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Teks -- Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 (NET)

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Konteks
Title
1:1 The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:
Introduction: Utter Futility
1:2 “Futile! Futile!” laments the Teacher, “Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!”
Futility Illustrated from Nature
1:3 What benefit do people get from all the effort which they expend on earth? 1:4 A generation comes and a generation goes, but the earth remains the same through the ages. 1:5 The sun rises and the sun sets; it hurries away to a place from which it rises again. 1:6 The wind goes to the south and circles around to the north; round and round the wind goes and on its rounds it returns. 1:7 All the streams flow into the sea, but the sea is not full, and to the place where the streams flow, there they will flow again. 1:8 All this monotony is tiresome; no one can bear to describe it: The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear ever content with hearing. 1:9 What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth. 1:10 Is there anything about which someone can say, “Look at this! It is new!”? It was already done long ago, before our time. 1:11 No one remembers the former events, nor will anyone remember the events that are yet to happen; they will not be remembered by the future generations.
Futility of Secular Accomplishment
1:12 I, the Teacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 1:13 I decided to carefully and thoroughly examine all that has been accomplished on earth. I concluded: God has given people a burdensome task that keeps them occupied. 1:14 I reflected on everything that is accomplished by man on earth, and I concluded: Everything he has accomplished is futile– like chasing the wind! 1:15 What is bent cannot be straightened, and what is missing cannot be supplied.
Futility of Secular Wisdom
1:16 I thought to myself, “I have become much wiser than any of my predecessors who ruled over Jerusalem; I have acquired much wisdom and knowledge.” 1:17 So I decided to discern the benefit of wisdom and knowledge over foolish behavior and ideas; however, I concluded that even this endeavor is like trying to chase the wind! 1:18 For with great wisdom comes great frustration; whoever increases his knowledge merely increases his heartache.
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Nama Orang, Nama Tempat, Topik/Tema Kamus

Nama Orang dan Nama Tempat:
 · David a son of Jesse of Judah; king of Israel,son of Jesse of Judah; king of Israel
 · Israel a citizen of Israel.,a member of the nation of Israel
 · Jerusalem the capital city of Israel,a town; the capital of Israel near the southern border of Benjamin


Topik/Tema Kamus: Experiment | Philosophy | Life | ECCLESIASTES, THE PREACHER | Greed | Instruction | Investigation | Science | Solomon | Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena | Experience | CIRCUIT | Preaching | LABOR | Mankind | ASTRONOMY, I | Worldliness | ASTRONOMY, III | ABIDE | Works | selebihnya
Daftar Isi

Catatan Kata/Frasa
Wesley , JFB , Clarke , Defender , TSK

Catatan Kata/Frasa
Poole , Haydock , Gill

Catatan Ayat / Catatan Kaki
NET Notes , Geneva Bible

Catatan Rentang Ayat
Maclaren , MHCC , Matthew Henry , Keil-Delitzsch , Constable

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Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Kata/Frasa (per frasa)

Wesley: Ecc 1:1 - The preacher Who was not only a king, but also a teacher of God's people: who having sinned grievously in the eyes of all the world, thought himself obliged to pub...

Who was not only a king, but also a teacher of God's people: who having sinned grievously in the eyes of all the world, thought himself obliged to publish his repentance, and to give publick warning to all, to avoid those rocks upon which he had split.

Wesley: Ecc 1:2 - Vanity Not only vain, but vanity in the abstract, which denotes extreme vanity.

Not only vain, but vanity in the abstract, which denotes extreme vanity.

Wesley: Ecc 1:2 - Saith Upon deep consideration and long experience, and by Divine inspiration. This verse contains the general proposition, which he intends particularly to ...

Upon deep consideration and long experience, and by Divine inspiration. This verse contains the general proposition, which he intends particularly to demonstrate in the following book.

Wesley: Ecc 1:2 - All All worldly things.

All worldly things.

Wesley: Ecc 1:2 - Is vanity Not in themselves for they are God's creatures and therefore good in their kinds, but in reference to that happiness, which men seek and expect to fin...

Not in themselves for they are God's creatures and therefore good in their kinds, but in reference to that happiness, which men seek and expect to find in them. So they are unquestionably vain, because they are not what they seem to be, and perform not what they promise, but instead of that are the occasions of innumerable cares, and fears, and sorrows, and mischiefs. Nay, they are not only vanity but vanity of vanities, the vainest vanity, vanity in the highest degree. And this is redoubled, because the thing is certain, beyond all possibility of dispute.

Wesley: Ecc 1:3 - What profit What real and abiding benefit? None at all. All is unprofitable as to the attainment of that happiness which all men are enquiring after.

What real and abiding benefit? None at all. All is unprofitable as to the attainment of that happiness which all men are enquiring after.

Wesley: Ecc 1:3 - His labour Heb. his toilsome labour, both of body and mind in the pursuit of riches, or pleasures, or other earthly things.

Heb. his toilsome labour, both of body and mind in the pursuit of riches, or pleasures, or other earthly things.

Wesley: Ecc 1:3 - Under the sun In all worldly matters, which are usually transacted in the day time, or by the light of the sun. By this restriction he implies that the happiness wh...

In all worldly matters, which are usually transacted in the day time, or by the light of the sun. By this restriction he implies that the happiness which in vain is sought for in this lower world, is really to be found in heavenly places and things.

Wesley: Ecc 1:4 - Passeth Men continue but for one, and that a short age, and then they leave all their possessions, and therefore they cannot be happy here, because happiness ...

Men continue but for one, and that a short age, and then they leave all their possessions, and therefore they cannot be happy here, because happiness must needs be unchangeable and eternal; or else the certain knowledge of the approaching loss of all these things will rob a man of solid contentment in them.

Wesley: Ecc 1:4 - Abideth Through all successive generations of men; and therefore man is more mutable than the very earth upon which he stands, and which, together with all th...

Through all successive generations of men; and therefore man is more mutable than the very earth upon which he stands, and which, together with all the comforts which he enjoyed in it, he leaves behind to be possessed by others.

Wesley: Ecc 1:5 - The sun The sun is in perpetual motion, rising, setting, and rising again, and so constantly repeating its course in all succeeding days, and years, and ages;...

The sun is in perpetual motion, rising, setting, and rising again, and so constantly repeating its course in all succeeding days, and years, and ages; and the like he observes concerning the winds and rivers, Ecc 1:6-7, and the design of these similitudes seem to be; to shew the vanity of all worldly things, and that man's mind can never be satisfied with them, because there is nothing in the world but a constant repetition of the same things, which is so irksome, that the consideration thereof hath made some persons weary of their lives; and there is no new thing under the sun, as is added in the foot of the account, Ecc 1:9, which seems to be given us as a key to understand the meaning of the foregoing passages. And this is certain from experience that the things of this world are so narrow, and the mind of man so vast, that there must be something new to satisfy the mind; and even delightful things by too frequent repetition, are so far from yielding satisfaction, that they grow tedious and troublesome.

Wesley: Ecc 1:6 - The wind The wind also sometimes blows from one quarter of the world, and sometimes from another; successively returning to the same quarters in which it had f...

The wind also sometimes blows from one quarter of the world, and sometimes from another; successively returning to the same quarters in which it had formerly been.

Wesley: Ecc 1:7 - Is not full So as to overflow the earth. Whereby also he intimates the emptiness of mens minds, notwithstanding all the abundance of creature comforts.

So as to overflow the earth. Whereby also he intimates the emptiness of mens minds, notwithstanding all the abundance of creature comforts.

Wesley: Ecc 1:7 - Rivers come Unto the earth in general, from whence they come or flow into the sea, and to which they return by the reflux of the sea. For he seems to speak of the...

Unto the earth in general, from whence they come or flow into the sea, and to which they return by the reflux of the sea. For he seems to speak of the visible and constant motion of the waters, both to the sea and from it, and then to it again in a perpetual reciprocation.

Wesley: Ecc 1:8 - All things Not only the sun, and winds, and rivers, but all other creatures.

Not only the sun, and winds, and rivers, but all other creatures.

Wesley: Ecc 1:8 - Labour They are in continual restlessness and change, never abiding in the same state.

They are in continual restlessness and change, never abiding in the same state.

Wesley: Ecc 1:8 - Is not satisfied As there are many things in the world vexatious to men, so even those things which are comfortable, are not satisfactory, but men are constantly desir...

As there are many things in the world vexatious to men, so even those things which are comfortable, are not satisfactory, but men are constantly desiring some longer continuance or fuller enjoyment of them, or variety in them. The eye and ear are here put for all the senses, because these are most spiritual and refined, most curious and inquisitive, most capable of receiving satisfaction, and exercised with more ease and pleasure than the other senses.

Wesley: Ecc 1:9 - There is There is nothing in the world but a continued and tiresome repetition of the same things. The nature and course of the beings and affairs of the world...

There is nothing in the world but a continued and tiresome repetition of the same things. The nature and course of the beings and affairs of the world, and the tempers of men, are the same that they ever were and shall ever be; and therefore, because no man ever yet received satisfaction from worldly things, it is vain for any person hereafter to expect it.

Wesley: Ecc 1:9 - No new thing In the nature of things, which might give us hopes of attaining that satisfaction which hitherto things have not afforded.

In the nature of things, which might give us hopes of attaining that satisfaction which hitherto things have not afforded.

Wesley: Ecc 1:11 - No remembrance This seems to be added to prevent the objection, There are many inventions and enjoyments unknown to former ages. To this he answers, This objection i...

This seems to be added to prevent the objection, There are many inventions and enjoyments unknown to former ages. To this he answers, This objection is grounded only upon our ignorance of ancient times which if we exactly knew or remembered, we should easily find parallels to all present occurrences. There are many thousands of remarkable speeches and actions done in this and the following ages which neither are, nor ever will be, put into the publick records or histories, and consequently must unavoidably be forgotten in succeeding ages; and therefore it is just and reasonable to believe the same concerning former ages.

Wesley: Ecc 1:12 - I was king Having asserted the vanity of all things in the general, he now comes to prove his assertion in those particulars wherein men commonly seek, and with ...

Having asserted the vanity of all things in the general, he now comes to prove his assertion in those particulars wherein men commonly seek, and with greatest probability expect to find, true happiness. He begins with secular wisdom. And to shew how competent a judge he was of this matter, he lays down this character, That he was the preacher, which implies eminent knowledge; and a king, who therefore had all imaginable opportunities and advantages for the attainment of happiness, and particularly for the getting of wisdom, by consulting all sorts of books and men, by trying all manner of experiments; and no ordinary king, but king over Israel, God's own people, a wise and an happy people, whose king he was by God's special appointment and furnished by God, with singular wisdom for that great trust; and whose abode was in Jerusalem where were the house of God and the most wise and learned of the priests attending upon it, and the seats of justice, and colleges or assemblies of the wisest men of their nation. All these concurring in him, which rarely do in any other men, make the argument drawn from his experience more convincing.

Wesley: Ecc 1:13 - I gave my heart Which phrase denotes his serious and fixed purpose, and his great industry in it.

Which phrase denotes his serious and fixed purpose, and his great industry in it.

Wesley: Ecc 1:13 - To search To seek diligently and accurately.

To seek diligently and accurately.

Wesley: Ecc 1:13 - By wisdom By the help of that wisdom wherewith God had endowed me.

By the help of that wisdom wherewith God had endowed me.

Wesley: Ecc 1:13 - Concerning Concerning all the works of God and men in this lower world; the works of nature; the works of Divine providence; and the works and depths of human po...

Concerning all the works of God and men in this lower world; the works of nature; the works of Divine providence; and the works and depths of human policy.

Wesley: Ecc 1:13 - This travel This difficult and toilsome work of searching out these things, God hath inflicted as a just punishment upon man for his eating of the tree of knowled...

This difficult and toilsome work of searching out these things, God hath inflicted as a just punishment upon man for his eating of the tree of knowledge.

Wesley: Ecc 1:13 - To be exercised To employ themselves in the painful study of these things.

To employ themselves in the painful study of these things.

Wesley: Ecc 1:14 - Seen Diligently observed.

Diligently observed.

Wesley: Ecc 1:14 - Vanity Not only unsatisfying, but also an affliction or breaking to a man's spirit.

Not only unsatisfying, but also an affliction or breaking to a man's spirit.

Wesley: Ecc 1:15 - Crooked All our knowledge serves only to discover our miseries, but is utterly insufficient to remove them; it cannot rectify those disorders which are either...

All our knowledge serves only to discover our miseries, but is utterly insufficient to remove them; it cannot rectify those disorders which are either in our own hearts and lives, or in the men and things of the world.

Wesley: Ecc 1:15 - Wanting In our knowledge. Or, counted out to us from the treasures of human learning. But what is wanting, will still be so. And that which is wanting in our ...

In our knowledge. Or, counted out to us from the treasures of human learning. But what is wanting, will still be so. And that which is wanting in our own knowledge, is so much that it cannot be numbered. The more we know, the more we see of our own ignorance.

Wesley: Ecc 1:16 - Communed I considered within myself.

I considered within myself.

Wesley: Ecc 1:16 - Great In wisdom.

In wisdom.

Wesley: Ecc 1:16 - Have gotten As I had a large stock of wisdom infused into me by God, so I have greatly improved it by conversation, and study, and experience.

As I had a large stock of wisdom infused into me by God, so I have greatly improved it by conversation, and study, and experience.

Wesley: Ecc 1:16 - Than all Whether governors, or priests, or private persons.

Whether governors, or priests, or private persons.

Wesley: Ecc 1:16 - In Jerusalem Which was then the most eminent place in the world for wisdom.

Which was then the most eminent place in the world for wisdom.

Wesley: Ecc 1:17 - To know That I might throughly understand the nature and difference of truth and error, of virtue and vice.

That I might throughly understand the nature and difference of truth and error, of virtue and vice.

Wesley: Ecc 1:18 - Grief Or, displeasure within himself, and against his present condition.

Or, displeasure within himself, and against his present condition.

Wesley: Ecc 1:18 - Sorrow Which he does many ways, because he gets his knowledge with hard and wearisome labour, both of mind and body, with the consumption of his spirits, and...

Which he does many ways, because he gets his knowledge with hard and wearisome labour, both of mind and body, with the consumption of his spirits, and shortening of his life; because he is often deceived with knowledge falsely so called, and often mistakes error for truth, and is perplexed with manifold doubts, from which ignorant men are wholly free; because he hath the clearer prospect into, and quicker sense of his own ignorance, and infirmities, and disorders, and withal how vain and ineffectual all his knowledge is for the prevention or removal of them; and because his knowledge is very imperfect and unsatisfying, yet increasing his thirst after more knowledge; lastly, because his knowledge quickly fades and dies with him, and then leaves him in no better, and possibly in a much worse condition than the meanest and most unlearned man in the world.

