Ecclesiastes 12:11
New International Version
The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails--given by one shepherd.

New Living Translation
The words of the wise are like cattle prods--painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.

English Standard Version
The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.

Berean Study Bible
The words of the wise are like goads, and the anthologies of the masters are like firmly embedded nails driven by a single Shepherd.

New American Standard Bible
The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.

King James Bible
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

Christian Standard Bible
The sayings of the wise are like cattle prods, and those from masters of collections are like firmly embedded nails. The sayings are given by one Shepherd.

Contemporary English Version
Words of wisdom are like the stick a farmer uses to make animals move. These sayings come from a shepherd, and they are like nails that fasten things together.

Good News Translation
The sayings of the wise are like the sharp sticks that shepherds use to guide sheep, and collected proverbs are as lasting as firmly driven nails. They have been given by God, the one Shepherd of us all.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The sayings of the wise are like goads, and those from masters of collections are like firmly embedded nails. The sayings are given by one Shepherd.

International Standard Version
Sayings from the wise are like cattle prods and well fastened nails; this masterful collection was given by one shepherd.

NET Bible
The words of the sages are like prods, and the collected sayings are like firmly fixed nails; they are given by one shepherd.

New Heart English Bible
The words of the wise are like goads; and like nails well fastened are words from the masters of collections, which are given from one shepherd.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Words from wise people are like spurs. Their collected sayings are like nails that have been driven in firmly. They come from one shepherd.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well fastened are those that are composed in collections; they are given from one shepherd.

New American Standard 1977
The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The words of the wise are as goads and as nails hammered into place, those of the teachers of the congregations, who are placed under one Shepherd.

King James 2000 Bible
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails firmly fixed by the masters of assemblies, which are given by one shepherd.

American King James Version
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

American Standard Version
The words of the wise are as goads; and as nails well fastened are the words of the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails firmly fastened, which have been given from one shepherd by agreement.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened in, which by the counsel of masters are given from one shepherd.

Darby Bible Translation
The words of the wise are as goads, and the collections [of them] as nails fastened in: they are given from one shepherd.

English Revised Version
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well fastened are the words of the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

Webster's Bible Translation
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

World English Bible
The words of the wise are like goads; and like nails well fastened are words from the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

Young's Literal Translation
Words of the wise are as goads, and as fences planted by the masters of collections, they have been given by one shepherd.
Study Bible
The Fear of God is Utmost
10The Teacher searched to find delightful sayings and to record accurate words of truth. 11The words of the wise are like goads, and the anthologies of the masters are like firmly embedded nails driven by a single Shepherd. 12But beyond these, my son, be warned: There is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body.…
Cross References
Acts 2:37
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and asked Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Ezra 9:8
But now, for a brief moment, grace has come from the LORD our God to preserve for us a remnant and to give us a stake in His holy place. Even in our bondage, our God has given us new life and light to our eyes.

Proverbs 1:6
to understand the proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.

Proverbs 22:17
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise--apply your mind to my knowledge--

Ecclesiastes 7:5
It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.

Ecclesiastes 10:12
The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him.

Isaiah 22:23
I will drive him like a peg into a firm place, and he will be a throne of glory for the house of his father.

Treasury of Scripture

The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

as goads

Jeremiah 23:29
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Acts 2:37
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

masters

John 3:10
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

given

Genesis 49:24
But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

Psalm 23:1
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 80:1
To the chief Musician upon ShoshannimEduth, A Psalm of Asaph. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.







Lexicon
The words
דִּבְרֵ֤י (diḇ·rê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 1697: A word, a matter, thing, a cause

of the wise
חֲכָמִים֙ (ḥă·ḵā·mîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2450: Wise

are like goads,
כַּדָּ֣רְבֹנ֔וֹת (kad·dā·rə·ḇō·nō·wṯ)
Preposition-k, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1861: A goad

and the anthologies
אֲסֻפּ֑וֹת (’ă·sup·pō·wṯ)
Noun - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 627: A collection of, men

of the masters
בַּעֲלֵ֣י (ba·‘ă·lê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 1167: A master, a husband, owner

are like firmly embedded
נְטוּעִ֖ים (nə·ṭū·‘îm)
Verb - Qal - QalPassParticiple - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5193: To strike in, fix, to plant

nails
וּֽכְמַשְׂמְר֥וֹת (ū·ḵə·maś·mə·rō·wṯ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-k | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4930: A peg

driven
נִתְּנ֖וּ (nit·tə·nū)
Verb - Nifal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 5414: To give, put, set

by a single
אֶחָֽד׃ (’e·ḥāḏ)
Number - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 259: United, one, first

Shepherd.
מֵרֹעֶ֥ה (mê·rō·‘eh)
Preposition-m | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7462: To tend a, flock, pasture it, in, to graze, to rule, to associate with
(11) Words of the wise.--In this and the next verse the weighty words of sages, such as was Koheleth, are contrasted with the volubility of modern bookmakers. Though the general purpose of the verses is plain, the words used are enigmatical, and one cannot feel great confidence in assigning their precise meaning. The translation of our version fairly represents the original, if it is observed that the words "by" and "which," which determine the meaning, are in italics. With regard to the "nail," compare Ezra 9:8; Isaiah 22:23. The word "masters" we have had twice in this book already in the sense of possessor, "master of the tongue" (Ecclesiastes 10:11), "master of wings" (Ecclesiastes 10:20). "Assemblies" is a word not coming from the same root as that from which Koheleth is derived. It might mean collections of sayings as well as of people. It is difficult to affix any meaning to the last clause, except that the sages, of whom the verse speaks, have been given for the instruction of the people by Israel's great Shepherd (Psalm 80:1).

