Ecclesiastes 9:14
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it.

King James Bible
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

Darby Bible Translation
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and encompassed it, and built great bulwarks against it:

World English Bible
There was a little city, and few men within it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it.

Young's Literal Translation
A little city, and few men in it, and a great king hath come unto it, and hath surrounded it, and hath built against it great bulwarks;

Ecclesiastes 9:14 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

A parable probably without foundation in fact. Critics who ascribe this book to a late age offer no better suggestion than that the "little city" may be Athens delivered 480 b.c. from the host of Xerxes through the wisdom of Themistocles, or Dora besieged 218 b.c. by Antiochus the Great.

Ecclesiastes 9:16-17 are comments on the two facts - the deliverance of the city and its forgetfulness of him who delivered it - stated in Ecclesiastes 9:15.

Ecclesiastes 9:14 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Three Youths Save Constantinople
Now there was found in that city a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no one remembered that same poor man. Eccl. ix. 15. After these events it really seems as if Gaïnas, to use a modern expression, had completely lost his head, or, to give the view of it taken by himself and his contemporaries, as if a demon had begun to trouble him; for his conduct became aimless and uncertain. Discontent, revenge, ambition, and evil counsels destroyed in him all capacity for wise
Frederic William Farrar—Gathering Clouds: A Tale of the Days of St. Chrysostom

Epistle cxxvii. From S. Columbanus to Pope Gregory .
From S. Columbanus to Pope Gregory [89] . To the holy lord, and father in Christ, the Roman [pope], most fair ornament of the Church, a certain most august flower, as it were, of the whole of withering Europe, distinguished speculator, as enjoying a divine contemplation of purity (?) [90] . I, Bargoma [91] , poor dove in Christ, send greeting. Grace to thee and peace from God the Father [and] our [Lord] Jesus Christ. I am pleased to think, O holy pope, that it will seem to thee nothing extravagant
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Second Great Group of Parables.
(Probably in Peræa.) Subdivision D. Parable of the Lost Son. ^C Luke XV. 11-32. ^c 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons [These two sons represent the professedly religious (the elder) and the openly irreligious (the younger). They have special reference to the two parties found in the first two verses of this chapter --the Pharisees, the publicans and sinners]: 12 and the younger of them [the more childish and easily deceived] said to his father, Father, give me the portion of thy substance
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Original Sin
Q-16: DID ALL MANKIND FALL IN ADAM'S FIRST TRANSGRESSION? A: The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him, by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression. 'By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,' &c. Rom 5:12. Adam being a representative person, while he stood, we stood; when he fell, we fell, We sinned in Adam; so it is in the text, In whom all have sinned.' Adam was the head
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Luke 19:43
"For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,

Deuteronomy 20:20
"Only the trees which you know are not fruit trees you shall destroy and cut down, that you may construct siegeworks against the city that is making war with you until it falls.

2 Samuel 20:16
Then a wise woman called from the city, "Hear, hear! Please tell Joab, 'Come here that I may speak with you.'"

Ecclesiastes 9:13
Also this I came to see as wisdom under the sun, and it impressed me.

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