|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.
Verse 9. - Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith. It is natural to consider this clause as suggested by the breaking of a wall in the preceding verse; but as this would occasion a jejune repetition, it is better to take it of the work of the quarryman, as in 1 Kings 5:17, where the same verb is used. The dangers to which such laborers are exposed are well known. Here, again, but unsuccessfully, some have seen a reference to the removal of landmarks, comparing 2 Kings 4:4, where the word is translated "set aside." As before said, the paragraph does not speak of retribution, but advises caution, enforcing the lesson by certain homely, allusions to the accidents that may occur m customary occupations. He that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. Cutting up logs of wood, a man may hurt himself with axe or saw, or be injured by splinters, etc. If we take the idea to be the felling of trees, there is the danger of being crushed in their fall, or, according to the tenor of Deuteronomy 19:5, of being killed inadvertently by a neighbor's axe. Vulgate, Qui scindit ligna vulnerabitur ab eis, which is more definite than the general term "endangered;" but the Septuagint has, Κινδυνεύσει ἐν αὐτοῖς, as in the Authorized Version. Plumptre sees here, again, an intimation of the danger of attacking time-honored institutions, even when decaying and corrupt.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith,.... That carries them from the quarry, where they are dug; or takes them from a heap, where they lie; or that attempts to pull them out of a building, where they are put; or removes them from places, where they are set as boundaries and landmarks; all which is troublesome, and by which men get hurt; the stones fall upon them, or are too heavy for them, or they do what they should not do, and so bring themselves into trouble; as do all such persons who are for removing the boundaries of commonwealths and communities, and for changing laws, and altering constitutions;
and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby; of cutting himself: so he that soweth discord among brethren, that makes divisions in families, neighbourhoods, kingdoms, and churches; see Proverbs 6:16, Romans 16:18. Jarchi renders it, "shall be warmed" or "heated", according to the sense of the word, as he thinks, in 1 Kings 1:2; though he understands it of being profited by studying in the law and the commandments; of which he interprets the clause; and Ben Melech observes, that the word so signifies in the Arabic language; and Mr. Broughton renders it, "shall be heated thereby". The Targum paraphrases it,
"shall be burnt with fire, by the hand of the Angel of the Lord:''
or, however, he may be overheated and do himself hurt, as men, that kindle the flame of contention and strife, often do.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
10:9 Whoso removeth - Stones too heavy for them: who rashly attempts things too high and hard for them.
Ecclesiastes 10:9 Parallel Commentaries
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