Ecclesiastes 9:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

New Living Translation
Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good.

English Standard Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

New American Standard Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

King James Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good.

International Standard Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, and a single sinner can destroy a lot of good.

NET Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good.

New Heart English Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroyeth much good.

New American Standard 1977
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

King James 2000 Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good.

American King James Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good.

American Standard Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Better is wisdom, than weapons of war: and he that shall offend in one, shall lose many good things.

Darby Bible Translation
Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroyeth much good.

English Revised Version
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Webster's Bible Translation
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

World English Bible
Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.

Young's Literal Translation
Better is wisdom than weapons of conflict, And one sinner destroyeth much good!
Study Bible
Wisdom Better than Strength
17The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
Cross References
Joshua 7:1
But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel.

2 Kings 21:2
He did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel.

Ecclesiastes 2:13
And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.

Ecclesiastes 7:12
For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.

Ecclesiastes 9:16
So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.
Treasury of Scripture

Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good.

better

Ecclesiastes 9:16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor …

sinner

Joshua 7:1,5,11,12 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: …

Joshua 22:20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed …

1 Samuel 14:28,29,36-46 Then answered one of the people, and said, Your father straightly …

2 Samuel 20:1,2 And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, …

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume …

2 Timothy 2:16-18 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more …

2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist …

2 Timothy 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; …

Titus 1:10,11 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially …

Hebrews 12:15,16 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any …

Verse 18. - Wisdom is better than weapons of war. Such is the moral which Koheleth desires to draw from the little narrative given above (see vers. 14-16; and Ecclesiastes 7:19). Wisdom can do what no material force can effect, and often produces results which all the implements of war could not command. But one sinner destroyeth much good. The happy consequences which the wise man's counsel might accomplish, or has already accomplished, may be overthrown or rendered useless by the villany or perversity of a bad man. The Vulgate, reading differently, has, Qui in uno peccaverit, multa bona perdet. But this seems to be out of keeping with the context. Adam's sin infected the whole race of man; Achau's transgression caused Israel's defeat (Joshua 7:11, 12); Rehoboam's folly occasioned the great schism (1 Kings 12:16). The wide° reaching effects of one little error are illustrated by the proverbial saying which every one knows, and which runs in Latin thus: "Clavus unus perdit equi soleam, soles equum, equus equitem, eques castra, castro rempublicam."



Wisdom is better than weapons of war,.... And does what they cannot do; of which the wisdom of the poor wise man is a full proof, which delivered the city from a potent prince, when weapons of war could not: see Ecclesiastes 7:10;

but one sinner destroyeth much good: his own soul by his sins, and the souls of others by his counsels, example, and conversation, which corrupt good manners; so does one sinner in a family, neighbourhood, and town; as one poor wise man does much good, one sinner mars much; one Achan in a camp or army, one bad counsel for in a cabinet, one false teacher in the church, will do a great deal of mischief, as well as one debauchee in a town or city. The Vulgate Latin version is, "who sins in one"; offends or sins in one, as in James 2:10; so the Syriac version, "one sin destroys much good", or many good things; and to the same purpose the Arabic version, "he that committeth one sin". 18. one sinner, etc.—(Jos 7:1, 11, 12). Though wisdom excels folly (Ec 9:16; 7:19), yet a "little folly (equivalent to sin) can destroy much good," both in himself (Ec 10:1; Jas 2:10) and in others. "Wisdom" must, from the antithesis to "sinner," mean religion. Thus typically, the "little city" may be applied to the Church (Lu 12:32; Heb 12:22); the great king to Satan (Joh 12:31); the despised poor wise man, Jesus Christ (Isa 53:2, 3; Mr 6:3; 2Co 8:9; Eph 1:7, 8; Col 2:3). 9:13-18 A man may, by his wisdom, bring to pass that which he could never do by his strength. If God be for us, who can be against us, or stand before us? Solomon observes the power of wisdom, though it may labour under outward disadvantages. How forcible are right words! But wise and good men must often content themselves with the satisfaction of having done good, or, at least, endeavoured to do it, when they cannot do the good they would, nor have the praise they should. How many of the good gifts, both of nature and Providence, does one sinner destroy and make waste! He who destroys his own soul destroys much good. One sinner may draw many into his destroying ways. See who are the friends and enemies of a kingdom or a family, if one saint does much good, and one sinner destroys much good.
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