1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles

Song of Songs



1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy

1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John

Revelation 1-11
Revelation 12-22

Notes on Ecclesiastes
From the Original 1599 Geneva Bible Notes

Ec 1:1

1:1 The words of the {a} Preacher, the son of David, king of Jerusalem.

The Argument - Solomon as a preacher and one that desired to instruct all in the way of salvation, describes the deceivable vanities of this world: that man should not be addicted to anything under the sun, but rather inflamed with the desire of the heavenly life: therefore he confutes their opinions, which set their happiness either in knowledge or in pleasures, or in dignity and riches, wishing that man's true happiness consists in that he is united with God and will enjoy his presence: so that all other things must be rejected, save in as much as they further us to attain to this heavenly treasure, which is sure and permanent, and cannot be found in any other save in God alone.

      (a) Solomon is here called a preacher, or one who assembles the people, because he teaches the true knowledge of God, and how men ought to pass their life in this transitory world.

Ec 1:2

1:2 {b} Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all [is] vanity.

      (b) He condemns the opinions of all men who set happiness in anything but in God alone, seeing that in this world all things are as vanity and nothing.

Ec 1:3

1:3 What profit hath a man of all his {c} labour which he taketh under the sun?

      (c) Solomon does not condemn man's labour or diligence, but shows that there is no full contentment in anything under the heavens, nor in any creature, as all things are transitory.

Ec 1:4

1:4 [One] generation passeth away, and [another] generation cometh: but the earth abideth for {d} ever.

      (d) One man dies after another, and the earth remains longest, even to the last day, which yet is subject to corruption.

Ec 1:6

1:6 The {e} wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about to the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to its circuits.

      (e) By the sun, wind and rivers, he shows that the greatest labour and longest has an end, and therefore there can be no happiness in this world.

Ec 1:7

1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea [is] not full; to the place from {f} which the rivers come, there they return again.

      (f) The sea which compasses all the earth, fills the veins of it which pour out springs and rivers into the sea again.

Ec 1:9

1:9 {g} 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.

      (g) He speaks of times and seasons, and things done in them, which as they have been in times past, so come they to pass again.

Ec 1:12

1:12 {h} I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

      (h) He proves that if any could have attained happiness in this world by labour and study, he should have obtained it, because he had gifts and aids from God to it above all others.

Ec 1:13

1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all [things] that are done under heaven: this grievous labour hath God given to the sons of man {i} to be exercised with it.

      (i) Man by nature has a desire to know, and yet is not able to come to the perfection of knowledge, which is the punishment of sin, to humble man, and to teach him to depend only on God.

Ec 1:15

1:15 [That which is] {k} crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is lacking cannot be numbered.

      (k) Man is not able by all his diligence to cause things to go other than they do: neither can he number the faults that are committed, much less remedy them.

Ec 1:17

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

      (l) That is, vain things, which served to pleasure, in which was no convenience, but grief and trouble of conscience.

Ec 1:18

1:18 For in much wisdom [is] much {m} grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

      (m) Wisdom and knowledge cannot be come by without great pain of body and mind: for when a man has attained the highest, yet is his mind never fully content: therefore in this world is no true happiness.

Ec 2:1

2:1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will tempt {a} thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also [is] vanity.

      (a) Solomon makes this discourse with himself, as though he would try whether there was contentment in ease and pleasures.

Ec 2:3

2:3 I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with {b} 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.

      (b) Even though I gave myself to pleasures, yet I thought to keep wisdom and the fear of God in my heart, and govern my affairs by the same.

Ec 2:7

2:7 I procured [me] male and female servants, and had servants born in my {c} house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

      (c) Meaning, of the servants or slaves which he had bought, so the children born in their servitude, were the masters.

Ec 2:8

2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the special treasure of kings and of the provinces: I procured me male and female singers, and the {d} delights of the sons of men, {e} [as] musical instruments, and of all sorts.

      (d) That is, whatever men take pleasure in.
      (e) Or, the most beautiful of the women that were taken in war, as in Jud 5:30.

Ec 2:9

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

      (f) For all this God did not take his gift of wisdom from me.