JFB: Ecc 1:1 - the Preacher And Convener of assemblies for the purpose. See my Preface. Koheleth in Hebrew, a symbolical name for Solomon, and of Heavenly Wisdom speaking through...

And Convener of assemblies for the purpose. See my Preface. Koheleth in Hebrew, a symbolical name for Solomon, and of Heavenly Wisdom speaking through and identified with him. Ecc 1:12 shows that "king of Jerusalem" is in apposition, not with "David," but "Preacher."

JFB: Ecc 1:1 - of Jerusalem Rather, "in Jerusalem," for it was merely his metropolis, not his whole kingdom.

Rather, "in Jerusalem," for it was merely his metropolis, not his whole kingdom.

JFB: Ecc 1:2 - -- The theme proposed of the first part of his discourse.

The theme proposed of the first part of his discourse.

JFB: Ecc 1:2 - Vanity of vanities Hebraism for the most utter vanity. So "holy of holies" (Exo 26:33); "servant of servants" (Gen 9:25). The repetition increases the force.

Hebraism for the most utter vanity. So "holy of holies" (Exo 26:33); "servant of servants" (Gen 9:25). The repetition increases the force.

JFB: Ecc 1:2 - all Hebrew, "the all"; all without exception, namely, earthly things.

Hebrew, "the all"; all without exception, namely, earthly things.

JFB: Ecc 1:2 - vanity Not in themselves, for God maketh nothing in vain (1Ti 4:4-5), but vain when put in the place of God and made the end, instead of the means (Psa 39:5-...

Not in themselves, for God maketh nothing in vain (1Ti 4:4-5), but vain when put in the place of God and made the end, instead of the means (Psa 39:5-6; Psa 62:9; Mat 6:33); vain, also, because of the "vanity" to which they are "subjected" by the fall (Rom 8:20).

JFB: Ecc 1:3 - What profit . . . labour That is, "What profit" as to the chief good (Mat 16:26). Labor is profitable in its proper place (Gen 2:15; Gen 3:19; Pro 14:23).

That is, "What profit" as to the chief good (Mat 16:26). Labor is profitable in its proper place (Gen 2:15; Gen 3:19; Pro 14:23).

JFB: Ecc 1:3 - under the sun That is, in this life, as opposed to the future world. The phrase often recurs, but only in Ecclesiastes.

That is, in this life, as opposed to the future world. The phrase often recurs, but only in Ecclesiastes.

JFB: Ecc 1:4 - earth . . . for ever (Psa 104:5). While the earth remains the same, the generations of men are ever changing; what lasting profit, then, can there be from the toils of on...

(Psa 104:5). While the earth remains the same, the generations of men are ever changing; what lasting profit, then, can there be from the toils of one whose sojourn on earth, as an individual, is so brief? The "for ever" is comparative, not absolute (Psa 102:26).

JFB: Ecc 1:5 - -- (Psa 19:5-6). "Panting" as the Hebrew for "hasteth"; metaphor, from a runner (Psa 19:5, "a strong man") in a "race." It applies rather to the rising s...

(Psa 19:5-6). "Panting" as the Hebrew for "hasteth"; metaphor, from a runner (Psa 19:5, "a strong man") in a "race." It applies rather to the rising sun, which seems laboriously to mount up to the meridian, than to the setting sun; the accents too favor MAURER, "And (that too, returning) to his place, where panting he riseth."

JFB: Ecc 1:6 - according to his circuits That is, it returns afresh to its former circuits, however many be its previous veerings about. The north and south winds are the two prevailing winds...

That is, it returns afresh to its former circuits, however many be its previous veerings about. The north and south winds are the two prevailing winds in Palestine and Egypt.

JFB: Ecc 1:7 - -- By subterraneous cavities, and by evaporation forming rain clouds, the fountains and rivers are supplied from the sea, into which they then flow back....

By subterraneous cavities, and by evaporation forming rain clouds, the fountains and rivers are supplied from the sea, into which they then flow back. The connection is: Individual men are continually changing, while the succession of the race continues; just as the sun, wind, and rivers are ever shifting about, while the cycle in which they move is invariable; they return to the point whence they set out. Hence is man, as in these objects of nature which are his analogue, with all the seeming changes "there is no new thing" (Ecc 1:9).

JFB: Ecc 1:8 - -- MAURER translates, "All words are wearied out," that is, are inadequate, as also, "man cannot express" all the things in the world which undergo this ...

MAURER translates, "All words are wearied out," that is, are inadequate, as also, "man cannot express" all the things in the world which undergo this ceaseless, changeless cycle of vicissitudes: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing them," &c. But it is plainly a return to the idea (Ecc 1:3) as to man's "labor," which is only wearisome and profitless; "no new" good can accrue from it (Ecc 1:9); for as the sun, &c., so man's laborious works move in a changeless cycle. The eye and ear are two of the taskmasters for which man toils. But these are never "satisfied" (Ecc 6:7; Pro 27:20). Nor can they be so hereafter, for there will be nothing "new." Not so the chief good, Jesus Christ (Joh 4:13-14; Rev 21:5).

JFB: Ecc 1:9 - -- Rather, "no new thing at all"; as in Num 11:6. This is not meant in a general sense; but there is no new source of happiness (the subject in question)...

Rather, "no new thing at all"; as in Num 11:6. This is not meant in a general sense; but there is no new source of happiness (the subject in question) which can be devised; the same round of petty pleasures, cares, business, study, wars, &c., being repeated over and over again [HOLDEN].

JFB: Ecc 1:10 - old time Hebrew, "ages."

Hebrew, "ages."

JFB: Ecc 1:10 - which was The Hebrew plural cannot be joined to the verb singular. Therefore translate: "It hath been in the ages before; certainly it hath been before us" [HOL...

The Hebrew plural cannot be joined to the verb singular. Therefore translate: "It hath been in the ages before; certainly it hath been before us" [HOLDEN]. Or, as MAURER: "That which has been (done) before us (in our presence, 1Ch 16:33), has been (done) already in the old times."

JFB: Ecc 1:11 - -- The reason why some things are thought "new," which are not really so, is the imperfect record that exists of preceding ages among their successors.

The reason why some things are thought "new," which are not really so, is the imperfect record that exists of preceding ages among their successors.

JFB: Ecc 1:11 - those that . . . come after That is, those that live still later than the "things, rather the persons or generations, Ecc 1:4, with which this verse is connected, the six interme...

That is, those that live still later than the "things, rather the persons or generations, Ecc 1:4, with which this verse is connected, the six intermediate verses being merely illustrations of Ecc 1:4 [WEISS], that are to come" (Ecc 2:16; Ecc 9:5).

JFB: Ecc 1:12 - -- Resumption of Ecc 1:1, the intermediate verses being the introductory statement of his thesis. Therefore, "the Preacher" (Koheleth) is repeated.

Resumption of Ecc 1:1, the intermediate verses being the introductory statement of his thesis. Therefore, "the Preacher" (Koheleth) is repeated.

JFB: Ecc 1:12 - was king Instead of "am," because he is about to give the results of his past experience during his long reign.

Instead of "am," because he is about to give the results of his past experience during his long reign.

JFB: Ecc 1:12 - in Jerusalem Specified, as opposed to David, who reigned both in Hebron and Jerusalem; whereas Solomon reigned only in Jerusalem. "King of Israel in Jerusalem," im...

Specified, as opposed to David, who reigned both in Hebron and Jerusalem; whereas Solomon reigned only in Jerusalem. "King of Israel in Jerusalem," implies that he reigned over Israel and Judah combined; whereas David, at Hebron, reigned only over Judah, and not, until he was settled in Jerusalem, over both Israel and Judah.

JFB: Ecc 1:13 - this sore travail Namely, that of "searching out all things done under heaven." Not human wisdom in general, which comes afterwards (Ecc 2:12, &c.), but laborious enqui...

Namely, that of "searching out all things done under heaven." Not human wisdom in general, which comes afterwards (Ecc 2:12, &c.), but laborious enquiries into, and speculations about, the works of men; for example, political science. As man is doomed to get his bread, so his knowledge, by the sweat of his brow (Gen 3:19) [GILL].

JFB: Ecc 1:13 - exercised That is, disciplined; literally, "that they may thereby chastise, or humble themselves."

That is, disciplined; literally, "that they may thereby chastise, or humble themselves."

JFB: Ecc 1:14 - -- The reason is here given why investigation into man's "works" is only "sore travail" (Ecc 1:13); namely, because all man's ways are vain (Ecc 1:18) an...

The reason is here given why investigation into man's "works" is only "sore travail" (Ecc 1:13); namely, because all man's ways are vain (Ecc 1:18) and cannot be mended (Ecc 1:15).

JFB: Ecc 1:14 - vexation of "a preying upon"

"a preying upon"

JFB: Ecc 1:14 - the Spirit MAURER translates; "the pursuit of wind," as in Ecc 5:16; Hos 12:1, "Ephraim feedeth on wind." But old versions support the English Version.

MAURER translates; "the pursuit of wind," as in Ecc 5:16; Hos 12:1, "Ephraim feedeth on wind." But old versions support the English Version.

JFB: Ecc 1:15 - -- Investigation (Ecc 1:13) into human ways is vain labor, for they are hopelessly "crooked" and "cannot be made straight" by it (Ecc 7:13). God, the chi...

Investigation (Ecc 1:13) into human ways is vain labor, for they are hopelessly "crooked" and "cannot be made straight" by it (Ecc 7:13). God, the chief good, alone can do this (Isa 40:4; Isa 45:2).

JFB: Ecc 1:15 - wanting (Dan 5:27).

JFB: Ecc 1:15 - numbered So as to make a complete number; so equivalent to "supplied" [MAURER]. Or, rather, man's state is utterly wanting; and that which is wholly defective ...

So as to make a complete number; so equivalent to "supplied" [MAURER]. Or, rather, man's state is utterly wanting; and that which is wholly defective cannot be numbered or calculated. The investigator thinks he can draw up, in accurate numbers, statistics of man's wants; but these, including the defects in the investigator's labor, are not partial, but total.

JFB: Ecc 1:16 - communed with . . . heart (Gen 24:45).

JFB: Ecc 1:16 - come to great estate Rather, "I have magnified and gotten" (literally, "added," increased), &c.

Rather, "I have magnified and gotten" (literally, "added," increased), &c.

JFB: Ecc 1:16 - all . . . before me in Jerusalem Namely, the priests, judges, and two kings that preceded Solomon. His wisdom exceeded that of all before Jesus Christ, the antitypical Koheleth, or "G...

Namely, the priests, judges, and two kings that preceded Solomon. His wisdom exceeded that of all before Jesus Christ, the antitypical Koheleth, or "Gatherer of men," (Luk 13:34), and "Wisdom" incarnate (Mat 11:19; Mat 12:42).

JFB: Ecc 1:16 - had . . . experience Literally, "had seen" (Jer 2:31). Contrast with this glorying in worldly wisdom (Jer 9:23-24).

Literally, "had seen" (Jer 2:31). Contrast with this glorying in worldly wisdom (Jer 9:23-24).

JFB: Ecc 1:17 - wisdom . . . madness That is, their effects, the works of human wisdom and folly respectively. "Madness," literally, "vaunting extravagance"; Ecc 2:12; Ecc 7:25, &c., supp...

That is, their effects, the works of human wisdom and folly respectively. "Madness," literally, "vaunting extravagance"; Ecc 2:12; Ecc 7:25, &c., support English Version rather than DATHE, "splendid matters." "Folly" is read by English Version with some manuscripts, instead of the present Hebrew text, "prudence." If Hebrew be retained, understand "prudence," falsely so called (1Ti 6:20), "craft" (Dan 8:25).

JFB: Ecc 1:18 - wisdom . . . knowledge Not in general, for wisdom, &c., are most excellent in their place; but speculative knowledge of man's ways (Ecc 1:13, Ecc 1:17), which, the farther i...

Not in general, for wisdom, &c., are most excellent in their place; but speculative knowledge of man's ways (Ecc 1:13, Ecc 1:17), which, the farther it goes, gives one the more pain to find how "crooked" and "wanting" they are (Ecc 1:15; Ecc 12:12).

He next tries pleasure and luxury, retaining however, his worldly "wisdom" (Ecc 3:9), but all proves "vanity" in respect to the chief good.

Clarke: Ecc 1:1 - The words of the Preacher The words of the Preacher - Literally, "The words of Choheleth, son of David, king of Jerusalem."But the Targum explains it thus: "The words of the ...

The words of the Preacher - Literally, "The words of Choheleth, son of David, king of Jerusalem."But the Targum explains it thus: "The words of the prophecy, which Choheleth prophesied; the same is Solomon, son of David the king, who was in Jerusalem. For when Solomon, king of Israel, saw by the spirit of prophecy that the kingdom of Rehoboam his son was about to be divided with Jeroboam, the son of Nebat; and the house of the sanctuary was about to be destroyed, and the people of Israel sent into captivity; he said in his word - Vanity of vanities is all that I have labored, and David my father; they are altogether vanity."The word קהלת Koheleth is a feminine noun, from the root קהל kahal , to collect, gather together, assemble; and means, she who assembles or collects a congregation; translated by the Septuagint, ekklhsiasthv, a public speaker, a speaker in an assembly; and hence translated by us a preacher. In my old MS. Bible it is explained thus: a talker to the peple; or togyder cleping.

Clarke: Ecc 1:2 - Vanity of vanities Vanity of vanities - As the words are an exclamation, it would be better to translate, O vanity of vanities! Emptiness of emptinesses True, substant...

Vanity of vanities - As the words are an exclamation, it would be better to translate, O vanity of vanities! Emptiness of emptinesses

True, substantial good is not to be found in any thing liable to change and corruption

The author referred to in the introduction begins his paraphrase thus: -

"O vain deluding world! whose largest gift

Thine emptiness betray, like painted clouds

Or watery bubbles: as the vapor flies

Dispersed by lightest blast, so fleet thy joys

And leave no trace behind. This serious trut

The royal preacher loud proclaims, convince

By sad experience; with a sigh repeat

The mournful theme, that nothing here belo

Can solid comfort yield: ‘ tis all a scene

Of vanity, beyond the power of word

To express, or thought conceive. Let every ma

Survey himself, then ask, what fruit remain

Of all his fond pursuits? What has he gain’ d

By toiling thus for more than nature’ s want

Require? Why thus with endlness projects rack’

His heated brain, and to the laboring mind

Repose denied? Why such expense of time

That steals away so fast, and ne’ er looks back?
Could man his wish obtain, how short the spac

For his enjoyment! No less transient her

The time of his duration, than the thing

Thus anxiously pursued. For, as the mind

In search of bliss, fix’ d on no solid point

For ever fluctuates; so our little frames

In which we glory, haste to their decline

Nor permanence can find. The human rac

Drop like autumnal leaves, by spring revived

One generation from the stage of lif

Withdraws, another comes, and thus makes roo

For that which follows. Mightiest realms decay

Sink by degrees; and lo! new form’ d estate

Rise from their ruins. Even the earth itself

Sole object of our hopes and fears

Shall have its period, though to man unknown."

