Wisdom Can Be Nullified by Rulers

Judge John A. Weeks spotted a man sitting in the rear of his Minneapolis courtroom wearing a hat. Disturbed by this disregard for courtroom decorum, he ordered the man to leave. Then the clerk called for the burglary case of George A. Rogde, who had been freed on bond. Rogde didn … More


Foolishness is the theme of chapter 10. The word “fool“ in some form is used no fewer than nine times. The author starts out this passage by saying that just as an insignificant fly has the power of corrupting a quantity of precious perfume but causing it to have an offensive smell so a little foolishness can be more weighty and powerful than glorious wisdom (v. 1). The toleration of a foolish heart in the life of a man of reputation will soon cause his reputation to be tainted.

The mind of the wise man is dominated by thoughts of duty, while the mind of a fool runs persistently to evil. The left handed action of a fool confirms the fact that he is a fool (v. 2). The action of a fool is evidenced most blatantly in his total disregard for authority (v. 4). On the other hand, the man of wisdom practices a controlled submission which by his yielding often puts an end to potentially explosive situations.

This proverb has implications for employer/employee relationships. Employees should ride out the temper tantrums of their employer (v. 4). If we quietly do our work and don’t get upset, the employer will probably get over his or her anger and calm down.

By describing circumstances that aren’t fair or don’t make sense, Solomon is saying that wisdom alone can’t bring justice. He is continuing to build his conclusion that everything we have (from wisdom to riches) is nothing without God.


Everything I have (from wisdom to riches) is nothing without God. However when God uses what little we have, it becomes all we could ever want or need.

Ecclesiastes 10:1-7 (English Standard Version)

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