Ec 2:10

2:10 And whatever my 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 {g} portion of all my labour.

      (g) This was the fruit of all my labour, a certain pleasure mixed with care, which he calls vanity in the next verse.

Ec 2:12

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

      (h) I thought to myself whether it was better to follow wisdom, or my own affections and pleasures, which he calls madness.

Ec 2:14

2:14 The wise man's {i} eyes [are] in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one {k} event happeneth to them all.

      (i) Meaning, in this world.
      (k) For both die and are forgotten as in Ec 2:16 or they both alike have prosperity or adversity.

Ec 2:16

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

      (l) Meaning, in this world.
      (m) He wonders that men forget a wise man, being dead, as soon as they do a fool.

Ec 2:20

2:20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart {n} to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

      (n) That I might seek the true happiness which is in God.

Ec 2:21

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 in it shall he {o} leave it [for] his portion. This also [is] vanity and a great evil.

      (o) Among other griefs that was not the least, to leave that which he had gotten by great travail, to one who had taken no pain therefore and whom he know not whether he were a wise man or a fool.

Ec 2:24

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

      (p) When man has all laboured, he can get no more than food and refreshing, yet he confesses also that this comes from God's blessing, as in Ec 3:13.

Ec 2:25

2:25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten {q} [to it], more than I?

      (q) Meaning, to pleasures.

Ec 3:1

3:1 To every [thing there is] a {a} season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

      (a) He speaks of this diversity of time for two causes first to declare that there is nothing in this world perpetual: next to teach us not to be grieved, if we have not all things at once according to our desires, neither enjoy them so long as we would wish.

Ec 3:10

3:10 I have seen the labour, which God hath given to the sons of men {b} to be exercised in it.

      (b) Read Ec 1:13.

Ec 3:11

3:11 He hath made every [thing] beautiful in its time: also he hath set the {c} world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

      (c) God has given man a desire and affection to seek out the things of this world, and to labour in it.

Ec 3:13

3:13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it [is] the {d} gift of God.

      (d) Read Ec 2:24 and these places declare that we should do all things with sobriety and in the fear of God, as he gives not his gifts to the intent that they should be abused.

Ec 3:14

3:14 I know that, whatever God doeth, it shall be for {e} ever: nothing can be added to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth [it], that [men] should fear before him.

      (e) That is, man will never be able to prevent God's work, but as he has determined so it will come to pass.

Ec 3:15

3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God {f} requireth that which is past.

      (f) God only causes what which is past, to return.

Ec 3:17

3:17 I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for [there is] a time {g} there for every purpose and for every work.

      (g) Meaning, with God, however man neglects his duty.

Ec 3:18

3:18 I said in my heart concerning the state of the sons of men, that God might {h} tempt them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

      (h) And made them pure in their first creation.

Ec 3:19

3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing {i} 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.

      (i) Man is not able by his reason and judgment to put differences between man and beast, as concerning those things to which both are subject: for the eye cannot judge any otherwise of a man being dead than of a beast, which is dead: yet by the word of God and faith we easily know the diversity as in Ec 3:21.

Ec 3:21

3:21 Who {k} knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

      (k) Meaning, that reason cannot comprehend that which faith believes in.

Ec 3:22

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

      (l) By the often repetition of this sentence as in Ec 2:24,3:12,22,5:17,8:15 he declares that man by reason can comprehend nothing better in this life than to use the gifts of God soberly and comfortably: for to know further, is a special gift of God revealed by his Spirit.

Ec 4:1

4:1 So {a} 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.

      (a) He makes here another discourse with himself concerning the tyranny of them that oppressed the poor.

Ec 4:2

4:2 Wherefore I praised the {b} dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

      (b) Because they are no longer subject to these oppressions.

Ec 4:3

4:3 Yea, {c} better [is he] than both they, who hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

      (c) He speaks according to the judgment of the flesh which cannot abide to feel or see troubles.

Ec 4:4

4:4 Again, I considered all labour, and every {d} right work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbour. This [is] also vanity and vexation of spirit.

      (d) The more perfect that the work is, the more it is envied by the wicked.

