Ecclesiastes 10:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

King James Bible
Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

Darby Bible Translation
Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for the bird of the air will carry the voice, and that which hath wings will tell the matter.

World English Bible
Don't curse the king, no, not in your thoughts; and don't curse the rich in your bedroom: for a bird of the sky may carry your voice, and that which has wings may tell the matter.

Young's Literal Translation
Even in thy mind a king revile not, And in the inner parts of thy bed-chamber Revile not the rich: For a fowl of the heavens causeth the voice to go, And a possessor of wings declareth the word.

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Curse not the king - Do not permit thyself even to think evil of the king; lest thy tongue at some time give vent to thy thoughts, and so thou be chargeable with treason.

For a bird of the air shall carry the voice - Does he refer here to such fowls as the carrier pigeon, which were often used to carry letters under their wings to a great distance, and bring back answers? The Targum turns it curiously: "Do not speak evil of the king in thy conscience, nor in the secret of thy heart, nor in the most hidden place in thy house, curse not a wise man; for Raziel calls daily from heaven upon Mount Horeb, and his voice goes through the whole world; and Elijah, the great priest, goes, flying through the air like a winged eagle, and publishes the words which are spoken in secret by all the inhabitants of the earth."

Civil government is so peculiarly of God, that he will have it supported for the benefit of mankind; and those who attempt to disturb it are generally marked by his strong disapprobation. And though there have been multitudes of treasons hatched in the deepest secrecy; yet, through the providence of God, they have been discovered in the most singular manner. This shows God's care for government.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

curse

Exodus 22:28 You shall not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of your people.

Isaiah 8:21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry...

Acts 23:5 Then said Paul, I knew not, brothers, that he was the high priest: for it is written...

thought

Ecclesiastes 7:21,22 Also take no heed to all words that are spoken; lest you hear your servant curse you...

Luke 19:40 And he answered and said to them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

in thy bedchamber

Luke 10:40 But Martha was encumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord...

Luke 12:2,3 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known...

Library
The Way to the City
'The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.'--ECCLES. x. 15. On the surface this seems to be merely a piece of homely, practical sagacity, conjoined with one of the bitter things which Ecclesiastes is fond of saying about those whom he calls 'fools.' It seems to repeat, under another metaphor, the same idea which has been presented in a previous verse, where we read: 'If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners Or, a Brief Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to his Poor Servant, John Bunyan
In this my relation of the merciful working of God upon my soul, it will not be amiss, if in the first place, I do in a few words give you a hint of my pedigree, and manner of bringing up; that thereby the goodness and bounty of God towards me, may be the more advanced and magnified before the sons of men. 2. For my descent then, it was, as is well known by many, of a low and inconsiderable generation; my father's house being of that rank that is meanest, and most despised of all the families in
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Cross References
Luke 12:3
What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

Acts 23:5
Paul replied, "Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'"

Exodus 8:3
The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs.

Exodus 22:28
"Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.

2 Kings 6:12
"None of us, my lord the king," said one of his officers, "but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom."

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