Foolishness should not take us by surprise. We can see it every day, and it is all
around us. There is
an old Middle East proverb which says foolishness can be known by six things:Anger
cause.Speech without profit.Change without progress.Inquiry without
purpose.Putting tr … More
This passage starts out by saying that men of folly are digging their own graves (v. 8). Not paying any attention to duty is also compared to the breaking down of walls. It is easy to get hurt by chiseling stone or falling trees (vv. 9-10). Solomon shows that even though wisdom is valuable in dangerous and difficult tasks, its value can be null and void by improper timing (v. 11). He contrasts the words of a wise man with that of a fool (vv. 12-15). He says a wise man’s words are gracious but a fools words are self destructive. The fool reveals only his mischievous madness when he opens his mouth.
Next, Solomon contrasts the sorry state of a nation whose leaders are incompetent and undisciplined (v. 16) with the fortunate state of a nation whose leaders are competent and disciplined (v. 17). Incompetent leaders are lazy, causing the ruin of the state and the loss of protection (vv. 18-19). However, he also warns against criticizing government officials (v. 20) even if their leadership deserves such criticism.
No one can make a fool out of me unless I give him reason to do so. Each of us make that choice between foolishness and wisdom.
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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Ecclesiastes 7:1-14The Contrast of Wisdom And Folly
Ecclesiastes 7:15-29Practical Wisdom
Ecclesiastes 8:1-17Keep The Kings Command
Ecclesiastes 9:1-10Everything is In The Hands of God
Ecclesiastes 9:11-18Better to Be Wise Than Foolish
Ecclesiastes 10:1-7Wisdom Can Be Nullified by Rulers
Ecclesiastes 10:8-20Words And Works of Wise Men And Fools
Ecclesiastes 11:1-10It Pays to Work Hard
Ecclesiastes 12:1-14Fear God Because Death Comes Quickly