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Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

Context

7:21 Also, do not pay attention to everything that people 1  say;

otherwise, 2  you might even hear 3  your servant cursing you.

7:22 For you know in your own heart 4 

that you also have cursed others many times.

Ecclesiastes 10:20

Context

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 “they”; the referent (people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “so that you do not hear…”; or “lest you hear….”

3 tn The imperfect tense verb תִשְׁמַע (tishma’; from שָׁמַע [shama’, “to hear”]) functions in a modal sense, denoting possibility: “you might hear” (see IBHS 508 §31.4e).

4 tn Heb “your heart knows.”

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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