Clarke: Ecc 1:3 - What profit hath a man What profit hath a man - What is the sum of the real good he has gained by all his toils in life? They, in themselves, have neither made him content...

What profit hath a man - What is the sum of the real good he has gained by all his toils in life? They, in themselves, have neither made him contented nor happy.

Clarke: Ecc 1:4 - One generation passeth away One generation passeth away - Men succeed each other in unceasing generations: but the earth is still the same; it undergoes no change that leads to...

One generation passeth away - Men succeed each other in unceasing generations: but the earth is still the same; it undergoes no change that leads to melioration, or greater perfection. And it will continue the same לעולם leolam , during the whole course of time; till the end of all things arrives.

Clarke: Ecc 1:5 - -- Ecc 1:6 These verses are confused by being falsely divided. The first clause of the sixth should be joined to the fifth verse "The sun also ariseth, a...

Ecc 1:6

These verses are confused by being falsely divided. The first clause of the sixth should be joined to the fifth verse

"The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he ariseth; going to the south, and circulating to the north."

Clarke: Ecc 1:6 - -- "The wind is continually whirling about, and the wind returneth upon its whirlings. It is plain, from the clause which I have restored to the fifth ve...

"The wind is continually whirling about, and the wind returneth upon its whirlings.

It is plain, from the clause which I have restored to the fifth verse, that the author refers to the approximations of the sun to the northern and southern tropics, viz., of Cancer and Capricorn

All the versions agree in applying the first clause of the sixth verse to the sun, and not to the wind. Our version alone has mistaken the meaning. My old MS. Bible is quite correct

The sunne riisith up, and goth doun, and to his place turnith agein; and there agein riising, goth about bi the south, and then agein to the north

The author points out two things here

1.    Day and night, marked by the appearance of the sun above the horizon; proceeding apparently from east to west; where he sinks under the horizon, and appears to be lost during the night

2.    His annual course through the twelve signs of the zodiac, when, from the equinoctial, he proceeds southward to the tropic of Capricorn; and thence turneth about towards the north, till he reaches the tropic of Cancer; and so on.

Clarke: Ecc 1:7 - All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full - The reason is, nothing goes into it either by the; rivers or by rain, that does not come ...

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full - The reason is, nothing goes into it either by the; rivers or by rain, that does not come from it: and to the place whence the rivers come, whether from the sea originally by evaporation, or immediately by rain, thither they return again; for the water exhaled from the sea by evaporation is collected in the clouds, and in rain, etc., falls upon the tops of the mountains; and, filtered through their fissures, produce streams, several of which uniting, make rivers, which flow into the sea. The water is again evaporated by the sun; the vapors collected are precipitated; and, being filtered through the earth, become streams, etc., as before.

Clarke: Ecc 1:8 - All things are full of labor All things are full of labor - It is; impossible to calculate how much anxiety, pain, labor, and fatigue are necessary in order to carry on the comm...

All things are full of labor - It is; impossible to calculate how much anxiety, pain, labor, and fatigue are necessary in order to carry on the common operations of life. But an endless desire of gain, and an endless curiosity to unfitness a variety of results, cause men to, labor on. The eye sees much, but wishes to, see more. The ear hears of many things; but is curious to have the actual knowledge of them. So desire and curiosity carry men, under the Divine providence, through all the labors and pains of life.

Clarke: Ecc 1:9 - The thing that hath been The thing that hath been - Every thing in the whole economy of nature has its revolutions; summer and winter, heat and cold, rain and drought, seedt...

The thing that hath been - Every thing in the whole economy of nature has its revolutions; summer and winter, heat and cold, rain and drought, seedtime and autumn, with the whole system of corruption and generation, alternately succeed each other, so that whatever has been shall be again. There is really, physically, and philosophically, nothing absolutely new under the sun, in the course of sublunary things. The same is the case in all the revolutions of the heavens.

Clarke: Ecc 1:10 - Is there any thing, etc. Is there any thing, etc. - The original is beautiful. "Is there any thing which will say, See this! it is new?"Men may say this of their discoveries...

Is there any thing, etc. - The original is beautiful. "Is there any thing which will say, See this! it is new?"Men may say this of their discoveries, etc.; but universal nature says, It is not new. It has been, and it will be.

Clarke: Ecc 1:11 - There is no remembrance There is no remembrance - I believe the general meaning to be this: Multitudes of ancient transactions have been lost, because they were not recorde...

There is no remembrance - I believe the general meaning to be this: Multitudes of ancient transactions have been lost, because they were not recorded; and of many that have been recorded, the records are lost. And this will be the case with many others which are yet to occur. How many persons, not much acquainted with books, have supposed that certain things were their own discoveries, which have been written or printed even long before they were born! Dutens, in his Origin of the Discoveries attributed to the Moderns, has made a very clear case.

Clarke: Ecc 1:12 - I the Preacher was king I the Preacher was king - This is a strange verse, and does not admit of an easy solution. It is literally, "I, Choheleth, have been king over Israe...

I the Preacher was king - This is a strange verse, and does not admit of an easy solution. It is literally, "I, Choheleth, have been king over Israel, in Jerusalem."This book, as we have already seen, has been conjectured by some to have been written about the time that Ptolemy Philadelphus formed his great library at Alexandria, about two hundred and eighty-five years before our Lard; and from the multitude of Jews that dwelt there, and resorted to that city for the sake of commerce, it was said there was an Israel in Alexandria. See the introduction

It has also been conjectured from this, that if the book were written by Solomon, it was intended to be a posthumous publication. "I that was king, still continue to preach and instruct you."Those who suppose the book to have been written after Solomon’ s fall, think that he speaks thus through humility. "I was once worthy of the name of king: but I fell into all evil; and, though recovered, I am no longer worthy of the name."I am afraid this is not solid.

Clarke: Ecc 1:13 - And I gave my heart to seek and search And I gave my heart to seek and search - While Solomon was faithful to his God he diligently cultivated his mind. His giving himself to the study of...

And I gave my heart to seek and search - While Solomon was faithful to his God he diligently cultivated his mind. His giving himself to the study of natural history, philosophy, poetry, etc., are sufficient proofs of it. He had not intuitive knowledge from God; but he had a capacity to obtain every kind of knowledge useful to man

Clarke: Ecc 1:13 - This sore travail This sore travail - This is the way in which knowledge is to be acquired; and in order to investigate the operations of nature, the most laborious d...

This sore travail - This is the way in which knowledge is to be acquired; and in order to investigate the operations of nature, the most laborious discussions and perplexing experiments must be instituted, and conducted to their proper results. It is God’ s determination that knowledge shall be acquired in no other way.

Clarke: Ecc 1:14 - Behold, all is vanity Behold, all is vanity - After all these discussions and experiments, when even the results have been the most successful, I have found only rational...

Behold, all is vanity - After all these discussions and experiments, when even the results have been the most successful, I have found only rational satisfaction; but not that supreme good by which alone the soul can be made happy

O curas hominum! O quantum est in rebus inane

"How anxious are our cares, and yet how vai

The bent of our desires!

Pers. Sat. i., 5: 1.

||&&$

Clarke: Ecc 1:15 - That which is crooked cannot be made straight That which is crooked cannot be made straight - There are many apparent irregularities and anomalies in nature for which we cannot account; and ther...

That which is crooked cannot be made straight - There are many apparent irregularities and anomalies in nature for which we cannot account; and there are many defects that cannot be supplied. This is the impression from a general view of nature; but the more we study and investigate its operations, the more we shall be convinced that all is a consecutive and well-ordered whole; and that in the chain of nature not one link is broken, deficient, or lost.

Clarke: Ecc 1:16 - I communed with mine own heart I communed with mine own heart - Literally, "I spoke, I, with my heart, saying."When successful in my researches, but not happy in my soul, though e...

I communed with mine own heart - Literally, "I spoke, I, with my heart, saying."When successful in my researches, but not happy in my soul, though easy in my circumstances, I entered into my own heart, and there inquired the cause of my discontent. He found that, though -

1.    He had gotten wisdom beyond all men

2.    Wealth and honors more than any other

3.    Practical wisdom more than all his predecessors

4.    Had tried pleasure and animal gratification, even to their extremes; yet after all this he had nothing but vexation of spirit

None of these four things, nor the whole of them conjoined, could afford him such a happiness as satisfies the soul. Why was all this? Because the soul was made for God, and in the possession of him alone can it find happiness.

Clarke: Ecc 1:17 - To know madness and folly To know madness and folly - הוללות ושכלות holloth vesichluth . Παραβολας και επιστημην, "Parables and science."-...

To know madness and folly - הוללות ושכלות holloth vesichluth . Παραβολας και επιστημην, "Parables and science."- Septuagint. So the Syriac; nearly so the Arabic

"What were error and foolishness."- Coverdale. Perhaps gayety and sobriety may be the better meaning for these two difficult words. I can scarcely think they are taken in that bad sense in which our translation exhibits them. "I tried pleasure in all its forms; and sobriety and self-abnegation to their utmost extent."Choheleth paraphrases, "Even fools and madmen taught me rules."

Clarke: Ecc 1:18 - For in much wisdom is much grief For in much wisdom is much grief - The more we know of ourselves the less satisfied shall we be with our own hearts; and the more we know of mankind...

For in much wisdom is much grief - The more we know of ourselves the less satisfied shall we be with our own hearts; and the more we know of mankind the less willing shall we be to trust them, and the less shall we admire them

Clarke: Ecc 1:18 - Be that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow Be that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow - And why so? Because, independently of God, the principal objects of knowledge are natural and moral...

Be that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow - And why so? Because, independently of God, the principal objects of knowledge are natural and moral evils

The Targum gives a curious paraphrase here: "The man who multiplies wisdom, when he sins and is not converted to repentance, multiplies the indignation of God against himself; and the man who adds science, and yet dies in his childhood, adds grief of heart to his relatives."A man in science; a foolish child in conduct. How pained must they be who had the expense of his education! But there are many men-children of this sort in every age and country.

Defender: Ecc 1:2 - Vanity The words "vanity," "vanities," and "vain" (all the same Hebrew word) occur no less than thirty-eight times in Ecclesiastes, almost as much as in all ...

The words "vanity," "vanities," and "vain" (all the same Hebrew word) occur no less than thirty-eight times in Ecclesiastes, almost as much as in all the rest of the Bible put together."

Defender: Ecc 1:3 - under the sun This phrase, "under the sun" occurs twenty-nine times in Ecclesiastes. If one's thoughts and motives are all "under the sun," then indeed everything i...

This phrase, "under the sun" occurs twenty-nine times in Ecclesiastes. If one's thoughts and motives are all "under the sun," then indeed everything is vanity. Each believer is exhorted to "set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col 3:2)."

Defender: Ecc 1:4 - earth abideth for ever This is one of many biblical affirmations that God created the earth to last forever. Like our mortal bodies, it must be made new again, but once rene...

This is one of many biblical affirmations that God created the earth to last forever. Like our mortal bodies, it must be made new again, but once renewed, it will abide forever."

Defender: Ecc 1:5 - sun goeth down Just as modern astronomers, in their everyday speech, talk of the sun rising and sun setting, so the Biblical writers, following the principle of rela...

Just as modern astronomers, in their everyday speech, talk of the sun rising and sun setting, so the Biblical writers, following the principle of relative motion, use similar terminology. This is scientifically pragmatic, not unscientific."

Defender: Ecc 1:6 - whirleth about continually This is a remarkable anticipation of the modern discovery of the world's great wind circuits, in the global circulation of the atmosphere."

This is a remarkable anticipation of the modern discovery of the world's great wind circuits, in the global circulation of the atmosphere."

Defender: Ecc 1:7 - thither they return Similarly, this is an excellent summary of the earth's amazing hydrologic cycle, as confirmed scientifically only in modern times."

Similarly, this is an excellent summary of the earth's amazing hydrologic cycle, as confirmed scientifically only in modern times."

Defender: Ecc 1:9 - no new thing There is no new thing under the sun, since God has completed His creation (Gen 2:1-3). But God is above the sun, and He can still create "new things" ...

There is no new thing under the sun, since God has completed His creation (Gen 2:1-3). But God is above the sun, and He can still create "new things" by miracles (Num 16:30; Jer 31:22)."

Defender: Ecc 1:14 - all the works King Solomon, the Preacher, had the greatest wealth, the greatest wisdom, the greatest power, the greatest sensual pleasures and comforts, of just abo...

King Solomon, the Preacher, had the greatest wealth, the greatest wisdom, the greatest power, the greatest sensual pleasures and comforts, of just about any man who ever lived. Yet when these works were done only "under the sun" (and this is the recurring theme of Ecclesiastes) it was soon found by him all to be done in vain, and merely vexed his spirit, rather than satisfying it.

Defender: Ecc 1:14 - all is vanity "Vanity" in this book, does not mean foolish pride, (although Solomon surely had much he could boast about), but rather the emptiness of life when liv...

"Vanity" in this book, does not mean foolish pride, (although Solomon surely had much he could boast about), but rather the emptiness of life when lived outside the will of God."

Defender: Ecc 1:18 - is much grief In the book of Proverbs, Solomon extolled wisdom and knowledge; in Ecclesiastes, he says it only brings trouble. The difference is that in the one he ...

In the book of Proverbs, Solomon extolled wisdom and knowledge; in Ecclesiastes, he says it only brings trouble. The difference is that in the one he is speaking of true wisdom and knowledge, as founded on "the fear of the Lord" (Pro 1:7; Pro 9:10). In the other, he is lamenting the futility of the pseudo-wisdom and knowledge of those who build on humanistic or pantheistic foundations."

TSK: Ecc 1:1 - the Preacher // king the Preacher : Ecc 1:12, Ecc 7:27, Ecc 12:8-10; Neh 6:7; Psa 40:9; Isa 61:1; Jon 3:2; 2Pe 2:5 king : Ecc 1:12; 1Ki 11:42, 1Ki 11:43; 2Ch 9:30, 2Ch 10:...

