Ecclesiastes 


This book is a series of random reflections about various topics. We see that Solomon's wisdom failed him because he was not truly and deeply devoted to God. We should have suspected when he began to collect multiple wives, worship foreign gods, and practice child sacrifice.

He remarks on the hardships of this life and its seeming worthlessness in comparison with eternal life. Perhaps at the time he wrote this he had not truly repented of his unrighteous ways. It is not enough to wish God was with us; we must take action to call out to God and to amend our lives so that we please him. Mere faith without a life of holiness and righteousness is not sufficient for one wishing to serve and love God.



(Ecclesiastes 1:1) The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

(Ecclesiastes 1:2) Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

The writer has lost his perspective on life. The hardships and boredom of life are not the important thing, it is eternity in the new heavens and new earth that should be our focus.

(Ecclesiastes 1:3) What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

(Ecclesiastes 1:4) One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

The earth exists forever because the new heavens and new earth exists forever.

(Ecclesiastes 1:5) The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

This is not a profound verse; I hope no one thinks it is.

The image seems to be that after the sun sets it scurries around to the other side in time for sunrise.

(Ecclesiastes 1:6) The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

(Ecclesiastes 1:7) All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

He doesn't specifically mention that the water from the ocean evaporates and becomes clouds which rain onto the mountains.

(Ecclesiastes 1:8) All things are full of labour [weariness]; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

(Ecclesiastes 1:9) The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

He seems wearied because of the repeating patterns of life such as having to eat and sleep daily. I doubt if he is talking about the long historical view of the rise and fall of empires.

(Ecclesiastes 1:10) Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

Certainly us humans need variety and freshness in our experiences. But the kind of attitude here seems like major depression in which nothing brings joy.

(Ecclesiastes 1:11) There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Life is fleeting and everyone forgets the past. Actually, I disagree with this. In my view memories are not lost, they remain permanently in the spiritual realm.


(Ecclesiastes 1:12) I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

(Ecclesiastes 1:13) And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail [heavy burden] hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

This wisdom spoken of does not appear to be the Godly kind of wisdom but, rather, a carnal wisdom. People usually assume there is only one kind of wisdom but based on the various Bible passages using this word, this simply can't be the case. Wisdom is more like a human power that can have as its focus things of God or things of the world.

(Ecclesiastes 1:14) I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 1:15) That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

(Ecclesiastes 1:16) I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

What he is calling wisdom is lacking the spiritual emphasis.

(Ecclesiastes 1:17) And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 1:18) For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

His conclusion is simply mistaken. It was true for him only because of his loss of focus.

(Ecclesiastes 2:1) I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 2:2) I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?

(Ecclesiastes 2:3) I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

He had deluded himself into thinking that these excursions into substance abuse was guided by wisdom.

(Ecclesiastes 2:4) I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

(Ecclesiastes 2:5) I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:

(Ecclesiastes 2:6) I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:

(Ecclesiastes 2:7) I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

(Ecclesiastes 2:8) I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

(Ecclesiastes 2:9) So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

(Ecclesiastes 2:10) And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

He was lacking the discipline of self-control.

(Ecclesiastes 2:11) Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 2:12) And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

(Ecclesiastes 2:13) Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

(Ecclesiastes 2:14) The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

(Ecclesiastes 2:15) Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 2:16) For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.

(Ecclesiastes 2:17) Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 2:18) Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

(Ecclesiastes 2:19) And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 2:20) Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 2:21) For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

(Ecclesiastes 2:22) For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

(Ecclesiastes 2:23) For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 2:24) There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

(Ecclesiastes 2:25) For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

(Ecclesiastes 2:26) For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.


(Ecclesiastes 3:1) To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Even throughout the course of a single day there is a time for everything. First we get up and get ready for the day, and at the end we go to sleep. But none of this should be a cause for sadness or distress. People who are depressed may think that this dull routine is, well, depressing, but it need not be so.

