ASPECT 6, PART 2: OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR SUPERIORS ECCLESIASTES 10:4-20
In this section, Solomon gives wisdom for dealing with our superiors. Wisdom and tact in dealing with difficult – even dangerous – superiors can help one navigate through a perplexing circumstance.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences. 5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: 6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth. 8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
12 The words of a wise man?s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.
16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! 17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
20 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.
Toward superiors in the commonwealth in case of offense that we may conceive at them, wherein great is the sue of true wisdom to bridle and refrain all unlawful desires and attempts against men in authority. The offence that we may take at their doings is two-fold:
Dealing with a Private Insult Ecclesiastes 10:4
In regard of ourselves, for some wrong the Ruler hath done us, or for some private displeasure he conceives at us for some offence done to him. If the spirit, wrath, indignation, If the ruler rise up against thee, whether rightfully or wrongfully: What must be done in this case? The rule and remedy which wisdom in this matter prescribes, Leave not thy place, office, duty, and obedience, oppose not wealth against wealthy, take heed of stubbornness and violence, but use fair means in submission and discreet bearing and forebearing: The reason follows from the benefit, for yielding lenity, submission, pacifieth, causes to cease, great offenses or sins, i.e., great and just displeasure conceived by the ruler for thy sin and offenses, or his unjust and sinful displeasure taken for no cause: Whereas a contrary obstinancy and resistence does but exasperate his wrath and aggravate thine offense, verse 4.