Ecclesiastes 7:22
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.

King James Bible
For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

American Standard Version
for oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For thy conscience knoweth that thou also hast often spoken evil of others.

English Revised Version
for oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

Webster's Bible Translation
For often also thy own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

Ecclesiastes 7:22 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The first of these counsels warns against extremes, on the side of good as well as on that of evil: "All have I seen in the days of my vanity: there are righteous men who perish by their righteousness, and there are wicked men who continue long by their wickedness. Be not righteous over-much, and show not thyself wise beyond measure: why wilt thou ruin thyself? Be not wicked overmuch, and be no fool: why wilt thou die before thy time is? It is good that thou holdest thyself to the one, and also from the other withdrawest not thine hand: for he that feareth God accomplisheth it all." One of the most original English interpreters of the Book of Koheleth, T. Tyler (1874), finds in the thoughts of the book - composed, according to his view, about 200 b.c. - and in their expression, references to the post-Aristotelian philosophy, particularly to the Stoic, variously interwoven with orientalism. But here, in Ecclesiastes 7:15-18, we perceive, not so much the principle of the Stoical ethics - τῇ φύσει ὁμολογουμένως ζῆν - as that of the Aristotelian, according to which virtue consists in the art μέσως ἔξηειν, the art of holding the middle between extremes.

(Note: Cf. Luthardt's Lectures on the Moral Truths of Christianity, 2nd ed. Edin., T. and T. Clark.)

Also, we do not find here a reference to the contrasts between Pharisaism and Sadduceeism (Zckl.), viz., those already in growth in the time of the author; for if it should be also true, as Tyler conjectures, that the Sadducees had such a predilection for Epicurism, - as, according to Josephus (Vit. c. 2), "the doctrine of the Pharisees is of kin to that of the Stoics," - yet צדקה and רשׁעה are not apportioned between these two parties, especially since the overstraining of conformity to the law by the Pharisees related not to the moral, but to the ceremonial law. We derive nothing for the right understanding of the passage from referring the wisdom of life here recommended to the tendencies of the time. The author proceeds from observation, over against which the O.T. saints knew not how to place any satisfying theodicee. הבלי ימי (vid., Ecclesiastes 6:12) he so designates the long, but for the most part uselessly spent life lying behind him. 'et-hakol is not "everything possible" (Zckl.), but "all, of all kinds" (Luth.), which is defined by 15b as of two kinds; for 15a is the introduction of the following experience relative to the righteous and the unrighteous, and thus to the two classes into which all men are divided. We do not translate: there are the righteous, who by their righteousness, etc. (Umbr., Hitzig, and others); for if the author should thus commence, it would appear as if he wished to give unrighteousness the preference to righteousness, which, however, was far from him. To perish in or by his righteousness, to live long in or by his wickedness (מאריך, scil. ימים, Ecclesiastes 8:13, as at Proverbs 28:2), is equals to die in spite of righteousness, to live in spite of wickedness, as e.g., Deuteronomy 1:32 : "in this thing" equals in spite of, etc. Righteousness has the promise of long life as its reward; but if this is the rule, it has yet its exceptions, and the author thence deduces the doctrine that one should not exaggerate righteousness; for if it occurs that a righteous man, in spite of his righteousness, perishes, this happens, at earliest, in the case in which, in the practice of righteousness, he goes beyond the right measure and limit. The relative conceptions הרבּה and יותר have here, since they are referred to the idea of the right measure, the meaning of nimis. חתחכּם could mean, "to play the wise man;" but that, whether more or less done, is objectionable. It means, as at Exodus 1:10, to act wisely (cf. Psalm 105:25, הת, to act cunningly). And השׁ, which is elsewhere used of being inwardly torpid, i.e., being astonished, obstupescere, has here the meaning of placing oneself in a benumbed, disordered state, or also, passively, of becoming disconcerted; not of becoming desolate or being deserted (Hitz., Ginsburg, and others), which it could only mean in highly poetic discourse (Isaiah 54:1). The form תּשּׁומם is syncop., like תּךּ, Numbers 21:27; and the question, with למּה, here and at Ecclesiastes 7:17, is of the same kind as Ecclesiastes 5:5; Luther, weakening it: "that thou mayest not destroy thyself."

Ecclesiastes 7:22 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Kings 2:44 The king said moreover to Shimei, You know all the wickedness which your heart is privy to, that you did to David my father...

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Matthew 18:32-35 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said to him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired me...

John 8:7-9 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them, He that is without sin among you...

James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 7:21
Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.

Ecclesiastes 7:23
All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, "I will be wise," but it was far from me.

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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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