Ecclesiastes 4:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves.

New Living Translation
"Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin."

English Standard Version
The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

New American Standard Bible
The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.

King James Bible
The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The fool folds his arms and consumes his own flesh.

International Standard Version
The fool crosses his arms and starves himself.

NET Bible
The fool folds his hands and does no work, so he has nothing to eat but his own flesh.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A fool folds his hands and wastes away.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The fool foldeth his hands together, And eateth his own flesh.

New American Standard 1977
The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The fool folds his hands together and eats his own flesh.

King James 2000 Bible
The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh.

American King James Version
The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh.

American Standard Version
The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh, saying:

Darby Bible Translation
The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.

English Revised Version
The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.

World English Bible
The fool folds his hands together and ruins himself.

Young's Literal Translation
The fool is clasping his hands, and eating his own flesh:
Study Bible
The Evils of Oppression
4I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind. 5The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh. 6One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.…
Word Study

The fool
kciyl  (kes-eel')
fat, i.e. (figuratively) stupid or silly -- fool(-ish).

foldeth
chabaq  (khaw-bak')
to clasp (the hands or in embrace) -- embrace, fold.;

his hands
yad  (yawd)
a hand (the open one (indicating power, means, direction, etc.),

together
chabaq  (khaw-bak')
to clasp (the hands or in embrace) -- embrace, fold.;

and eateth
'akal  (aw-kal')
to eat -- at all, burn up, consume, devour(-er, up), dine, eat(-er, up), feed (with), food, freely, in...wise(-deed, plenty), (lay) meat, quite.

his own flesh
basar  (baw-sawr')
flesh (from its freshness); by extension, body, person; also (by euphem.) the pudenda of a man -- body, (fat, lean) flesh(-ed), kin, (man-)kind, + nakedness, self, skin.

Commentary
Matthew Henry Commentary
4:4-6 Solomon notices the sources of trouble peculiar to well-doers, and includes all who labour with diligence, and whose efforts are crowned with success. They often become great and prosperous, but this excites envy and opposition. Others, seeing the vexations of an active course, foolishly expect more satisfaction in sloth and idleness. But idleness is a sin that is its own punishment. Let us by honest industry lay hold on the handful, that we may not want necessaries, but not grasp at both hands full, which would only create vexation of spirit. Moderate pains and gains do best.
Cross References
Proverbs 6:10
"A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest "--

Proverbs 24:33
"A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest,"

Ecclesiastes 10:12
Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him;

Isaiah 9:20
They slice off what is on the right hand but still are hungry, And they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied; Each of them eats the flesh of his own arm.
Treasury of Scripture

The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh.

fool

Proverbs 6:10,11 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep…

Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man roasts not that which he took in hunting: but the …

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of …

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall …

Proverbs 24:33,34 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep…

eateth that is with envy

Job 13:14 Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand?

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does good to his own soul: but he that is cruel …

Isaiah 9:20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall …

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