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Ecclesiastes 12:11-12 meaning...

This offers profound wisdom about the value of knowledge, teaching, and the pursuit of wisdom. This passage speaks to the timeless quest for understanding and encourages us to recognize the importance of seeking knowledge while remaining aware of its limitations. The phrase "words of the wise" refers to the teachings and insights offered by those who possess wisdom. The imagery of "goads" and "nails well fastened" conveys the impact and lasting nature of wise words. Goads were pointed sticks used to guide and direct animals, symbolizing how wisdom can prod and guide us in the right direction. Nails well fastened represent the lasting influence of wisdom on our lives.

  • "Words from the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd." 
This line emphasizes the unity of wisdom's message across different sources. It highlights the harmony of teachings that originate from a singular source—the ultimate Shepherd, often interpreted as God.
  • "Furthermore, my son, be admonished..." 
This phrase marks a shift in tone, as the passage offers advice to the reader. It acknowledges the value of seeking knowledge but also cautions against excessive pursuits that lead to weariness.
  • "Of making many books there is no end..." 
This part of the passage speaks to the seemingly endless production of written works, which echoes the overwhelming abundance of information in our modern world. It acknowledges that the pursuit of knowledge can become endless and potentially exhausting.
  • "Much study is a weariness of the flesh." 
The passage concludes by recognizing that excessive intellectual pursuits can lead to weariness or exhaustion. It acknowledges the potential pitfalls of overindulgence in seeking knowledge.

Applying this passage to our lives, we can see that it invites us to embrace the pursuit of wisdom while maintaining balance. Wisdom, like goads and well-fastened nails, provides guidance and leaves a lasting impact on our lives. We should value the teachings of the wise and recognize their unity in their source—the divine Shepherd.


The caution against endless book-making and excessive study serves as a reminder to find a healthy balance in our pursuit of knowledge. In the age of information overload, discernment is crucial. We should strive for meaningful understanding rather than simply amassing facts. This passage encourages us to seek wisdom that leads to a deeper understanding of life and our relationship with God.

In conclusion, Ecclesiastes 12:11-12 offers timeless wisdom about the value of knowledge and the pursuit of wisdom. It reminds us that wisdom's teachings are like guiding goads and lasting nails, impacting our lives. While the pursuit of knowledge is important, we should be mindful of striking a balance and avoiding the weariness that can come from excessive study. By seeking wisdom with discernment and embracing teachings that align with the ultimate Shepherd, we can navigate the vast sea of information and find deeper meaning in our quest for understanding.


Ecclesiastes 12:11-12. The words of the wise are like goads; and like nails well fastened are words from the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.