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Ecclesiastes Chapter 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes


Version: World English Bible


Ecclesiastes Chapter 6 Guide

The preacher knows prosperity experimentally far better than poverty. Moreover, by observation he is more familiar with men of wealth than with poor men, and, therefore, he returns to a declaration of the sorrows of the wealthy. A man possessing, cannot possess. Lacking nothing of all he desires, yet he cannot eat thereof. That is to say, he has a craving and desire within him which none of these things can appease. If a man be surrounded by children and yet at last have no burial, it would be better if he had never been born. Though he continue for two millenniums and enjoy no good during their passing, what advantage is there in it, for death is the final goal? In a pregnant phrase he expresses the emptiness of wealth. Wandering desire tells the story of the life of restless attempt to possess the best by the use of material things. After all, man is man, and nothing more, and there is no value in his contending with the Mightier One. If the afterward of life be uncertain, who can tell what is good for its experience? Evidently the thought of the preacher is that the more a man possesses under the sun, the more profoundly conscious does he become of the vanity and vexation of it all.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.