Verse 11. - The words of the wise are as goads. The connection of this verse with the preceding is maintained by the fact that the "acceptable words," etc., are words of the wise, emanate from the same persons. Herewith he proceeds to characterize them, with especial reference to his own work. The goad was a rod with an iron spike, or sharpened at the end, used in driving oxen (see Judges 3:31; 1 Samuel 13:21; Ecclus. 38:25; Acts 9:5). Words of wisdom are called goads because they rouse to exertion, promote reflection and action, restrain from error, impel to right; if they hurt and sting, the pain which they inflict is healthful, for good and not for evil. And as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies. The proposition "by" is an interpolation, and the sentence should run: Ant/ like nails fastened [are] the, etc. - masmeroth, "nails," as in Isaiah 41:7. There is much difficulty in explaining the next words, בַּעַלִי אַסֻפות (baale asuppoth). We have had similar expressions applied to possessors in Ecclesiastes 10:11, "lord of the tongue," and "lord of wings" (Ecclesiastes 10:20); and analogy might lead us to apply the phrase here to-persons, and not things; but in Isaiah 41:15 we find a threshing-instrument termed "lord of teeth;" and in 2 Samuel 5:20 a town is called Baal-Perazim, "Lord of breaches;" so we must be guided by other considerations in our exposition. The Septuagint, taking the whole sentence together, and regarding baals as a preposition, renders, "As nails firmly planted, (οι{ παρᾶ τῶν συνθεμάτων ἐδόθησαν ἐκ ποιμένος ἑνός) which from the collections were given from one shepherd." Schleus-her takes οι{ παρὰ τῶν συνθεμάτων to mean, "Ii quibus munus datum erat collectionem faciendi," i.e. the author, of collections. The Vulgate has, Verba... quae per magistrorum consilium data sunt a pastore uno. The "masters of assemblies" can only be the chiefs of some learned conclaves, like the great synagogue supposed to exist in the time of Ezra and later. The clause would then assert that these pundits are like fastened nails, which seems rather unmeaning. One might say that their uttered sentiments became fixed in the mind as nails firmly driven in, but one could not properly say this of the men themselves. A late editor, Gietmann, suggests that "lords of collection" may mean "brave men, heroes, gathered in line of battle," serried ranks, just as in Proverbs 22:20 the term shalishim, chariot-fighters, chieftains, is applied to choice proverbs. Thus he would say that the words of the wise are as goads because they stimulate the intellect, as nails because they readily find entrance, and like men in battle array when they are reduced to writing and marshaled in a book. This is certainly ingenious, but somewhat too artificial to be regarded as the genuine intention of the writer. It seems best to take the word translated "assemblies" as denoting collections, not of people, but of proverbs; and the compound phrase would thus mean proverbs of an excellent character, the best of their sort gathered together in writing. Such words are well compared to nails; they are no longer floating loosely about, they are fixed in the memory, they secure other knowledge, and, though they are separate utterances, they have a certain unity and purpose. Nails are often used proverbially as emblems of what is fixed and unalterable. Thus AEschyl., 'Suppl.,' 944 -

Τῶν δ ἐφήλωται τορῶς`ΝΛ´Γόμφος διαμπὰξ ὡς μένειν ἀραρότως

"Through them a nail is firmly fixed, that they
May rest immovable."
Cicero, 'Verr.,' 2:5.21, "Ut hoc beneficium, quemadmodum dicitur, trabali clave figeret;" i.e. to make it sure and steadfast (comp. Horace, 'Carm.,' 1:35. 17, et seq.). Which are given from one shepherd. All these words of the wise, collections, etc., proceed from one source, or are set forth by one authority. Who is] this shepherd? Some say that he is the archisynagogus, the president of the assemblies of wise men, to whose authority all these public utterances are subjected. But we do not know that such supervision existed or was exercised at the time when Koheleth wrote; and, as we saw above, there is probably no reference to any such assemblies in the passage. The "one shepherd" is doubtless Jehovah, who is called the Shepherd of Israel, who feeds his people like a flock, etc. (see Genesis 48:15; Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; Psalm 80:1, etc.). The appellation is here used as concinnous with the thought of the ox-goad, intimating that God watches and leads his people like a tender shepherd and a skilful farmer. This is an important claim to inspiration. All these varied utterances, whatever form they take, whether his own or his predecessor's, are outcomes of wisdom, and proceed from him who is only wise, Almighty God. It is no disparagement of this work to imply that it is not the production of the true Solomon; Koheleth is ready to avow himself the writer, and yet claims a hearing as being equally moved by heavenly influence. It is like St. Paul's assertion (1 Corinthians 7:40), "I think that I also have the Spirit of God." 12:8-14 Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, which can do nothing to ease men of the burden of sin. As he considered the worth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spake and wrote; words of truth will always be acceptable words. The truths of God are as goads to such as are dull and draw back, and nails to such as are wandering and draw aside; means to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom. Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him. The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.
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Alphabetical: and are by collected collections embedded firmly given goads like masters men nails of one sayings Shepherd The their these they well-driven wise words

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are like (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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