(Ecclesiastes 3:2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

(Ecclesiastes 3:3) A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

(Ecclesiastes 3:4) A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

(Ecclesiastes 3:5) A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

(Ecclesiastes 3:6) A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

(Ecclesiastes 3:7) A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

(Ecclesiastes 3:8) A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


(Ecclesiastes 3:9) What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

(Ecclesiastes 3:10) I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

(Ecclesiastes 3:11) He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

(Ecclesiastes 3:12) I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

(Ecclesiastes 3:13) And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

(Ecclesiastes 3:14) I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

This is quite an inspirational verse. Our proper role is to acknowledge God's power and glory, and to be afraid of his righteous judgment. When people overtly sin they are showing their utter lack of disregard for God and his rule over us.

We can't add to or take away from God's work; it is perfect as it is. God's work lasts forever; we don't need to worry that our eternal salvation might end someday.

(Ecclesiastes 3:15) That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

(Ecclesiastes 3:16) And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

(Ecclesiastes 3:17) I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

God's judgment will be just. The wicked will be judged unfavorably for their wickedness.

During judgment, God will examine our every thought (purpose) and our every action (work); he will take all the time required for this judgment.

(Ecclesiastes 3:18) I said in mine heart concerning the estate of [in regards to] the sons of men, that God might manifest [test] them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

Solomon seems to be referring to the wicked humans in these verses. The wicked are no better than animals and will go down to sheol along with the animals.

(Ecclesiastes 3:19) For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

Humans and animals all one day die. While alive, humans and animals all breathe.

(Ecclesiastes 3:20) All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

The bodies of humans and animals all return to the dust when they die.

(Ecclesiastes 3:21) Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

People assume this verse says the souls of animals go down into the earth when they die. But this simply can't be true. Souls are spiritual whereas the earth is a physical object. Souls are forever consigned to living in the spiritual realm and can never leave the spiritual realm.

The Old Testament often speaks of the after-death state as occurring down in the earth, in sheol. But apparently there was also the concept that some, the truly righteous, were spared this fate and went up into heaven.

This verse seems to be saying that the souls of most humans and of all animals go into sheol to await some unknown final judgment and possible redemption, but that a few righteous human souls will enjoy heaven with God before this. I suppose this sheol is the same as purgatory for some, for those who are among the redeemed.

The future state after death is unknown to us who are alive now.

Perhaps the soul (spirit) of a human goes up because we have moral accountability in a way animals don't; the "up" refers to purgatory. The spirit of an animal goes "down", meaning, some other place in the spiritual realm.

(Ecclesiastes 3:22) Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

Since we are judged by our works, the best we can do to hope to go to heaven directly is to have good works.

While we can hope in our glorious eternal future life, all we can do today is live this life.

(Ecclesiastes 4:1) So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

(Ecclesiastes 4:2) Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

(Ecclesiastes 4:3) Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 4:4) Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 4:5) The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.

(Ecclesiastes 4:6) Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 4:7) Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 4:8) There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

(Ecclesiastes 4:9) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

(Ecclesiastes 4:10) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

(Ecclesiastes 4:11) Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

(Ecclesiastes 4:12) And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

(Ecclesiastes 4:13) Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.

(Ecclesiastes 4:14) For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.

(Ecclesiastes 4:15) I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.

(Ecclesiastes 4:16) There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 5:1) Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

(Ecclesiastes 5:2) Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

(Ecclesiastes 5:3) For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

(Ecclesiastes 5:4) When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

(Ecclesiastes 5:5) Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

(Ecclesiastes 5:6) Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

(Ecclesiastes 5:7) For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

(Ecclesiastes 5:8) If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

(Ecclesiastes 5:9) Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.

(Ecclesiastes 5:10) He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 5:11) When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

(Ecclesiastes 5:12) The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

(Ecclesiastes 5:13) There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

(Ecclesiastes 5:14) But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.

(Ecclesiastes 5:15) As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

(Ecclesiastes 5:16) And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

(Ecclesiastes 5:17) All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

(Ecclesiastes 5:18) Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

(Ecclesiastes 5:19) Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

(Ecclesiastes 5:20) For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

(Ecclesiastes 6:1) There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:

The evil referred to is not necessarily that of sin but can refer to general struggles and to the pain and suffering of living in this fallen world, including death.

(Ecclesiastes 6:2) A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

This, of course, doesn't happen to everyone so the writer is being a bit overly melodramatic, but this verse refers to those it does happen to. Notice the emphasis on wealth: If you have it, good; if you lose it, not good.

(Ecclesiastes 6:3) If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely [stillborn] birth is better than he.

