Ecclesiastes 7:26
New International Version
I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.

New Living Translation
I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.

English Standard Version
And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her.

Berean Study Bible
And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a net, and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be ensnared.

New American Standard Bible
And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

King James Bible
And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

Christian Standard Bible
And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a trap:her heart a net and her hands chains. The one who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

Contemporary English Version
Here is what I discovered: A bad woman is worse than death. She is a trap, reaching out with body and soul to catch you. But if you obey God, you can escape. If you don't obey, you are done for.

Good News Translation
I found something more bitter than death--the woman who is like a trap. The love she offers you will catch you like a net, and her arms around you will hold you like a chain. A man who pleases God can get away, but she will catch the sinner.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, her heart a net, and her hands chains. The one who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be captured by her. "

International Standard Version
I discovered for myself a bitterness that surpasses that of death: the woman whose heart is full of snares and nets, whose hands are chains of bondage. Whoever pleases God will escape from her, but the transgressor will be trapped by her.

NET Bible
I discovered this: More bitter than death is the kind of woman who is like a hunter's snare; her heart is like a hunter's net and her hands are like prison chains. The man who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is captured by her.

New Heart English Bible
I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and traps, whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner will be ensnared by her.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I find that a woman whose thoughts are [like] traps and snares is more bitter than death itself. Even her hands are [like] chains. Whoever pleases God will escape her, but she will catch whoever continues to sin.

JPS Tanakh 1917
and I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands; whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

New American Standard 1977
And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands are bonds; whosoever pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be held prisoner in her.

King James 2000 Bible
And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands are fetters: whosoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

American King James Version
And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

American Standard Version
And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And I find her to be, and I will pronounce to be more bitter than death the woman which is a snare, and her heart nets, who has a band in her hands: he that is good in the sight of God shall be delivered from her; but the sinner shall be caught by her.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I have found a woman more bitter than death, who is the hunter's snare, and her heart is a net, and her hands are bands. He that pleaseth God shall escape from her: but he that is a sinner, shall be caught by her.

Darby Bible Translation
and I found more bitter than death the woman whose heart is nets and snares, [and] whose hands are bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be caught by her.

English Revised Version
And I find a thing more bitter than death, even the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoever pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

World English Bible
I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and traps, whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner will be ensnared by her.

Young's Literal Translation
And I am finding more bitter than death, the woman whose heart is nets and snares, her hands are bands; the good before God escapeth from her, but the sinner is captured by her.
Study Bible
The Limits of Human Wisdom
25I directed my mind to understand, to explore, to search out wisdom and explanations, and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the folly of madness. 26And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a net, and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be ensnared. 27“Behold,” says the Teacher, “I have discovered this by adding one thing to another to find an explanation.…
Cross References
Exodus 10:7
Pharaoh's officials asked him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is in ruins?"

Proverbs 2:19
None who go to her return or negotiate the paths of life.

Proverbs 5:4
her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a double-edged sword.

Proverbs 6:23
For this commandment is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way to life,

Proverbs 6:24
to keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the stranger.

Proverbs 7:23
until an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare--not knowing it will cost him his life.

Proverbs 22:14
The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is cursed by the LORD will fall into it.

Proverbs 23:28
Like a robber she lies in wait and multiplies the faithless among men.

Ecclesiastes 7:27
"Behold," says the Teacher, "I have discovered this by adding one thing to another to find an explanation.

Treasury of Scripture

And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

I find

Judges 16:18-21
And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand…

Proverbs 2:18,19
For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead…

Proverbs 5:3-5
For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: …

whoso pleaseth God

Ecclesiastes 2:26
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.







Lexicon
And I
אֲנִ֜י (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 589: I

find
וּמוֹצֶ֨א (ū·mō·w·ṣe)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4672: To come forth to, appear, exist, to attain, find, acquire, to occur, meet, be present

more bitter
מַ֣ר (mar)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4751: Bitter, bitterness, bitterly

than
מִמֶּ֔נָּה (mim·men·nāh)
Preposition | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4480: A part of, from, out of

death
מִמָּ֗וֶת (mim·mā·weṯ)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4194: Death, the dead, their place, state, pestilence, ruin

the woman
הָֽאִשָּׁה֙ (hā·’iš·šāh)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 802: Woman, wife, female

who
אֲשֶׁר־ (’ă·šer-)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

[is] a snare,
מְצוֹדִ֧ים (mə·ṣō·w·ḏîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4685: A net, a, fastness, tower

whose heart
לִבָּ֖הּ (lib·bāh)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

[is] a net,
וַחֲרָמִ֛ים (wa·ḥă·rā·mîm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2764: A net, a doomed object, extermination

and whose hands
יָדֶ֑יהָ (yā·ḏe·hā)
Noun - fdc | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3027: A hand

[are] chains.
אֲסוּרִ֣ים (’ă·sū·rîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 612: A band, bond

The man who pleases
ט֞וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

God
הָאֱלֹהִים֙ (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

will escape her,
יִמָּלֵ֣ט (yim·mā·lêṭ)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4422: To be smooth, to escape, to release, rescue, to bring forth young, emit sparks

but the sinner
וְחוֹטֵ֖א (wə·ḥō·w·ṭê)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2398: To miss, to sin, to forfeit, lack, expiate, repent, lead astray, condemn

will be ensnared.
יִלָּ֥כֶד (yil·lā·ḵeḏ)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3920: To catch, to capture, occupy, to choose, to cohere
-26Ecclesiasticus 9:3; Ecclesiasticus 26:23.

