Ecclesiastes 10:7

7 I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.

Read Ecclesiastes 10:7 Using Other Translations

I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.
I have even seen servants riding horseback like princes—and princes walking like servants!

What does Ecclesiastes 10:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ecclesiastes 10:7

I have seen servants upon horses
Which being scarce in Judea, were only rode upon by princes and great personages, or such as were in affluent circumstances; and therefore it was an unusual and disagreeable sight to see servants upon them, which was a token of their being advanced upon the ruin and destruction of their masters; a reigning servant is not only uncomely, but one of the things by which the earth is disquieted, and it cannot bear, ( Proverbs 30:21 Proverbs 30:22 ) ; the Parthians and Persians distinguished their nobles and the vulgar, freemen and servants, by this; the servants went on foot, and the freemen rode on horses F18; and princes walking as servants upon the earth;
degraded from their honour; banished from their thrones and palaces, or obliged to leave them, and reduced to the lowest state and condition: so David, when his son rebelled against him, and he was forced to flee from him, and walk on foot, ( 2 Samuel 15:30 ) ; Alshech thinks it may be a prophecy of the captivity of Israel, when they walked as servants on the earth, and the Gentiles rode on horses.


F18 Justin. e Trogo, l. 41. c. 3. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 5. c. 19.
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