Ecclesiastes 4:12
New International Version
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

New Living Translation
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

English Standard Version
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Berean Study Bible
And though one may be overpowered, two can resist. Moreover, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

New American Standard Bible
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

King James Bible
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Christian Standard Bible
And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Contemporary English Version
Someone might be able to beat up one of you, but not both of you. As the saying goes, "A rope made from three strands of cord is hard to break."

Good News Translation
Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

International Standard Version
If someone attacks one of them, the two of them together will resist. Furthermore, the tri-braided cord is not soon broken.

NET Bible
Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand him. Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken.

New Heart English Bible
If a man prevails against one who is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Though one person may be overpowered by another, two people can resist one opponent. A triple-braided rope is not easily broken.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

New American Standard 1977
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

King James 2000 Bible
And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

American King James Version
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

American Standard Version
And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And if one should prevail against him, the two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord shall not be quickly broken.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him: a threefold cord is not easily broken.

Darby Bible Translation
And if a [man] overpower the one, the two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

English Revised Version
And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Webster's Bible Translation
And if one prevaileth against him, two shall withstand him; and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.

World English Bible
If a man prevails against one who is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Young's Literal Translation
And if the one strengthen himself, the two stand against him; and the threefold cord is not hastily broken.
Study Bible
The Evil of Oppression
11Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12And though one may be overpowered, two can resist. Moreover, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 4:11
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone?

Ecclesiastes 4:13
Better is a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take a warning.

Treasury of Scripture

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

and if

2 Samuel 23:9,16,18,19,23
And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: …

Daniel 3:16,17
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter…

Ephesians 4:3
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.







Lexicon
And though
וְאִֽם־ (wə·’im-)
Conjunctive waw | Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

one
הָאֶחָ֔ד (hā·’e·ḥāḏ)
Article | Number - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 259: United, one, first

may be overpowered,
יִתְקְפוֹ֙ (yiṯ·qə·p̄ōw)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8630: To prevail over, overpower

two
הַשְּׁנַ֖יִם (haš·šə·na·yim)
Article | Number - md
Strong's Hebrew 8147: Two (a cardinal number)

can resist.
יַעַמְד֣וּ (ya·‘am·ḏū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5975: To stand, in various relations

Moreover, a cord
וְהַחוּט֙ (wə·ha·ḥūṭ)
Conjunctive waw, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2339: A string, a measuring tape

of three
הַֽמְשֻׁלָּ֔שׁ (ham·šul·lāš)
Article | Verb - Pual - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8027: To do a third time, divide into three parts

strands is not
לֹ֥א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

quickly
בִמְהֵרָ֖ה (ḇim·hê·rāh)
Preposition-b | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 4120: A hurry, promptly

broken.
יִנָּתֵֽק׃ (yin·nā·ṯêq)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5423: To pull, draw, or tear away, apart, or off
Verse 12. - The third instance shows the value of the protection afforded by a companion's presence when danger threatens. If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; better, if a man overpower the solitary one, the two (ver. 9) will withstand him. The idea of the traveler is continued. If he were attacked by robbers, he would be easily overpowered when alone; but two comrades might successfully resist the assault. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. This is probably a proverbial saying, like our "Union is strength." Hereby the advantage of association is more strongly enforced. If the companionship of two is profitable, much more is this the case when more combine. The cord of three strands was the strongest made. The number three is used as the symbol of completeness and perfection. Funiculus triplex diffcile rumpitur, the Vulgate rendering, has become a trite saying; and the gnome has been constantly applied in a mystical or spiritual sense, with which, originally and humanly speaking, it has no concern. Herein is seen an adumbration of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the Eternal Three in One; of the three Christian virtues, faith, hope, and charity, which go to make the Christian life; of the Christian's body, soul, and spirit, which are consecrated as a temple of the Most High. 4:9-12 Surely he has more satisfaction in life, who labours hard to maintain those he loves, than the miser has in his toil. In all things union tends to success and safety, but above all, the union of Christians. They assist each other by encouragement, or friendly reproof. They warm each other's hearts while they converse together of the love of Christ, or join in singing his praises. Then let us improve our opportunities of Christian fellowship. In these things all is not vanity, though there will be some alloy as long as we are under the sun. Where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by his Spirit come to them; then there is a threefold cord.
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