Verse 27. Counting one by one - I have gone over every particular. I have compared one thing with another; man with woman, his wisdom with her wiles; his strength with her blandishments; his influence with her ascendancy; his powers of reason with her arts and cunning; and in a thousand men, I have found one thoroughly upright man; but among one thousand women I have not found one such. This is a lamentable account of the state of morals in Judea, in the days of the wise King Solomon.
Thank God! it would not be difficult to get a tithe of both in the same number in the present day.
The Targum gives this a curious turn: "There is another thing which my soul has sought, but could not find: a man perfect and innocent, and without corruption, from the days of Adam until Abraham the just was born; who was found faithful and upright among the thousand kings who came together to construct the tower of BHebel: but a woman like to Sarah among the wives of all those kings I have not found."
Verse 29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright - Whatever evil may be now found among men and women, it is not of God; for God made them all upright. This is a singular verse, and has been most variously translated: µybr twnbj wqb hmhw ry µdah ta µyhlah h[ asah haelohim eth haadam yashar vehemhah bikkeshu chishbonoth rabbim.
"Elohim has made mankind upright, and they have sought many computations."He hath meddled with endless questions." - VULGATE.
"Many reasonings." - SEPTUAGINT, SYRIAC, and ARABIC.
"They seek dyverse sotylties. "COVERDALE.
"And he himself mengide with questions without eend." - Old MS. Bible.
The Targum considers the text as speaking of Adam and Eve.
"This have I found out, that the Lord made the first man upright before him, and innocent: but the serpent and Eve seduced him to eat of the fruit of the tree, which gave the power to those who ate of it to discern between good and evil; and was the cause that death came upon him, and all the inhabitants of the earth; and they sought that they might find out many stratagems to bring this evil upon all the inhabitants of the world." I doubt much whether the word twnbj chishbonoth should be taken in a bad sense. It may signify the whole of human devices, imaginations, inventions, artifice, with all their products; arts, sciences, schemes, plans, and all that they have found out for the destruction or melioration of life.
God has given man wondrous faculties; and of them he has made strange uses, and sovereign abuses: and they have been, in consequence, at one time his help, and at another his bane. This is the fair way of understanding this question.