Ec 4:5

4:5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and {e} eateth his own flesh.

      (e) For idleness he is compelled to destroy himself.

Ec 4:9

4:9 {f} Two [are] better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

      (f) As when man is alone, he can neither help himself nor others, he shows that men should live in mutual society to the intent that they may be profitable one to another, and that their things may increase.

Ec 4:12

4:12 And if one prevaileth against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold {g} cord is not quickly broken.

      (g) By this proverb he declares how necessary it is, that men should live in society.

Ec 4:14

4:14 For out of {h} prison he cometh to reign; though also [he that is] {i} born in his kingdom becometh poor.

      (h) That is, from a poor and base estate or out of trouble and prison as Joseph did, Ge 41:14.
      (i) Meaning, that is born a king.

Ec 4:15

4:15 I considered all the living who walk under the sun, {k} with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.

      (k) Who follow and flatter the king's son, or him that will succeed to enter into credit with them in hope of gain.

Ec 4:16

4:16 [There is] no {l} 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.

      (l) They never cease by all means to creep into favour, but when they do not obtain their greedy desires they think themselves abused, as others have been in times past, and so care no more for him.

Ec 5:1

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

      (m) That is, with what affection you come to hear the word of God.
      (n) Meaning, of the wicked, who think to please God with common uses, and have neither faith nor repentance.

Ec 5:2

5:2 Be not {a} rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter [any] thing before God: for God [is] in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be {b} few.

      (a) Either in vowing or in praying, meaning, that we should use all reverence toward God.
      (b) He hears you not for the sake of your many words or often repetitions, but considers your faith and servant's mind.

Ec 5:4

5:4 When thou vowest a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast {c} vowed.

      (c) He speaks of vows which are approved by God's word and serve to his glory.

Ec 5:6

5:6 Allow not thy mouth to cause thy {d} flesh to sin; neither say thou before the {e} angel, that it [was] an error: why should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thy hands?

      (d) Do not cause yourself to sin by vowing rashly as they do who make a vow to live unmarried and such like.
      (e) That is, before God's messenger when he will examine your doing, as though your ignorance should be a just excuse.

Ec 5:8

5:8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, wonder not at the matter: for [he that is] {f} higher than the highest regardeth; and [there are] higher than they.

      (f) Meaning, that God will address these things, and therefore we must depend on him.

Ec 5:9

5:9 Moreover the {g} profit of the earth is for all: the king {h} [himself] is served by the field.

      (g) The earth is to be preferred above all things which belong to this life.
      (h) Kings and princes cannot maintain their estate without tillage, which commends the excellency of tillage.

Ec 5:12

5:12 The sleep of a labouring man [is] sweet, whether he eateth little or much: but the {i} abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

      (i) That is, his great abundance of riches, or the surfeiting, which comes by his great feeding.

Ec 5:13

5:13 There is a grievous evil [which] I have seen under the sun, [namely], riches {k} kept for the owners of them to their hurt.

      (k) When covetous men heap up riches, which turn to their destruction.

Ec 5:14

5:14 But those riches perish by evil labour: and he begetteth a son, and [there is] nothing in his {l} hand.

      (l) He does not enjoy his father's riches.

Ec 5:16

5:16 And this also [is] a grievous evil, [that] in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the {m} wind?

      (m) Meaning, in vain and without profit.

Ec 5:17

5:17 All his days also he eateth in {n} darkness, and [he hath] much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

      (n) In affliction and grief of mind.

Ec 5:18

5:18 Behold [that] which I have seen: [it is] good and proper [for one] to {o} 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.

      (o) Read Geneva "Ec 3:22"

Ec 5:20

5:20 For he shall not much remember the days of his {p} life; because God answereth [him] in the joy of his heart.

      (p) He will take no great thought for the pains that he has endured in times past.

Ec 6:2

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

      (a) He shows that it is the plague of God when the rich man does not have a liberal heart to use his riches.

Ec 6:3

6:3 If a man begetteth an hundred [children], and liveth many years, so that the days of his years are many, and his soul is not {b} filled with good, and also [that] he hath no {c} burial; I say, [that] an untimely birth [is] better than he.

