Ecclesiastes 10:10

10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.[a]

Ecclesiastes 10:10 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the iron be blunt
With which a man cleaves wood: the axe, made of iron: and he do not whet the edge;
with some proper instrument to make it sharper, that it may cut the more easily; then must he put to more strength;
he must give a greater blow, strike the harder, and use more force; and yet it may not be sufficient, or; it may be to no purpose, and he himself may be in the greatest danger of being hurt; as such are who push things with all their might and main, without judgment and discretion; but wisdom [is] profitable to direct;
this is the "excellency" of wisdom, that it puts a man in the right way of doing things, and of doing them right; it directs him to take the best methods, and pursue the best ways and means of doing things, both for his own good and the good of others; and so it is better than strength, ( Ecclesiastes 9:16 Ecclesiastes 9:18 ) .

Ecclesiastes 10:10 In-Context

8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
9 He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them.
10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.
11 If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.
12 The words of a wise man's mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or wisdom is an advantage for success