Ecclesiastes 7:17
New International Version
Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?

New Living Translation
On the other hand, don't be too wicked either. Don't be a fool! Why die before your time?

English Standard Version
Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

Berean Study Bible
Do not be excessively wicked, and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

New American Standard Bible
Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

King James Bible
Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

Christian Standard Bible
Don't be excessively wicked, and don't be foolish. Why should you die before your time?

Contemporary English Version
Don't die before your time by being too evil or acting like a fool.

Good News Translation
But don't be too wicked or too foolish, either--why die before you have to?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't be excessively wicked, and don't be foolish. Why should you die before your time?

International Standard Version
Do not excel at wickedness, nor be a fool. Why die before your time?

NET Bible
Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool; otherwise you might die before your time.

New Heart English Bible
Do not be too wicked, neither be foolish. Why should you die before your time?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't be too wicked, and don't be a fool. Why should you die before your time is up?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish; why shouldest thou die before thy time?

New American Standard 1977
Do not be excessively wicked, and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Do not be hasty to condemn, neither be thou foolish: why should thou die in the midst of thy labours?

King James 2000 Bible
Be not overly wicked, neither be foolish: why should you die before your time?

American King James Version
Be not over much wicked, neither be you foolish: why should you die before your time?

American Standard Version
Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Be not very wicked; and be not stubborn: lest thou shouldest die before thy time.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be not overmuch wicked: and be not foolish, lest thou die before thy time.

Darby Bible Translation
Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

English Revised Version
Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

Webster's Bible Translation
Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldst thou die before thy time?

World English Bible
Don't be too wicked, neither be foolish. Why should you die before your time?

Young's Literal Translation
Do not much wrong, neither be thou a fool, why dost thou die within thy time?
Study Bible
The Limits of Human Wisdom
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? 18It is good to grasp the one and not let the other slip from your hand. For he who fears God will follow both warnings.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 6:20
As soon as David returned home to bless his own household, Saul's daughter Michal came out to meet him. "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today!" she said. "He has uncovered himself today in the sight of the maidservants of his subjects, like a vulgar person would do."

Job 15:32
It will be paid in full before his time, and his branch will not flourish.

Job 22:16
They were snatched away before their time, and their foundations were swept away by a river.

Psalm 55:23
But You, O God, will bring them down to the Pit of destruction; men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.

Proverbs 10:27
The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.

Treasury of Scripture

Be not over much wicked, neither be you foolish: why should you die before your time?

not

Jeremiah 2:33,34
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways…

Ezekiel 8:17
Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

Ezekiel 16:20
Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,

why

Genesis 38:7-10
And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him…

1 Samuel 25:38
And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.

Job 15:32,33
It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green…

before thy time







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

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

wicked,
תִּרְשַׁ֥ע (tir·ša‘)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7561: To be, wrong, to disturb, violate

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

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

a fool.
סָכָ֑ל (sā·ḵāl)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5530: A fool

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

should you die
תָמ֖וּת (ṯā·mūṯ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4191: To die, to kill

before
בְּלֹ֥א (bə·lō)
Preposition-b | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

your time?
עִתֶּֽךָ׃ (‘it·te·ḵā)
Noun - common singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6256: Time, now, when
Verse 17. - Be not over much wicked neither be thou foolish. These two injunctions are parallel and correlative to those in ver. 16 concerning over-righteousness and over-wisdom. But the present verse cannot be meant, as at first sight it seems to do, to sanction a certain amount of wickedness provided it does not exceed due measure. To surmount this difficulty some have undeavored to modify the term "wicked" (rasha), taking it to mean "engaged in worldly matters," or "not subject to rule," "lax," or again "restless," as some translate the word in Job 3:17. But the word seems not to be used in any such senses, and bears uniformly the uncompromising signification assigned to it, "to be wicked, unrighteous, guilty." The difficulty is not overcome by Plumptre's suggestion of the introduction of a little "playful irony learned from Greek teachers," as if Koheleth meant, "I have warned you, my friends, against over-righteousness, but do not jump at the conclusion that license is allowable. That was very far from my meaning." The connection of thought is this: in the previous verse Koheleth had denounced the Pharisaical spirit which virtually condemned the Divine ordering of circumstances, because vice was not at once and visibly punished, and virtue at once rewarded; and now he proceeds to warn against the deliberate and abominable wickedness which infers from God's long-suffering his absolute neglect and non- interference in mortal matters, and on this view plunges audaciously into vice and immorality, saying to itself, "God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it" (Psalm 10:11). Such conduct may well be called "foolish;" it is that of "the fool who says in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1). The actual wording of the injunction sounds to us somewhat strange; but its form is determined by the requirements of parallelism, and the aphorism must not be pressed beyond its general intention, "Be not righteous nor wise to excess; be not wicked nor foolish to excess." Septuagint, "Be not very wicked, and be not stubborn (σκληρός)." Why shouldest thou die before thy time? literally, not in thy time; prematurely, tempting God to punish thee by retributive judgment, or shortening thy days by vicious excesses. (For the former, see Job 22:16; Psalm 55:23; Proverbs 10:27; and comp. 1 Samuel 2:31, 33; and for the latter, Proverbs 5:23; Proverbs 7:23-27; Proverbs 10:21.) The Syriac contains a clause not given in any other version, "that thou mayest not be hated." As is often the case, both in this book and in Proverbs, a general statement in one place is reduced by a contrariant or modified opinion in another. Thus the prolongation of the life of the wicked, noticed in ver. 15, is here shown to be abnormal, impiety in the usual course of events having a tendency to shorten life. In this way hasty generalization is corrected, and the Divine arrangement is vindicated. 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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