      (b) If he can never have enough.
      (c) As we see often that the covetous man either falls into crimes that deserve death, or is murdered or drowned or hangs himself or such like and so lacks the honour of burial, which is the last office of humanity.

Ec 6:4

6:4 For {d} he cometh with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

      (d) Meaning, the untimely fruit whose life neither profited nor hurt any.

Ec 6:7

6:7 All the labour of man [is] for his mouth, and yet the {e} appetite is not filled.

      (e) His desire and affection.

Ec 6:9

6:9 Better [is] the {g} sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this [is] also vanity and vexation of spirit.

      (g) To be content with that which God has given is better than to follow the desires that can never be satisfied.

Ec 6:10

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 {h} mightier than he.

      (h) Meaning, God who will make him feel that he is mortal.

Ec 6:12

6:12 For who knoweth what [is] {a} 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?

      (a) There is no state in which man can live to have perfect quietness in this life.

Ec 7:1

7:1 A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of {b} death than the day of one's birth.

      (b) He speaks thus after the judgment of the flesh, which thinks death is the end of all evils, or else because this corporal death is the entering into everlasting life.

Ec 7:2

7:2 [It is] better to go to the house of {c} 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.

      (c) Where we may see the hand of God and learn to examine our lives.

Ec 7:6

7:6 For as the crackling of {d} thorns under a pot, so [is] the laughter of the fool: this also [is] vanity.

      (d) Which crackle for a while and profit nothing.

Ec 7:7

7:7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man {e} mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

      (e) A man that is esteemed wise, when he falls to oppression, becomes like a beast.

Ec 7:8

7:8 Better [is] the {f} end of a thing than its beginning: [and] the patient in spirit [is] better than the proud in spirit.

      (f) He notes their lightness who attempt a thing and suddenly leave it off again.

Ec 7:10

7:10 Say not thou, What is [the cause] that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire {g} wisely concerning this.

      (g) Murmur not against God when he sends adversities for man's sins.

Ec 7:11

7:11 Wisdom [is] good with an {h} inheritance: and [by it there is] profit to them that see the sun.

      (h) He answers to them who do not value wisdom unless riches are joined with it, showing that both are the gifts of God, but that wisdom is far more excellent and may be without riches.

Ec 7:14

7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity {i} consider: God also hath appointed the one as well as the other, to the end that man should find {k} nothing after him.

      (i) Consider why God sends it and what may comfort you.
      (k) That man should be able to control nothing in his works.

Ec 7:15

7:15 All [things] have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just [man] that perisheth in his {l} righteousness, and there is a wicked [man] that prolongeth [his life] in his wickedness.

      (l) Meaning that cruel tyrants put the godly to death and let the wicked go free.

Ec 7:16

7:16 Be not righteous {m} over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

      (m) Do not boast too much of your own justice and wisdom.

Ec 7:17

7:17 Be not {n} over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

      (n) Do not tarry long when you are admonished to come out of the way of wickedness.

Ec 7:18

7:18 [It is] good that thou shouldest take hold of {o} this; yea, also from {p} this withdraw not thy hand: for he that feareth God shall escape from them all.

      (o) That is, on these admonitions that go before.
      (p) Consider what desolation and destruction will come, if you do not obey them.

Ec 7:21

7:21 Also take no {q} heed to all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:

      (q) Credit them not, neither care for them.

Ec 7:24

7:24 That which is far off, {r} and exceedingly deep, who can find it out?

      (r) Meaning wisdom.

Ec 7:27

7:27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, [counting] one by one, to {s} find out the account:

      (s) That is, to come to a conclusion.

Ec 7:29

7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many {t} devices.

      (t) And so are cause for their own destruction.

Ec 8:1

8:1 Who [is] as the wise [man]? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face {a} to shine, and {b} the boldness of his face shall be changed.

      (a) That is, gets him favour and prosperity.
      (b) While before he was proud and arrogant, he will become humble and meek.

Ec 8:2

8:2 I [counsel thee] to keep the king's {c} commandment, and [that] in regard of the oath of God.

