Ecclesiastes 9:16
New International Version
So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.

New Living Translation
So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.

English Standard Version
But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.

Berean Study Bible
And I said, “Wisdom is better than strength, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are not heeded.”

New American Standard Bible
So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.

King James Bible
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Christian Standard Bible
And I said, "Wisdom is better than strength, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are not heeded."

Contemporary English Version
So I decided that wisdom is better than strength. Yet if you are poor, no one pays any attention to you, no matter how smart you are.

Good News Translation
I have always said that wisdom is better than strength, but no one thinks of the poor as wise or pays any attention to what they say.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And I said, "Wisdom is better than strength, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are not heeded."

International Standard Version
So I concluded, "Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless, the wisdom of the poor is rejected—his words are never heard."

NET Bible
So I concluded that wisdom is better than might, but a poor man's wisdom is despised; no one ever listens to his advice.

New Heart English Bible
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength," even though that poor person's wisdom was despised, and no one listened to what he said.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then said I: 'Wisdom is better than strength; nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.'

New American Standard 1977
So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then I said, Wisdom is better than strength: even though the poor man's knowledge is despised, and his words are not heard.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

American King James Version
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

American Standard Version
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And I said Wisdom is better than power: yet the wisdom of the poor man is set at nought, and his words not listened to.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I said that wisdom is better than strength: how then is the wisdom of the poor man slighted, and his words not heard?

Darby Bible Translation
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength; but the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

English Revised Version
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said I, wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

World English Bible
Then I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Young's Literal Translation
And I said, 'Better is wisdom than might, and the wisdom of the poor is despised, and his words are not heard.' --
Study Bible
Wisdom is Better than Strength
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. 16And I said, “Wisdom is better than strength, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are not heeded.” 17The calm words of the wise are heeded over the shouts of a ruler among fools.…
Cross References
Proverbs 8:14
Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight and strength.

Proverbs 21:22
A wise man scales the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.

Ecclesiastes 7:12
For wisdom, like money, is a shelter, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner.

Ecclesiastes 7:19
Wisdom makes the wise man stronger than ten rulers in a city.

Ecclesiastes 9:18
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

Treasury of Scripture

Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

wisdom

Ecclesiastes 9:18
Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Ecclesiastes 7:19
Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.

Proverbs 21:22
A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

the poor

Proverbs 10:15
The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Mark 6:2,3
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? …

John 7:47-49
Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? …







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

said,
וְאָמַ֣רְתִּי (wə·’ā·mar·tî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

“Wisdom
חָכְמָ֖ה (ḥāḵ·māh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2451: Wisdom

is better
טוֹבָ֥ה (ṭō·w·ḇāh)
Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

than strength,
מִגְּבוּרָ֑ה (mig·gə·ḇū·rāh)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1369: Force, valor, victory

but the wisdom
וְחָכְמַ֤ת (wə·ḥā·ḵə·maṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 2451: Wisdom

of the poor
הַמִּסְכֵּן֙ (ham·mis·kên)
Article | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4542: Indigent

man is despised,
בְּזוּיָ֔ה (bə·zū·yāh)
Verb - Qal - QalPassParticiple - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 959: To disesteem

and his words
וּדְבָרָ֖יו (ū·ḏə·ḇā·rāw)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1697: A word, a matter, thing, a cause

are not
אֵינָ֥ם (’ê·nām)
Adverb | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

heeded.”
נִשְׁמָעִֽים׃ (niš·mā·‘îm)
Verb - Nifal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8085: To hear intelligently
Verse 16. - Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength. The latter part of the verse is not a correction of the former, but the whole comes under the observation introduced by "I said." The story just related leads to this assertion, which reproduces the gnome of Ecclesiastes 7:19, wherein it is asserted that wisdom effects more than mere physical strength. There is an interpolation in the Old Latin Version of Wisd. 6. I which seems to have been compiled from this passage and Proverbs 16:13, "Melter est sapientia quam vires, et vir prudens quam fortis." Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, etc. In the instance above mentioned the poor man's wisdom was not despised and his words were heard and attended to; but this was an abnormal case, occasioned by the extremity of the peril. Koheleth states the result which usually attends wisdom emanating from a disesteemed source. The experience of Ben-Sire pointed to the same issue (see Ecclus. 13:22, 23). Horace, 'Epist.,' 1:1.57 -

"Est animus tibi, sunt mores et lingua fidesque,
Sed quadringentis sex septem millia desunt;
Plebs erie."


"In wit, worth, honor, one in vain abounds;
If of the knight's estate he lack ten pounds,
He's low, quite low!"


(Howes.) Is not this the carpenter's Son? asked the people who were offended at Christ (Mark 6:2, 3). 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 9:16 Then said I Wisdom is better than (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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