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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Ecclesiastes 3

 

 

Verse 1

a season = an appointed time. Hebrew. zrman. Compare Ezra 10:14. Nehemiah 2:6. Esther 9:27. A word is not necessarily a "later" word, because there has not been occasion for it to be used, or needed before. See App-76.

a time = a season. Note the 28 "seasons" (= 4x7. See App-10.) In Hebrew Manuscripts these are set out in 14 lines; 2 in a line, with a space between each pair.

purpose. Hebrew. hephez. Alleged to be later Hebrew. See App-76.

under the heaven. See note on Ecclesiastes 1:3.


Verse 2

to be born = to bear. Genesis 17:17, Genesis 17:21; Genesis 18:14; Genesis 21:2.

to die., Psalms 31:5, Psalms 31:15. Hebrews 9:27.

to plant (Compare Ecclesiastes 2:5): it is beyond man"s power to alter the seasons. Applied to a kingdom. Psalms 44:2; Psalms 80:8, Psalms 80:12, Psalms 80:13. Jeremiah 18:9. Amos 9:15.

to pluck up, &c., Jeremiah 18:7, Jeremiah 18:9.


Verse 3

to kill: i.e. Jud 1 Kings 2:23, 1 Kings 2:24, 1 Kings 2:28, 1 Kings 2:29, 1 Kings 2:34; 1 Kings 2:36, 1 Kings 2:37, 1 Kings 2:46. Psalms 88:31, Psalms 88:34. Jeremiah 12:8. Out of its proper "time", "to kill" is to murder. There is no "time" for this.

to heal., Isaiah 38:5, Isaiah 38:21; Isaiah 57:18. Psalms 107:20; Psalms 147:3.

to break down., Jeremiah 39:2, Jeremiah 39:8. Ezekiel 33:21. Malachi 1:4.

to build up (Compare Ecclesiastes 2:4). Nehemiah 2:17, Nehemiah 2:18, Nehemiah 2:20. Psalms 102:13-16. Isaiah 45:13; Isaiah 58:12; Isaiah 60:10. Daniel 9:25. Amos 9:11.


Verse 4

to weep., Genesis 23:2; Genesis 44:30. 2 Samuel 12:21. Joel 2:17. Jeremiah 21:9. Luke 6:25.

to laugh (Compare Ecclesiastes 2:1, Ecclesiastes 2:2). Genesis 21:6. Psalms 2:4; Psalms 37:13. Matthew 5:4; Matthew 9:15. Luke 6:21. Nehemiah 8:9.

to mourn., Genesis 23:2. 1 Samuel 16:1. Proverbs 29:2. Isaiah 38:14; Isaiah 61:2. Joel 1:9.

to dance., 2 Samuel 6:14. Psalms 149:3; Psalms 150:4. Jeremiah 31:13.


Verse 5

to cast away stones: as out of a vineyard. Isaiah 5:2. Leviticus 14:40, Leviticus 14:45, Judges 20:16. 1 Kings 15:22. Lamentations 4:1.

to gather stones together (Compare Ecclesiastes 2:4). Deuteronomy 27:4, Deuteronomy 27:5. Joshua 4:3, Joshua 4:8, Joshua 4:20; 1 Samuel 17:40. 1 Kings 18:31, 1 Kings 18:32. Psalms 102:14.

to embrace (Compare Ecclesiastes 2:3). Genesis 29:13; Genesis 33:4; Genesis 48:10.

to refrain from embracing., Proverbs 5:20. Joel 2:16. 1 Corinthians 7:5, 1 Corinthians 7:6.


Verse 6

to get = to buy, or acquire (Compare Ecclesiastes 2:8). Genesis 42:2, Genesis 42:7, Genesis 42:20. Ruth 4:5. 2 Samuel 24:21. Isaiah 55:1. Jeremiah 32:7. Ephesians 4:28.

to lose., Genesis 31:39. Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:25, Isaiah 47:9.

to keep., 1 Samuel 16:11. Proverbs 7:1. Luke 8:15. 2 Timothy 1:14. John 2:10; John 12:7.

to cast away., Judges 15:17. 2 Kings 7:15. Isaiah 31:7. Hosea 9:17. Hosea 11:1.


Verse 7

to rend., 1 Samuel 15:27, 1 Samuel 15:28; 1 Kings 11:11, 1 Kings 11:31; 1 Kings 12:31; 1 Kings 14:8. Joel 2:13. John 19:24.

to sew = to join together, adjust. Spoken of kingdom, as "rending" is: Ezekiel 37:15, Ezekiel 37:22, and references there. Compare Ezra 4:12, margin.

to keep silence., Leviticus 10:3. Psalms 32:2. Amos 5:13. 1 Timothy 2:11, 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 2:15. Compare Deu t. Ecclesiastes 3:26. Luke 1:22; Luke 4:41.

to speak., Exodus 7:2. Numbers 22:8. 2 Samuel 7:17. Psalms 2:5; Psalms 145:6, Psalms 145:11, Psalms 145:21. Ezekiel 2:7. Luke 1:19, Luke 1:20. John 16:13.


