Ecclesiastes 7:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

New Living Translation
Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.

English Standard Version
Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

New American Standard Bible
For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart.

King James Bible
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Surely, the practice of extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe destroys the mind.

International Standard Version
Unjust gain makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

NET Bible
Surely oppression can turn a wise person into a fool; likewise, a bribe corrupts the heart.

New Heart English Bible
Surely extortion makes the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroys the understanding.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Oppression can turn a wise person into a fool, and a bribe can corrupt the mind.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Surely oppression turneth a wise man into a fool; And a gift destroyeth the understanding.

New American Standard 1977
For oppression makes a wise man mad,
            And a bribe corrupts the heart.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Surely oppression makes a wise man mad, and a gift destroys the heart.

King James 2000 Bible
Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a bribe destroys the heart.

American King James Version
Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a gift destroys the heart.

American Standard Version
Surely extortion maketh the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroyeth the understanding.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Oppression troubleth the wise, and shall destroy the strength of his heart.

Darby Bible Translation
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad, and a gift destroyeth the heart.

English Revised Version
Surely extortion maketh a wise man foolish; and a gift destroyeth the understanding.

Webster's Bible Translation
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

World English Bible
Surely extortion makes the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroys the understanding.

Young's Literal Translation
Surely oppression maketh the wise mad, And a gift destroyeth the heart.
Study Bible
The Value of Wisdom
6For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility. 7For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart. 8The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.…
Cross References
Exodus 23:8
"You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.

Deuteronomy 16:19
"You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

Proverbs 17:8
A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers.

Proverbs 17:23
A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice.

Ecclesiastes 4:1
Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Ecclesiastes 5:8
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.

Ecclesiastes 8:9
All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt.
Treasury of Scripture

Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a gift destroys the heart.

oppression

Deuteronomy 28:33,34,65 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall a nation which …

a gift

Exodus 23:8 And you shall take no gift: for the gift blinds the wise, and perverts …

Deuteronomy 16:19 You shall not wrest judgment; you shall not respect persons, neither …

1 Samuel 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, …

1 Samuel 12:3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before …

Proverbs 17:23 A wicked man takes a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

Isaiah 1:23 Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one …

Isaiah 33:15 He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises …

(7) Surely.--Rather, For. This change is required not only by literalness, but by the fact that the verse comes in a series of paragraphs, each commencing with the word "better," as does the next verse. This verse therefore cannot introduce a new subject, but must be connected with what has gone before. But it is so hard to do this satisfactorily, that Delitzsch conjectures that a line may have dropped out, and that this verse may have begun with "Better: e.g., "Better is a little with righteousness, &c," as in Proverbs 16:8. If this be thought too strong a remedy, we may explain the connection, that by listening to faithful rebuke rather than to the flattery of fools, a ruler may be checked in a course of oppression or corruption which threatens to undermine his understanding. As we understand the passage, he becomes mad who commits, not who suffers, the oppression.

