Ecclesiastes 7:23
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.

King James Bible
All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

American Standard Version
All this have I proved in wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have tried all things in wisdom. I have said: I will be wise: and it departed farther from me,

English Revised Version
All this have I proved in wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

Webster's Bible Translation
All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

Ecclesiastes 7:23 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Up to this point all is clear: righteousness and wisdom are good and wholesome, and worth striving for; but even in these a transgressing of the right measure is possible (Luther remembers the summum just summa injuria), which has as a consequence, that they become destructive to man, because he thereby becomes a caricature, and either perishes rushing from one extreme into another, or is removed out of the way by others whose hatred he provokes. But it is strange that the author now warns against an excess in wickedness, so that he seems to find wickedness, up to a certain degree, praiseworthy and advisable. So much the stranger, since "be no fool" stands as contrast to "show not thyself wise," etc.; so that "but also be no wicked person" was much rather to be expected as contrast to "be not righteous over-much." Zckler seeks to get over this difficulty with the remark: "Koheleth does not recommend a certain moderation in wickedness as if he considered it allowable, but only because he recognises the fact as established, that every man is by nature somewhat wicked." The meaning would then be: man's life is not free from wickedness, but be only not too wicked! The offensiveness of the advice is not thus removed; and besides, Ecclesiastes 7:18 demands in a certain sense, an intentional wickedness, - indeed, as Ecclesiastes 7:18 shows, a wickedness in union with the fear of God. The correct meaning of "be not wicked over-much" may be found if for תרשׁע we substitute תּחטא; in this form the good counsel at once appears as impossible, for it would be immoral, since "sinning," in all circumstances, is an act which carries in itself its own sentence of condemnation. Thus רשׁע must here be a setting oneself free from the severity of the law, which, although sin in the eyes of the over-righteous, is yet no sin in itself; and the author here thinks, in accordance with the spirit of his book, principally of that fresh, free, joyous life to which he called the young, that joy of life in its fulness which appeared to him as the best and fairest reality in this present time; but along with that, perhaps also of transgressions of the letter of the law, of shaking off the scruples of conscience which conformity to God-ordained circumstances brings along with it. He means to say: be not a narrow rigorist, - enjoy life, accommodate thyself to life; but let not the reins be too loose; and be no fool who wantonly places himself above law and discipline: Why wilt thou destroy thy life before the time by suffering vice to kill thee (Psalm 34:22), and by want of understanding ruin thyself (Proverbs 10:21)?

(Note: An old proverb, Sota 3a, says: "A man commits no transgression unless there rules in him previously the spirit of folly.")

Ecclesiastes 7:23 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I said

Genesis 3:5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

1 Kings 3:11,12 And God said to him, Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life...

1 Kings 11:1-8 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians...

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 7:22
Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.

Ecclesiastes 8:17
then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.

Jump to Previous
Determined Far Proved Test Tested Tried Wisdom Wise
Jump to Next
Determined Far Proved Test Tested Tried Wisdom Wise
Links
Ecclesiastes 7:23 NIV
Ecclesiastes 7:23 NLT
Ecclesiastes 7:23 ESV
Ecclesiastes 7:23 NASB
Ecclesiastes 7:23 KJV

Ecclesiastes 7:23 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 7:23 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 7:23 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:23 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:23 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Ecclesiastes 7:22
Top of Page
Top of Page