Ecclesiastes 10:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.

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
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The serpent will bite without enchantment - בלא לחש belo lachash, without hissing. As a snake may bite before it hiss, so also will the babbler, talkative person, or calumniator. Without directly speaking evil, he insinuates, by innuendoes, things injurious to the reputation of his neighbor. Gif the eddir bite in silence, noyhing lasse than he hath that privily backbiteth - Old MS. Bible. "A babbler of his tongue is no better than a serpent that styngeth without hyssynge." - Coverdale. The moral of this saying is simply this: A calumniator is as dangerous as a poisonous serpent; and from the envenomed tongue of slander and detraction no man is safe. The comparing the serpent, נחש nachash, to a babbler, has something singular in it. I have already supposed that the creature mentioned, Genesis 3:1, was of the genus simia. This has been ridiculed, but not disproved.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the serpent

Psalm 58:4,5 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear...

Jeremiah 8:17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, said the LORD.

babbler

Psalm 52:2 The tongue devises mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.

Psalm 64:3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body...

Library
The Way to the City
'The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.'--ECCLES. x. 15. On the surface this seems to be merely a piece of homely, practical sagacity, conjoined with one of the bitter things which Ecclesiastes is fond of saying about those whom he calls 'fools.' It seems to repeat, under another metaphor, the same idea which has been presented in a previous verse, where we read: 'If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners Or, a Brief Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to his Poor Servant, John Bunyan
In this my relation of the merciful working of God upon my soul, it will not be amiss, if in the first place, I do in a few words give you a hint of my pedigree, and manner of bringing up; that thereby the goodness and bounty of God towards me, may be the more advanced and magnified before the sons of men. 2. For my descent then, it was, as is well known by many, of a low and inconsiderable generation; my father's house being of that rank that is meanest, and most despised of all the families in
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Cross References
James 3:8
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Psalm 58:4
Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,

Psalm 58:5
that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.

Ecclesiastes 10:10
If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.

Jeremiah 8:17
"See, I will send venomous snakes among you, vipers that cannot be charmed, and they will bite you," declares the LORD.

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