Ecclesiastes 10:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.

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

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

Douay-Rheims Bible
The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace: but the lips of a fool shall throw him down headlong.

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

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

Ecclesiastes 10:12 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"Folly is set on great heights, and the rich must sit in lowliness. I have seen servants upon horses, and princes like servants walking on foot." The word הסּכל (with double seghol, Aram. סכלוּ) is used here instead of those in whom it is personified. Elsewhere a multiplicity of things great, such as עמּים, מים, and the like, is heightened by רבּים (cf. e.g., Psalm 18:17); here "great heights" are such as are of a high, or the highest degree; rabbim, instead of harabbim, is more appos. than adject. (cf. Genesis 43:14; Psalm 68:28; Psalm 143:10; Jeremiah 2:21), in the sense of "many" (e.g., Ginsburg: "in many high positions") it mixes with the poetry of the description dull prose.

(Note: Luzz. reads נתן: "Folly brings many into high places." The order of the words, however, does not favour this.)

Ashirim also is peculiarly used: divites equals nobiles (cf. שׁוע, Isaiah 32:5), those to whom their family inheritance gives a claim to a high station, who possess the means of training themselves for high offices, which they regard as places of honour, not as sources of gain. Regibus multis, Grotius here remarks, quoting from Sallust and Tacitus, suspecti qui excellunt sive sapientia sive nobilitate aut opibus. Hence it appears that the relation of slaves and princes to each other is suggested; hoc discrimen, says Justin, 41:3, of the Parthians, inter servos liberosque est quod servi pedibus, liberi nonnisi equis incedunt; this distinction is set aside, princes must walk 'al-haarěts, i.e., beregel (beraglēhěm), and in their stead (Jeremiah 17:25) slaves sit high on horseback, and rule over them (the princes), - an offensive spectacle, Proverbs 19:10. The eunuch Bagoas, long all-powerful at the Persian Court, is an example of the evil consequences of this reversal of the natural relations of men.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Job 4:3,4 Behold, you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands...

Job 16:5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should assuage your grief.

Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment.

Psalm 40:9,10 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: see, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, you know...

Psalm 71:15-18 My mouth shall show forth your righteousness and your salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof...

Proverbs 10:13,20,21,31,32 In the lips of him that has understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding...

Proverbs 12:13,14,18 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble...

Proverbs 15:2,23 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness...

Proverbs 16:21-24 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increases learning...

Proverbs 22:17,18 Bow down your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge...

Proverbs 25:11,12 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver...

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things...

Luke 4:22 And all bore him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying...

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.


2 Samuel 1:16 And David said to him, Your blood be on your head; for your mouth has testified against you, saying, I have slain the LORD's anointed.

1 Kings 20:40-42 And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said to him, So shall your judgment be...

Psalm 64:8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall on themselves: all that see them shall flee away.

Psalm 140:9 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.

Proverbs 10:8,10,14 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall...

Proverbs 18:6-8 A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes...

Proverbs 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaks lies shall not escape.

Proverbs 26:9 As a thorn goes up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouths of fools.

Luke 19:22 And he said to him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man...

Cross References
Luke 4:22
And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Proverbs 10:14
The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

Proverbs 10:32
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

Proverbs 18:7
A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Proverbs 22:11
He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

Ecclesiastes 4:5
The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

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