Ecclesiastes 7:12

12 For wisdom is a defence,[a] and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Ecclesiastes 7:12 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 7:12

For wisdom [is] a defence, [and] money [is] a defence
Or, a "shadow" of refreshment and protection, under which men sit with pleasure and safety; a man by his wisdom, and so by his money, is able to defend himself against the injuries and oppressions of others, and especially when both meet in one and the same man. Jarchi renders and interprets it,

``he that is in the shadow of wisdom is in the shadow of money, for wisdom is the cause why riches come;''
and so the Targum,
``as a man is hid in the shadow of wisdom, so he is hid in the shadow of money, when he does alms with it;''
compare with this ( Luke 16:9 ) ; see ( Ecclesiastes 7:19 ) ( 9:16 ) ( Proverbs 18:11 ) . Theognis

F15 has a saying much like this,
``riches and wisdom are always inexpugnable to mortals;''
but the excellency of knowledge [is, that] wisdom giveth life to them
that have it;
or, "the excellency of the knowledge of wisdom giveth life" F16 not of natural wisdom, or the knowledge of natural and civil things, the vanity of this is exposed, before by the wise man; but the knowledge of God in Christ; the knowledge of Christ, who is the Wisdom of God; and of the Gospel, and of all divine and spiritual things: this is a superior excellency to riches, which often expose a man's life to danger, cannot preserve him from a corporeal death, much less from an eternal one. When this is the excellency of spiritual knowledge, that spiritual life goes along with it; such as are spiritually enlightened are spiritually quickened; live by faith on Christ, whom they know; and, through the knowledge of him, have all things pertaining to life and godliness, and have both a right and meetness for eternal life; yea, this knowledge is life eternal, ( John 17:3 ) ; see ( 2 Peter 1:3 ) ; and this is the pure gift of Wisdom, or of Christ, and not owing to the merit of men, or works done in obedience to the law, which cannot give this life; see ( John 17:2 ) ( 10:28 ) ( Romans 6:23 ) ( Galatians 3:21 ) .
F15 Sententiae, v. 1153.
F16 (hyxt hmkxh ted Nwrtyw) "et praestantia scientiae sapientiae vivificabit", Montanus.

Ecclesiastes 7:12 In-Context

10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

Footnotes 1