TSK: Ecc 1:2 - -- Ecc 2:11, Ecc 2:15, Ecc 2:17, Ecc 2:19, Ecc 2:21, Ecc 2:23, Ecc 2:26, Ecc 3:19, Ecc 4:4, Ecc 4:8, Ecc 4:16, Ecc 5:10, Ecc 6:11, Ecc 11:8, Ecc 11:10, E...

TSK: Ecc 1:3 - profit // under profit : Ecc 2:22, Ecc 3:9, Ecc 5:16; Pro 23:4, Pro 23:5; Isa 55:2; Hab 2:13, Hab 2:18; Mat 16:26; Mar 8:36, Mar 8:37; Joh 6:27 under : Ecc 2:11, Ecc ...

TSK: Ecc 1:4 - One generation // but One generation : Ecc 6:12; Gen. 5:3-31, Gen 11:20-32, Gen 36:9-19, Gen 47:9; Exo 1:6, Exo 1:7, Exo 6:16-27; Psa 89:47, Psa 89:48, Psa 90:9, Psa 90:10;...

TSK: Ecc 1:5 - sun // hasteth sun : Gen 8:22; Psa 19:4-6, Psa 89:36, Psa 89:37, Psa 104:19-23; Jer 33:20 hasteth : Heb. panteth, Jos 10:13, Jos 10:14; Psa 42:1; Hab 3:11

TSK: Ecc 1:6 - The wind The wind : This verse should be connected with the preceding, and rendered, ""The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place wh...

The wind : This verse should be connected with the preceding, and rendered, ""The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose; going toward the south, and turning about unto the north. The wind whirleth about continually,""etc. Alluding, in the former part, to the apparent daily motion of the sun from east to west, and to his annual course through the signs of the zodiac. Job 37:9, Job 37:17; Psa 107:25, Psa 107:29; Jon 1:4; Mat 7:24, Mat 7:27; Joh 3:8; Act 27:13-15

TSK: Ecc 1:7 - the rivers run // return again the rivers run : Job 38:10, Job 38:11; Psa 104:6-9 return again : Heb. return to go

the rivers run : Job 38:10, Job 38:11; Psa 104:6-9

return again : Heb. return to go

TSK: Ecc 1:8 - full // man // the eye full : Ecc 2:11, Ecc 2:26; Mat 11:28; Rom 8:22, Rom 8:23 man : Ecc 4:1-4, Ecc 7:24-26 the eye : Ecc 4:8, Ecc 5:10, Ecc 5:11; Psa 63:5; Pro 27:20, Pro ...

TSK: Ecc 1:9 - that hath // and there that hath : Ecc 3:15, Ecc 7:10; 2Pe 2:1 and there : Isa 43:19; Jer 31:22; Rev 21:1, Rev 21:5

TSK: Ecc 1:10 - it hath it hath : Mat 5:12, Mat 23:30-32; Luk 17:26-30; Act 7:51; 1Th 2:14-16; 2Ti 3:8

TSK: Ecc 1:11 - There is There is : Ecc 2:16; Psa 9:6; Isa 41:22-26, Isa 42:9

TSK: Ecc 1:12 - -- Ecc 1:1; 1Kings 4:1-19

Ecc 1:1; 1Kings 4:1-19

TSK: Ecc 1:13 - I gave // this sore // to be exercised I gave : Ecc 1:17, Ecc 7:25, Ecc 8:9, Ecc 8:16, Ecc 8:17; Psa 111:2; Pro 2:2-4, Pro 4:7, Pro 18:1, Pro 18:15, Pro 23:26; 1Ti 4:15 this sore : Ecc 3:10...

I gave : Ecc 1:17, Ecc 7:25, Ecc 8:9, Ecc 8:16, Ecc 8:17; Psa 111:2; Pro 2:2-4, Pro 4:7, Pro 18:1, Pro 18:15, Pro 23:26; 1Ti 4:15

this sore : Ecc 3:10, Ecc 4:4, Ecc 12:12; Gen 3:19

to be exercised : or, to afflict them

TSK: Ecc 1:14 - -- Ecc 1:17, Ecc 1:18, Ecc 2:11, Ecc 2:17, Ecc 2:26; 1Ki 4:30-32; Psa 39:5, Psa 39:6

TSK: Ecc 1:15 - crooked // wanting crooked : Ecc 3:14, Ecc 7:12, Ecc 7:13; Job 11:6, Job 34:29; Isa 40:4; Lam 3:37; Dan 4:35; Mat 6:27 wanting : Heb. defect

crooked : Ecc 3:14, Ecc 7:12, Ecc 7:13; Job 11:6, Job 34:29; Isa 40:4; Lam 3:37; Dan 4:35; Mat 6:27

wanting : Heb. defect

TSK: Ecc 1:16 - communed // Lo // great experience of communed : 2Ki 5:20; Psa 4:4, Psa 77:6; Isa 10:7-14; Jer 22:14; Eze 38:10, Eze 38:11; Dan 4:30 Lo : Ecc 2:9; 1Ki 3:12, 1Ki 3:13, 1Ki 4:30, 1Ki 10:7, 1...

TSK: Ecc 1:17 - I gave // I perceived I gave : Ecc 1:13, Ecc 2:3, Ecc 2:12, Ecc 7:23-25; 1Th 5:21 I perceived : Ecc 2:10, Ecc 2:11

TSK: Ecc 1:18 - For in For in : Ecc 2:15, Ecc 7:16, Ecc 12:12, Ecc 12:13; Job 28:28; 1Co 3:18-20; Jam 3:13-17

kecilkan semua
Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Kata/Frasa (per Ayat)

Poole: Ecc 1:2 - Vanity of vanities // Saith the Preacher // All Vanity of vanities not only vain, but vanity in the abstract, which notes extreme vanity, especially where the word is thus doubled; as a king of ki...

Vanity of vanities not only vain, but vanity in the abstract, which notes extreme vanity, especially where the word is thus doubled; as a king of kings is the chief of kings, and a servant of servants is the vilest of servants, and a song of songs is a most excellent song.

Saith the Preacher upon deep consideration and long experience, and by Divine inspiration. This verse contains the general proposition, which he intends particularly to demonstrate in the whole following book.

All all worldly things, and all men’ s designs, and studies, and works about them, is vanity ; not in themselves, for so they are God’ s creatures, and therefore good and really useful in their kinds; but in reference to men, and to that happiness which men seek and confidently expect to find in them. So they are unquestionably vain , because they are not what they seem to be, and perform not what they promise, content and satisfaction, but instead of that are commonly the causes or occasions of innumerable cares, and fears, and sorrows, and mischiefs; and because they are altogether unsuitable to the noble mind or soul of man, both in nature or quality, and in duration, as being unstable and perishing things. And this vanity of them is here repeated again and again; partly, because it was most deeply fixed and perpetually present in Solomon’ s thoughts; partly, to show the unquestionable certainty and vast importance of this truth; and partly, that he might more thoroughly awaken the dull and stupid minds of men to the consideration of it, and might wean men’ s hearts from those things upon which he knew they excessively doted.

Poole: Ecc 1:3 - What profit? // His labour // his toilsome labour // Which he taketh under the sun What profit? or, as others render it, What remainder ? What real and abiding benefit hath a man by it? None at all. All is unprofitable, as to the a...

What profit? or, as others render it, What remainder ? What real and abiding benefit hath a man by it? None at all. All is unprofitable, as to the attainment of that happiness which Solomon here is, and all men in the world are, inquiring after.

His labour Heb.

his toilsome labour both of body and mind, in the pursuit of riches, or pleasures, or other earthly things.

Which he taketh under the sun in all sublunary or worldly matters, which are usually transacted in the day time, or by the light of the sun. By this restriction he implies that that profit and happiness which in vain is sought for in this lower world, is really and only to be found in heavenly places and things.

Poole: Ecc 1:4 - One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh // The earth abideth for ever One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: men continue but for one, and that a short age, and then they leave all their possessions...

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: men continue but for one, and that a short age, and then they leave all their possessions to the succeeding age; and therefore they cannot be happy here, because happiness must needs be unchangeable and eternal; or else the perpetual fear and certain knowledge of the approaching loss of all these things will rob a man of all solid contentment in them.

The earth abideth for ever i.e. through all successive generations of men; and therefore man in this respect is more mutable and miserable than the very earth upon which he stands; and which, together with all the glories and comforts which he enjoyed in it, he leaveth behind him to be possessed by others.

Poole: Ecc 1:5 - -- The sun is in perpetual motion, sometimes arising, and sometimes setting, and then arising again, and so constantly repeating its courses in all suc...

The sun is in perpetual motion, sometimes arising, and sometimes setting, and then arising again, and so constantly repeating its courses in all succeeding days, and years, and ages; and the like he observes concerning the winds and rivers, Ecc 1:6,7 . And the design of these similitudes seems to be, either,

1. That by representing the constant changes and restless motions of these particular things he might intimate that it is so with all other earthly things; and therefore no man can expect satisfaction from them. Or,

2. That by comparing the sun, and wind, and rivers, as, Ecc 1:4 , he compared the earth with man, he might show that man, considered as mortal, is in a more unhappy condition than these things, because when the earth abides, man goes; and when the sun sets, he riseth again; and so the wind and rivers return to their former place and state, but man, when once he dies, he never returns again to this life; of which comparison see Job 14:7,12 . Or,

3. To show the vanity of all worldly things, and that man’ s mind can never be satisfied with them, because there is nothing in the world but a constant repetition of the same things, which is so irksome a thing, that the consideration thereof hath made some persons weary of their lives; and there is no new thing under the sun, as is added in the foot of the account, Ecc 1:9 , which seems to me to be given as a key to understand the meaning of the foregoing passages. And this is manifest and certain from experience, that the things of this world are so narrow, and the mind of man so vast, that there must be something new to satisfy the mind; and even delightful things, by too frequent repetition or long continuance, are so far from yielding satisfaction, that they grow tedious and troublesome.

Poole: Ecc 1:6 - The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north // The wind returneth again according to his circuits The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north the wind also sometimes blows from one quarter of the world, and sometimes from ano...

The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north the wind also sometimes blows from one quarter of the world, and sometimes from another; all of them being synecdochically comprehended under these two eminent quarters. But because this word, the wind , is not expressed in the Hebrew, but is only borrowed or understood from the latter clause of the verse, this first clause is by other judicious interpreters understood of the sun, of whom he last spake; the words being thus rendered according to the Hebrew, He (the sun) goeth towards the south , (which he doth one half of the year,) and turneth about unto the north, which he doth the other half. And so here is the whole motion of the sun towards the four quarters of the world particularly described; his daily motion from east to, vest, and back again, Ecc 1:5 ; and his yearly motion from north to south, between the signs of Cancer and Capricorn.

The wind returneth again according to his circuits: this clause is by all understood of the wind, which is fitly mentioned immediately after the sun, because it hath its rise from the sun, who is therefore called the father of winds , and the winds do usually rise with the sun, and are laid when he sets. But then it is rendered thus, and that very agreeably to the Hebrew, the wind goeth continually whirling or compassing about, and he returneth again to his circuits , being sometimes in one, and sometimes in another quarter, and successively returning to the same quarters in which he had formerly been.

Poole: Ecc 1:7 - Is not full // Unto the place from whence the rivers come Is not full to wit, to the brink, or so as to overflow the earth, which might be expected from such vast accessions to it; whereby also he intimates ...

Is not full to wit, to the brink, or so as to overflow the earth, which might be expected from such vast accessions to it; whereby also he intimates the emptiness and dissatisfaction of men’ s minds, not withstanding all the abundance of creature-comforts.

Unto the place from whence the rivers come either,

1. Unto the sea, from whence they are supposed to return into their proper channels, and then, as it is expressed, thither (i.e. into the sea) they return again. Or,

2. Unto their springs or fountains, to which the waters return by secret passages of the earth, as is manifest from the Caspian Sea, and reasonably supposed in other places. Or rather,

3. Unto the earth in general, from whence they come or How into the sea, and to which they return again by the reflux of the sea. For he seems to speak of the visible and constant motion of the waters, both to the sea and from it, and then to it again in a perpetual reciprocation; which agrees best with the former similitudes, Ecc 1:5,6 .

Poole: Ecc 1:8 - All things // Man cannot utter it // The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing All things not only the sun, and winds, and rivers, which I have mentioned, but all other creatures, are full of labour ; both subjectively, as they...

All things not only the sun, and winds, and rivers, which I have mentioned, but all other creatures, are full of labour ; both subjectively, as they are in continual restlessness and change, never abiding in the same state or place; and efficiently, as they cause great and sore labour to men, in getting, and keeping, and enjoying of them, yea, even in the study of them, as is noted hereafter.

Man cannot utter it the labour is inexpressibly and unconceivably great.

The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing as there are many things in the world troublesome and vexatious to men’ s senses and minds, so even those things which are comfortable and acceptable to them are not satisfactory, but men are constantly desiring some longer continuance or fuller enjoyment of them, or variety in them, and they never say, It is enough, I desire no more. The eye and ear are here synecdochically put for all the senses, because these are most spiritual and refined, most curious and inquisitive, most capable of receiving satisfaction, because they are exercised with more ease and pleasure than the other senses, whose satisfactions are oft attended with greater weariness and manifold dangers and inconveniences.

Poole: Ecc 1:9 - No new thing There is nothing in the world but a continued and tiresome repetition of the same things. The nature and course of the beings and affairs of the wor...

There is nothing in the world but a continued and tiresome repetition of the same things. The nature and course of the beings and affairs of the world, and the tempers of men’ s minds, are generally the same that they ever were and shall ever be; and therefore because no man ever yet received satisfaction from any worldly things, it is a vain and foolish thing for any person hereafter to expect it.

No new thing to wit, in the nature of things, which might give us hopes of attaining that satisfaction which things have not hitherto afforded. For otherwise this doth not restrain the God of nature, who hath frequently done, and still can do, new and miraculous works, and who can and doth discover to particular persons new inventions, when it pleaseth him.

Poole: Ecc 1:10 - -- For the proof hereof I appeal to the consciences and experiences of all men. It hath been already of old thee; the same things have been said and do...

For the proof hereof I appeal to the consciences and experiences of all men. It hath been already of old thee; the same things have been said and done before, though possibly we did not know it.

Poole: Ecc 1:11 - There is no remembrance of former things There is no remembrance of former things: this seems to be added to prevent this objection, There are many new inventions and enjoyments unknown to f...

