Ecclesiastes 7:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

King James Bible
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

American Standard Version
Surely extortion maketh the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroyeth the understanding.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Oppression troubleth the wise, and shall destroy the strength of his heart.

English Revised Version
Surely extortion maketh a wise man foolish; and a gift destroyeth the understanding.

Webster's Bible Translation
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

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

"Better is a name than precious ointment; and better is the day of death than the day when one is born." Like ראה and ירא, so שׁם and שׁמן stand to each other in the relation of a paronomasia (vid., Song under Sol 1:3). Luther translates: "Ein gut Gercht ist besser denn gute Salbe" "a good odour ( equals reputation) is better than good ointment. If we substitute the expression denn Wolgeruch than sweet scent, that would be the best possible rendering of the paronomasia. In the arrangement טוב ... טוב שׁם, tov would be adj. to shem (a good reputation goes beyond sweet scent); but tov standing first in the sentence is pred., and shem thus in itself alone, as in the cogn. prov., Proverbs 22:1, signifies a good, well-sounding, honourable, if not venerable name; cf. anshē hashshem, Genesis 6:4; veli-shem, nameless, Job 30:8. The author gives the dark reverse to this bright side of the distich: the day of death better than the day in which one (a man), or he (the man), is born; cf. for this reference of the pronoun, Ecclesiastes 4:12; Ecclesiastes 5:17. It is the same lamentation as at Ecclesiastes 4:2., which sounds less strange from the mouth of a Greek than from that of an Israelite; a Thracian tribe, the Trausi, actually celebrated their birthdays as days of sadness, and the day of death as a day of rejoicing (vid., Bhr's Germ. translat. of Herodotus, Ecclesiastes 4:4). - Among the people of the Old Covenant this was not possible; also a saying such as Ecclesiastes 7:1 is not in the spirit of the O.T. revelation of religion; yet it is significant that it was possible

(Note: "The reflections of the Preacher," says Hitzig (Sd. deut. ev. protest. Woch. Blatt, 1864, No. 2) "present the picture of a time in which men, participating in the recollection of a mighty religious past, and become sceptical by reason of the sadness of the present time, grasping here and there in uncertainty, were in danger of abandoning that stedfastness of faith which was the first mark of the religion of the prophets.")

within it, without apostasy from it; within the N.T. revelation of religion, except in such references as Matthew 26:24, it is absolutely impossible without apostasy from it, or without rejection of its fundamental meaning.

Ecclesiastes 7:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

oppression

Deuteronomy 28:33,34,65 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall a nation which you know not eat up...

a gift

Exodus 23:8 And you shall take no gift: for the gift blinds the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 16:19 You shall not wrest judgment; you shall not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift does blind the eyes of the wise...

1 Samuel 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

1 Samuel 12:3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose donkey have I taken?...

Proverbs 17:23 A wicked man takes a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

Isaiah 1:23 Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loves gifts, and follows after rewards: they judge not the fatherless...

Isaiah 33:15 He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions, that shakes his hands from holding of bribes...

Cross References
Exodus 23:8
And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

Deuteronomy 16:19
You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.

Proverbs 17:8
A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers.

Proverbs 17:23
The wicked accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice.

Ecclesiastes 4:1
Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.

Ecclesiastes 5:8
If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them.

Ecclesiastes 8:9
All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.

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