We see here rulers exalting foolish people while the nobles or the rich and princes—referring to those more suited by upbringing and training and experience for responsibility—are passed by (verses 5-6). This could obviously lead one to curse or speak evil of such rulers. The next verse here, Ecclesiastes 10:19 Ecclesiastes 10:19A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry: but money answers all things.American King James Version×, states, “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.” This saying, by its placement here, also appears to comment on the feasting and drinking by those in charge of the national wealth in verses 16-17. What benefit is … [9] All this have I seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man rules over another to his own hurt. Ecclesiastes 12:12). In any event, those under the influence of such leaders get no benefit from them” (note on verse 16). This is vital for people in positions of leadership and for all of us. I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking as servants on the earth. Note on John 9:14), then this work must have come near the close of the day. As earlier pointed out in regard to life’s uncertainties in Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 [11] I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all. The wise do everything in its proper time’” (Ryken, p. 239). 11 And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city. So the proverb of verse 20 again gives the wise course to follow—don’t succumb to the temptation to do that. This would mean the feasting for laughter, the wine making merry and money answering everything (addressing all needs and wants perhaps) is viewed as a positive—corresponding to their proper use by wise leaders in verse 17. The Law of Light. Remember that the term qoheleth means "the lecturer" or "the preacher." American King James Version×, James 4:13-15 James 4:13-15 [13] Go to now, you that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 168-169) or that they “spend their nights banqueting into the early morning” (NKJV Study Bible, note on verse 16). . Preview. David stayed until it was no longer safe. CafePress brings your passions to life with the perfect item for every occasion. 2 A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one. It’s also been suggested that the imagery here could fit with someone overhearing another and sending a written message about that by carrier pigeon. Or the contrast could just be between a wise man’s words being kind or helpful generally and a fool’s words being harmful, ultimately of self. The king in verse 17 who brings blessing to the land is not led around by self-serving lower officials. This might seem a bit disjointed, but remember that the verses here are a series of poetic proverbs that could stand alone—placed together but without any narrative explanation. The New American Commentary sees it addressing the foolish life of indulgence and lack of industriousness of verses 16 and 18 in these terms: “Verse 19 should be rendered, ‘People prepare food for pleasure, and wine makes joyful, but money pays for both.’ The point is that at least some money is essential for enjoying life, and steps must therefore be taken to insure that the economy (be it national or personal) is sound” (note on verses 18-20). On the other hand, these verses could apply to anyone trying to act against others (perhaps reacting to the problem leadership situation) or conducting normal, everyday labor—in which case the point would be that whatever is done involves risks, so we all have to use wisdom and be cautious. The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible relates: “As Ecclesiastes complains of slaves on horseback, so the ‘Complaints of Khakheperresonb’ declares, ‘He who used to give commands is (now) one to whom commands are given.’ The Admonitions of Ipu-wer similarly complains, ‘Indeed, princes are hungry and perish, / Servants are served.’ These Egyptian texts are not in all respects the same as Ecclesiastes; they tend to focus on the general lawlessness in society during times of political instability in Egypt, whereas Ecclesiastes is concerned more universally with the absurdities of human life. ” ( Wright, note on verse 16 ) time, and thy princes eat in building. 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