Ecclesiastes 9:14
New International Version
There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it.

New Living Translation
There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it.

English Standard Version
There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it.

Berean Study Bible
There was a small city with few men. A mighty king came against it, surrounded it, and built large siege ramps against it.

New American Standard Bible
There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it.

King James Bible
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

Christian Standard Bible
There was a small city with few men in it. A great king came against it, surrounded it, and built large siege works against it.

Contemporary English Version
It happened when a powerful ruler surrounded and attacked a small city where only a few people lived. The enemy army was getting ready to break through the city walls.

Good News Translation
There was a little town without many people in it. A powerful king attacked it. He surrounded it and prepared to break through the walls.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
There was a small city with few men in it. A great king came against it, surrounded it, and built large siege works against it.

International Standard Version
There was a little city with few men in it. A great king came against it, surrounded it, and built massive siege ramps against it.

NET Bible
There was once a small city with a few men in it, and a mighty king attacked it, besieging it and building strong siege works against it.

New Heart English Bible
There was a little city, and few men within it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great siege works against it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
There was a small town with a few soldiers in it, and a powerful king came to attack it. He surrounded it and blockaded it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
there was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it;

New American Standard 1977
There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it, and constructed large siegeworks against it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
There was a little city and few men within it; and a great king came against it and besieged it and built great bulwarks against it;

King James 2000 Bible
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

American King James Version
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

American Standard Version
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
suppose there were a little city, and few men in it; and there should come against it a great king, and surround it, and build great mounds against it;

Douay-Rheims Bible
A little city, and few men in it: there came against it a great king, and invested it, and built bulwarks round about it, and the siege was perfect.

Darby Bible Translation
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and encompassed it, and built great bulwarks against it:

English Revised Version
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

Webster's Bible Translation
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

World English Bible
There was a little city, and few men within it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it.

Young's Literal Translation
A little city, and few men in it, and a great king hath come unto it, and hath surrounded it, and hath built against it great bulwarks;
Study Bible
Wisdom is Better than Strength
13I have also seen this wisdom under the sun, and it was great to me: 14There was a small city with few men. A mighty king came against it, surrounded it, and built large siege ramps against it. 15Now a poor wise man was found in the city, and he saved the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man.…
Cross References
Luke 19:43
For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side.

Deuteronomy 20:20
But you may destroy the trees that you know do not produce fruit. Use them to build siege works against the city that is waging war against you, until it falls.

2 Samuel 20:16
a wise woman called out from the city, "Listen! Listen! Please tell Joab to come here so that I may speak with him."

Ecclesiastes 9:13
I have also seen this wisdom under the sun, and it was great to me:

Treasury of Scripture

There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

there was

2 Samuel 20:15-22
And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down…

2 Kings 6:24-33
And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria…

2 Kings 7:1
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.







Lexicon
There was a small
קְטַנָּ֔ה (qə·ṭan·nāh)
Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6996: Small, young, unimportant

city
עִ֣יר (‘îr)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5892: Excitement

with few men.
מְעָ֑ט (mə·‘āṭ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4592: A little, fewness, a few

A mighty
גָּדוֹל֙ (gā·ḏō·wl)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1419: Great, older, insolent

king
מֶ֤לֶךְ (me·leḵ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4428: A king

came
וּבָֽא־ (ū·ḇā-)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 935: To come in, come, go in, go

against it,
אֵלֶ֜יהָ (’ê·le·hā)
Preposition | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

surrounded it,
וְסָבַ֣ב (wə·sā·ḇaḇ)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5437: To turn about, go around, surround

and built
וּבָנָ֥ה (ū·ḇā·nāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1129: To build

large
גְּדֹלִֽים׃ (gə·ḏō·lîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1419: Great, older, insolent

siege ramps
מְצוֹדִ֥ים (mə·ṣō·w·ḏîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4685: A net, a, fastness, tower

against it.
עָלֶ֖יהָ (‘ā·le·hā)
Preposition | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against
(14) Idle attempts have been made to find a historic reference in this passage. What is here told is so like the story (2 Samuel 20) of the deliverance of Abel-beth-Maachah by a wise woman, whose name, nevertheless, has not been preserved, that we cannot even be sure that the writer had any other real history in his mind.

Verse 14. - There was a little city. The substantive verb is, as commonly, omitted. Commentators have amused themselves with endeavoring to identify the city here mentioned. Thus some see herein Athens, saved by the counsel of Themistocles, who was afterwards driven from Athens and died in misery (Justin., 2:12); or Dora, near Mount Carmel, besieged unsuccessfully by Antiochus the Great, B.C. 218, though we know nothing of the circumstances (Polyb., 5:66); but see note on ver. 13. The Septuagint takes the whole paragraph hypothetically, "Suppose there was a little city," etc. Wright well compares the historical allusions to events fresh in the minds of his hearers made by our Lord in his parable of the pounds (Luke 19:12, 14, 15, 27). So we may regard the present section as a parable founded on some historical fact well known at the time when the book was written. A great king. The term points to some Persian or Assyrian potentate; or it may mean merely a powerful general (see 1 Kings 11:24; Job 29:25). Built great bulwarks against it. The Septuagint has χάρακας μεγάλους, "great palisades;" the Vulgate, Extruxitque munitiones per gyrum. What are meant are embankments or mounds raised high enough to overtop the walls of the town, and to command the positions of the besieged. For the same purpose wooden towers were also used (see Deuteronomy 20:20; 2 Samuel 20:15; 2 Kings 19:32; Jeremiah lit. 4). The Vulgate rounds off the account in the text by adding, et perfects est obsidio, " and the beleaguering was completed." 9:13-18 A man may, by his wisdom, bring to pass that which he could never do by his strength. If God be for us, who can be against us, or stand before us? Solomon observes the power of wisdom, though it may labour under outward disadvantages. How forcible are right words! But wise and good men must often content themselves with the satisfaction of having done good, or, at least, endeavoured to do it, when they cannot do the good they would, nor have the praise they should. How many of the good gifts, both of nature and Providence, does one sinner destroy and make waste! He who destroys his own soul destroys much good. One sinner may draw many into his destroying ways. See who are the friends and enemies of a kingdom or a family, if one saint does much good, and one sinner destroys much good.
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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 9:14 There was a little city and few (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Ecclesiastes 9:13
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