      (c) That is, that you obey the king and keep the oath that you have made for the same cause.

Ec 8:3

8:3 {d} Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatever pleaseth him.

      (d) Do not withdraw from yourself lightly from the obedience of your prince.

Ec 8:5

8:5 He who keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both {e} time and judgment.

      (e) That is, when time is to obey, and how far he should obey.

Ec 8:6

8:6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the {f} misery of man [is] great upon him.

      (f) Man by himself is miserable, and therefore should do nothing to increase the same, but to work all things by wisdom and counsel.

Ec 8:8

8:8 [There is] no man that hath power {g} 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.

      (g) Man has no power to save his own life and therefore must not rashly cast himself into danger.

Ec 8:9

8:9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: [there is] a time in which one man ruleth over another to his own {h} hurt.

      (h) As comes often to tyrants and wicked rulers.

Ec 8:10

8:10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and {i} gone from the {k} place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this [is] also vanity.

      (i) That is, others as wicked as they.
      (k) They who feared God and worshipped him as he had appointed.

Ec 8:11

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

      (l) Where justice is delayed, there sin reigns.

Ec 8:14

8:14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are just [men], to whom it happeneth according to the {m} work of the wicked; again, there are wicked [men], to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also [is] vanity.

      (m) Who are punished as though they were wicked, as in Ec 7:17

Ec 8:15

8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than {n} 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.

      (n) Read Geneva "Ec 3:22"

Ec 9:1

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 {a} hatred [by] all [that is] before them.

      (a) Meaning, what things he ought to chose or refuse: or man knows not by these outward things that is, by prosperity or adversity, whom God favours or hates, for he sends them as well to the wicked as to the godly.

Ec 9:3

9:3 This [is] an evil among all [things] that are done under the sun, that [there is] one {b} event to 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.

      (b) In outward things, as riches and poverty, sickness and health, there is no difference between the godly and the wicked but the difference is that the godly are assured by faith of God's favour and assistance.

Ec 9:4

9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a {c} living dog is better than a dead lion.

      (c) He notes the Epicurean and carnal men, who made their body their god, and had no pleasure in this life, wishing rather to be an abased and vile person in this life, then a man of authority and so to die, which is meant by the dog and lion.

Ec 9:7

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

      (d) They flatter themselves to be in God's favour, because they have all things in abundance.

Ec 9:8

9:8 Let thy garments be always {e} white; and let thy head lack no ointment.

      (e) Rejoice, be merry and spare for no cost, thus speak the wicked belly-gods.

Ec 9:11

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 {f} chance happeneth to them all.

      (f) Thus the worldlings say to prove that all things are lawful for them and attribute that to chance and fortune which is done by the providence of God.

Ec 9:12

9:12 For man also knoweth not his {g} 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.

      (g) That is, he does not foresee what will come.

Ec 10:2

10:2 A {a} wise man's heart [is] at his right hand; but a fool's heart [is] at his left.

      (a) So that he does all things well and justly, where as the fool does the contrary.

Ec 10:3

10:3 Also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth [him], and he {b} saith to every one [that] he [is] a fool.

      (b) By his doings he betrays himself.

Ec 10:4

10:4 If the {c} spirit of the ruler riseth against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

      (c) If your superior is angry with you, be discrete and not moved.

Ec 10:5

10:5 There is an evil [which] I have seen under the sun, as an {d} error [which] proceedeth from the ruler:

      (d) Meaning that it is an evil thing when they who are in authority fail and do not do their duty.

Ec 10:6

10:6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the {e} rich sit in low place.

      (e) They who are rich in wisdom and virtue.

Ec 10:10

10:10 If the iron is blunt, and he doth not whet the edge, then must he use more {f} strength: but wisdom [is] profitable to direct.

      (f) Without wisdom, whatever a man takes in hand, turns to his own hurt.

Ec 10:15

10:15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the {g} city.

      (g) The ignorance and beastliness of the wicked is such that they know not common things, and yet will discuss high matters.

Ec 10:16

10:16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king [is] a {h} child, and thy princes {i} eat in the morning!

