Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 7:18

Context
NET ©

It is best to take hold of one warning 1  without letting go of the other warning; 2  for the one who fears God will follow 3  both warnings. 4 

NIV ©

It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes .

NASB ©

It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them.

NLT ©

So try to walk a middle course––but those who fear God will succeed either way.

MSG ©

It's best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.

BBE ©

It is good to take this in your hand and not to keep your hand from that; he who has the fear of God will be free of the two.

NRSV ©

It is good that you should take hold of the one, without letting go of the other; for the one who fears God shall succeed with both.

NKJV ©

It is good that you grasp this, And also not remove your hand from the other; For he who fears God will escape them all.


KJV
[It is] good
<02896>
that thou shouldest take hold
<0270> (8799)
of this; yea, also from this
<02088>
withdraw
<03240> (8686)
not thine hand
<03027>_:
for he that feareth
<03373>
God
<0430>
shall come forth
<03318> (8799)
of them all.
NASB ©
It is good
<02896>
that you grasp
<0270>
one
<02088>
thing
<02088>
and also
<01571>
not let
<05117>
<3027> go
<05117>
<3027> of the other
<02088>
; for the one who fears
<03372>
God
<0430>
comes
<03318>
forth
<03318>
with both
<03605>
of them.
HEBREW
Mlk
<03605>
ta
<0854>
auy
<03318>
Myhla
<0430>
ary
<03373>
yk
<03588>
Kdy
<03027>
ta
<0853>
xnt
<03240>
la
<0408>
hzm
<02088>
Mgw
<01571>
hzb
<02088>
zxat
<0270>
rsa
<0834>
bwj (7:18)
<02896>
LXXM
agayon
<18
A-NSN
to
<3588
T-NSN
antecesyai {V-PMN} se
<4771
P-AS
en
<1722
PREP
toutw
<3778
D-DSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
apo
<575
PREP
toutou
<3778
D-GSM
mh
<3165
ADV
anhv
<447
V-AAS-2S
thn
<3588
T-ASF
ceira
<5495
N-ASF
sou
<4771
P-GS
oti
<3754
CONJ
foboumenov
<5399
V-PMPNS
ton
<3588
T-ASM
yeon
<2316
N-ASM
exeleusetai
<1831
V-FMI-3S
ta
<3588
T-APN
panta
<3956
A-APN
NET © [draft] ITL
It is best
<02896>
to take hold
<0270>
of one warning
<02088>
without
<0408>
letting
<01571>
go
<03240>
of the other warning
<02088>
; for
<03588>
the one who fears
<03373>
God
<0430>
will follow
<03318>
both
<03605>
warnings.
NET ©

It is best to take hold of one warning 1  without letting go of the other warning; 2  for the one who fears God will follow 3  both warnings. 4 

NET © Notes

tn The word “warning” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation two times in this line for clarity.

sn The other warning. Qoheleth is referring to the two words of advice in 7:16-17. He is not, as some suggest, urging his readers to grasp righteousness without letting go of wickedness. His point is not that people should live their lives with a balance of modest righteousness and modest wickedness. Because he urges the fear of God in 7:18b, he cannot be inconsistent in suggesting that his readers offend the fear of God by indulging in some degree of sin in order to counterbalance an overly righteous life. Rather, the proper fear of God will prevent a person from trusting in righteousness and wisdom alone for his security, and it will also prevent indulgence in wickedness and folly.

tn Or “will escape both”; or “will go forth in both.” The Hebrew phrase יֵצֵא אֶת־כֻּלָּם (yetse’ ’et-kullam, “he will follow both of them”) has been interpreted in several ways: (1) To adopt a balanced lifestyle that is moderately righteous while allowing for self-indulgence in moderate wickedness (“to follow both of them,” that is, to follow both righteousness and wickedness). However, this seems to unnecessarily encourage an antinomian rationalization of sin and moral compromise. (2) To avoid the two extremes of being over-righteous and over-wicked. This takes יֵצֵא in the sense of “to escape,” e.g., Gen 39:12, 15; 1 Sam 14:14; Jer 11:11; 48:9; cf. HALOT 426 s.v. יצא 6.c; BDB 423 s.v. יָצָא 1.d. (3) To follow both of the warnings given in 7:16-17. This approach finds parallels in postbiblical rabbinic literature denoting the action of discharging one’s duty of obedience and complying with instruction. In postbiblical rabbinic literature the phrase יַדֵי יֵצֵא (yetseyade, “to go out of the hands”) is an idiom meaning “to comply with the requirements of the law” (Jastrow 587 s.v. יָצָא Hif.5.a). This fits nicely with the context of 7:16-17 in which Qoheleth issued two warnings. In 7:18a Qoheleth exhorted his readers to follow both of his warnings: “It is best to grasp the first warning without letting go of the second warning.” The person who fears God will heed both warnings. He will not depend upon his own righteousness and wisdom, but upon God’s sovereign bestowal of blessings. Likewise, he will not exploit the exceptions to the doctrine of retribution to indulge in sin, rationalizing sin away just because the wicked sometimes do not get what they deserve.

tn Heb “both.” The term “warnings” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity. Alternately, “both [extremes]” or “both [fates].” The point of this expression is either (1) “ he achieves both things,” (2) “he escapes all these misfortunes,” (3) “he does his duty by both,” or (4) “he avoids both extremes.” See D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 3:580–81.



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