|New International Version (©2011)|
Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
In addition to the Teacher being a wise man, he constantly taught the people knowledge; he weighed, explored, and arranged many proverbs.
International Standard Version (©2012)
Moreover, besides being wise himself, the Teacher taught people what he had learned by listening, making inquiries, and composing many proverbs.
NET Bible (©2006)
Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also taught knowledge to the people; he carefully evaluated and arranged many proverbs.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Besides being wise, the spokesman also taught the people what he knew. He very carefully thought about it, studied it, and arranged it in many proverbs.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
American King James Version
And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
American Standard Version
And further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, and'set in order many proverbs.
And whereas Ecclesiastes was very wise, he taught the people, and declared the things that he had done: and seeking out, he set forth many parables.
Darby Bible Translation
And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
English Revised Version
And further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
Webster's Bible Translation
And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge: yes, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
World English Bible
Further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he pondered, sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
Young's Literal Translation
And further, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge, and gave ear, and sought out -- he made right many similes.
|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.
Verses 9-14. - THE EPILOGUE. This contains some observations commendatory of the author, explaining his standpoint and the object of the book, the great conclusion to which it leads. Verses 9-11. - Koheleth as teacher of wisdom. Verse 9. - And moreover; וְיֹתֵר; καὶ περισσόν (Septuagint); rather, with the following שֵׁ besides that. The Preacher was wise. If we render "because the Preacher was wise," we are making an unnecessary statement, as the whole book has demonstrated this fact, which goes without saying. What the writer here asserts is that Koheleth did not merely possess wisdom, but had made good use of it for the instruction of others. The author throws aside his disguise, and speaks of his object in composing the book, with a glance at the historical Solomon whom he had personated. That he uses the third person in relation to himself is nothing uncommon in historical memoirs, etc. Thus Daniel writes; and St. John, Thucydides, Xenophon, Caesar, mask their personality by dropping their identity with the author (comp. also Ecclesiastes 1:2; Ecclesiastes 7:27). The attestation that follows is compared with that at the end of St. John's Gospel (John 21:24), and is plainly intended to confirm the authority of the writer, and to enforce on the hearer the conviction that, though Solomon himself did not compose the work, it has every claim to receive attention, and possesses intrinsic value. He still taught the people knowledge. As well as being esteemed one of the company of sages, he further (od) took pains to instruct his contemporaries (τὸν ἄνθρωπον, Septuagint), to apply his wisdom to educational purposes. Yea, he gave good heed; literally, he weighed (like our word "ponder"); only thus used in this passage. It denotes the careful examination of every fact and argument before it was presented to the public. Sought out, and set in order many proverbs. There is no copula in the original; the weighing and the investigation issued in the composition of "proverbs," which term includes not only the wit and wisdom of past ages in the form of pithy sayings and apophthegms, but also parables, truths in metaphorical guise, riddles, instructions, allegories, etc., all those forms which are found in the canonical Book of Proverbs. The same word (mishle) is used here as in the title of that book. Koheleth, however, is not necessarily referring to that work (or to 1 Kings 4:29, etc.), or implying that he himself wrote it; he is only putting forth his claim to attention by showing his patient assiduity in the pursuit of wisdom, and how that he adopted a particular method of teaching. For the idea contained in the verb taqan, "to place or make straight" (Ecclesiastes 1:15; Ecclesiastes 7:13), applied to literary composition, Delitzsch compares the German word for" author" (Schriftsteller). The notion of the mashal being similitude, comparison, the writer's pondering and searching were needed to discover hidden analogies, and, by means of the known and familiar, to lead up to the more obscure and abstruse. The Septuagint has a curious and somewhat unintelligible rendering, Καὶ οϋς ἐξιχνιάσεται κόσμιον παραβολῶν, "And the ear will trace out the order of parables," which Schleusner translates, "elegantes parabolas."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And moreover,.... Or "besides" (z) what has been said; or "as to what remains" (a); or "but what is better", or "more excellent" (b), is to "hear the conclusion of the whole matter", the sum and substance of the whole book in a few words, Ecclesiastes 12:13; to which Ecclesiastes 12:9; are a preface; and in which the wise man recommends the reading of this book, and other writings of his, and of other wise men inspired of God; and his own he particularly recommends, from his character as wise and industrious, in this verse; and from the subject matter of them, their nature, use, and excellency, and their efficacy and authority, in the two next;
