Ecclesiastes 9:18
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

King James Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

American Standard Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Better is wisdom, than weapons of war: and he that shall offend in one, shall lose many good things.

English Revised Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Webster's Bible Translation
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Ecclesiastes 9:18 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"For man also knoweth not his time: like the fishes which are caught in an evil net, and like the birds which are caught in the snare - like them are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it suddenly breaks in upon them." The particles גּם כּי are here not so clearly connected as at Ecclesiastes 8:12; Ecclesiastes 4:14, where, more correctly, the pointing should be גּם כּי (ki with the conjunct. accent); ki rules the sentence; and gam, as to its meaning, belongs to etḣ'itto. The particular has its reason from the general: man is not master of his own time, his own person, and his own life, and thus not of the fruits of his capabilities and his actions, in spite of the previously favourable conditions which appear to place the result beyond a doubt; for ere the result is reached of which he appears to be able to entertain a certainty, suddenly his time may expire, and his term of life be exhausted. Jerome translate 'itto (cf. Ecclesiastes 7:17) rightly by finem suum; עת, with the gen. following, frequently (vid., under Job 24:1) means the point of time when the fate of any one is decided, - the terminus where a reckoning is made; here, directly, the terminus ad quem. The suddenness with which men are frequently overtaken with the catastrophe which puts an end to their life, is seen by comparison with the fishes which are suddenly caught in the net, and the birds which are suddenly caught in the snare. With שׁן (that are caught) there is interchanged, in two variations of expression, האחזות, which is incorrectly written, by v. d. Hooght, Norzi, and others, האחזּ.

(Note: Vid., Ed. Knig, Gedanke, Laut u. Accent (1874), p. 72.)

מצו, a net, - of which the plur. form Ecclesiastes 7:26 is used, - goes back, as does the similar designation of a bulwark (Ecclesiastes 9:14), to the root-conception of searching (hunting), and receives here the epithet "evil." Birds, צפּרים (from a ground-form with a short terminal vowel; cf. Assyr. itṣtṣur, from itṣpur), are, on account of their weakness, as at Isaiah 31:5, as a figure of tender love, represented in the fem.

The second half of the verse, in conformity with its structure, begins with כּהם (which more frequently occurs as כּמוהם). יוּק .)כּ is part. Pu. for מיקּשׁים (Ewald, 170d); the particip. מ is rejected, and ק is treated altogether as a guttural, the impracticable doubling of which is compensated for by the lengthening of the vowel. The use of the part. is here stranger than e.g., at Proverbs 11:13; Proverbs 15:32; the fact repeating itself is here treated as a property. Like the fish and the birds are they, such as are caught, etc. Otherwise Hitz.: Like these are they caught, during the continuance of their life in the evil time ... ; but the being snared does not, however, according to the double figure, precede the catastrophe, but is its consequence. Rightly, Ginsb.: "Like these are the sons of men ensnared in the time of misfortune." רעה might be adj., as at Amos 5:13; Micah 2:3; but since it lies nearer to refer כּשׁתּ to ra'ah than to 'eth, thus ra'ah, like the frequently occurring yom ra'ah (Ecclesiastes 7:14; cf. Jeremiah 17:17 with Jeremiah 15:11), may be thought of as genit. An example of that which is here said is found in the fatal wounding of Ahab by means of an arrow which was not aimed at him, so that he died "at the time of the going down of the sun," 2 Chronicles 18:33-34.

Ecclesiastes 9:18 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Ecclesiastes 9:16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.


Joshua 7:1,5,11,12 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah...

Joshua 22:20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel?...

1 Samuel 14:28,29,36-46 Then answered one of the people, and said, Your father straightly charged the people with an oath, saying...

2 Samuel 20:1,2 And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said...

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth...

2 Timothy 2:16-18 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more ungodliness...

2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

2 Timothy 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers...

Titus 1:10,11 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision...

Hebrews 12:15,16 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you...

Cross References
Joshua 7:1
But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel.

2 Kings 21:2
And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.

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 7:12
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.

Ecclesiastes 9:16
But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.

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