Chapter 10 contains a group of assorted wisdom sayings. The major topics are wisdom and folly, political decorum, and unexpected occurrences in life.
Qoheleth points to one of life’s ironies in v. 8: “He who digs a pit will fall into it…”
III. Important Verses
v. 1: Dead flies turn the perfumer’s ointment fetid and putrid; so a little folly outweighs massive wisdom.
v. 7: I have seen slaves on horseback, and nobles walking on the ground like slaves.
v. 8: He who digs a pit will fall into it; he who breaches a stone fence will be bitten by a snake.
vv. 16-17: Alas for you, O land whose king is a lackey and whose ministers dine in the morning! Happy are you, O land whose king is a master and whose ministers dine at the proper time — with restraint, not with guzzling!
v. 20: Don’t revile a king even among your intimates. Don’t revile a rich man even in your bedchamber; For a bird of the air may carry the utterance, And a winged creature may report the word.
1-3. Proverbs about wisdom and folly
4. Proverb about a kings’ wrath
5-9. Unexpected occurrences
10-11. Wisdom and ability
12-15. The fool
16-20. Political decorum
No comment today. I hope to revisit this chapter at the end of the cycle. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from http://archive.seacoastonline.com/2004news/hampton/h6_29curr.jpg