16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
16 So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
16 But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.
16 All the same, I still say that wisdom is better than muscle, even though the wise poor man was treated with contempt and soon forgotten.
16 Then I said: "Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard.
16 So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:16
Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
(Read Ecclesiastes 9:13-18)
A man may, by his wisdom, bring to pass that which he could never do by his strength. If God be for us, who can be against us, or stand before us? Solomon observes the power of wisdom, though it may labour under outward disadvantages. How forcible are right words! But wise and good men must often content themselves with the satisfaction of having done good, or, at least, endeavoured to do it, when they cannot do the good they would, nor have the praise they should. How many of the good gifts, both of nature and Providence, does one sinner destroy and make waste! He who destroys his own soul destroys much good. One sinner may draw many into his destroying ways. See who are the friends and enemies of a kingdom or a family, if one saint does much good, and one sinner destroys much good.