Snares.--See Ecclesiastes 9:12; used for siege works, Ecclesiastes 9:14.

Nets.--Habakkuk 1:15; Ezekiel 26:5.

Bands.--Judges 15:14.

Verse 26. - One practical result of his quest Koheleth cannot avoid mentioning, though it comes with a suddenness which is somewhat startling. And I find more bitter than death the woman. Tracing men's folly and madness to their source, he finds that they arise generally from the seductions of the female sex. Beginning with Adam, woman has continued to work mischief in the world. "Of the woman came the beginning of sin," says Siracides, "and through her we all die" (Ecclus. 25:24); it was owing to her that the punishment of death was inflicted on the human race. If Solomon himself were speaking, he had indeed a bitter experience of the sin and misery into which women lead their victims (see 1 Kings 11:1, 4, 11). It may be thought that Koheleth refers here especially to "the strange woman" of Proverbs 2:16, etc.; Proverbs 5:3, etc.; but in ver. 28 he speaks of the whole sex without qualification; so that we must conclude that he had a very low opinion of them. It is no ideal personage whom he is introducing; it is not a personification of vice or folly; but woman in her totality, such as he knew her to be in Oriental courts and homes, denied her proper position, degraded, uneducated, all natural affections crushed or undeveloped, the plaything of her lord, to be flung aside at any moment. It is not surprising that Koheleth's impression of the female sex should be unfavorable. He is not singular in such an opinion. One might fill a large page with proverbs and gnomes uttered in disparagement of woman by men of all ages and countries. Men, having the making of such apothegms, have used their license unmercifully; if the maligned sex had equal liberty, the tables might have been reversed. But, really, in this as in other cases the mean is the safest; and practically those who have given the darkest picture of women have not been slow to recognize the brighter side. If. for instance, the Book of Proverbs paints the adulteress and the harlot in the soberest, most appalling colors, the same book affords us such a sketch of the virtuous matron as is unequalled for vigor, truth, and high appreciation. And if, as in our present chapter, Koheleth shows a bitter feeling against the evil side of woman's nature, he knows how to value the comfort of married life (Ecclesiastes 4:8), and to look upon a good wife as one who makes a man's home happy (Ecclesiastes 9:9). Since the incarnation of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, "the Seed of the woman," we have learned to regard woman in her true light, and to assign her that position to which she is entitled, giving honor unto her as the weaker vessel, and, at the same time, heir with us of the glorious hope and destiny of our renewed nature (1 Peter 3:7). Whose heart is snares and nets; more accurately, who is snares, and nets in her heart; Septuagint, "The woman who is a snare, and her heart nets;" Vulgate, Quae laqueus venatorum est, et sagena cot ejus. The imagery is obvious (comp. Proverbs 5:4, 22: 7:22; 22:14; Habakkuk 1:15); the thoughts of the evil woman's heart are nets, occupied in meditating how she may entrap and retain victims; and her outward look and words are snares that captivate the foolish, Μὴ ὑπάντα γυναικὶ ἑταιριζομένη, says the Son of Sirach, "Lest thou fall 'into her snares" (Ecclus. 9:3). Plautus, 'Asin.,' 1:3. 67 -

"Auceps sum ego;
Esca est meretrix; lectus illex est; amatores aves.

"The fowler I;
My bait the courtesan; her bed the lure;
The birds the lovers."
So ancient critics, stronger m morals than in etymology, derive Venus from venari, "to hunt," and mulier Item mollire, "to soften," or malleus, "a hammer," because the devil uses women to mould and fashion men to his will. And her hands as bands, Asurim, "bands" or "fetters," is found in Judges 15:14, where it is used of the chains with which the men of Judah bound Samson; it refers here to the wicked woman's voluptuous embraces. Whoso pleaseth God (more literally, he who is good before God) shall escape from her. He whom God regards as good (Ecclesiastes 2:26, where see note) shall have grace to avoid these seductions. But the sinner shall be taken by her; בָּהּ, "in her," in the snare which is herself. In some manuscripts of Ecclesiasticus (26:23) are these words; "A wicked woman is given as a portion to a wicked man; but a godly woman is given to him that feareth the Lord." 7:23-29 Solomon, in his search into the nature and reason of things, had been miserably deluded. But he here speaks with godly sorrow. He alone who constantly aims to please God, can expect to escape; the careless sinner probably will fall to rise no more. He now discovered more than ever the evil of the great sin of which he had been guilty, the loving many strange women,
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