|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:11-15 There is a practice in the East, of charming serpents by music. The babbler's tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison; and contradiction only makes it the more violent. We must find the way to keep him gentle. But by rash, unprincipled, or slanderous talk, he brings open or secret vengeance upon himself. Would we duly consider our own ignorance as to future events, it would cut off many idle words which we foolishly multiply. Fools toil a great deal to no purpose. They do not understand the plainest things, such as the entrance into a great city. But it is the excellency of the way to the heavenly city, that it is a high-way, in which the simplest wayfaring men shall not err, Isa 25:8. But sinful folly makes men miss that only way to happiness.
Verse 14. - A fool also is full of words. The word for "fool" here is oaks/, which implies a dense, confused thinker. Alive the word was kesil, which denotes rather the self-confidence of the dull and stupid man. Moreover the fool multiplieth words. He not only speaks foolishly, but he says too much (cutup. Ecclesiastes 5:2). It is not mere loquacity that is here predicated of the fool, though that is one of his characteristics, but, as-the rest of the verse shows, the prating of things about which he knows nothing. He talks as though he knew everything and there were no limitation to human cognition. A man cannot tell what shall be. And yet, or although, no man can really predict the future. The fool speaks confidently of such things, and thereby proves his imbecility. Instead of "what shall be," the Septuagint has, Τί τὸ γενόμενον καὶ τί τὸ ἐσόμενον, "What has been and what shall be;" the Vulgate, Quid ante se fuerit, "What has been before him." This reading was introduced probably to obviate a seeming tautology in the following clause, And what shall be after him, who can tell? But this clause has a different signification from the former, and presents a closer definition. The future intended may be the result of the fool's inconsiderate language, which may have fatal and lasting consequences; or it may refer to the visitation of his sins upon his children, in accordance with the denunciation of Deuteronomy 5:9; Deuteronomy 29:20-22; or it may include the life beyond the grave. The uncertainty of the future is a constant theme; see Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 6:11, 12; Ecclesiastes 7:14; Ecclesiastes 8:17; and compare Christ's parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-20), and St. James's warning in his Epistle (James 4:13-16).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A fool also is full of words,.... Or, "multiplies words" (y). Is very talkative, says the same thing over and over again; uses an abundance of waste words, that have no meaning in them; utters every thing that comes uppermost, without any order or judgment; affects to talk on every subject, whether he knows anything of it or not; and will engross all the conversation to himself, though of all in company the most unfit for it;
a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him who can tell him? what the fool is talking of; what is the drift of his discourse; or where it will end, and what he will bring it to, it is so noisy, confused, and incoherent: or no man can tell future things, or what will come to pass; nor can any man inform another of future events; and yet a fool boasts and brags of what he shall do, and what he shall have, as if he was master of the future, and knew for certain what would come to pass, which the wisest of men do not.
(y) "multiplicabit", Pagninus, Montanus; "multiplicat", Vatablus, Mercerus, Drusius, Amama, Gejerus, Rambachius, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. full of words—(Ec 5:2).
a man cannot tell what shall be—(Ec 3:22; 6:12; 8:7; 11:2; Pr 27:1). If man, universally (including the wise man), cannot foresee the future, much less can the fool; his "many words" are therefore futile.
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