Are we to take the writer seriously? Really, 100 children? Is it really better to die before birth than to not have a proper burial? This implies that a significant minority of humans should not have been born. Weird. The phrase "soul not filled with good" refers to prosperity: again an unhealthy emphasis on wealth. Certainly it is good to have our needs met, including our spiritual need to commune with God.

(Ecclesiastes 6:4) For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

(Ecclesiastes 6:5) Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.

Still going on about the one who died before birth.

(Ecclesiastes 6:6) Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

No one lives 2,000 years except in the new heavens and new earth: those live bodily forever.

They had a wrong view of the afterlife. I doubt if the writer is merely referring to each person's death; he seems to be commenting on where they go afterwards.

(Ecclesiastes 6:7) All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

We struggle all our lives to provide food but this does not truly satisfy. Only eternal life in the new heavens and new earth can satisfy our deepest hunger; our spiritual hunger; our thirst for union and companionship with God.

(Ecclesiastes 6:8) For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

(Ecclesiastes 6:9) Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

To desire something but never get it fulfilled is troubling; unless of course the desires are sinful.

(Ecclesiastes 6:10) That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

(Ecclesiastes 6:11) Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

(Ecclesiastes 6:12) For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

(Ecclesiastes 7:1) A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

(Ecclesiastes 7:2) It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

(Ecclesiastes 7:3) Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Perhaps the writer is referring to giddy drunken laughter. And he neglects to mention the third option, of quiet meditative reflection. His thinking is marked by dualistic extremes: laughter vs. sorrow. There is no middle ground for this writer, no compromise, no sanity, no connectedness with reality. Probably he is suffering from a psychological disorder of some sort. No wonder others suffering from depression and such claim to relate so strongly to this book.

(Ecclesiastes 7:4) The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

(Ecclesiastes 7:5) It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

(Ecclesiastes 7:6) For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 7:7) Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

(Ecclesiastes 7:8) Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

(Ecclesiastes 7:9) Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

(Ecclesiastes 7:10) Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.

(Ecclesiastes 7:11) Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 7:12) For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

(Ecclesiastes 7:13) Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

(Ecclesiastes 7:14) In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

(Ecclesiastes 7:15) All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

Living a holy and righteous life does not guarantee a life free from troubles.

(Ecclesiastes 7:16) Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?

(Ecclesiastes 7:17) Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

(Ecclesiastes 7:18) It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

(Ecclesiastes 7:19) Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.

(Ecclesiastes 7:20) For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

(Ecclesiastes 7:21) Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:

(Ecclesiastes 7:22) For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

We should avoid thinking bad things about others, but in our frustration with day to day life we do it anyway. We even see this in small children. I think there may be some people who are free from this bad habit.

(Ecclesiastes 7:23) All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

(Ecclesiastes 7:24) That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?

(Ecclesiastes 7:25) I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

(Ecclesiastes 7:26) And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

(Ecclesiastes 7:27) Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:

(Ecclesiastes 7:28) Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.

(Ecclesiastes 7:29) Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

(Ecclesiastes 8:1) Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.

(Ecclesiastes 8:2) I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.

(Ecclesiastes 8:3) Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

(Ecclesiastes 8:4) Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

(Ecclesiastes 8:5) Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

(Ecclesiastes 8:6) Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

(Ecclesiastes 8:7) For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?

(Ecclesiastes 8:8) There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

(Ecclesiastes 8:9) All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.

(Ecclesiastes 8:10) And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 8:11) Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

(Ecclesiastes 8:12) Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

(Ecclesiastes 8:13) But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

(Ecclesiastes 8:14) There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 8:15) Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 8:16) When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

(Ecclesiastes 8:17) Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

(Ecclesiastes 9:1) For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.

(Ecclesiastes 9:2) All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

(Ecclesiastes 9:3) This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

(Ecclesiastes 9:4) For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

(Ecclesiastes 9:5) For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

The previous verses emphasize that we all die but that we should prefer living and not wish to die. Of course, this ignores that conditions in the new heavens and new earth are radically superior to conditions in this life.

The author of this book is clearly weary of life and has a warped concept concerning the joy and blessing of those who serve and worship God. The author morbidly compares conditions for us who are living with those who are dead. The living have death to look forward to; the dead are forgotten by the living. But God remembers everyone, living and dead. And God blesses those who love him, who serve him, who obey him, and who worship him. Those who choose to spend eternity with God will enjoy the resurrected body and eternity in the new heavens and new earth. The author does not seem to be aware of any of this good news but dwells on his own tiredness and despair.