There is no remembrance of former things: this seems to be added to prevent this objection, There are many new inventions and enjoyments unknown to former ages. To this he answers, This objection is grounded only upon our ignorance of ancient times and things, which is very great, and which if we did exactly know or remember, we should easily find parallels to all present occurrences in former ages. The latter clause tends both to illustrate and confirm the former. The sense is, There are many thousands of remarkable speeches and actions done in this and the following ages, which neither are, nor ever will be, put into the public records or histories, and consequently they must unavoidably be forgotten and lost unto succeeding ages; and therefore it is just and reasonable to believe the same concerning former ages, seeing the same causes are most likely to produce the same effects.

Poole: Ecc 1:12 - Preacher // king over Israel This verse is a preface to the following discourse, that by the consideration of the quality of the speaker they might be induced to give more atten...

This verse is a preface to the following discourse, that by the consideration of the quality of the speaker they might be induced to give more attention and respect to his words. Having asserted the vanity of all things in the general, he now comes to prove his assertion in all those particulars wherein men commonly seek, and with greatest probability expect to find true happiness. He begins with secular wisdom. And to show how competent a judge he was of this matter, he lays down his character, that he was the

Preacher which implies eminent knowledge and ability to teach others; or, the convert , who had learned by dear-bought experience what he now taught them; and a king, who therefore had all imaginable opportunities and advantages for the attainment of happiness, and particularly for the getting of wisdom, by consulting all sorts of books and men, by trying all manner of experiments, and many other ways; and no ordinary king, but

king over Israel God’ s own and only beloved people, a wise and a happy people, Deu 4:6,7 33:29 , whose king he was by God’ s special and gracious appointment, and furnished by God with singular wisdom for the discharge of that great trust; and whose royal palace and abode was in Jerusalem, where were the house of God, and the most wise and learned of the priests attending upon it, and the seats of justice, and colleges or assemblies of the wisest men of their nation; of which see 2Ki 22:14 1Ch 25:8 , &c.; Psa 122:5 : all which helps concurring together in him, which very rarely do in any other men, makes the argument drawn from his experience more convincing and undeniable.

Poole: Ecc 1:13 - I gave my heart // to seek and search out // This sore travail // hath God given to the sons of man // To be exercised therewith I gave my heart which phrase notes his serious and fixed purpose, his great industry and alacrity in it, to seek and search out to seek diligently ...

I gave my heart which phrase notes his serious and fixed purpose, his great industry and alacrity in it,

to seek and search out to seek diligently and accurately, by wisdom, wisely, or by the help of that wisdom wherewith God had endowed me, concerning all things that are done under heaven; concerning all the works of God and men in this lower world ; the works of nature, and their causes, effects, properties, and operations; the works of Divine providence, and God’ s counsels and ends in them; the work and depths of human policy in the conduct of personal, and domestical, and public affairs.

This sore travail this difficult and toilsome work of searching out these things,

hath God given to the sons of man God hath inflicted this as a just punishment upon man for his eating of the tree of knowledge, that instead of that sweet and perfect knowledge which God had freely infused into man at his first creation, he should now grope after some small parcels or fragments of it, and those too not to be gotten without the sweat of his brows and brains.

To be exercised therewith to employ themselves in the painful study of these things, which now is both their duty and their punishment. Or, as it is rendered in the margin, and by many others, to afflict them in or by it , to chastise their former curiosity, and to give them matter of continual humiliation and vexation. And therefore knowledge is so far from making men happy, that it exposeth them to trouble and infelicity.

Poole: Ecc 1:14 - I have seen // Behold // All is vanity and vexation of spirit I have seen i.e. diligently observed, and in great measure understood. Behold for it was a great surprise to me, and therefore may seem strange to ...

I have seen i.e. diligently observed, and in great measure understood.

Behold for it was a great surprise to me, and therefore may seem strange to you.

All is vanity and vexation of spirit and not only unsatisfying, but also troublesome, and an affliction or breaking to a man’ s spirit or mind. Or, as others, both ancient and modern translators, render it, a feeding upon wind , as these very words, save only that there is the verb from which this noun seems most probably deduced, are rendered, Hos 12:1 , where also it signifies a fruitless or lost labour, and a disappointment of their hopes and desires of satisfaction. And so this is a repetition of the same thing in other words, according to the manner of these books.

Poole: Ecc 1:15 - That which is crooked cannot be made straight // That which is wanting That which is crooked cannot be made straight all our knowledge serves only to discover our diseases and miseries, but is oft itself utterly insuffic...

That which is crooked cannot be made straight all our knowledge serves only to discover our diseases and miseries, but is oft itself utterly insufficient to heal or remove them; it cannot rectify those confusions and disorders which are either in our own hearts and lives, or in the men and things of the world.

That which is wanting to wit, in our knowledge, and in order to man’ s complete satisfaction and felicity, cannot be numbered; we know little of what we should or might know, or did know in the state of innocency, or shall know in the future life.

Poole: Ecc 1:16 - I communed with mine own heart // I am come to great estate // More wisdom than all they that have been before me // In Jerusalem // Had great experience // Wisdom and knowledge I communed with mine own heart I considered within myself in what condition I was, and what degrees of knowledge I had gained, and whether it was not...

I communed with mine own heart I considered within myself in what condition I was, and what degrees of knowledge I had gained, and whether it was not my ignorance that made me unable to rectify those errors, and supply those wants, and wiser men could do it, though I could not.

I am come to great estate Heb. I am grown great , to wit, in wisdom; or, I have magnified , or greatly enlarged . Have gotten , Heb. have added . As I had a large stock of wisdom infused into me by God, 1Ki 3:12 4:29 , so I have greatly improved it by conversation, and study, and experience.

More wisdom than all they that have been before me whether governors, or priests, or private persons; which was no vain boast, but a known and confessed truth, and profession hereof was necessary to demonstrate his assertion.

In Jerusalem which was then the most eminent place in the world for wisdom and knowledge.

Had great experience Heb. had seen much ; which intimates that his knowledge was clear, and certain, and experimental, as that is which we have from our own eyesight.

Wisdom and knowledge two words signifying the same thing, as may be gathered from Ecc 1:18 , and from the promiscuous use of them in this book, and in the Proverbs, and elsewhere, and implying all manner of knowledge, Divine or human, speculative or practical, political or philosophical.

Poole: Ecc 1:17 - I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly // Vexation of spirit I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly that I might thoroughly understand the nature and difference of truth and error, of vir...

I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly that I might thoroughly understand the nature and difference of truth and error, of virtue and vice, all things being best understood by contraries, and might discern if there were any opinion or practice amongst men which would give him full satisfaction.

Vexation of spirit or, feeding upon wind , as Ecc 1:14 .

Poole: Ecc 1:18 - Grief // Increaseth sorrow Grief or indignation , or displeasure within himself, and against his present condition. Increaseth sorrow which he doth many ways, partly, becaus...

Grief or indignation , or displeasure within himself, and against his present condition.

Increaseth sorrow which he doth many ways, partly, because he gets his knowledge with hard and wearisome labour, both of mind and body, with the consumption of his spirits, and shortening and embitterment of his life; partly, because he is oft deceived with knowledge falsely so called, and oft mistakes errors for truths, and is perplexed with manifold doubts, from which ignorant men are wholly free; partly, because he foresees, and consequently feels, the terror of many miseries which are or are likely to come to pass, which are unobserved by less knowing persons, and which possibly never happen; partly, because he hath the clearer prospect into, and quicker sense of, his own ignorance, and infirmities, and disorders, and withal how vain and ineffectual all his knowledge is for the prevention or removal of them; and partly, because his knowledge is very imperfect and unsatisfying, yet increasing his thirst after more knowledge, and consequently after more dissatisfaction, because instead of that just honour, and delight, and advantage which he expects from it, he meets with nothing but envy, and opposition, and contempt, because his knowledge quickly fades and dies with him, and then leaves him in no better, and possibly in a much worse, condition than the meanest and most unlearned man in the world.

Haydock: Ecc 1:1 - Jerusalem Jerusalem. This clearly designates Solomon. See ver. 12., and chap. xii. 8.

Jerusalem. This clearly designates Solomon. See ver. 12., and chap. xii. 8.

Haydock: Ecc 1:2 - Vanities Vanities. Most vain and despicable, (Calmet) and frustrating the expectations of men. (Menochius) --- St. Augustine reads vanitantium, and infer...

Vanities. Most vain and despicable, (Calmet) and frustrating the expectations of men. (Menochius) ---

St. Augustine reads vanitantium, and infers that this vanity of sublunary things is an effect of man's sin. Yet he afterwards discovered that he had read incorrectly. (Retractions i. 7.)

Haydock: Ecc 1:3 - Labour Labour. People fight for a mere point; for such is the earth compared with the universe. (Seneca, q. Nat.) Hoc est punctum, &c., Matthew xvi. ...

Labour. People fight for a mere point; for such is the earth compared with the universe. (Seneca, q. Nat.) Hoc est punctum, &c., Matthew xvi. 26.

Haydock: Ecc 1:4 - Ever Ever. Its substance remains, though the form be changed. (Calmet) --- At the end of time, it will be purified to continue for ever. (Worthington)

Ever. Its substance remains, though the form be changed. (Calmet) ---

At the end of time, it will be purified to continue for ever. (Worthington)

Haydock: Ecc 1:5 - Place Place daily. Its annual motion is then mentioned. (Calmet)

Place daily. Its annual motion is then mentioned. (Calmet)

Haydock: Ecc 1:6 - Spirit Spirit. The sun, (St. Jerome) which is like the soul of the world, and which some have falsely asserted to be animated; or rather (Calmet) the wind ...

Spirit. The sun, (St. Jerome) which is like the soul of the world, and which some have falsely asserted to be animated; or rather (Calmet) the wind is meant, as one rises in different parts of the world when another falls. (Pliny, [Natural History?] ii. 27.) (Menochius)

Haydock: Ecc 1:7 - Again Again. The sea furnishes vapours, &c. Homer (Iliad Greek: Ph. ) expresses himself in the same manner.

Again. The sea furnishes vapours, &c. Homer (Iliad Greek: Ph. ) expresses himself in the same manner.

Haydock: Ecc 1:8 - Hearing Hearing. In all sciences there are many difficulties. If a man had arrived at perfect knowledge, his researches would cease.

Hearing. In all sciences there are many difficulties. If a man had arrived at perfect knowledge, his researches would cease.

Haydock: Ecc 1:10 - New New. Such vicissitudes have occurred before, though we must not infer that the world is eternal; or that there have been many others before this, as...

New. Such vicissitudes have occurred before, though we must not infer that the world is eternal; or that there have been many others before this, as Origen would suppose. (Prin. iii. 5., &c.) (Calmet) ---

Men's souls, which are created daily, are nevertheless of the same sort as Adam's was; and creatures proceed from others of the same species, which have been from the beginning. (St. Thomas Aquinas, [Summa Theologiae] p. 1. q. 73.) (Worthington) ---

Natural and moral things continue much the same. (Menochius)

Haydock: Ecc 1:11 - Things Things. Otherwise we should read of similar events to those which we behold. The same cause naturally produces the same effect.

Things. Otherwise we should read of similar events to those which we behold. The same cause naturally produces the same effect.

Haydock: Ecc 1:12 - Israel Israel. This was the case with none of Solomon's descendants. (Calmet)

Israel. This was the case with none of Solomon's descendants. (Calmet)

Haydock: Ecc 1:14 - Vexation Vexation. Hebrew also, "food of wind;" (Symmachus) or "choice of the spirit." (Septuagint) People are eager to become learned, and yet find no sat...

Vexation. Hebrew also, "food of wind;" (Symmachus) or "choice of the spirit." (Septuagint) People are eager to become learned, and yet find no satisfaction. (Haydock) ---

All natural things are insufficient to procure felicity. (Worthington) O Curas hominum! O quantum est in rebus inane! (Persius.)

Haydock: Ecc 1:15 - Perverse // Fools Perverse. Habitual and obstinate sinners. (Calmet) --- Fools, who follow the broad road. (Haydock) --- Hebrew and Septuagint, "the defect canno...

Perverse. Habitual and obstinate sinners. (Calmet) ---

Fools, who follow the broad road. (Haydock) ---

Hebrew and Septuagint, "the defect cannot be numbered." We know not to what a height the soul of man might have risen, if he had continued faithful.

Haydock: Ecc 1:16 - Learned Learned. Solomon was blessed both with a natural genius, which he improved by study, and also he had the gift of supernatural wisdom. Yet he declar...

Learned. Solomon was blessed both with a natural genius, which he improved by study, and also he had the gift of supernatural wisdom. Yet he declares that all is vanity and pain.

Haydock: Ecc 1:17 - Errors Errors. Septuagint, "parables and science." But to discern the mistakes of men is a part of wisdom, (Calmet) and Grabe substitutes "wanderings," in...

Errors. Septuagint, "parables and science." But to discern the mistakes of men is a part of wisdom, (Calmet) and Grabe substitutes "wanderings," instead of "parables," after Theodotion, as Hebrew ealluth (Haydock) means "errors," (Calmet) or "follies." (Montanus)

Haydock: Ecc 1:18 - Labour Labour. He is bound to do more for heaven, as he is convinced of his own defects, and of the strict judgments of God. Wisdom is not true happiness,...

Labour. He is bound to do more for heaven, as he is convinced of his own defects, and of the strict judgments of God. Wisdom is not true happiness, but the means to obtain it. (Worthington) ---

The more a person knows, the more he is convinced of his own ignorance, (Calmet) and filled with grief, that wisdom should be so much concealed. (St. Jerome) ---

Those who are learned, feel indignant that their disciples should be so dull. (Menochius)

Gill: Ecc 1:1 - The words of the preacher // the son of David // King of Jerusalem The words of the preacher,.... Or the preacher's sermon. The whole book is one continued discourse, and an excellent one it is; consisting not of mere...

The words of the preacher,.... Or the preacher's sermon. The whole book is one continued discourse, and an excellent one it is; consisting not of mere words, but of solid matter; of things of the greatest importance, clothed with words apt and acceptable, which the preacher sought out, Ecc 12:10. The Targum is,

"the words of the prophecy, which the preacher, who is Solomon, prophesied.''

