Ecclesiastes 10:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city.

King James Bible
The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

American Standard Version
The labor of fools wearieth every one of them; for he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not bow to go to the city.

English Revised Version
The labour of fools wearieth every one of them, for he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Webster's Bible Translation
The labor of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

Ecclesiastes 10:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"He that diggeth a pit may fall into it; whoso breaketh down walls, a serpent may sting him. Whoso pulleth out stones may do himself hurt therewith; he who cleaveth wood may endanger himself thereby." The futures are not the expression of that which will necessarily take place, for, thus rendered, these four statements would be contrary to experience; they are the expression of a possibility. The fut. יפּול is not here meant as predicting an event, as where the clause 8a is a figure of self-punishment arising from the destruction prepared for others, Proverbs 26:27. Sir. 27:26. גּוּמּץ is, Proverbs 26:27, the Targum word for שׁחת, ditch, from גּמץ equals שׁוּח, depressum esse. גּדר (R. גד, to cut), something cutting off, something dividing, is a wall as a boundary and means of protection drawn round a garden, vineyard, or farm-court; גּדר פּרץ is the reverse of פּרץ גּדר, Isaiah 58:12. Serpents are accustomed to nestle in the crevices and holes of walls, as well as in the earth (from a city-wall is called חומה and חל); thus he who breaks into such a wall may expect that the serpent which is there will bite him (cf. Amos 5:19). To tear down stones, hissi'a, is synon. of hhatsav, to break stones, Isaiah 51:1; yet hhotsēv does not usually mean the stone-breaker, but the stone-cutter (stone-mason); hissi'a, from nasa', to tear out, does not also signify, 1 Kings 5:18, "to transport," and here, along with wood-splitting, is certainly to be thought of as a breaking loose or separating in the quarry or shaft. Ne'etsav signifies elsewhere to be afflicted; here, where the reference is not to the internal but the external feeling: to suffer pain, or reflex.: to injure oneself painfully; the derivat. 'etsev signifies also severe labour; but to find this signification in the Niph. ("he who has painful labour") is contrary to the usu loq., and contrary to the meaning intended here, where generally actual injuries are in view. Accordingly בּם יסּכן, for which the Mishn. יסכּן בּעצמו, "he brings himself into danger," would denote, to be placed in danger of life and limb, cf. Gittin 65b, Chullin 37a; and it is therefore not necessary, with Hitzig and others, to translate after the vulnerabitur of Jerome: "He may wound himself thereby;" there is not a denom. סכן, to cut, to wound, derived from סכּין (שׂכּין), an instrument for cutting, a knife.

(Note: The Midrash understands the whole ethically, and illustrates it by the example of Rabsake we know now that the half-Assyr., half-Accad. word rabsak means a military chief], whom report makes a brother of Manasseh, and a renegade in the Assyrian service.)

The sum of these four clauses is certainly not merely that he who undertakes a dangerous matter exposes himself to danger; the author means to say, in this series of proverbs which treat of the distinction between wisdom and folly, that the wise man is everywhere conscious of his danger, and guards against it. These two verses (Ecclesiastes 10:8, Ecclesiastes 10:9) come under this definite point of view by the following proverb; wisdom has just this value in providing against the manifold dangers and difficulties which every undertaking brings along with it.

(Note: Thus rightly Carl Lang in his Salom. Kunst im Psalter (Marburg 1874). He sees in Ecclesiastes 10:8-10 a beautiful heptastich. But as to its contents, Ecclesiastes 10:11 also belongs to this group.)

This is illustrated by a fifth example, and then it is declared with reference to all together.

Ecclesiastes 10:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

labour

Ecclesiastes 10:3,10 Yes also, when he that is a fool walks by the way, his wisdom fails him, and he said to every one that he is a fool...

Isaiah 44:12-17 The smith with the tongs both works in the coals, and fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms: yes...

Isaiah 47:12,13 Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your sorceries, wherein you have labored from your youth...

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfies not? listen diligently to me...

Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and merciful men are taken away...

Habakkuk 2:6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say...

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...

because

Psalm 107:4,7 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in...

Isaiah 35:8-10 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it...

Jeremiah 50:4,5 In those days, and in that time, said the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together...

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 10:14
A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?

Ecclesiastes 10:16
Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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