Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 10:10


If an iron axhead 1  is blunt and a workman 2  does not sharpen 3  its edge, 4  he must exert a great deal of effort; 5  so wisdom has the advantage of giving success.


Ge 41:33-39; Ex 18:19-23; 1Ki 3:9; 1Ch 12:32; 2Ch 23:4-11; Ec 9:15-17; Ec 10:15; Mt 10:16; Ac 6:1-9; Ac 15:2-21; Ro 16:19; 1Co 14:20; Eph 5:15-17; Col 4:5; Jas 1:5

NET © Notes

tn The term “ax head” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity. The preceding noun “iron” functions as a metonymy of material (i.e., iron) for the object with which it is associated (i.e., ax head).

tn Heb “he”; the referent (the workman) is implied, and has been specified in the translation for clarity

tn The verb קלל in the Pilpel means “to sharpen; to make a blade sharp” (HALOT 1104 s.v. קלל 1).This denominative verb is derived from the rare noun II קָלַל “smooth; shiny” (referring to bronze; Ezek 1:7; Dan 10:6; HALOT 1105 s.v.). Sharpening the blade or head of a bronze ax will make it smooth and shiny. It is not derived from I קָלַל (qalal) “to treat light” or the noun I קְלָלָה (qÿlalah) “curse.” Nor is it related to I קָלַל “to shake” (Ezek 21:26); cf. HALOT 1104. BDB 886 s.v. קָלַל 2 erroneously relates it to I קָלַל, suggesting “to whet” or “to move quickly to and fro.”

tn Heb “face.”

tn Heb “strength.” The term וַחֲיָלִים (vakhayalim, conjunction + plural noun from חַיִל, khayil, “strength; efficiency”) is an example of a plural of intensification (GKC 397-98 §124.e). The point is that it is a waste of a great deal of strength and energy. If a person is not smart, he will have to use a lot of energy and waste his efficiency.

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