According to which this book is prophetic; and so it interprets it, and owns it to be Solomon's. The word "Koheleth", rendered "preacher", is by some taken to be a proper name of Solomon; who, besides the name of Solomon, his parents gave him, and Jedidiah, as the Lord called him, had the name of Koheleth; nay, the Jews say i, he had seven names, and to these three add four more, Agur, Jake, Ithiel, and Lemuel; the word by many is left untranslated k; but it seems rather to be an appellative, and is by some rendered "gathered", or the "soul gathered" l. Solomon had apostatized from the church and people of God, and had followed idols; but now was brought back by repentance, and was gathered into the fold, from whence he had strayed as a lost sheep; and therefore chooses to call himself by this name, when he preached his recantation sermon, as this book may be said to be. Others rather render it, "the gatherer" m; and was so called, as the Jewish writers say n, either because he gathered and got much wisdom, as it is certain he did; or because he gathered much people from all parts, to hear his wisdom, 1Ki 4:34; in which he was a type of Christ, Gen 49:10; or this discourse of his was delivered in a large congregation, got together for that purpose; as he gathered and assembled together the heads and chief of the people, at the dedication of the temple, 1Ki 8:1; so he might call them together to hear the retraction he made of his sins and errors, and repentance for them: and this might justly entitle him to the character of a "preacher", as we render it, an office of great honour, as well as of great importance to the souls of men; which Solomon, though a king, did not disdain to appear in; as David his father before him, and Noah before him, the father, king, and governor of the new world, Psa 34:11. The word used is in the feminine gender, as ministers of the Gospel are sometimes expressed by a word of the like kind; and are called maidens, Psa 68:11; to denote their virgin purity, and uncorruptness in doctrine and conversation: and here some respect may be had to Wisdom, or Christ, frequently spoken of by Solomon, as a woman, and who now spoke by him; which is a much better reason for the use of the word than his effeminacy, which his sin or his old age had brought him to. The word "soul" may be supplied, as by some, and be rendered, "the preaching soul" o; since, no doubt, he performed his work as such with all his heart and soul. He further describes himself by his descent,

the son of David; which he mentions either as an honour to him, that he was the son of so great, so wise, so holy, and good a man; or as an aggravation of his fall, that being the descendant of such a person, and having had so religious an education, and so good an example before him, and yet should sin so foully as he had done; and it might also encourage him, that he had interest in the sure mercies of David, and in the promises made to him, that when his children sinned, they should be chastised, yet his lovingkindness and covenant should not depart from them.

King of Jerusalem; not of Jerusalem only, but of all Israel, for as yet no division was made; see Ecc 1:12. In Jerusalem, the city of Wisdom, as Jarchi observes, where many wise and good men dwelt, as well as it was the metropolis of the nation; and, which was more, it was the city where the temple stood, and where the worship of God was performed, and his priests ministered, and his people served him; and yet he, their king, that should have set them a better example, fell into idolatry!

Gill: Ecc 1:2 - Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher // vanity of vanities, all is vanity Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher,.... This is the preacher's text; the theme and subject he after enlarges upon, and proves by an induction of p...

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher,.... This is the preacher's text; the theme and subject he after enlarges upon, and proves by an induction of particulars; it is the sum of the whole book;

vanity of vanities, all is vanity; most extremely vain, exceedingly so, the height of vanity: this is repeated, both for the confirmation of it, men being hard of belief of it; and to show how much the preacher was affected with it himself, and to affect others with the same. The Targum reads, "vanity of vanities in this world"; which is right as to the sense of the passage; for though the world, and all things in it, were made by God, and are very good; yet, in comparison of him, are less than nothing, and vanity; and especially as become subject to it through sin, a curse being brought upon the earth by it; and all the creatures made for the use of men liable to be abused, and are abused, through luxury, intemperance, and cruelty; and the whole world usurped by Satan, as the god of it. Nor is there anything in it, and put it all together, that can give satisfaction and contentment; and all is fickle, fluid, transitory, and vanishing, and in a short time will come to an end: the riches of the world afford no real happiness, having no substance in them, and being of no long continuance; nor can a man procure happiness for himself or others, or avert wrath to come, and secure from it; and especially these are vanity, when compared with the true riches, the riches of grace and glory, which are solid, substantial, satisfying, and are for ever: the honours of this world are empty things, last a very short time; and are nothing in comparison of the honour that comes from God, and all the saints have, in the enjoyment of grace here, and glory hereafter: the sinful pleasures of life are imaginary things, short lived ones; and not to be mentioned with spiritual pleasures, enjoyed in the house of God, under the word and ordinances; and especially with those pleasures, for evermore, at the right hand of God. Natural wisdom and knowledge, the best thing in the world; yet much of it is only in opinion; a great deal of it false; and none saving, and of any worth, in comparison of the knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ; all the forms of religion and external righteousness, where there is not the true fear and grace of God, are all vain and empty things. Man, the principal creature in the world, is "vain man"; that is his proper character in nature and religion, destitute of grace: every than is vain, nay, vanity itself; high and low, rich and poor, learned or unlearned; nay, man at his best estate, as worldly and natural, is so; as even Adam was in his state of innocence, being fickle and mutable, and hence he fell, Psa 39:5; and especially his fallen posterity, whose bodies are tenements of clay; their beauty vain and deceitful; their circumstances changeable; their minds empty of all that is good; their thoughts and imaginations vain; their words, and works, and actions, and their whole life and conversation; they are not at all to be trusted in for help, by themselves or others. The Targum is,

"when Solomon, king of Israel, saw, by the spirit of prophecy, that the kingdom of Rehoboam his son would be divided with Jeroboam, the son of Nebat; and that Jerusalem, and the house of the sanctuary, would be destroyed, and the people of the children of Israel would be carried captive; he said, by his word, Vanity of vanities in this world, vanity of vanities; all that I and my father David have laboured for, all is vanity!''

Gill: Ecc 1:3 - What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? This is a general proof of the vanity of all things, since there is no profit ...

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? This is a general proof of the vanity of all things, since there is no profit arises to a man of all his labour; for, though it is put by way of question, it carries in it a strong negative. All things a man enjoys he gets by labour; for man, through sin, is doomed and born unto it, Job 5:7; he gets his bread by the sweat of his brow, which is a part of the curse for sin; and the wealth and riches got by a diligent hand, with a divine blessing, are got by labour; and so all knowledge of natural and civil things is acquired through much labour and weariness of the flesh; and these are things a man labours for "under the sun", which measures out the time of his labour: when the sun riseth, man goeth forth to his labour; and, by the light and comfortable warmth of it, he performs his work with more exactness and cheerfulness; in some climates, and in some seasons, its heat, especially at noon, makes labour burdensome, which is called, bearing "the heat and burden of the day", Mat 20:12; and, when it sets, it closes the time of service and labour, and therefore the servant earnestly desires the evening shadow, Job 7:2. But now, of what profit and advantage is all this labour man takes under the sun, towards his happiness in the world above the sun? that glory and felicity, which lies in super celestial places in Christ Jesus? none at all. Or, "what remains of all his labour?" p as it may be rendered; that is, after death: so the Targum,

"what is there remains to a man after he is dead, of all his labour which he laboured under the sun in this world?''

nothing at all. He goes naked out of the world as he came into it; he can carry nothing away with him of all his wealth and substance he has acquired; nor any of his worldly glory, and grandeur, and titles of honour; these all die with him, his glory does not descend after him; wherefore it is a clear case that all these things are vanity of vanities; see Job 1:21. And, indeed, works of righteousness done by men, and trusted in, and by which they labour to establish a justifying righteousness, are of no profit and advantage to them in the business of justification and salvation; indeed, when these are done from right principles, and with right views, the labour in them shall not be in vain; God will not forget it; it shall have a reward of grace, though not of debt.

Gill: Ecc 1:4 - One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh // but the earth abideth for ever One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh,.... This shows that a man can have no profit of all his labour under the sun, because of...

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh,.... This shows that a man can have no profit of all his labour under the sun, because of his short continuance; as soon almost as he has got anything by his labour, he must leave it: not only particular persons, but families, nations, and kingdoms; even all the inhabitants of the world, that are contemporaries, live together in the same age, in a certain period of time; these gradually go off by death, till the whole generation is consumed, as the generation of the Israelites in the wilderness were. Death is meant by passing away; it is a going out of time into eternity; a departure out of this world to another; a quitting of the earthly house of this tabernacle for the grave, the house appointed for all living; it is man's going to his long home: and this is going the way of all the earth; in a short time a whole race or generation of men go off the stage of the world, and then another succeeds q; they come in by birth; and men are described from their birth by such as "come into the world"; for which there is a set time, as well as for going out, Joh 1:9; and these having been a while in the world, go off to make room for another generation; and so things have been from the beginning of the world, and will be to the end of it. Homer r illustrates this by the succession of leaves of trees; as is the generation of trees, he says, such is that of men; some leaves, the wind sheds them on the ground; others the budding forest puts forth, and they grow in their room in the springtime; so is the generation of men; one is born, and another ceases. Now death puts an end to all a man's enjoyments got by labour, his riches, honour, and natural knowledge; these all cease with him, and therefore he has no profit of all his labour under the sun;

but the earth abideth for ever; for a long time, until the dissolution of all things; and then, though that and all in it will be burnt up, yet it will rather be changed than destroyed; the form of it will be altered, when the substance of it will continue; it will not be annihilated, but renewed and refined. This is mentioned to show that the earth, which was made for man, of which he is the inhabitant and proprietor, is more stable than he himself; he soon passes off from it, but that continues; he returns to the earth, from whence he came, but that remains as it did; he dies, and leaves the earth behind him, and all his acquisitions in it; and therefore what profit has he of all his labours on it? Besides, that remains to have the same things transacted on it, over and over again, as has been already; God, that made it for men to dwell in, has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of men's habitations in it; he has appointed who shall dwell on it, and where, in successive generations; and till all these men are born and gone off, age after age, the earth shall continue, and then pass through its last change. The Targum is,

"the earth stands for ever, to bear the vengeance that is to come upon the world for the sins of the children of men.''

The Midrash Tanchuma, as Jarchi observes, interprets it of all the righteous of Israel, called the earth; and he himself, of the meek that shall inherit the earth: says R. Isaac s,

"one kingdom comes, and another goes, but Israel abideth for ever.''

Gill: Ecc 1:5 - The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The sun rises in the morning and sets at evening in our hemisph...

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The sun rises in the morning and sets at evening in our hemisphere, according to the appearance of things; and then it makes haste to go round the other hemisphere in the night: it "pants", as the word t signifies; the same figure is used by other writers u; like a man out of breath with running; so this glorious body, which rejoiceth as a strong man to run his race, and whose circuit is from one end of the heavens to the other, Psa 19:5; is in haste to get to the place where he rose in the morning, and there he makes no stop, but pursues his course in the same track again. By this instance is exemplified the succession of the generations of men one after another, as the rising and setting of the sun continually follows each other; and also sets forth the restless state of things in the world, which, like the sun, are never at a stand, but always moving, and swiftly taking their course; and likewise the changeable state of man, who, like the rising sun, and when at noon day, is in flourishing circumstances, and in the height of prosperity, but as this declines and sets, so he has his declining times and days of adversity. Moreover, like the rising sun, he comes into this world and appears for a while, and then, like the setting sun, he dies; only with this difference, in which the sun has the preference to him, as the earth before had; the sun hastens and comes to its place from whence it arose, but man lies down and rises not again till the heavens be no more, and never returns to his place in this world, that knows him no more, Job 7:10. The Jews w say, before the sun of one righteous, man sets, the sun of another righteous man rises.

Gill: Ecc 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 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north,.... The word "wind" is not in this clause in the original text, but is taken from t...

The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north,.... The word "wind" is not in this clause in the original text, but is taken from the next, and so may be rendered, "it goeth towards the south", &c. that is, the sun x before mentioned, which as to its diurnal and nocturnal course in the daytime goes towards the south, and in the night towards the north; and as to its annual course before the winter solstice it goes to the south, and before the summer solstice to the north, as interpreters observe. And the Targum not only interprets this clause, but even the whole verse, of the sun, paraphrasing the whole thus,

"it goes all the side of the south in the daytime, and goes round to the side of the north in the night, by the way of the abyss; it goes its circuit, and comes to the wind of the south corner in the revolution of Nisan and Tammuz; and by its circuit it returns to the wind of the north corner in the revolution of Tisri and Tebet; it goes out of the confines of the east in the morning, and goes into the confines of the west in the evening.''

But Aben Ezra understands the whole of the wind, as our version and others do, which is sometimes in the south point of the heavens, and is presently in the north;

it whirleth about continually; and the wind returneth again according to his circuits; which may be meant of the circuits of the sun, which has a great influence on the wind, often raising it in a morning and laying it at night; but it is the wind itself which whirls and shifts about all the points of the compass, and returns from whence it came, where the treasures of it are. Agreeably to Solomon's account of the wind is Plato's definition of it,

"the wind is the motion of the air round about the earth y.''

This also exemplifies the rotation of men and things, the instability, inconstancy, and restless state of all sublunary enjoyments; the unprofitableness of men's labours, who, while they labour for riches and honour, and natural knowledge, labour for the wind, and fill their belly with east wind, which cannot satisfy, Ecc 5:16; as well as the frailty of human life, which is like the wind that passes away and comes not again; and in this respect, like the rest of the instances, exceed man, which returns to its place, but man does not, Job 7:7.

Gill: Ecc 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 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full,.... Which flow from fountains or an formed by hasty rains; these make their way to the sea,...

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full,.... Which flow from fountains or an formed by hasty rains; these make their way to the sea, yet the sea is not filled therewith, and made to abound and overflow the earth, as it might be expected it would. So Seneca says z we wonder that the accession of rivers is not perceived in the sea; and Lucretius a observes the same, that it is wondered at that the sea should not increase, when there is such a flow of waters to it from all quarters; besides the wandering showers and flying storms that fall into it, and yet scarce increased a drop; which he accounts for by the exhalations of the sun, by sweeping and drying winds, and by what the clouds take up. Homer b makes every sea, all the rivers, fountains, and wells, flow, from the main ocean. Hence Pindar c calls the lake or fountain Camarina the daughter of the ocean But Virgil d makes the rivers to flow into it, as the wise man here; with which Aristotle e agrees. So Lactantius f says, "mare quod ex fluminibus constat", the sea consists of rivers. Both may be true, for, through secret passages under ground, the waters of it are caused to pass back again to their respective places from whence they flowed, as follows;

unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again; this also illustrates the succession of men, age after age, and the revolution of things in the world, their unquiet and unsettled state; and the unsatisfying nature of all things; as the sea is never full with what comes into it, so the mind of man is never satisfied with all the riches and honour he gains, or the knowledge of natural things he acquires; and it suggests that even water, as fluctuating a body as it is, yet has the advantage of men; that though it is always flowing and reflowing, yet it returns to its original place, which man does not. And from all these instances it appears that all things are vanity, and man has no profit of all his labour under the sun.

