English Standard Version
I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness.
King James Bible
I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:
American Standard Version
I turned about, and my heart was set to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the reason of things , and to know that wickedness is folly, and that foolishness is madness.
I have surveyed all things with my mind, to know, and consider, and seek out wisdom and reason: and to know the wickedness of the fool, and the error of the imprudent:
English Revised Version
I turned about, and my heart was set to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the reason of things, and to know that wickedness is folly, and that foolishness is madness:
Webster's Bible Translation
I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:
Ecclesiastes 7:25 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
"Wisdom affords strong protection to the wise man more than ten mighty men who are in the city." We have to distinguish, as is shown under Psalm 31:3, the verbs עזז, to be strong, and עוּז, to flee for refuge; תּעז is the fut. of the former, whence מעז, stronghold, safe retreat, protection, and with ל, since עזז means not only to be strong, but also to show oneself strong, as at Ecclesiastes 9:20, to feel and act as one strong; it has also the trans. meaning, to strengthen, as shown in Psalm 68:29, but here the intrans. suffices: wisdom proves itself strong for the wise man. The ten shallithim are not, with Ginsburg, to be multiplied indefinitely into "many mighty men." And it is not necessary, with Desvoeux, Hitz., Zckl., and others, to think of ten chiefs (commanders of forces), including the portions of the city garrison which they commanded. The author probably in this refers to some definite political arrangement, perhaps to the ten archons, like those Assyrian salaṭ, vice-regents, after whom as eponyms the year was named by the Greeks. שׁלּיט, in the Asiatic kingdom, was not properly a military title. And did a town then need protection only in the time of war, and not also at other times, against injury threatening its trade, against encroachments on its order, against the spread of infectious diseases, against the force of the elements? As the Deutero-Isaiah (Isaiah 60:17) says of Jerusalem: "I will make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness," so Koheleth says here that wisdom affords a wise man as strong a protection as a powerful decemvirate a city; cf. Proverbs 24:5: "A wise man is ba'oz," i.e., mighty.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
I applied mine heart
And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.
And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine--my heart still guiding me with wisdom--and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.
The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness.
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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.