Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ecclesiastes Chapter 10

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon
Date Penned: (935 BC)
Overview: Wisdom's Lessons from Experience (c 1-12)
Theme: Solomon's Practical Counsel (c 9-12)
Message: Behave Wisely (v 1-20)

Ecclesiastes 10 Commentary 

(10:4) Employers - This proverb has implications for employer-employee relationships. If you work for an employer who has anger issues, you should first try to ride out their temper tantrums. If you quietly do your work and don't get upset, the employer may get over his or her anger and calm down. 

(10:5-7) Little is Much - By describing these circumstances that aren't fair or don't make sense, Solomon is saying that wealth or wisdom alone can't bring justice. Solomon continues to build to his conclusion that everything we have (from wisdom to riches) is nothing without God. But when God uses what little we have, it becomes all we could ever want or need. 

(10:10) Tools - Trying to do anything without the necessary skills or tools is like chopping wood with a dull ax. If your tool is dull, you should sharpen it to do a better job. Similarly, if you lack skills, you should sharpen them through training and practice. Sharpening the ax means recognizing where a problem exists, acquiring or honing the skills (or tools) to do the job better, and then going out and doing it. Find the areas of your life where your "ax" is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective for God's work. 

(10:16-18) Leadership - When the Israelites had immature and irresponsible leaders, their nation fell. The books of 1 and 2 Kings describe the decline of the kingdoms when the leaders were concerned only about themselves. These verses pinpoint the basic problems of these leaders--selfishness and laziness. 

(10:19) God’s Supply - Government leaders, businesses, families, and even churches can often get trapped into thinking that money can meet all their needs. We throw money at our problems. But just as the thrill of too much alcohol is only temporary, the excitement of buying something new soon wears off. Most of us are addicted to that feeling that comes from buying more and more things. Scripture recognizes that money is necessary for survival, but it warns against the love of money (see Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Money is dangerous because it deceives us into thinking that wealth is the easiest way to get everything we want. The love of money is sinful because we trust money rather than God to solve our problems. Those who pursue its empty promises will one day discover that they have nothing because they are spiritually bankrupt.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Sharp Axe

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 10. In our text today, we see we are to behave wisely, but if we are unprepared or unskilled, we will have little or no impact on our situations. In applying, we see the importance of studying the Word of God to be a workman in our lost world. Just as a sharp ax will be more effective, so will a laborer for the Lord who understands the doctrines of the Bible. How about you? Do you know the doctrines of the Bible? Let us learn from our text today to remember that just as a sharp ax is more effective as a tool - so is a Christian who understands and applies the doctrines of the Bible.


Ecclesiastes 10

Ecclesiastes 10

 1Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

 2A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

 3Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

 4If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

 5There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

 6Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.

 7I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

 8He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

 9Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

 10If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

 11Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

 12The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

 13The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

 14A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

 15The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

 16Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

 17Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

 18By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

 19A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

 20Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.