Verse 7. - The verse begins with ki, which usually introduces a reason for what has preceded; but the difficulty in finding the connection has led to various explanations and evasions. The Authorized Version boldly separates the verse from what has gone before, and makes a new paragraph beginning with "surely:" Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad. Delitzsch supposes that something has been lost between vers. 6 and 7, and he supplies the gap by a clause borrowed from Proverbs 16:8, "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right;" and then the sentence proceeds naturally, "For oppression," etc. But this is scarcely satisfactory, as it is mere conjecture wholly unsupported by external evidence. The Vulgate leaves ki untranslated; the Septuagint has ὅτι. Looking at the various paragraphs, all beginning with rob, rendered "better," viz. vers. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, we must regard the present verse as connected with what precedes, a new subject being introduced at ver. 8. Putting ver. 6 in a parenthesis as merely presenting an illustration of the talk of fools, we may see in ver. 7 a confirmation of the first part of ver. 5. The rebuke of the wise is useful even in the case of rulers who are tempted -to excess and injustice. The "oppression" in the text is the exercise of irresponsible power, that which a man inflicts, not what he suffers; this makes him "mad," even though he be in other respects and under other circumstances wise; he ceases to be directed by reason and principle, and needs the correction of faithful rebuke. The Septuagint and Vulgate, rendering respectively συκοφαντία and calumnia, imply that the evil which distracts the wise man is false accusation. And a gift destroyeth the heart. The admission of bribery is likewise an evil that calls for wise rebuke. So Proverbs 15:27, "He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live." The phrase, "destroys the heart," means corrupts the understanding, deprives a man of wisdom, makes him no better than a fool (comp. Hosea 4:11, where the same effect is attributed to whoredom and drunkenness). The Septuagint has, ἀπόλλυσι τὴν καρδίαν εὐγενείας αὐτοῦ, "destroys the heart of his nobility;" the Vulgate, perdet robur cordis illius, "will destroy the strength of his heart." The interpretation given above seems to be the most reasonable way of dealing with the existing text; but Nowack and Volck adopt Delitzsch's emendation. Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad,.... Which is to be understood either passively, when he is oppressed by others, or sees others oppressed; it raises indignation in him, disturbs his mind, and he is ready to pass a wrong judgment on the dispensations of Providence, and to say rash and unadvised things concerning them, Psalm 73:2; or actively, of oppression with which he oppresses others; when he gives into such measures, his wisdom departs from him, his mind is besotted, he acts the part of a madman, and pierces himself through with many sorrows. Some understand this of wealth got in an ill way; or of gifts given to bribe men to do injury to others; and which the following clause is thought to explain;

and a gift destroyeth the heart; blinds the eyes of judges other ways wise; perverts their judgment, and causes them to pass a wrong sentence, as well as perverts justice: or, "and destroys the heart of gifts" (k); a heart that is possessed of the gifts of wisdom and knowledge; or a munificent heart, a heart disposed to give bountifully and liberally, that oppression destroys and renders useless.

(k) "et frangit cor dotibus praeclaris ornatum", Tigurine version; so some Jewish writers in Mercerus. 7. oppression—recurring to the idea (Ec 3:16; 5:8). Its connection with Ec 7:4-6 is, the sight of "oppression" perpetrated by "fools" might tempt the "wise" to call in question God's dispensations, and imitate the folly (equivalent to "madness") described (Ec 7:5,6). Weiss, for "oppression," translates, "distraction," produced by merriment. But Ec 5:8 favors English Version.

a gift—that is, the sight of bribery in "places of judgment" (Ec 3:16) might cause the wise to lose their wisdom (equivalent to "heart"), (Job 12:6; 21:6, 7; 24:1, etc.). This suits the parallelism better than "a heart of gifts"; a benevolent heart, as Weiss.7:7-10 The event of our trials and difficulties is often better than at first we thought. Surely it is better to be patient in spirit, than to be proud and hasty. Be not soon angry, nor quick in resenting an affront. Be not long angry; though anger may come into the bosom of a wise man, it passes through it as a way-faring man; it dwells only in the bosom of fools. It is folly to cry out upon the badness of our times, when we have more reason to cry out for the badness of our own hearts; and even in these times we enjoy many mercies. It is folly to cry up the goodness of former times; as if former ages had not the like things to complain of that we have: this arises from discontent, and aptness to quarrel with God himself.
Jump to Previous
Bribe Corrupts Cruel Destroyeth Destroys Destruction Extortion Fool Foolish Gift Heart Mad Makes Maketh Mind Money Oppression Surely Troubled Turneth Turns Understanding Ways Wise
Jump to Next
Bribe Corrupts Cruel Destroyeth Destroys Destruction Extortion Fool Foolish Gift Heart Mad Makes Maketh Mind Money Oppression Surely Troubled Turneth Turns Understanding Ways Wise
Links
Ecclesiastes 7:7 NIV
Ecclesiastes 7:7 NLT
Ecclesiastes 7:7 ESV
Ecclesiastes 7:7 NASB
Ecclesiastes 7:7 KJV

Ecclesiastes 7:7 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 7:7 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:7 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:7 German Bible

Alphabetical: a and bribe corrupts Extortion fool For heart into mad makes man oppression the turns wise

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 7:7 Surely extortion makes the wise man foolish (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Ecclesiastes 7:6
Top of Page
Top of Page