because the preacher was wise; he was a "preacher", a royal one, an extraordinary preacher, and to be regarded; he urges not his title as a king, but his character as a preacher, to recommend what he had written: every good preacher should be regarded; not such who are ignorant preachers of the law, but faithful ministers of the Gospel, who are sent of God, and have felt and experienced what they deliver to others; and especially who are wise as well as faithful, as Solomon was; he had much wisdom given him at first, 1 Kings 3:12; and in which he improved; and though he turned to folly in his old age, he recovered from that, and gained more wisdom through his fall, and to which he here seems to have reference; for "Koheleth", which some render the "gatherer", because he gathered much wisdom, and much people to hear it; others render "gathered", that is, into the flock and fold again, the church of God, from which he had strayed; See Gill on Ecclesiastes 1:1; and having seen through the follies and vanities of life, and being recovered and restored, was a fitter person to teach and instruct others; see Psalm 51:12;
he still taught the people knowledge; or "again", as the Targum; after his fall and recovery he was communicative of his knowledge; he did not hide his talent in the earth, nor in a napkin; but having freely received he freely gave, and kept back nothing from his people, the people of the house of Israel, as the Targum, that might be profitable to them; he taught them the knowledge of themselves, as fallen men, impure, impotent, and unrighteous; the knowledge of the creatures, and the vanity of them, of riches, honours, and pleasures; and of works of righteousness to save men; the knowledge of Christ the Wisdom of God, the antiquity of his person, his glories, excellencies, and beauties, as in the books of Proverbs and Canticles; the knowledge of God, his fear and worship, mind and will; and the knowledge of a future state, and of the general judgment, as in this book; and in proportion to his own knowledge so he taught: for thus the words with the preceding may be rendered, that "the more that the preacher was wise, the more he taught the people knowledge" (c); he taught according to the abilities he had received, as preachers should; the more he grew in grace and knowledge, the more largely be shared with others; and this he did "daily", as Aben Ezra renders the words, constantly, continually, incessantly, in season and out of season, as faithful Gospel ministers do;
yea, he gave good heed; to what he heard and to what be read, to which the apostle's advice agrees, 1 Timothy 4:13; or he caused others to hear, and give good heed to what is said, as Aben Ezra; he engaged their attention by his enlivening discourses; or, as Kimchi, he weighed things in his own mind, and in the balance of the sanctuary; and thoroughly considered and digested them before he delivered them to others;
and sought out; was very diligent in investigating truth, he searched into the mines of knowledge for it, the sacred writings, as one would for gold and silver, and as he himself directs, Proverbs 2:4;
and set in order many proverbs; three thousand of them, 1 Kings 4:32; particularly those which are in the book of that name, penned by him; he selected the most choice, pithy, and sententious sayings, of his own and others; and these he huddled not up, or threw them together in a disorderly and confused manner; but put them together in proper order and method, under proper heads, as well as in a correct style, that they might be more received, and more easily retained. The Targum is,
"he attended to the voice of the wise men, and searched the books of wisdom; and by a spirit of prophecy from the Lord composed books of wisdom, and very many proverbs of understanding.''
(z) "praeterea", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Schmidt. (a) "Quod reliquum est", Piscator, Gejerus, Amama. (b) "Quamobrem potius", Junius & Tremeillius; "and this is a matter of excellency", Broughton, (c) Mercerus and Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. gave good heed—literally, "he weighed." The "teaching the people" seems to have been oral; the "proverbs," in writing. There must then have been auditories assembled to hear the inspired wisdom of the Preacher. See the explanation of Koheleth in the Introduction, and chapter 1 (1Ki 4:34).
that which is written, &c.—rather, (he sought) "to write down uprightly (or, 'aright') words of truth" [Holden and Weiss]. "Acceptable" means an agreeable style; "uprightly … truth," correct sentiment.
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