Ecclesiastes 10:10
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.

King James Bible
If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

Darby Bible Translation
If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he apply more strength; but wisdom is profitable to give success.

World English Bible
If the axe is blunt, and one doesn't sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but skill brings success.

Young's Literal Translation
If the iron hath been blunt, And he the face hath not sharpened, Then doth he increase strength, And wisdom is advantageous to make right.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

If the iron be blunt - If the axe have lost its edge, and the owner do not sharpen it, he must apply the more strength to make it cut: but the wisdom that is profitable to direct will teach him, that he should whet his axe, and spare his strength. Thus, without wisdom and understanding we cannot go profitably through the meanest concerns in life.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

wisdom

Ecclesiastes 10:15 The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city.

Ecclesiastes 9:15-17 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man...

Genesis 41:33-39 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt...

Exodus 18:19-23 Listen now to my voice, I will give you counsel, and God shall be with you: Be you for the people to God-ward...

1 Kings 8:9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb...

1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do...

2 Chronicles 23:4-11 This is the thing that you shall do; A third part of you entering on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites...

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Acts 6:1-9 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews...

Acts 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas...

Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad to all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise to that which is good...

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, be not children in understanding: however, in malice be you children, but in understanding be men.

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise...

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraides not; and it shall be given him.

Library
The Way to the City
'The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.'--ECCLES. x. 15. On the surface this seems to be merely a piece of homely, practical sagacity, conjoined with one of the bitter things which Ecclesiastes is fond of saying about those whom he calls 'fools.' It seems to repeat, under another metaphor, the same idea which has been presented in a previous verse, where we read: 'If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners Or, a Brief Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to his Poor Servant, John Bunyan
In this my relation of the merciful working of God upon my soul, it will not be amiss, if in the first place, I do in a few words give you a hint of my pedigree, and manner of bringing up; that thereby the goodness and bounty of God towards me, may be the more advanced and magnified before the sons of men. 2. For my descent then, it was, as is well known by many, of a low and inconsiderable generation; my father's house being of that rank that is meanest, and most despised of all the families in
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:41
when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me.

Ecclesiastes 2:13
I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.

Ecclesiastes 10:9
Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.

Ecclesiastes 10:11
If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.

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