New American Standard Bible
If the serpent bites before being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.
King James Bible
Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
Darby Bible Translation
If the serpent bite before enchantment, then the charmer hath no advantage.
World English Bible
If the snake bites before it is charmed, then is there no profit for the charmer's tongue.
Young's Literal Translation
If the serpent biteth without enchantment, Then there is no advantage to a master of the tongue.
Ecclesiastes 10:11 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Rather: "If a serpent without enchantment (i. e., not being enchanted) bites, then there is no advantage to the charmer": i. e., if the charmer is unwisely slack in exercising his craft, he will be bitten like other people. See Psalm 58:4 note.
Library"For they that are after the Flesh do Mind,"
Rom. viii. s 5, 6.--"For they that are after the flesh do mind," &c. "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." There are many differences among men in this world, that, as to outward appearance, are great and wide, and indeed they are so eagerly pursued, and seriously minded by men, as if they were great and momentous. You see what a strife and contention there is among men, how to be extracted out of the dregs of the multitude, and set a little higher …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent; Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,
So that it does not hear the voice of charmers, Or a skillful caster of spells.
If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
"For behold, I am sending serpents against you, Adders, for which there is no charm, And they will bite you," declares the LORD.
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