What advantage has a wise man over a fool? What does a poor man gain by knowing how to conduct himself before others?
For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living?
Considering this, do wise people really have any advantage over fools? Do poor people gain anything by being wise and knowing how to act in front of others?
So what advantage has a sage over a fool, or over some poor wretch who barely gets by?
What have the wise more than the foolish? and what has the poor man by walking wisely before the living?
For what advantage have the wise over fools? And what do the poor have who know how to conduct themselves before the living?
For what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, Who knows how to walk before the living?
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn So what advantage does the wise man have over a fool? The rhetorical question in Hebrew implies a negative answer: the wise man has no absolute advantage over a fool in the sense that both will share the same fate: death. Qoheleth should not be misunderstood here as denying that wisdom has no relative advantage over folly; elsewhere he affirms that wisdom does yield some relative benefits in life (7:1-22). However, wisdom cannot deliver one from death.
2 sn As in the preceding parallel line, this rhetorical question implies a negative answer (see the note after the word “fool” in the preceding line).
3 tn Heb “ What to the pauper who knows to walk before the living”; or “how to get along in life.”