Ecclesiastes 7:16
New International Version
Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself?

New Living Translation
So don't be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself?

English Standard Version
Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

Berean Study Bible
Do not be overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

New American Standard Bible
Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?

King James Bible
Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

Christian Standard Bible
Don't be excessively righteous, and don't be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

Contemporary English Version
So don't destroy yourself by being too good or acting too smart!

Good News Translation
So don't be too good or too wise--why kill yourself?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't be excessively righteous, and don't be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

International Standard Version
Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise. Why be self-destructive?

NET Bible
So do not be excessively righteous or excessively wise; otherwise you might be disappointed.

New Heart English Bible
Do not be overly righteous, neither make yourself overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't be too virtuous, and don't be too wise. Why make yourself miserable?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise; why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

New American Standard 1977
Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Do not be too legalistic; neither make thyself over wise in thine own eyes: why should thou destroy thyself?

King James 2000 Bible
Be not overly righteous; neither make yourself overly wise: why should you destroy yourself?

American King James Version
Be not righteous over much; neither make yourself over wise: why should you destroy yourself ?

American Standard Version
Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Be not very just; neither be very wise: lest thou be confounded.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be not over just: and be not more wise than is necessary, lest thou become stupid.

Darby Bible Translation
Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

English Revised Version
Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

Webster's Bible Translation
Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldst thou destroy thyself?

World English Bible
Don't be overly righteous, neither make yourself overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

Young's Literal Translation
Be not over-righteous, nor show thyself too wise, why art thou desolate?
Study Bible
The Limits of Human Wisdom
15In my futile life I have seen both of these: A righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness. 16Do not be overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 17Do not be excessively wicked, and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?…
Cross References
Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.

Philippians 3:6
as to zeal, persecuting the church; as to righteousness under the Law, faultless.

Proverbs 25:16
If you find honey, eat just what you need, lest you have too much and vomit it up.

Treasury of Scripture

Be not righteous over much; neither make yourself over wise: why should you destroy yourself ?

be not

Proverbs 25:16
Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

Matthew 6:1-7
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven…

Matthew 9:14
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

neither

Ecclesiastes 12:12
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Genesis 3:6
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Job 11:12
For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.

destroy thyself

Matthew 23:38
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Revelation 18:19
And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.







Lexicon
Do not
אַל־ (’al-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 408: Not

be
תְּהִ֤י (tə·hî)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect Jussive - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

overly
הַרְבֵּ֔ה (har·bêh)
Verb - Hifil - Infinitive absolute
Strong's Hebrew 7235: To be or become much, many or great

righteous,
צַדִּיק֙ (ṣad·dîq)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6662: Just, righteous

and do not
וְאַל־ (wə·’al-)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 408: Not

make yourself too
יוֹתֵ֑ר (yō·w·ṯêr)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3148: Superiority, advantage, excess

wise.
תִּתְחַכַּ֖ם (tiṯ·ḥak·kam)
Verb - Hitpael - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2449: To be wise

Why
לָ֖מָּה (lām·māh)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

should you destroy yourself?
תִּשּׁוֹמֵֽם׃ (tiš·šō·w·mêm)
Verb - Hitpael - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8074: To stun, devastate, stupefy
(16) Righteous over ? much.--The caution is against morbid scrupulosity and over-rigorism. We may illustrate by the case of the Jews, who refused to defend themselves against their enemies on the Sabbath day. The next verse is a necessary corrective to this: "Yet be cautious how thou disregardest the restraints of Law."

Verse 16. - Be not righteous over much. The exhortation has been variously interpreted to warn against too scrupulous observance of ritual and ceremonial religion, or the mistaken piety which neglects all mundane affairs, or the Pharisaical spirit which is bitter in condemning others who fall short of one's own standard. Cox will have it that the advice signifies that a prudent man will not be very righteous, since he will gain nothing by it, nor very wicked, as he will certainly shorten his life by such conduct. But really Koheleth is condemning the tendency to immoderate asceticism which had begun to show itself in his day - a rigorous, prejudiced, indiscreet manner of life and conduct which made piety offensive, and afforded no real aid to the cause of religion. This arrogant system virtually dictated the laws by which Providence should be governed, and found fault with divinely ordered circumstances if they did not coincide with its professors' preconceived opinions. Such religionism might well be called being "righteous over much." Neither make thyself over wise; Septuagint, Μηδὲ σοφίζου περισσά; Vulgate, Neque plus sapias quam necesse est; better, show not thyself too wise; i.e. do not indulge in speculations about God's dealings, estimating them according to your own predilections, questioning the wisdom of his moral government. Against such perverse speculation St. Paul argues (Romans 9:19, etc.). "Thou wilt say unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus?" A good principle carried to excess may bring evil results. Summum jus, summa injuria. The maxim, Μηδὲν ἀγάν, Ne quid nimis, "Moderation in all things," is taught here; and Aristotle's theory of virtue being the mean between the two extremes of excess and defect is adumbrated ('Ethic. Nicom.,' 2:6. 15, 16): though we do not see that the writer is "reproducing current Greek thought" (Plumptre), or that independent reflection and observation could not have landed him at the implied conclusion without plagiarism. Why shouldest thou destroy thyself? Septuagint, Μή ποτὲ ἐκπλαγῇς, "Lest perchance thou be confounded;" Vulgate, Ne obstupescas, "Lest thou be stupefied." This is the primary meaning of the special form of the verb here used (hithp. of שׁמם), and Plumptre supposes that the author intends thereby to express the spiritual pride which accompanies fancied excellence in knowledge and conduct, and by which the possessor is puffed up (1 Timothy 3:6). But plainly it is not a mental, internal effect that is contemplated, but something that affects comfort, position, or life, like the corresponding clause in the following verse. Hitzig and Ginsburg explain the word, "Make thyself forsaken," "Isolate thyself," which can scarcely be the meaning. The Authorized Version is correct. A man who professes to be wiser than others, and. indeed, wiser than Providence, incurs the envy and animosity of his fellow-men, and will certainly be punished by God for his arrogance and presumption. 7:11-22 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, yea better. It shelters from the storms and scorching heat of trouble. Wealth will not lengthen out the natural life; but true wisdom will give spiritual life, and strengthen men for services under their sufferings. Let us look upon the disposal of our condition as the work of God, and at last all will appear to have been for the best. In acts of righteousness, be not carried into heats or passions, no, not by a zeal for God. Be not conceited of thine own abilities; nor find fault with every thing, nor busy thyself in other men's matters. Many who will not be wrought upon by the fear of God, and the dread of hell, will avoid sins which ruin their health and estate, and expose to public justice. But those that truly fear God, have but one end to serve, therefore act steadily. If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves. Every true believer is ready to say, God be merciful to me a sinner. Forget not at the same time, that personal righteousness, walking in newness of life, is the only real evidence of an interest by faith in the righteousness of the Redeemer. Wisdom teaches us not to be quick in resenting affronts. Be not desirous to know what people say; if they speak well of thee, it will feed thy pride, if ill, it will stir up thy passion. See that thou approve thyself to God and thine own conscience, and then heed not what men say of thee; it is easier to pass by twenty affronts than to avenge one. When any harm is done to us, examine whether we have not done as bad to others.
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