      (h) That is, without wisdom and counsel.
      (i) Are given to their lusts and pleasures.

Ec 10:17

10:17 Blessed [art] thou, O land, when thy king [is] the son {k} of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

      (k) Meaning, when he is noble for virtue and wisdom and with the gifts of God.

Ec 10:20

10:20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a {l} bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

      (l) You cannot work evil so secretly that it will not be known.

Ec 11:1

11:1 Cast thy bread upon the {a} waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

      (a) That is, be liberal to the poor, and though it seems to be as a thing ventured on the sea, yet it will bring you profit.

Ec 11:3

11:3 If the {b} clouds are full of rain, they empty [themselves] upon the earth: and if the {c} tree falleth toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

      (b) As the clouds that are full pour out rain, so the rich that have abundance must distribute it liberally.
      (c) He exhorts to be liberal while we live: for after, there is no power.

Ec 11:4

11:4 He that observeth the {d} wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

      (d) He who fears inconveniences when need requires will never do his duty.

Ec 11:6

11:6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening {e} withhold not thy hand: for thou knowest not which shall prosper, either this or {f} that, or whether they both [shall be] alike good.

      (e) Be not weary of well doing.
      (f) That is, which of your works are most agreeable to God.

Ec 11:8

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

      (g) That is, of affliction and trouble.

Ec 11:9

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

      (h) He derides them who set their desire in worldly pleasures as though God would not call count.

Ec 11:10

11:10 Therefore remove {i} sorrow from thy heart, and {k} put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth [are] vanity.

      (i) That is, anger and envy.
      (k) Meaning, carnal lusts to which youth is given.

Ec 12:2

12:2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are not darkened, nor the {a} clouds return after the rain:

      (a) Before you come to a continual misery: for when the clouds remain after the rain, man's grief is increased.

Ec 12:3

12:3 In the day when the {b} keepers of the house shall tremble, and the {c} strong men shall bow themselves, and the {d} grinders cease because they are few, and those that {e} look out of the windows shall be darkened,

      (b) The hands which keep the body.
      (c) The legs.
      (d) The teeth.
      (e) The eyes.

Ec 12:4

12:4 And the {f} doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the {g} grinding shall be low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the {h} bird, and all the {i} daughters of music shall be brought low;

      (f) The lips or mouth.
      (g) When the jaws will scarce open and not be able to chew any more.
      (h) He will not be able to sleep.
      (i) That is the wind pipes or the ears will be deaf and not able to hear singing.

Ec 12:5

12:5 Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] {k} high, and fears [shall be] in the {l} way, and the almond tree shall {m} flourish, and the {n} grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

      (k) To climb high because of their weakness, or they stoop down as though they were afraid lest anything should hide them.
      (l) They will tremble as they go, as though they were afraid.
      (m) Their head will be as white as the blossoms of an almond tree.
      (n) They will be able to bear nothing.

Ec 12:6

12:6 Or ever the {o} silver cord shall be loosed, or the golden {p} bowl be broken, or the {q} pitcher be broken at the {r} fountain, or the {s} wheel broken at the {t} cistern.

      (o) Meaning, the marrow of the backbone and the sinews.
      (p) The little skin that covers the brain, which is in colour like gold.
      (q) That is, the veins.
      (r) Meaning the liver.
      (s) Which is the head.
      (t) That is, the heart out of which the head draws the powers of life.

Ec 12:7

12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the {u} spirit shall return to God who gave it.

      (u) The soul unconsciously goes either to joy or torment, and sleeps not as the wicked imagine.

Ec 12:11

12:11 The words of the wise [are] as goads, and as nails {x} fastened [by] the masters of assemblies, [which] are given from one {y} shepherd.

      (x) Which are well applied by the ministers, whom he calls masters.
      (y) That is by God.

Ec 12:12

12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many {z} books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.

      (z) These things cannot be comprehended in books or learned by study, but God must instruct your heart that you may only know that wisdom is the true happiness and the way to it is to fear God.
      (a) These three points are here set forth as commendable and necessary for him that is in authority to have the favour of the people, to procure their wealth, and to be gentle and loving to them.

Return to the Documents page