Ecclesiastes 10:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town.

New Living Translation
Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they can't even find their way home.

English Standard Version
The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city.

New American Standard Bible
The toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city.

King James Bible
The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The struggles of fools weary them, for they don't know how to go to the city.

International Standard Version
The work of a fool so wears him out that he can't even find his way to town.

NET Bible
The toil of a stupid fool wears him out, because he does not even know the way to the city.

New Heart English Bible
The labor of fools wearies every one of them; for he doesn't know how to go to the city.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Fools wear themselves out with hard work, because they don't even know the way to town.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The labour of fools wearieth every one of them, For he knoweth not how to go to the city.

New American Standard 1977
The toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The labour of the foolish wearies all of them because they do not know how to go to the city.

King James 2000 Bible
The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city.

American King James Version
The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city.

American Standard Version
The labor of fools wearieth every one of them; for he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not how to go to the city.

Darby Bible Translation
The labour of fools wearieth them, because they know not how to go to the city.

English Revised Version
The labour of fools wearieth every one of them, for he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Webster's Bible Translation
The labor of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

World English Bible
The labor of fools wearies every one of them; for he doesn't know how to go to the city.

Young's Literal Translation
The labour of the foolish wearieth him, In that he hath not known to go unto the city.
Study Bible
Wisdom and Folly
14Yet the fool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him? 15The toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 10:14
Yet the fool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him?

Ecclesiastes 10:16
Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning.
Treasury of Scripture

The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city.

labour

Ecclesiastes 10:3,10 Yes also, when he that is a fool walks by the way, his wisdom fails …

Isaiah 44:12-17 The smith with the tongs both works in the coals, and fashions it …

Isaiah 47:12,13 Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your …

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor …

Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and merciful …

Habakkuk 2:6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting …

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…

because

Psalm 107:4,7 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no …

Isaiah 35:8-10 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called …

Jeremiah 50:4,5 In those days, and in that time, said the LORD, the children of Israel …

(15) To go to the city.--Evidently a proverbial expression; "is not able to find his way on a plain road." (Comp. Isaiah 35:8.)

Verse 15. - The labor of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city. The transition from plural to singular is here made, The work of fools wearieth him that knoweth not, etc. "Fools' work" signifies, perhaps, the vain speculations about Providence which Koheleth constantly condemns; or at any rate, all vain and objectless toil and trouble. Not to know the way to the city is probably a proverbial saying expressive of gross ignorance concerning the most obvious matters. How should one, who fails in the knowledge open to all experience, be able to investigate and give an opinion about abstruse questions (comp. Isaiah 35:8)? For the last clause other interpretations have been proposed, such as, the fool knows not how to transact public business (which is introducing a modern idea); the oppressed peasant knows not the way to the town where he might obtain redress; he is so foolish that he does not understand where he may find patrons whom he may bribe to plead his cause; he is an Essene, who avoids cities; he cannot make his way to the new Jerusalem, the city of God. But these artificial explanations are to be rejected, while the simple interpretation given above is plainly consistent with the context. The lesson is not to meddle with things too high, especially when you are ignorant of the commonest matters. A little wisdom would prevent endless and useless trouble. The labour of the foolish wearieth everyone of them,.... The labour of fools, both in speaking and doing, weary those who have any concern with them, and themselves likewise, since all their labour is vain and fruitless;

because he knoweth not how to go to the city; to any city, the road to which is usually broad, and plain and easy to be found, and yet cannot be found by the foolish man; showing, that he that talks of abstruse things, things too high and wonderful for him, which he affects to know, must needs be a stranger to them, since things the most easy to be understood he is ignorant of, and wearies himself to find; or he does not know how to behave himself in a city, among citizens, in a civil and polite manner. The Targum is,

"he learns not to go to the city, where wise men dwell, to learn instruction from it.''

Some interpret it of the city of Jerusalem, where were the temple, sanhedrim, synagogues, schools, &c. but it may be better applied to the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, which fools or wicked men know not the way unto, nor do they seek after it; see Psalm 107:7; so Alshech interprets it of heaven. 15. labour … wearieth—(Isa 55:2; Hab 2:13).

knoweth not how to go to the city—proverb for ignorance of the most ordinary matters (Ec 10:3); spiritually, the heavenly city (Ps 107:7; Mt 7:13, 14). Maurer connects Ec 10:15 with the following verses. The labor (vexation) caused by the foolish (injurious princes, Ec 10:4-7) harasses him who "knows not how to go to the city," to ingratiate himself with them there. English Version is simpler.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.
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