Ecclesiastes 10:14
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?

King James Bible
A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

American Standard Version
A fool also multiplieth words: yet man knoweth not what shall be; and that which shall be after him, who can tell him?

Douay-Rheims Bible
A fool multiplieth words. A man cannot tell what hath been before him: and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

English Revised Version
A fool also multiplieth words: yet man knoweth not what shall be; and that which shall be after him, who can tell him?

Webster's Bible Translation
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 10:14 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"He that diggeth a pit may fall into it; whoso breaketh down walls, a serpent may sting him. Whoso pulleth out stones may do himself hurt therewith; he who cleaveth wood may endanger himself thereby." The futures are not the expression of that which will necessarily take place, for, thus rendered, these four statements would be contrary to experience; they are the expression of a possibility. The fut. יפּול is not here meant as predicting an event, as where the clause 8a is a figure of self-punishment arising from the destruction prepared for others, Proverbs 26:27. Sir. 27:26. גּוּמּץ is, Proverbs 26:27, the Targum word for שׁחת, ditch, from גּמץ equals שׁוּח, depressum esse. גּדר (R. גד, to cut), something cutting off, something dividing, is a wall as a boundary and means of protection drawn round a garden, vineyard, or farm-court; גּדר פּרץ is the reverse of פּרץ גּדר, Isaiah 58:12. Serpents are accustomed to nestle in the crevices and holes of walls, as well as in the earth (from a city-wall is called חומה and חל); thus he who breaks into such a wall may expect that the serpent which is there will bite him (cf. Amos 5:19). To tear down stones, hissi'a, is synon. of hhatsav, to break stones, Isaiah 51:1; yet hhotsēv does not usually mean the stone-breaker, but the stone-cutter (stone-mason); hissi'a, from nasa', to tear out, does not also signify, 1 Kings 5:18, "to transport," and here, along with wood-splitting, is certainly to be thought of as a breaking loose or separating in the quarry or shaft. Ne'etsav signifies elsewhere to be afflicted; here, where the reference is not to the internal but the external feeling: to suffer pain, or reflex.: to injure oneself painfully; the derivat. 'etsev signifies also severe labour; but to find this signification in the Niph. ("he who has painful labour") is contrary to the usu loq., and contrary to the meaning intended here, where generally actual injuries are in view. Accordingly בּם יסּכן, for which the Mishn. יסכּן בּעצמו, "he brings himself into danger," would denote, to be placed in danger of life and limb, cf. Gittin 65b, Chullin 37a; and it is therefore not necessary, with Hitzig and others, to translate after the vulnerabitur of Jerome: "He may wound himself thereby;" there is not a denom. סכן, to cut, to wound, derived from סכּין (שׂכּין), an instrument for cutting, a knife.

(Note: The Midrash understands the whole ethically, and illustrates it by the example of Rabsake we know now that the half-Assyr., half-Accad. word rabsak means a military chief], whom report makes a brother of Manasseh, and a renegade in the Assyrian service.)

The sum of these four clauses is certainly not merely that he who undertakes a dangerous matter exposes himself to danger; the author means to say, in this series of proverbs which treat of the distinction between wisdom and folly, that the wise man is everywhere conscious of his danger, and guards against it. These two verses (Ecclesiastes 10:8, Ecclesiastes 10:9) come under this definite point of view by the following proverb; wisdom has just this value in providing against the manifold dangers and difficulties which every undertaking brings along with it.

(Note: Thus rightly Carl Lang in his Salom. Kunst im Psalter (Marburg 1874). He sees in Ecclesiastes 10:8-10 a beautiful heptastich. But as to its contents, Ecclesiastes 10:11 also belongs to this group.)

This is illustrated by a fifth example, and then it is declared with reference to all together.

Ecclesiastes 10:14 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

fool

Ecclesiastes 5:3 For a dream comes through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wants not sin: but he that refrains his lips is wise.

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

is full of words

Job 34:37 For he adds rebellion to his sin, he clapps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God.

Job 35:16 Therefore does Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplies words without knowledge.

a man

Ecclesiastes 3:22 Why I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion...

Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow?...

Ecclesiastes 8:7 For he knows not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?

James 4:13,14 Go to now, you that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain...

Cross References
Proverbs 15:2
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

Ecclesiastes 3:22
So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?

Ecclesiastes 5:3
For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 7:14
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

Ecclesiastes 8:7
For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?

Ecclesiastes 9:1
But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him.

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