Ecclesiastes 4:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

King James Bible
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

American Standard Version
And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him: a threefold cord is not easily broken.

English Revised Version
And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Webster's Bible Translation
And if one prevaileth against him, two shall withstand him; and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The fifth verse stands in a relation of contrast to this which follows: "Better is one hand full of quietness, than both fists full of labour and windy effort." Mendelssohn and others interpret Ecclesiastes 4:5 as the objection of the industrious, and Ecclesiastes 4:6 as the reply of the slothful. Zckler agrees with Hitz., and lapses into the hypothesis of a dialogue otherwise rejected by him. As everywhere, so also here it preserves the unity of the combination of thoughts. נחת signifies here, as little as it does anywhere else, the rest of sloth; but rest, in contrast to such activity in labour as robs a man of himself, to the hunting after gain and honour which never has enough, to the rivalry which places its goal always higher and higher, and seeks to be before others - it is rest connected with well-being (Ecclesiastes 6:5), gentle quietness (Ecclesiastes 9:17), resting from self-activity (Isaiah 30:15); cf. the post-bibl. רוּח נחת, satisfaction, contentment, comfort. In a word, nahath has not here the sense of being idle or lazy. The sequence of the thoughts is this: The fool in idleness consumes his own life-strength; but, on the other hand, a little of true rest is better than the labour of windy effort, urged on by rivalry yielding no rest. כּף is the open hollow hand, and חפן (Assyr. ḥupunnu) the hand closed like a ball, the first. "Rest" and "labour and windy effort" are the accusatives of that to which the designation of measure refers (Gesen. 118. 3); the accus. connection lay here so much the nearer, as מלא is connected with the accus. of that with which anything is full. In "and windy effort" lies the reason for the judgment pronounced. The striving of a man who laboriously seeks only himself and loses himself in restlessness, is truly a striving which has wind for its object, and has the property of wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

and if

2 Samuel 23:9,16,18,19,23 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David...

Daniel 3:16,17 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter...

Ephesians 4:3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ecclesiastes 4:11
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