(Ecclesiastes 9:6) Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 9:7) Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

(Ecclesiastes 9:8) Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.

(Ecclesiastes 9:9) Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 9:10) Whatsoever [whatever] thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work [activity], nor device [planning], nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither [where] thou goest.

This is a dumb reason to do things while alive; you do things now because you can't do anything after death. We should, rather, do things now for the sake of doing them now and to worship the God who created us with the ability and desire to do things. This verse highlights that Solomon had fallen into a deep serious depression and despair.

This verse ignores the glorious eternal future awaiting us in new heavens and new earth.

(Ecclesiastes 9:11) I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

(Ecclesiastes 9:12) For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

(Ecclesiastes 9:13) This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:

(Ecclesiastes 9:14) There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

(Ecclesiastes 9:15) Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

(Ecclesiastes 9:16) Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

(Ecclesiastes 9:17) The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

(Ecclesiastes 9:18) Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

(Ecclesiastes 10:1) Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

(Ecclesiastes 10:2) A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

(Ecclesiastes 10:3) Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

(Ecclesiastes 10:4) If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

(Ecclesiastes 10:5) There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

(Ecclesiastes 10:6) Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.

(Ecclesiastes 10:7) I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

(Ecclesiastes 10:8) He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

(Ecclesiastes 10:9) Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

(Ecclesiastes 10:10) 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.

(Ecclesiastes 10:11) Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

(Ecclesiastes 10:12) The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

(Ecclesiastes 10:13) The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

(Ecclesiastes 10:14) A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

(Ecclesiastes 10:15) The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

(Ecclesiastes 10:16) Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

(Ecclesiastes 10:17) 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!

(Ecclesiastes 10:18) By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

(Ecclesiastes 10:19) A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

(Ecclesiastes 10:20) 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.

We should be careful not to entertain thoughts in our heart that we would not want certain people to know about. But in an exploitative environment it is hard not to feel exploited; but we must hold our tongue.

(Ecclesiastes 11:1) Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

(Ecclesiastes 11:2) Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

(Ecclesiastes 11:3) If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

(Ecclesiastes 11:4) He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

(Ecclesiastes 11:5) As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

(Ecclesiastes 11:6) In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

(Ecclesiastes 11:7) Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:

(Ecclesiastes 11:8) But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 11:9) Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways [impulses] of thine heart, and in the sight [desires] of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

This is terrible advice; that young people are to allow their passions and desires to control them when they are young but that they will be judged unfavorably for this. This is the weird kind of thinking that allowed Solomon to have 1,000 wives or concubines. He was a worldly man, not a saintly man.

(Ecclesiastes 11:10) Therefore remove sorrow [anxiety] from thy heart, and put away evil [pain and suffering] from thy flesh [body]: for childhood and youth [the prime of life] are vanity [fleeting].

Don't suffer bodily or mentally when you are young because you will all-too-soon become old.

(Ecclesiastes 12:1) Remember now [also] thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh [near], when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

Remember God when you are young. This book appears to be written for young people, to instruct them about how to live when they are young. But there is so much emphasis on how rotten it is being old that I can't imagine a young person being interested in the advice in this book; why would they read it? It is so morbid. I've encountered several marginal Christians, if they were even Christians at all, who seemed to find great comfort in this book. But I doubt if they read it more than once, and reveled in its morbidity.

(Ecclesiastes 12:2) While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

(Ecclesiastes 12:3) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

(Ecclesiastes 12:4) And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

(Ecclesiastes 12:5) Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

(Ecclesiastes 12:6) Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

(Ecclesiastes 12:7) Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

When we die, the body becomes mere lifeless elements, and the soul returns back to God. Does he mean by this that the soul is extinguished? Or that it merges into God losing its identity as a separate person?

(Ecclesiastes 12:8) Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

(Ecclesiastes 12:9) And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.

(Ecclesiastes 12:10) The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

(Ecclesiastes 12:11) The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

(Ecclesiastes 12:12) And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

(Ecclesiastes 12:13) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

(Ecclesiastes 12:14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


King James Version