Ecclesiastes chapter 6

Some people are not able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. This, too, is meaningless.

 


 

 

SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT ABLE TO ENJOY THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR

 

VERSE 1. There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy on men:

 

VERSE 2. a man to whom God gives riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him no power to eat of it, but an alien eats it. This is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

God gives riches, wealth, and honor. Some people are born into great abundance.

no power to eat of it. Some people are born into great wealth, but are not able to partake of it.

an alien eats it. That is, a “stranger” eats it. Perhaps the wealth was lost though a lawsuit. Or perhaps the person is a miser.

 

VERSE 3. If a man fathers a hundred children, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not filled with good, and moreover he has no burial; I say, that a stillborn child is better than he:

If a man. Using hyperbolic language, the author describes an exceedingly blessed person:

VERSE PHRASE MEANING
Verse 2 lacks nothing great wealth
Verse 3 fathers a hundred children great progeny
Verse 3 lives many years long life

 

VERSE 4. for it comes in vanity, and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.

Continuing with hyperbolic language, the author describes a stillborn:

VERSE PHRASE MEANING
Verse 4 comes in vanity it did not benefit from being born
Verse 4 departs in darkness it disappears
Verse 4 name is covered with darkness it is forgotten
Verse 5 not seen the sun did not see the light of day
Verse 5 nor known it never knew what life is like

 

VERSE 5. Moreover it has not seen the sun nor known it. This has rest rather than the other.

 

VERSE 6. Yes, though he live a thousand years twice told, and yet fails to enjoy good, don’t all go to one place?

though he live a thousand years twice. Continuing with hyperbolic language, the author wonders about the great value of being able to live for 2,00 years.

fails to enjoy good. Even if you could live for 2,000 years, if you cannot enjoy good, then it is all meaningless.

 

VERSE 7. All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

the appetite is not filled. Many people are never fulfilled, no matter how much they accumulate.

 

VERSE 8. For what advantage has the wise more than the fool? What has the poor man, that knows how to walk before the living?

 

VERSE 9. Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

NLT translation: Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

dreaming about nice things is meaningless. Lots of inspirational speakers, both Christian and otherwise, urge their listeners to dream about getting rich and owning nice things. But Solomon says such dreaming is meaningless.

 

VERSE 10. Whatever has been, its name was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him who is mightier than he.

 

VERSE 11. For there are many words that create vanity. What does that profit man?

 

VERSE 12. For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends like a shadow? For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

For who knows. We cannot know the entire plan of God for our lives.

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

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