“Whoever digs a pit
Will fall into it.
Whoever breaks through a wall,
Will be bitten by a snake.
Whoever quarries stones
Will be hurt by them.
Whoever splits logs
Will be endangered by them.
If the iron is blunt,
If one does not whet the edge,
Then more strength must be exerted.
But wisdom helps one to succeed.
If the serpent bites before it is charmed,
There is no advantage in a charmer.”
Here Qoheleth offers more wise advice. If you dig a pit, you probably will fall into it. If you break through a wall, you might find a snake ready to bite you on the other side. If you dig out stones, you might be hurt by them. If you split logs, they could hurt you. If you have a blunt edge and you do not sharpen it, you will have to use more force. Wisdom can help you to succeed. What is the advantage of being a snake charmer if the snake bites you before you can charm it?