We will now begin the tenth chapter of the great book of Ecclesiastes.
10:1-4 “As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are. If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.”
- In Matthew 25:34-46, Jesus talked about the day of judgment and how it will work. The wise and the believers incline or “go” to the right, the same for fools and unbelievers. It is also better to be calm in when someone is angry with you.
10:5-7 “There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler: Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones. I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.”
- Solomon here refers to a society that is reversed. The fools are put in high positions, and the slaves on horseback instead of important soldiers or princes. The slaves and fools are enjoying the things they would not normally get to.
10:8-11 “Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them. If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.”
- I think what Solomon is trying to get across is that wisdom prevails in all circumstances. Whether it’s digging a pit, quarrying stone, splitting wood, or using an ax. Skill and wisdom bring success.
10:12-15 “Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips. At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness- and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming- who can tell someone else what will happen after them? The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town.”
- The words of the wise are few (Proverbs 17:27), but fools talk and talk about nonsense. Fools also repeat things over and over again with no new meaning. If someone says they predict this or that in the future they are fools.
10:16-17 “Woe to the land whose king was a servant and whose princes feast in the morning. Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time- for strength and not for drunkenness.”
- Solomon begins talking about wise and foolish kings and leaders. A king should not be a servant nor should princes feast at the improper time.
10:18 “Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.”
- Solomon now compares a kingdom to a house. The foolish ruler of the kingdom is the owner or builder of the house. If you let the rafters sag it will leak. The same goes for the lazy rulers of a kingdom, if you do not fix things or establish order and justice, your kingdom will fall, like the house with a sagging roof.
10:19 “A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.”
- Wise people can enjoy everything in life. They can enjoy a feast, enjoy wine, and even money. But it’s what we do with that money that makes us wise in this category. If we use it only for pleasure and gain then we are not using it wisely.
10:20 “Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.”
- Thoughts usually become words. If we curse someone or think badly about someone, those thoughts will become words. There is a quote that says “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” There is always someone watching, and listening. Even if there are no humans or animals around, God hears and sees everything that we say and do. Psalm 139:2 declares, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Do not think, say, or do evil, “so that you may become blameless and pure.”- Philippians 2:15
This concludes Chapter 10 of Ecclesiastes.