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Ecclesiastes 6:8


6:8 So what advantage does a wise man have over a fool? 1 

And what advantage 2  does a pauper gain by knowing how to survive? 3 

Ecclesiastes 6:11


6:11 The more one argues with words, the less he accomplishes. 4 

How does that benefit him? 5 

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.”

4 tn Heb “The more the words, the more the futility.”

5 tn Or “What benefit does man have [in that]?”

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