Gill: Ecc 1:8 - All things are full of labour // man cannot utter it // the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing All things are full of labour,.... Or "are laborious" g; gotten by labour, and attended with fatigue and weariness; riches are got by labour, and tho...

All things are full of labour,.... Or "are laborious" g; gotten by labour, and attended with fatigue and weariness; riches are got by labour, and those who load themselves with thick clay, as gold and silver be, weary themselves with it; honour and glory, crowns and kingdoms, are weighty cares, and very fatiguing to those that have them; much study to acquire knowledge is a weariness to the flesh; and as men even weary themselves to commit iniquity, it is no wonder that religious exercises should be a weariness to a natural man, and a carnal professor;

man cannot utter it; or declare all the things that are laborious and fatiguing, nor all the labour they are full of; time would fail, and words be wanting to express the whole; all the vanity, unprofitableness, and unsatisfying nature of all things below the sun; particularly

the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing; both one and the other require new objects continually; the pleasure of these senses is blunted by the same objects constantly presented; men are always seeking new ones, and when they have got them they want others; whatever curious thing is to be seen the eye craves it; and, after it has dwelt on it a while, it grows tired of it, and wants something else to divert it; and so the ear is delighted with musical sounds, but in time loses the taste of them, and seeks for others; and in discourse and conversation never easy, unless, like the Athenians, it hears some new things, and which quickly grow stale, and then wants fresh ones still: and indeed the spiritual eye and ear will never be satisfied in this life, until the soul comes into the perfect state of blessedness, and beholds the face of God, and sees him as he is; and sees and hears what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard below. The Targum is,

"all the words that shall be in the world, the ancient prophets were weary in them, and they could not find out the ends of them; yea, a man has no power to say what shall be after him; and the eye cannot see all that shall be in the world, and the ear cannot be filled with hearing all the words of all the inhabitants of the world.''

Gill: Ecc 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 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be,.... The thing that has been seen and heard is no other than what shall be seen and heard again; ...

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be,.... The thing that has been seen and heard is no other than what shall be seen and heard again; so that what is now seen and heard is only what has been seen and heard before; it is but the same thing over again; and that is the reason why the eye and ear are never satisfied; the same objects, as the visible heavens and earth, and all therein, which have been from the beginning, these are they which shall be, and there is nothing else to be seen and heard, and enjoyed;

and that which is done, is that which shall be done; what is done in the present age, nay, in this year, month, or day, shall be done over again in the next;

and there is no new thing under the sun; which is to be understood of things natural, as the works of creation, which were finished from the beginning of the world, and continue as they were ever since, Heb 4:3; the various seasons of day and night, of summer and winter, of spring and autumn, of heat and cold, of seed time and harvest, come in course, as they always did; these ordinances never fail, Gen 8:22. The things before mentioned, the constant succession of men on earth, who are born into the world and die out of it, just as they always did; the sun rises and sets at its appointed time, as it did almost six thousand years ago; the winds whirl about all the points of the compass now as formerly; the rivers have the same course and recourse, and the sea its ebbing and flowing, they ever had; the same arts and sciences, trades and manufactures, obtained formerly as now, though in some circumstances there may be an improvement, and in others they grow worse; see Gen 4:2, Exo 31:3; and even such things as are thought of new invention, it may be only owing to the ignorance of former times, history failing to give us an account of them; thus the art of printing, the making of gunpowder, and the use of guns and bombs, and of the lodestone and mariner's compass, were thought to be of no long standing; and yet, according to the Chinese histories, that people were in possession of these things hundreds of years before; the circulation of the blood, supposed to be first found out by a countryman of ours in the last century, was known by Solomon, and is thought to be designed by him in Ecc 12:6; and the like may be observed of other things. The emperor Mark Antonine f has the very phrase ουδεν καινον, "nothing new": so Seneca g,

"nothing new I see, nothing new I do.''

This will likewise hold good in moral things; the same vices and virtues are now as ever, and ever were as they are; men in every age were born in sin, and were transgressors from the womb; from their infancy corrupt, and in all the stages of life; there were the same luxury and intemperance, and unnatural lusts, rapine and violence, in the days of Noah and Lot, as now; in Sodom and Gomorrah, and in the old world, as in the present age; and there were some few then, as now, that were men of sobriety, honesty, truth, and righteousness. There is nothing to be excepted but preternatural things, miraculous events, which may be called new, unheard of, and wonderful ones; such as the earth's opening and swallowing men alive at once; the standing still of the sun and moon for a considerable time; the miracles wrought by the prophets of the Old and the apostles of the New Testament, and especially by Christ; and particularly the incarnation of Christ, or his birth of a virgin, that new thing made in the earth; these and such like things are made by the power of, he divine Being, who dwells above the sun, and is not bound by the laws of nature. Spiritual things may also be excepted, which are the effects of divine favour, or the produce of efficacious grace; and yet these things, though in some sense new, are also old; or there have been the same things for substance in former ages, and from the beginning, as now; such as the new covenant of grace; the new and living way to God; new creatures in Christ; a new name; the New Testament, and the doctrines of it; new ordinances, and the new commandment of love; and yet these, in some sense, are all old things, and indeed are the same in substance: there is nothing new but what is above the sun, and to be enjoyed in the realms of bliss to all eternity; and there are some things new h, new wine in Christ's Father's kingdom, new glories, joys, and pleasures, that will never end.

Gill: Ecc 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 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, see, this is new?.... This is an appeal to all men for the truth of the above observation, and carries in...

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, see, this is new?.... This is an appeal to all men for the truth of the above observation, and carries in it a strong denial that there is anything new under the sun; and is an address to men to inquire into the truth of it, and thoroughly examine it, and see if they can produce any material objection to it; look into the natural world, and the same natural causes will be seen producing the same effects; or into the moral world, and there are the same virtues, and their contrary; or into the political world, and the same schemes are forming and pursuing, and which issue in the same things, peace or war; or into the learned world, and the same languages, arts, and sciences, are taught and learned; and the same things said over again i: or into the mechanic world, and the same trades and businesses are carrying on: or the words may be considered as a concession, and carry in them the form of an objection, "there is a thing k whereof it may be said", or a man may say, "see, this is new"; so the Targum; there were some things in Solomon's time it is allowed that might be objected, as there are in ours, to which the answer is,

it hath been already of old time which was before us; what things are reckoned new are not so; they were known and in use in ages past, long before we had a being. R. Alshech takes the words to be an assertion, and not an interrogation, and interprets it of a spiritual temple in time to come, which yet was created before the world was.

Gill: Ecc 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 There is no remembrance of former things,.... Which is the reason why some things that are really old are thought to be new; because either the memo...

There is no remembrance of former things,.... Which is the reason why some things that are really old are thought to be new; because either the memories of men fail them, they do not remember the customs and usages which were in the former part of their own lives, now grown old; or they are ignorant of what were in ages past, through want of history, or defect in it; either they have no history at all, or what they have is false; or if true, as there is very little that is so, it is very deficient; and, among the many things that have been, very few are transmitted to posterity, so that the memory of things is lost; therefore who can say with certainty of anything, this is new, and was never known in the world before? and the same for the future will be the case of present things; see Ecc 2:16;

neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after; this will be the case of things present and future, that they will be buried in oblivion, and lie unknown to posterity that shall come after the things that are done; and if any person or persons should rise up and do the same things, they may be called new, though they are in fact old, for want of knowing that they were before. The Targum is,

"there is no remembrance of former generations; and even of later ones, that shall be, there will be no remembrance of them, with the generations of them that shall be in the days of the King Messiah.''

R. Alshech interprets it of the resurrection of the dead.

Gill: Ecc 1:12 - I the preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I the preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. Solomon having given a general proof of the vanity of all things here below, and of the insufficienc...

I the preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. Solomon having given a general proof of the vanity of all things here below, and of the insufficiency of them to make men happy, proceeds to particular instances, and begins with human wisdom and knowledge, which of all things might be thought to be most conducive to true happiness; and yet it falls short of it: he instances in himself for proof of it; and he could not have pitched on anyone more proper and pertinent to the purpose, who had all the advantages of obtaining wisdom, was assiduous in his pursuit of it, and made a proficiency in it above all mankind; wherefore he must be owned to be a proper judge, and whatever is concluded by him may be taken for granted as certain; and this is the sum of the following verses to the end of the chapter. Now let it be observed, that he was a "preacher", not a private person, and must have a good share of knowledge to qualify him for teaching and instructing others; and, more than this, he was a king, and did not want money to purchase books, and procure masters to instruct him in all the branches of literature; and when he entered upon the more profound study of wisdom, and especially when he said this, it was not in his infancy or childhood, or before he came to the throne, but after; even after he had asked, wisdom of God to govern, and it had been given him; yea, after he had been a long time king, as he now was; though the Jewish writers, as the Targum, Jarchi, and others, conclude from hence that he was not now a king, but become a private person, deposed or driven from his throne, which does not appear: moreover, he was king of Israel, not over a barbarous people, where darkness and ignorance reigned, but over a "wise and understanding people", as they are called Deu 4:6; and he was king over them in Jerusalem too, the metropolis of the nation; there he had his royal palace, where were not only the temple, the place of divine worship, but a college of prophets, and a multitude of priests, and an abundance of wise and knowing men, whom he had opportunity of conversing with frequently; to which may be added, his large correspondence abroad; persons from all kings and kingdoms came to hear his wisdom, as the queen of Sheba; and by putting questions to him, and so exercising his talents, not a little contributed to the improvement of them. Now a person so qualified must be a judge of wisdom, and what he says deserves attention; and it may be observed, that what he says, as follows, is "in verbo regis et sacerdotis", on the word of a king and preacher, who would never risk his honour, or forfeit his character, by saying an untruth.

Gill: Ecc 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 hath God given to the sons of men, to be exercised therewith And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom,.... As he had all advantages and opportunities, so he did not want for industry and application ...

And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom,.... As he had all advantages and opportunities, so he did not want for industry and application to obtain knowledge; he gave his mind to it; he took up a resolution not to be discouraged by any difficulties, but to break through them, if possible; he set about the work with great readiness and cheerfulness; he had a price in his hand to get wisdom, and he had a heart unto it; see Pro 17:16; and he pursued it with all diligence, with all his might and main: nor did he content himself with a superficial knowledge of things; but "searched" after the most recondite and abstruse learning, and penetrated into the utmost recesses of it, to find out all that was to be known; and this he did "by" using all the "wisdom" and sagacity, the light and strength of reason, and all those bright natural parts, which God had given him in a very extraordinary manner. And his inquiry was very extensive; it was

concerning all things that are done under heaven; into the nature of all things, animate and inanimate; trees, herbs, plants, fossils, minerals, and metals; beasts, birds, fish, and all creeping things; see 1Ki 4:33; with everything else in nature: he sought to make himself master of all arts and sciences; to get knowledge of all trades and manufactures; to understand everything in politics, relating to kingdoms and states, and the government of them; to observe all the actions of men, wise and foolish, that he might know the difference, and be a judge of what was right and wrong. And his observation upon the whole is,

this sore travail hath God given to the sons of men, to be exercised therewith: he found by experience it was a heavy task, which God had put upon the children of men, to get wisdom and knowledge in the way it was to be gotten; which was very burdensome and wearisome to the flesh; nay, he found it was an l "evil business", as it may be rendered; or there was something sinful and criminal, which God suffered men in their pursuit after knowledge to fall into, and which their studies exposed them to; as to indulge a vain and sinful curiosity, to pry into things unlawful, and to be wise above what is written; or to be too anxious in attaining natural knowledge, to the neglect of things of great importance; or to abuse or trust in knowledge attained unto, or be vainly elated and puffed up with it. Or this may be understood of the evil of punishment, which God inflicts on men for the sin of eating of the tree of knowledge; and that as he is doomed to get his bread, so his knowledge, with the sweat of his brow, that is, with great pains and labour; which otherwise would have been more easily obtained: but this God has done to "afflict" or "humble" m men, as the word may be rendered; to afflict or punish them for sin; and to humble them by showing them how weak are the powers and faculties of their minds, that so much pains must be taken to get a small share of knowledge. The Targum is,

"and I saw all the works of the children of men obnoxious to an evil business; the Lord gave to the children of men, to be afflicted with it.''

Gill: Ecc 1:14 - I have seen all the works that are done under the sun // and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit I have seen all the works that are done under the sun,.... All things done by the Lord, that were on the earth, and in it, and in the sea; he consider...

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun,.... All things done by the Lord, that were on the earth, and in it, and in the sea; he considered them, and endeavoured to search into the nature of them; and did attain to a very great knowledge of them, so that he could speak of them to the instruction of others; see 1Ki 4:33; and all that were done by men, by their head, or by their hands; all that were written or wrought by them; all their philosophical works and experiments, and all their mechanic operations; as well as all their good and bad works, in a moral sense; so the Targum,

"I saw all the deeds of the children of men, which are done under the sun in this world;''

and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit; not only the things known, but the knowledge of them; it is mere vanity, there is nothing solid and substantial in it, or that can make a man happy; yea, on the contrary, it is vexatious and distressing; it is not only a weariness to the flesh to obtain it, but, in the reflection of it, gives pain and uneasiness to the mind: it is a "breaking of the spirit" n of the man, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Alshech, interpret the phrase; it wastes and consumes his spirit, as well as his time, and all to no purpose; it is, as some ancient Greek versions and others render it, and not amiss, a "feeding on wind" o; what is useless and unprofitable, and like labouring for that; see Hos 12:1, Ecc 5:16; and so Aben Ezra.

Gill: Ecc 1:15 - That which is crooked cannot be made straight // and that which is wanting cannot be numbered That which is crooked cannot be made straight,.... By all the art and cunning, wisdom and knowledge of man, that he can attain unto; whatever he, in ...

That which is crooked cannot be made straight,.... By all the art and cunning, wisdom and knowledge of man, that he can attain unto; whatever he, in the vanity of his mind, may find fault with in the works of God, either of nature of providence, and which he may call crooked, it is not in his power to make them straight, or to mend them; see Ecc 7:13. There is something which, through sin, is crooked, in the hearts, in the nature, in the principles, ways and works, of men; which can never be made straight, corrected or amended, by all the natural wisdom and knowledge of men, which shows the insufficiency of it: the wisest philosophers among men, with all their parade of wit and learning, could never effect anything of this kind; this only is done by the Spirit and grace of God; see Isa 42:16;

and that which is wanting cannot be numbered; the deficiencies in human science are so many, that they cannot be reckoned up; and the defects in human nature can never be supplied or made up by natural knowledge and wisdom; and which are so numerous, as that they cannot be understood and counted. The Targum is,

"a man whose ways are perverse in this world, and dies in them, and does not return by repentance, he has no power of correcting himself after his death; and a man that fails from the law and the precepts in his life, after his death hath no power to be numbered with the righteous in paradise:''

to the same sense Jarchi's note and the Midrash.