Verse 8

to love., Jeremiah 2:2. Ezekiel 16:8. Daniel 1:9. Galatians 1:5, Galatians 1:13. 2 Thessalonians 1:3.

to hate., 2 Samuel 13:15. Psalms 105:25. Proverbs 25:17. Luke 14:26. Proverbs 11:15; Proverbs 15:27; Proverbs 28:16. John 12:25. Jude 1:23.

of war., Exodus 17:16. Numbers 1:3, Numbers 1:20, Numbers 1:22; Numbers 26:2. Deuteronomy 3:18. Judges 3:2. 2 Samuel 3:1. Jeremiah 6:4. Luke 14:31. Revelation 12:7; Revelation 19:11, Revelation 19:19.

of peace., Joshua 11:23; Joshua 14:15. Leviticus 26:6. Judges 4:17. 1 Samuel 7:14. Psalms 72:3; Psalms 85:8. Proverbs 16:7. Isaiah 9:7. Zechariah 9:10. Romans 5:1. Ephesians 4:3.


Verse 9

laboureth = toileth.


Verse 10

seen the travail = considered the business.

travail. See note on Ecclesiastes 2:23.


Verse 11

his time = its proper season.

set = put.

the world. Hebrew. "olam = the ages; or the world (in relation to time). Here, put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject) for that which is inscrutable by man, viz. obscurity as to the past and the future ages, resulting in man"s incapacity for finding out, or comprehending the whole of what God doeth. This has resulted from the Fall.

their: i.e. the sons of men (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

God. Hebrew. Elohim.(with Art.) = the true God, or the Deity. App-4.

maketh = hath made, or done.

beginning to the end. The reason being given in Ecclesiastes 3:14. Man sees his own times of verses: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; but what God doeth is from time past to time future (Ecclesiastes 3:14); so that man cannot find that out to the end from the beginning.

the end. Hebrew. soph. One of the words said to belong to later Hebrew, but it is found in 1 Chronicles 20:16 ("conclusion"), and Joel 2:20 ("hinder part"). See also Ecclesiastes 7:2; Ecclesiastes 12:13, and App-76.


Verse 12

in them: i.e. in God"s works.

in = during.


Verse 14

for ever. Same word as "world "in Ecclesiastes 3:11. See note on Ecclesiastes 1:4.


Verse 16

under the sun. See note on Ecclesiastes 1:1.

wickedness = lawlessness. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.

iniquity. Same word as "wickedness" above. Figure of speech Epizeuxis (App-6).


Verse 17

the righteous = a righteous one.

the wicked = a lawless one. Hebrew. rasha" App-44.


Verse 18

God. Compare Ecclesiastes 3:11, and note on Ecclesiastes 1:11.

God might manifest them = God hath chosen them to show them that even they are beasts.

beasts = living creatures. As opposed to man = mammals: as opposed to creeping things = quadrupeds: as opposed to wild beasts = cattle.


Verse 19

that which befalleth. See note on "event", Ecclesiastes 2:14; and App-76.

one thing: i.e. death.

one breath = one spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9. Compare Genesis 2:7 with Genesis 1:20, Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:30; and App-13.

no preeminence, &c. Compare Psalms 49:12, Psalms 49:20; Psalms 146:4.


Verse 20

one place: i.e. Sheol, or the grave.

of the dust. See Genesis 1:24; Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:19; Genesis 3:19.

turn to dust again. See Genesis 3:19. Psalms 22:15; Psalms 104:29; Psalms 146:4. Job 10:9; Job 34:15. Compare Ch. Ecclesiastes 12:7.


Verse 21

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

of man. Hebrew "of the sons of Adam". See notes on verses: Ecclesiastes 3:3, Ecclesiastes 3:10, Ecclesiastes 3:13; Ecclesiastes 1:13.

that goeth, &c. This is mentioned as one of the emendations of the Sopherim, though it is not included in the official lists (see App-33). The primitive Text read the letter He (= H) as an interrogative, "whether it go" (Compare Ecclesiastes 2:19; Ecclesiastes 6:12). The Chaldee, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Luther, Geneva, and Revised Version follow this reading. Another school took the He (= H) as the article pronoun and read "that goeth", &c, thus avoiding a supposed objection to its public reading. This was followed by Coverdale, the Bishops" Bible, and the Authorized Version. It is therefore the Figure of speech Erotesis (App-6), leaving the question to he answered at the end of the book (Ecclesiastes 12:7).


Verse 22

better. See note on Ecclesiastes 2:24. Compare Ecclesiastes 11:9.

portion = share, as in Ecclesiastes 2:10, i.e. in the present life.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 3:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ecclesiastes-3.html. 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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