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Ecclesiastes 9:16-18

Context

9:16 So I concluded that wisdom is better than might, 1 

but a poor man’s wisdom is despised; no one ever listens 2  to his advice. 3 

Wisdom versus Fools, Sin, and Folly

9:17 The words of the wise are heard in quiet,

more than the shouting of a ruler is heard 4  among fools.

9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,

but one sinner can destroy much that is good.

1 tn Or “power.”

2 tn The participle form נִשְׁמָעִים (nishmaim, Niphal participle mpl from שָׁמַע, “to listen”) is used verbally to emphasize a continual, durative, gnomic action.

3 tn Heb “his words are never listened to.”

4 tn The phrase “is heard” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness. Note its appearance in the previous line.



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