Gill: Ecc 1:16 - I communed with my 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 I communed with my own heart,.... That is, looked into it, examined it, and considered what a stock and fund of knowledge he had in it, after all his ...

I communed with my own heart,.... That is, looked into it, examined it, and considered what a stock and fund of knowledge he had in it, after all his researches into it; what happiness accrued to him by it, and what judgment upon the whole was to be formed upon it; and he spoke within himself after this manner:

saying, lo, I am come to great estate; or become a great man; famous for wisdom, arrived to a very great pitch of it; greatly increased in it, through a diligent application to it;

and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem; or, "that before me were over Jerusalem" p; governors of it, or in it; not only than the Jebusites, but than Saul, the first king of Israel, or than even his father David; or, as Gussetius q, than any princes, rulers, and civil magistrates in Jerusalem, in his own days or in the days of his father; and also than all the priests and prophets, as well as princes, that ever had been there: and indeed he was wiser than all men, 1Ki 4:30; and even than any that had been in Jerusalem, or any where else, or that should be hereafter, excepting the Messiah; see 1Ki 3:12. And seeing this is said of him by others, and even by the Lord himself, it might not only be said with truth by himself, but without ostentation; seeing it was necessary it should be said to answer his purpose, which was to show the vanity of human wisdom in its highest pitch; and it was nowhere to be found higher than in himself;

yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge; or, "saw much wisdom and knowledge" r; he thoroughly understood it, he was a complete master of it; it was not a superficial knowledge he had attained unto, or a few lessons of it he had committed to memory; some slight notions in his head, or scraps of things he had collected together, in an undigested manner; but he had made himself thoroughly acquainted with everything worthy to be known, and had digested it in his mind.

Gill: Ecc 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 And I gave my heart to know wisdom,.... Which is repeated, for the confirmation of it, from Ecc 1:13, and that it might be taken notice of how assiduo...

And I gave my heart to know wisdom,.... Which is repeated, for the confirmation of it, from Ecc 1:13, and that it might be taken notice of how assiduous and diligent he had been in acquiring it; a circumstance not to be overlooked;

and to know madness and folly: that he might the better know wisdom, and learn the difference between the one and the other, since opposites illustrate each other; and that he might shun madness and folly, and the ways thereof, and expose the actions of mad and foolish men: so Plato s says, ignorance is a disease, of which there are two kinds, madness and folly. The Targum, Septuagint, and all the Oriental versions, interpret the last word, translated "folly", by understanding, knowledge, and prudence; which seems to be right, since Solomon speaks of nothing afterwards, as vexation and grief to him, but wisdom and knowledge: and I would therefore read the clause in connection with the preceding, thus, "and the knowledge of things boasted of", vain glorious knowledge; "and prudence", or what may be called craftiness and cunning; or what the apostle calls "science falsely so called", 1Ti 6:20; see Pro 12:8;

I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit; See Gill on Ecc 1:14; the reason follows.

Gill: Ecc 1:18 - For in much wisdom is much grief // and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow For in much wisdom is much grief,.... In getting it, and losing it when it is gotten: or "indignation" t, at himself and others; being more sensible ...

For in much wisdom is much grief,.... In getting it, and losing it when it is gotten: or "indignation" t, at himself and others; being more sensible of the follies and weakness of human nature;

and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow: for, the more he knows, the more he would know, and is more eager after it, and puts himself to more pains and trouble to acquire it; and hereby becomes more and more sensible of his own ignorance; and of the difficulty of attaining the knowledge he would come at; and of the insufficiency of it to make him easy and happy: and besides, the more knowledge he has, the more envy it draws upon him from others, who set themselves to oppose him, and detract from his character; in short, this is the sum of all human knowledge and wisdom, attained to in the highest degree; instead of making men comfortable and happy, it is found to be mere vanity, to cause vexation and disquietude of mind, and to promote grief and sorrow. There is indeed wisdom and knowledge opposite to this, and infinitely more excellent, and which, the more it is increased, the more joy and comfort it brings; and this is wisdom in the hidden part; a spiritual and experimental knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ, and of divine and evangelical truths; but short of this knowledge there is no true peace, comfort, and happiness. The Targum is,

"for a man who multiplies wisdom, when he sins and does not turn by repentance, he multiplies indignation from the Lord; and he who increases knowledge, and dies in his youth, increases grief of heart to those who are near akin to him.''

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Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Ayat / Catatan Kaki

NET Notes: Ecc 1:1 For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

NET Notes: Ecc 1:2 The motto Everything is futile! is the theme of the book. Its occurs at the beginning (1:2) and end of the book (12:8), forming an envelope structure ...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:3 This rhetorical question expects a negative answer: “Man has no gain in all his toil.” Ecclesiastes often uses rhetorical questions in thi...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:4 The term עוֹלָם (’olam) has a wide range of meanings: (1) indefinite time: “long time, duration,”...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:5 The word “again” does not appear in Hebrew, but is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.

NET Notes: Ecc 1:6 The use of שָׁב (shav, Qal active participle masculine singular from שׁוּב, shuv, “to retu...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:7 This verse does not refer to the cycle of evaporation or the return of water by underground streams, as sometimes suggested. Rather, it describes the ...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:8 The term מָלֵא (male’, “to be filled, to be satisfied”) is repeated in 1:7-8 to draw a comparison betw...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:9 Heb “under the sun.”

NET Notes: Ecc 1:10 Heb “in the ages long ago before us.”

NET Notes: Ecc 1:11 According to Qoheleth, nothing new really happens under the sun (1:9). Apparent observations of what appears to be revolutionary are due to a lack of ...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:12 For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

NET Notes: Ecc 1:13 Or “that keeps them occupied” or “that busies them.” The verb II עָנַה (’anah, “to b...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:14 Heb “striving of wind.” The word “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text; it has been added in the translation to make the c...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:15 Heb “cannot be counted” or “cannot be numbered.” The term הִמָּנוֹת (him...

NET Notes: Ecc 1:16 Heb “My heart has seen much wisdom and knowledge.”

NET Notes: Ecc 1:17 Heb “striving of wind.”

NET Notes: Ecc 1:18 This term does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 th...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 any...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 tha...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 ci...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 whi...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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, ...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 so...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 ca...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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...

Geneva Bible: Ecc 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 gr...

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Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Rentang Ayat

Maclaren: Ecc 1:4 - A Libation To Jehovah What Passes And What Abides One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh : but the earth abideth for ever.'--Eccles. 1:4. And the world...

Maclaren: Ecc 1:9 - A Libation To Jehovah The Past And The Future "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 ne...

Maclaren: Ecc 1:13 - A Libation To Jehovah Two Views Of Life This sore travail hath God given to the sons of man, to be exercised therewith.--Eccles. 1:13. He for our profit, that we might be ...

MHCC: Ecc 1:1-3 - --Much is to be learned by comparing one part of Scripture with another. We here behold Solomon returning from the broken and empty cisterns of the worl...

MHCC: Ecc 1:4-8 - --All things change, and never rest. Man, after all his labour, is no nearer finding rest than the sun, the wind, or the current of the river. His soul ...

MHCC: Ecc 1:9-11 - --Men's hearts and their corruptions are the same now as in former times; their desires, and pursuits, and complaints, still the same. This should take ...

MHCC: Ecc 1:12-18 - --Solomon tried all things, and found them vanity. He found his searches after knowledge weariness, not only to the flesh, but to the mind. The more he ...

Matthew Henry: Ecc 1:1-3 - -- Here is, I. An account of the penman of this book; it was Solomon, for no other son of David was king of Jerusalem; but he conceals his name Solomo...

Matthew Henry: Ecc 1:4-8 - -- To prove the vanity of all things under the sun, and their insufficiency to make us happy, Solomon here shows, 1. That the time of our enjoyment of ...

Matthew Henry: Ecc 1:9-11 - -- Two things we are apt to take a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction in, and value ourselves upon, with reference to our business and enjoyments ...

Matthew Henry: Ecc 1:12-18 - -- Solomon, having asserted in general that all is vanity, and having given some general proofs of it, now takes the most effectual method to evince ...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:1 - -- The title, Ecc 1:1, The words of Koheleth, son of David, king in Jerusalem , has been already explained in the Introduction. The verse, which does ...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:2 - -- The book begins artistically with an opening section of the nature of a preamble. The ground-tone of the whole book at once sounds in Ecc 1:2, which...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:3 - -- With this verse commences the proof for this exclamation and statement: "What profit hath a man of all his labour which he laboureth in under the su...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:4 - -- "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: and the earth remaineth for ev."The meaning is not that the earth remains standing, and...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:5 - -- "And the sun ariseth, the sun goeth down, and it hasteth (back) to its place, there to rise again."It rises and sets again, but its setting is not a...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:6 - -- "It goeth to the south, and turneth to the north; the wind goeth ever circling, and the wind returneth again on its circuits."Thus designedly the ve...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:7 - -- "All rivers run into the sea, and the sea becomes not full; to the place whence the rivers came, thither they always return again."Instead of nehha...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:8 - -- "All things are in activity; no man can utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, and the ear is not full with hearing."All translators and in...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:9 - -- "That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun."- The olde...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:10 - -- "Is there anything whereof it may be said: See, this is new? - it was long ago through the ages (aeons) which have been before us."The Semit. substa...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:11 - -- "There is no remembrance of ancestors; and also of the later ones who shall come into existence, there will be no remembrance for them with those wh...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:12 - -- "I, Koheleth, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem."That of the two possible interpretations of הייתי , "I have become"and "I have been,"no...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:13 - -- "And I gave my heart to seek and to hold survey with wisdom over all that is done under the sun: a sore trouble it is which God has given to the chi...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:14 - -- He adduces proof of the wearisomeness of this work of research: "I saw all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and str...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:15 - -- The judgment contained in the words, "vanity and a striving after the wind,"is confirmed: "That which is crooked cannot become straight; and a defic...

Keil-Delitzsch: Ecc 1:16-18 - -- "I have communed with mine own heart, saying: Lo, I have gained great and always greater wisdom above all who were before me over Jerusalem; and my ...

Constable: Ecc 1:1-11 - --I. THE INTRODUCTORY AFFIRMATION 1:1-11 The first 11 verses of the book introduce the writer, the theme of the bo...

Constable: Ecc 1:1 - --1. The title 1:1 The author identified himself by his titles. These titles as well as other refe...

Constable: Ecc 1:2 - --2. The theme 1:2 "Vanity" (Heb. hebel) means "meaningless."11 As Solomon used this word in Eccle...

Constable: Ecc 1:3-11 - --B. The Futility of All Human Endeavor 1:3-11 In this pericope Solomon gave general support to his theme ...

Constable: Ecc 1:3 - --1. The vanity of work 1:3 Rather than saying, "All work is vanity," Solomon made the same point ...

Constable: Ecc 1:4-11 - --2. The illustrations from life 1:4-11 To clarify his meaning and to support his contention in verse 3, Solomon cited examples from nature. Work produc...

Constable: Ecc 1:12--2:18 - --A. Personal Observations 1:12-2:17 There are four parts to this section (1:12-2:17) that fall into two p...

Constable: Ecc 1:12-15 - --1. Solomon's investigation of human achievement 1:12-15 Solomon had unique resources for investi...

Constable: Ecc 1:16-18 - --2. Solomon's evaluation of his investigation of human achievement 1:16-18 To conduct his investi...

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Pendahuluan / Garis Besar

JFB: Ecclesiastes (Pendahuluan Kitab) The Hebrew title is Koheleth, which the speaker in it applies to himself (Ecc 1:12), "I, Koheleth, was king over Israel." It means an Assembler or Con...

JFB: Ecclesiastes (Garis Besar) INTRODUCTION. (Ecc. 1:1-18)

TSK: Ecclesiastes 1 (Pendahuluan Pasal) Ecc 1:1, The preacher shews that all human courses are vain; Ecc 1:4, because the creatures are restless in their courses, Ecc 1:9, they bring for...

Poole: Ecclesiastes 1 (Pendahuluan Pasal) OR, The Preacher THREE things in general are to be noted concerning this book: 1. The author of it, who was Solomon, as is manifest both from the ...

MHCC: Ecclesiastes (Pendahuluan Kitab) The name of this book signifies " The Preacher." The wisdom of God here preaches to us, speaking by Solomon, who it is evident was the author. At the...

MHCC: Ecclesiastes 1 (Pendahuluan Pasal) (Ecc 1:1-3) Solomon shows that all human things are vain. (Ecc 1:4-8) Man's toil and want of satisfaction. (Ecc 1:9-11) There is nothing new. (Ecc ...

Matthew Henry: Ecclesiastes (Pendahuluan Kitab) An Exposition, with Practical Observations, of The Book of Ecclesiastes We are still among Solomon's happy men, his happy servants, that stood contin...

Matthew Henry: Ecclesiastes 1 (Pendahuluan Pasal) In this chapter we have, I. The inscription, or title of the book (Ecc 1:1). II. The general doctrine of the vanity of the creature laid down (Ec...

Constable: Ecclesiastes (Pendahuluan Kitab) Introduction Title The title of this book in the Hebrew text is all of verse 1. The Se...

Constable: Ecclesiastes (Garis Besar)

Constable: Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes Bibliography Archer, Gleason L., Jr. "The Linguistic Evidence for the Date of Ecclesiastes'." Jour...

Haydock: Ecclesiastes (Pendahuluan Kitab) ECCLESIASTES. INTRODUCTION. This Book is called Ecclesiastes, or the preacher, (in Hebrew, Coheleth ) because in it Solomon, as an excelle...

Gill: Ecclesiastes (Pendahuluan Kitab) INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES This book has been universally received into the canon of the Scriptures, by Jews and Christians. The former, indeed, ...

Gill: Ecclesiastes 1 (Pendahuluan Pasal) INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 1 After the title of the book, which describes the author of it, by his office, as a preacher; by his descent, as the ...

Advanced Commentary (Kamus, Lagu-Lagu Himne, Gambar, Ilustrasi Khotbah, Pertanyaan-Pertanyaan, dll)


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