Ecclesiastes 10:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.

New Living Translation
If your boss is angry at you, don't quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes.

English Standard Version
If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.

New American Standard Bible
If the ruler's temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.

King James Bible
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If the ruler's anger rises against you, don't leave your place, for calmness puts great offenses to rest.

International Standard Version
If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.

NET Bible
If the anger of the ruler flares up against you, do not resign from your position, for a calm response can undo great offenses.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If a ruler becomes angry with you, don't resign your position. If you remain calm, you can make up for serious offenses.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If the spirit of the ruler rises up against thee, do not leave thy place; for meekness pacifies great sins.

King James 2000 Bible
If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, leave not your post; for yielding pacifies great offences.

American King James Version
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; for yielding pacifies great offenses.

American Standard Version
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for gentleness allayeth great offences.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If the spirit of him that hath power, ascend upon thee, leave not thy place: because care will make the greatest sins to cease.

Darby Bible Translation
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for quietness pacifieth great offences.

English Revised Version
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding allayeth great offences.

Webster's Bible Translation
If the spirit of the ruler riseth against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offenses.

World English Bible
If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, don't leave your place; for gentleness lays great offenses to rest.

Young's Literal Translation
If the spirit of the ruler go up against thee, Thy place leave not, For yielding quieteth great sinners.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:4-10 Solomon appears to caution men not to seek redress in a hasty manner, nor to yield to pride and revenge. Do not, in a passion, quit thy post of duty; wait awhile, and thou wilt find that yielding pacifies great offences. Men are not preferred according to their merit. And those are often most forward to offer help, who are least aware of the difficulties, or the consequences. The same remark is applied to the church, or the body of Christ, that all the members should have the same care one for another.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 4-7. - Section 12. Illustration of the conduct of wisdom under capricious rulers, or when fools are exalted to high stations. Verse 4. - If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee. "Spirit" (ruach) is here equivalent to "anger," as Judges 8:3; Proverbs 29:11. The idea seems to be that a statesman or councilor gives wise advice to a monarch, which the latter takes in bad part, and shows strong resentment against the person who offered it. Now, when a man knows himself to be in the right, and yet finds his counsel rejected, perhaps with scorn and reproach added, he is naturally prone to feel sore, and to show by some overt act his sense of the ill treatment which he has received. But what says wisdom? Leave not thy place (makom); i.e. position, pest, office. Do not hastily resign the situation at court to which you have been appointed. Some, not so suitably, take the expression, "leave thy place," figuratively, as equivalent to "give way to anger, renounce the temper which becomes you, lose your self-possession." But Wright, from the analogous use of matstsale and maamad in Isaiah 22:19, confirms the interpretation which we have adopted. Compare the advice in Ecclesiastes 8:3, where, however, the idea is rather of open rebellion than of a resentment which shows itself by withdrawal. Origen ('De Princip.,' 3:2) explained "the spirit of the ruler" to be the evil spirit; and Gregory, commenting on this passage, writes ('Moral.,' 3:43), "As though he had said in plain words, 'If thou perceivest the spirit of the tempter to prevail against thee in aught, quit not the lowliness of penitence;' and that it was the abasement of penitence that he called 'our place,' he shows by the words that follow, 'for healing [Vulgate] pacifieth great offences.' For what else is the humility of mourning, save the remedy of sin?" (Oxford transl.). For yielding pacifieth great offenses. Marpe, "yielding," is rendered "healing" by the versions. Thus ἴαμα (Septuagint); euratio (Vulgate). But this translation is not so suitable as that of Symmachus, σωφροσύνη, "moderation." The word is used in the sense of" gentleness," "meekness," in Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 15:4; and the gnome expresses the truth that a calm, conciliating spirit, not prone to take offence, but patient under trying circumstances, obviates great sins. The sins are those of the subject. This quiet resignation saves him from conspiracy, rebellion, treason, etc., into which his untempered resentment might hurry him. We may compare Proverbs 15:1 and Proverbs 25:15; and Horace, 'Cam.,' 3. 3, "Justum et tenacem propositi virum," etc.

"The man whose soul is firm and strong,
Bows not to any tyrant's frown,
And on the rabble's clamorous throng
In proud disdain looks coldly down."


(Stanley.) They who regard the "offenses" as those of the ruler explain them to mean oppression and injustice; but it seems plain from the run of the sentence that the minister, not the monarch, is primarily in the mind of the writer, though, of course, it is quite true that the submission of the former might save the ruler from the commission of some wrong.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee,.... The wrath of the civil magistrate, the chief ruler of the land, the sovereign prince or king, to whom men are and should be subject: if his wrath on any occasion breaks out in a furious manner, and, like a storm and tempest, is very blustering and threatening:

leave not thy place; at court; thine office under the prince, do not throw it up in a passion, and quit his service upon it; and much less forget thy duty and allegiance to him, and go into disloyalty and rebellion; see Ecclesiastes 8:3;

for yielding pacifieth great offences; bearing his anger patiently, submitting to his displeasure quietly, making no returns, or at least giving soft answers, and behaving in a modest and humble manner; in time his wrath will subside, and he will be pacified, and forgive the offences committed; or be convinced that there were none, or however not so great as to require such resentment; see Proverbs 15:1. The Targum is,

"if a spirit of evil concupiscence rules over thee; thy good place, in which thou wert used to stand, leave not:''

some understand this of a man's having a spirit of rule and government coming upon him, or of his being advanced to power and authority, that then he should not forget the low estate in which he had been. Jarchi interprets it of the spirit of the governor of the world, strictly inquiring into the actions of men; and healing their sins by chastisements, which cause them to leave them.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. spirit—anger.

yielding pacifieth—(Pr 15:1). This explains "leave not thy place"; do not in a resisting spirit withdraw from thy post of duty (Ec 8:3).

Ecclesiastes 10:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Wisdom and Folly
3Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool. 4If the ruler's temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses. 5There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which goes forth from the ruler--…
Cross References
1 Samuel 25:24
She fell at his feet and said: "Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say.

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

Proverbs 25:15
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

Ecclesiastes 8:3
Do not be in a hurry to leave the king's presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.

Ecclesiastes 10:5
There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
Treasury of Scripture

If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; for yielding pacifies great offenses.

leave

Ecclesiastes 8:3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; …

for

1 Samuel 25:24 And fell at his feet, and said, On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity …

Proverbs 25:15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone.

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