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Bible Commentaries
Ecclesiastes 9

Ellicott's Commentary for English ReadersEllicott's Commentary

Verse 1


(1) No man knoweth.—If this verse stood by itself we should understand, “Man cannot know whether he will experience marks of the Divine favour, or the reverse;” but taking Ecclesiastes 9:6 into account, we understand of a man’s own love or hatred the objects of which he cannot tell beforehand.

By all.—Rather, all is before them.

Verse 2

(2) He that sweareth.—Zechariah 5:3.

Verse 3

(3) We have again the sentiments expressed in Ecclesiastes 2:14-16; Ecclesiastes 3:19; Ecclesiastes 5:15; Ecclesiastes 6:12.

Verse 4

(4) There is a various reading here in the Hebrew. Our translators, following the older translators, adopt the reading of the margin. That of the text gives, instead of “joined,” a word signifying “chosen;” the best sense that can be given to which is to translate, “For who is excepted,” joining it with the previous verse, beginning this one, “To all the living,” &c. With regard to the statement of the following verses, comp. Psalms 6:3 and the marginal references there given. The shepherd’s dog is spoken of Job 30:1, and watchdogs Isaiah 56:10. Elsewhere in the Old Testament the dog is an unclean animal living or dead.

Verses 6-7

(6, 7) Now.—Rather, long ago.

Verse 7

(7) Accepteth.—The thought has been expressed before (Ecclesiastes 2:24; Ecclesiastes 8:15), that earthly enjoyment is to be received as given by God’s favour.

Verse 8

(8) 2 Samuel 12:20; 2 Samuel 14:2; Psalms 45:8; Psalms 104:14; Revelation 7:9.

Verse 10

(10) Thy hand findeth.—Leviticus 12:8; Judges 9:33; and margin, reff.

The grave.—Sheol (John 9:4).

Verse 11

(11) Romans 9:16.

Chance.—Elsewhere only in 1 Kings 5:4.

Verse 12

(12) Proverbs 7:23; Ezekiel 12:13; Hosea 7:12.

Verse 14

(14) Idle attempts have been made to find a historic reference in this passage. What is here told is so like the story (2 Samuel 20:0) of the deliverance of Abel-beth-Maachah by a wise woman, whose name, nevertheless, has not been preserved, that we cannot even be sure that the writer had any other real history in his mind.

Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ebc/ecclesiastes-9.html. 1905.
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