Ecclesiastes 12:10
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

New Living Translation
The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.

English Standard Version
The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

New American Standard Bible
The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly.

King James Bible
The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and write words of truth accurately.

International Standard Version
The Teacher searched to find appropriate expressions, and what is written here is right and truthful.

NET Bible
The Teacher sought to find delightful words, and to write accurately truthful sayings.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The spokesman tried to find just the right words. He wrote the words of truth very carefully.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The preacher sought to find willing words and upright writings, even words of truth.

King James 2000 Bible
The preacher sought to find acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

American King James Version
The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

American Standard Version
The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written uprightly, even words of truth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He sought profitable words, and wrote words most right, and full of truth.

Darby Bible Translation
The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words; and that which was written is upright, words of truth.

English Revised Version
The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written uprightly, even words of truth.

Webster's Bible Translation
The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

World English Bible
The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written blamelessly, words of truth.

Young's Literal Translation
The preacher sought to find out pleasing words, and, written by the upright, words of truth.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:8-14 Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, which can do nothing to ease men of the burden of sin. As he considered the worth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spake and wrote; words of truth will always be acceptable words. The truths of God are as goads to such as are dull and draw back, and nails to such as are wandering and draw aside; means to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom. Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him. The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 10. - The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words; literally, words of delight; λόγους θελήματος (Septuagint); verba utilia (Vulgate); so Aquila, λόγους χρείας. The word chephets, "pleasure," occurs in Ecclesiastes 5:4; Ecclesiastes 12:1. Thus we have "stones of pleasure" (Isaiah 54:12). He added the grace of refined diction to the solid sense of his utterances. Plumptre reminds us of the "gracious words" (λόγοις τῆς χάριτος, Luke 4:22) which proceeded from the mouth of him who, being the Incarnate Wisdom of God, was indeed greater than Solomon. On the necessity of a work being attractive as well as conforming to literary rules, Horace long ago wrote ('Ars Poet.,' 99) -

"Non satis est pulchra esse poemata; dulcia sunto,
Et quoeunque volent animum auditoris agunto."


"'Tis not enough that poems faultless be,
And fair; let them be tender too, and draw
The hearer by the cord of sympathy."
St. Augustine is copious on this subject in his treatise, 'De Doctr. Christ.;' thus (4:26): "Proinde ilia tria, ut intelligant qui audiunt, ut delectentur, ut obediant, etiam in hoc genere agendum est, ubi tenet delectatio principatum .... Sed quis movetur, si nescit quod dicitur? Ant quis tenetur ut audiat, si non delectatur?" And that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The Authorized Version, with its interpolations, does not accurately convey the sense of the original. The sentence is to be regarded as containing phrases in apposition to the "acceptable words" of the first clause; thus: "Koheleth sought to discover words of pleasure, and a writing in sincerity, words of truth. 'The Septuagint has, καὶ γεγραμμένον εὐθύτητος, "a writing of uprightness;" Vulgate, et conscripsit sermones rectissimos. The meaning is that what he wrote had two characteristics - it was sincere, that which he really thought and believed, and it was true objectively. If any reader was disposed to cavil, and to depreciate the worth of the treatise because it was not the genuine work of the celebrated Solomon, the writer claims attention to his production on the ground of its intrinsic qualities, as inspired by the same wisdom which animated his great predecessor.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The preacher sought to find out acceptable words,.... Not mere words, fine and florid ones, the words which man's wisdom teacheth, an elegant style, or eloquent language; not but that it is proper for a preacher to seek out and use words suitable and apt to convey right ideas to the minds of men of what he says; but doctrines are rather here meant, "words of desire", "delight", and "pleasure" (d), as the phrase may be rendered; even of God's good will and pleasure, so Alshech; for the same word is sometimes used of God in this book and elsewhere: see Ecclesiastes 3:1; and so may take in the doctrine of God's everlasting love to his people, and his delight and pleasure in them; of his good will towards them in sending Christ to suffer and die for them, and save them; in pardoning their sins through his blood, in which he delights; in regenerating and calling them by his grace, and revealing the things of the Gospel to them, when he hides them from others, which is all of his own will and pleasure, and as it seems good in his sight: or words and doctrines, which are desirable, pleasing, and acceptable unto men; not that Solomon did, or preachers should, seek to please men, or seek to say things merely for the sake of pleasing men, for then they would not be the servants of Christ; nor are the doctrines of the Gospel pleasing to carnal men, but the reverse: they gnash their teeth at them, as Christ's hearers did at him; the preaching of a crucified Christ is foolishness, and the things of the Spirit of God are insipid things, to natural men; they are enemies to the Gospel: but to sensible sinners they are very delightful, such as peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation, by Christ, 1 Timothy 1:15; for the worth of them, they are more desirable to them than gold and silver, and are more delightful to the ear than the best of music, and more acceptable to the taste than honey or the honeycomb, Psalm 19:10;

and that which was written was upright; meaning what was written in this book, or in any other parts of Scripture, which the preacher sought out and inculcated; it was according to the mind and will of God, and to the rest of the sacred word; it was sincere, unmixed, and unadulterated with the doctrines and inventions of men; it showed that man had lost his uprightness, had none of himself, and where it was to be had, even in Christ; and was a means of making men sound, sincere, and upright at heart; and of directing them to walk uprightly, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the world;

even words of truth; which come from the God of truth, that cannot lie, as all Scripture does; of which Christ, who is the truth, is the sum and substance; and which are inspired by the Spirit of truth, and led into by him, and made effectual to saving purposes; and which holds good of the whole Scripture, called the Scripture of truth, Daniel 10:1; and of the Gospel, which is the word of truth, and of every doctrine of it, John 17:17.

(d) "verba complacentiae vel beneplaciti", Vatablus; "verba desiderii", Amama, Rambachius; "verba delectabilia", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Mercerus, Gejerus; so Broughton; "verba voluptatis", Cocceius.



Ecclesiastes 12:10 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Fear of God is Utmost
9In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs. 10The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly. 11The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.…
Cross References
Proverbs 10:32
The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

Proverbs 22:20
Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge,

Proverbs 22:21
teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?
Treasury of Scripture

The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

preacher

Ecclesiastes 1:1,12 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem…

acceptable words

Proverbs 15:23,26 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due …

Proverbs 16:21-24 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the …

Proverbs 25:11,12 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver…

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ …

written

Proverbs 1:1-6 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel…

Proverbs 8:6-10 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my …

Proverbs 22:17-21 Bow down your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your …

Luke 1:1-4 For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration …

John 3:11 Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify …

Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard …

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