Ecclesiastes 10:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.

New Living Translation
A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.

English Standard Version
A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.

New American Standard Bible
A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left.

King James Bible
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A wise man's heart goes to the right, but a fool's heart to the left.

International Standard Version
A wise man's heart tends toward his right, but a fool's heart tends toward his left.

NET Bible
A wise person's good sense protects him, but a fool's lack of sense leaves him vulnerable.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A wise person's heart leads the right way. The heart of a fool leads the wrong way.

Jubilee Bible 2000
A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left.

King James 2000 Bible
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

American King James Version
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

American Standard Version
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The heart of a wise man is in his right hand, and the heart of a fool is in his left hand.

Darby Bible Translation
The heart of a wise [man] is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

English Revised Version
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Webster's Bible Translation
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart is at his left.

World English Bible
A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left.

Young's Literal Translation
The heart of the wise is at his right hand, And the heart of a fool at his left.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:1-3 Those especially who make a profession of religion, should keep from all appearances of evil. A wise man has great advantage over a fool, who is always at a loss when he has anything to do. Sin is the reproach of sinners, wherever they go, and shows their folly.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 2, 3. - A tetrastich contrasting wisdom and folly. Verse 2. - A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. There is here no reference to the classical use of right and left, as ominous of success and disaster, which is never found in the Old Testament. The right hand is the place of honor, the left of inferiority, as a matter of fact, not of superstition and luck. The symbolism is intimated in Christ's account of the judgment (Matthew 25:31, etc.). But in the present passage we should best paraphrase - The wise man's heart, his understanding and sentiments, lead him to what is right and proper and straightforward; the fool's heart leads him astray, in the wrong direction. The former is active and skilful, the latter is slow and awkward. One, we may say, has no left hand, the other has no right. To be at the right hand is to be ready to help and guard. "The Lord is at thy right band," to protect thee, says the psalmist (Psalm 110:5). The wise man's mind shows him how to escape dangers and direct his course safely; the fool's mind helps him not to any good purpose, causes him to err and miss his best object.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A wise man's heart is at his right hand,.... This is not designed to express the direct position and situation of the heart of man, wise or foolish, which is the same in both; and which, according to anatomists, is in the middle of the body, inclining to the left side; but the understanding and wisdom of men, as Aben Ezra observes; which, with a wise man, is ready a hand to direct and assist him in any affair; and which under the influence of it, he goes about with great readiness and dexterity, and performs it with great ease and facility, without sinister ends and selfish views; it inclines him to pursue the true way to honour, heaven, and happiness, which lies to the right; to seek things that are above, at the right hand of God; and, in all, his honour and glory;

but a fool's heart is at his left; he is at a loss for wisdom and understanding to direct him, when he has an affair of any moment upon his hand; which he goes about in an awkward manner, as left handed persons do, and has sinister ends in what he does; and he is to every good work reprobate and unfit, and seeks earth and earthly things, which lie to the left, and in all himself. The Targum is,

"the heart of a wise man is to get the law, which was given by the right hand of the Lord; and the heart of a fool to get the goods of gold and silver:''

so Jarchi,

"his wisdom is ready to incline him (the wise man) to the right hand way for his good; but the heart of a fool to pervert him from it.''

The ancients (o) used to call things wise and prudent the right hand and things foolish the left hand.

(o) Suidas in voce

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. (Ec 2:14).

right—The right hand is more expert than the left. The godly wise is more on his guard than the foolish sinner, though at times he slip. Better a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without one.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Wisdom and Folly
1Dead flies make a perfumer's oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor. 2A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left. 3Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.…
Cross References
Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 25:33
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Colossians 3:1
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Treasury of Scripture

A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

wise

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there …

Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly …

Luke 14:28-32 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, …

but

Ecclesiastes 10:10,14 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put …

Proverbs 17:16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing …

Luke 12:18-20 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build …

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