Ecclesiastes 7:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?

New Living Translation
Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?

English Standard Version
Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?

New American Standard Bible
Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent?

King James Bible
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Consider the work of God, for who can straighten out what He has made crooked?

International Standard Version
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent?

NET Bible
Consider the work of God: For who can make straight what he has bent?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Consider what God has done! Who can straighten what God has bent?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Consider the work of God; for who can make straight that which he has twisted?

King James 2000 Bible
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?

American King James Version
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?

American Standard Version
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Consider the works of God, that no man can correct whom he hath despised.

Darby Bible Translation
Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what he hath made crooked?

English Revised Version
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

Webster's Bible Translation
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

World English Bible
Consider the work of God, for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?

Young's Literal Translation
See the work of God, For who is able to make straight that which He made crooked?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:11-22 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, yea better. It shelters from the storms and scorching heat of trouble. Wealth will not lengthen out the natural life; but true wisdom will give spiritual life, and strengthen men for services under their sufferings. Let us look upon the disposal of our condition as the work of God, and at last all will appear to have been for the best. In acts of righteousness, be not carried into heats or passions, no, not by a zeal for God. Be not conceited of thine own abilities; nor find fault with every thing, nor busy thyself in other men's matters. Many who will not be wrought upon by the fear of God, and the dread of hell, will avoid sins which ruin their health and estate, and expose to public justice. But those that truly fear God, have but one end to serve, therefore act steadily. If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves. Every true believer is ready to say, God be merciful to me a sinner. Forget not at the same time, that personal righteousness, walking in newness of life, is the only real evidence of an interest by faith in the righteousness of the Redeemer. Wisdom teaches us not to be quick in resenting affronts. Be not desirous to know what people say; if they speak well of thee, it will feed thy pride, if ill, it will stir up thy passion. See that thou approve thyself to God and thine own conscience, and then heed not what men say of thee; it is easier to pass by twenty affronts than to avenge one. When any harm is done to us, examine whether we have not done as bad to others.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - Consider the work of God. Here is another reason against murmuring and hasty judgment. True wisdom is shown by submission to the inevitable. In all that happens one ought to recognize God's work and God's ordering, and man's impotence. For who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? The things which God hath made crooked are the anomalies, the crosses, the difficulties, which meet us in life. Some would include bodily deformities, which seems to be a piece of unnecessary literalism. Thus the Septuagint, Τίς δυνήσεται κοσμῆσαι ο{ν α}ν ὁ Θεὸς διαστρέψῃ αὐτόν; "Who will be able to straighten him whom God has distorted?" and the Vulgate, Nemo possit corrigere quem ille despexerit, "No one can amend him whom he hath despised." The thought goes back to what was said in Ecclesiastes 1:15, "That which is crooked cannot be made straight;" and in Ecclesiastes 6:10, man "cannot contend with him that is mightier than he." "As for the wondrous works of the Lord," says Ben-Sirs," there may be nothing taken from them, neither may anything be put unto them, neither can the ground of them be found out" (Ecclus. 18:6). We cannot arrange events according to our wishes or expectations; therefore not only is placid acquiescence a necessary duty, but the wise man will endeavor to accommodate himself to existing circumstances

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Consider the work of God,.... This is dressed to those who thought the former days better than the present, and were ready to quarrel with the providence of God, Ecclesiastes 7:10; and are therefore advised to consider the work of God; not the work of creation, but of providence; which is the effect of divine sovereignty, and is conducted and directed according to the counsel of his will, and is always wisely done to answer the best ends and purposes: everything is beautiful in its season; contemplate, adore, and admire the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, displayed therein; it is such as cannot be made better, nor otherwise than it is;

for who can make that straight which he hath made crooked? or which seems to be so, irregular and disagreeable? No man can mend or make that better he finds fault with and complains of; nor can he alter the course of things, nor stay the hand, nor stop the providence of God: if it is his pleasure that public calamities should be in the world, or in such a part of it, as famine, pestilence, or the sword; or any affliction on families, and particular persons, or poverty and meanness in such and such individuals, there is no hindering it; whatever he has purposed and resolved, his providence effects, and there is no frustrating his designs; it signifies nothing for a creature to murmur and complain; it is best to submit to his will, for no alteration can be made but what he pleases. Some understand this of natural defects in human bodies, with which they are born, or which attend them, as blindness, lameness, &c. so the Targum,

"consider the work of God, and his strength, who made the blind, the crooked, and the lame, to be wonders in the world; for who can make straight one of them but the Lord of the world, who made him crooked?''

Others, of spiritual defects in such who walk in crooked ways, and are hardened in them; who can correct them, and make them other ways, if God does not give them his grace to convert them, and soften their hard hearts? he hardens whom he will, and who hath resisted his will? Jarchi's paraphrase is,

"who can make straight after death what he has made crooked in life?''

See Gill on Ecclesiastes 1:15. Alshech interprets it of the first man Adam.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. Consider as to God's work, that it is impossible to alter His dispensations; for who can, &c.

straight … crooked—Man cannot amend what God wills to be "wanting" and "adverse" (Ec 1:15; Job 12:14).

Ecclesiastes 7:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Value of Wisdom
12For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. 13Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? 14In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider-- God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:15
What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 8:17
then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.
Treasury of Scripture

Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?

consider

Job 37:14 Listen to this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

Psalm 8:3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon …

Psalm 107:43 Whoever is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand …

Isaiah 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in …

who

Ecclesiastes 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is …

Job 9:12 Behold, he takes away, who can hinder him? who will say to him, What do you?

Job 11:10 If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?

Job 12:14 Behold, he breaks down, and it cannot be built again: he shuts up …

Job 34:29 When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hides …

Isaiah 14:27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who shall cancel it? and …

Isaiah 43:13 Yes, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver …

Isaiah 46:10,11 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the …

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and …

Romans 9:15,19 For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, …

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance…

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