FRAMEWORKS: Ecclesiastes 10: Differences between the wise & the foolish


[Preliminary Comments: This chapter comprises entirely of proverbs of the sort found in the book named Proverbs, sometimes appearing singly and at other times in groups of two or three linked by a common subject]



v.1 Small things can spoil, especially a little foolishness

v.1 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,
     so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honour.

v.2 The wise & the foolish go in opposite directions

v.2  The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
     but the heart of the fool to the left.

v.3 Even out in the street the fool is obvious

v.3  Even as fools walk along the road,
     they lack sense
     and show everyone how stupid they are.

v.4 If a leader gets angry with you, stay cool and he will calm down

v.4  If a ruler's anger rises against you,
     do not leave your post;
     calmness can lay great offences to rest.


v.5-7 It is foolish to give authority to fools or those who can't handle it

v.5  There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
     the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
v.6  fools are put in many high positions,
     while the rich occupy the low ones.
v.7  I have seen slaves on horseback,
     while princes go on foot like slaves.


v.8,9 Life can be dangerous [so take care]

v.8  Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;
     whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
v.9  Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;
     whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.


v.10,11 If you don't properly prepare what you are working with, expect trouble

v.10  If the axe is dull
     and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed,
     but skill will bring success.

v.11  If a snake bites before it is charmed,
     the charmer receives no fee.


v.12-14 Words from the wise & foolish have different effects

v.12  Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,
     but fools are consumed by their own lips.
v.13  At the beginning their words are folly;
     at the end they are wicked madness –
v.14        and fools multiply words.

No one knows what is coming –
     who can tell someone else what will happen after them?


v.15 The Foolish get easily tired or lost

v.15  The toil of fools wearies them;
     they do not know the way to town.


v.16,17 The origins & qualities of leaders are all important

v.16  Woe to the land whose king was a servant
     and whose princes feast in the morning.
v.17  Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth
     and whose princes eat at a proper time –
     for strength and not for drunkenness.


v.18 Laziness means life deteriorates around you

v.18  Through laziness, the rafters sag;
     because of idle hands, the house leaks.


v.19 Food, drink & money have the capacity to bless

v.19  A feast is made for laughter,
     wine makes life merry,
     and money is the answer for everything.


v.20 Do not speak unwisely about leaders because it could get back to them

v.20  Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
     or curse the rich in your bedroom,
because a bird in the sky may carry your words,
     and a bird on the wing may report what you say.



Continue to Ecclesiastes 11