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Ecclesiastes 10:20

    Ecclesiastes 10:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Curse not the king, no not in your thought; and curse not the rich in your bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought; and revile not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Say not a curse against the king, even in your thoughts; and even secretly say not a curse against the man of wealth; because a bird of the air will take the voice, and that which has wings will give news of it.

    Webster's Revision

    Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought; and revile not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

    World English Bible

    Don't curse the king, no, not in your thoughts; and don't curse the rich in your bedroom: for a bird of the sky may carry your voice, and that which has wings may tell the matter.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

    Definitions for Ecclesiastes 10:20

    Tell - To number; count.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10:20

    Curse not the king - Do not permit thyself even to think evil of the king; lest thy tongue at some time give vent to thy thoughts, and so thou be chargeable with treason.

    For a bird of the air shall carry the voice - Does he refer here to such fowls as the carrier pigeon, which were often used to carry letters under their wings to a great distance, and bring back answers? The Targum turns it curiously: "Do not speak evil of the king in thy conscience, nor in the secret of thy heart, nor in the most hidden place in thy house, curse not a wise man; for Raziel calls daily from heaven upon Mount Horeb, and his voice goes through the whole world; and Elijah, the great priest, goes, flying through the air like a winged eagle, and publishes the words which are spoken in secret by all the inhabitants of the earth."

    Civil government is so peculiarly of God, that he will have it supported for the benefit of mankind; and those who attempt to disturb it are generally marked by his strong disapprobation. And though there have been multitudes of treasons hatched in the deepest secrecy; yet, through the providence of God, they have been discovered in the most singular manner. This shows God's care for government.

    Barnes' Notes on Ecclesiastes 10:20

    Curse - Compare Ecclesiastes 7:21-22.

    Wesley's Notes on Ecclesiastes 10:20

    10:20 Thy thought - In the most secret manner. The rich - Princes or governors. A bird - The king will hear of it by unknown and unsuspected hands, as if a bird had heard and carried the report of it.