Ecclesiastes 2:14

14 1The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the 2same event happens to all of them.

Ecclesiastes 2:14 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 2:14

The wise man's eyes [are] in his head
And so are the eyes of every man; but the sense is, he makes use of them, he looks about him, and walks circumspectly; he takes heed to his goings, he foresees the evil, and avoids it; or the danger he is exposed unto, and guards against it. Some understand it, in a more spiritual and evangelical sense, of Christ, who is the head of the body the church, and of every true believer; of everyone that is wise unto salvation, whose eyes are on him alone for righteousness, salvation, and eternal life; or on whom Christ's eyes are; who is said to have seven eyes, with which he guides, guards, and protects his people; but the fool walketh in darkness;
his eyes are to the ends of the earth; he walks incautiously, without any circumspection or guard; he knows not where he is, nor where he is going, nor where he shall set his foot next, nor at what he may stumble; wherefore a wise man is to be preferred to a fool, as wisdom is to folly. The Midrash interprets the wise man of Abraham, and the fool of Nimrod; and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all;
the wise man and the fool; or, "but I myself perceived" F23 though it is allowed that a wise man is better than a fool; yet this also must be owned, which Solomon's experience proved, and every man's does, that the same things befall wise men and fools; they are liable to the same diseases of body, and disasters of life; to poverty and distress, to loss of estate, children, and friends, and to death itself.


F23 (yteryw) "sed agnovi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "sed cognovi", Rambachius; "but I saw", Broughton.

Ecclesiastes 2:14 In-Context

12 So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done.
13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness.
14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.
15 Then I said in my heart, "What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?" And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.
16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Proverbs 17:24]
  • 2. Ecclesiastes 3:19; Ecclesiastes 9:2, 3; Psalms 49:10
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.