Ecclesiastes 10:10
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If the iron be blunt, and be not as before, but be made blunt, with much labour it shall be sharpened: and after industry shall follow wisdom.

English Revised Version
If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

Webster's Bible Translation
If the iron is blunt, and he doth not whet the edge, then must he use more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

This verse shows what is the wise conduct of a subject, and particularly of a servant, when the anger of the ruler breaks forth: "If the ill-humour of the ruler rise up against thee, do not leave thy post; for patience leaves out great sins." Luther connects Ecclesiastes 10:4 and Ecclesiastes 10:3 by "therefore;" for by the potentate he understands such an one as, himself a fool, holds all who contradict him to be fools: then it is best to let his folly rage on. But the מושׁל is a different person from the סכל; and מק אל־תּנּח does not mean, "let not yourself get into a passion," or, as he more accurately explains in the Annotationes: "remain self-possessed" (similarly Hitzig: lose not thy mental state of composure), but, in conformity with תלך ... אל, Ecclesiastes 8:3, "forsake not the post (synon. מצּב and מעמד, Isaiah 22:19, cf. 23) which thou hast received." The person addressed is thus represented not merely as a subject, but officially as a subordinate officer: if the ruler's displeasure (רוּח, as at Judges 8:3; Proverbs 29:11) rises up against him (עלה, as elsewhere; cf. אף, Psalm 73:21; or חמה, 2 Samuel 11:20), he ought not, in the consciousness that he does not merit his displeasure, hastily give up his situation which has been entrusted to him and renounce submission; for patience, gentleness (regarding מרפּא, vid., Proverbs 12:18) 'גּד ... 'ין.

This concluding clause of the verse is usually translated: "It appeaseth (pacifieth) great sins" (lxx καταπαύσει, Symm. παύσει). The phrase (חמה) אף הניח is not to be compared, for it signifies quieting by an exhausting outbreak; on the contrary, יניח in the passage before us must signify quieting, as the preventing of an outbreak (cf. Proverbs 15:1). It appears more correct to render הנּיח in both cases in the sense of ἐᾶν, missum facere: to leave great sins is equals not to commit them, to give up the lust thereto; for hinniahh signifies to let go, to leave off, e.g., Jeremiah 14:9; and to indulge, Esther 3:8, here as at Ecclesiastes 7:18; Ecclesiastes 11:6, "to keep the hands from something." The great sins cannot certainly be thought of as those of the ruler; for on his part only one comes into view, if indeed, according to the old legal conception, it could be called such, viz., cruel proceeding with reference to him who wilfully withdraws from him, and thus proves his opposition; much rather we are to think of the great sins into which he who is the object of the ruler's displeasure might fall, viz., treason (Ecclesiastes 8:2), insubordination, self-destruction, and at the same time, since he does not stand alone, or make common cause with others who are discontented, the drawing of others into inevitable ruin (Ecclesiastes 8:3). All these sins, into which he falls who answers wrath with wrath, patience avoids, and puts a check to them. The king's anger is perhaps justified; the admonition, however, would be otherwise expressed than by 'l-tnch mq', if it were not presupposed that it was not justified; and thus without meta'basis eis a'llo ge'nos an I-section follows the reflection regarding wise deportment as over against the king's displeasure, a section which describes from experience and from personal observation the world turned upside down in the state.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Ecclesiastes 10:15 The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city.

Ecclesiastes 9:15-17 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man...

Genesis 41:33-39 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt...

Exodus 18:19-23 Listen now to my voice, I will give you counsel, and God shall be with you: Be you for the people to God-ward...

1 Kings 8:9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb...

1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do...

2 Chronicles 23:4-11 This is the thing that you shall do; A third part of you entering on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites...

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Acts 6:1-9 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews...

Acts 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas...

Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad to all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise to that which is good...

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, be not children in understanding: however, in malice be you children, but in understanding be men.

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise...

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraides not; and it shall be given him.

Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:41
if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me.

Ecclesiastes 2:13
Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness.

Ecclesiastes 10:9
He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them.

Ecclesiastes 10:11
If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.

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