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Ecclesiastes 10:6-7


10:6 Fools 1  are placed in many positions of authority, 2 

while wealthy men sit in lowly positions.

10:7 I have seen slaves 3  on horseback

and princes walking on foot 4  like slaves.

Ecclesiastes 10:20


10:20 Do not curse a king even in your thoughts,

and do not curse the rich 5  while in your bedroom; 6 

for a bird 7  might report what you are thinking, 8 

or some winged creature 9  might repeat your 10  words. 11 

1 tn Heb “folly.”

2 tn Heb “high places.”

3 tn Or “servants,” so KJV, ASV, NCV, NLT (also in the following line).

4 tn Heb “upon the earth.”

5 tn Perhaps the referent is people who are in authority because of their wealth.

6 tn Heb “in chambers of your bedroom.”

7 tn Heb “a bird of the air.”

8 tn Heb “might carry the voice.” The article is used here with the force of a possessive pronoun.

9 tn The Hebrew phrase בַּעַל הַכְּנָפַיִם (baal hakkÿnafayim, “possessor of wings”) is an idiom for a winged creature, that is, a bird (e.g., Prov 1:17; see HALOT 143 s.v. בַּעַל A.6; BDB 127 s.v. בַּעַל 5.a). The term בַּעַל (“master; possessor”) is the construct governing the attributive genitive הַכְּנָפַיִם (“wings”); see IBHS 149-51 §9.5.3b.

10 tn The term “your” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for smoothness.

11 tn Heb “tell the matter.”

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