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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Ecclesiastes 9



Verse 1

I considered = I have taken to heart.

even to declare. Septuagint and Syriac read, "and my heart proved".

the righteous =. just ones. God. Hebrew. Elohim.(with Art.) = the [true] God: the Deity. App-4.

hatred by all that is before them = hatred. All lies before them (i.e. in the future).

them: i.e. the righteous and the lawless.

Verse 2

All things come alike to all = Just as before all others. Reading on from Ecclesiastes 9:1.

one event: i.e. death. See note on Ecclesiastes 2:14.

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

sinner. Hebrew. chata. App-44. All the nouns in this verse are singular.

Verse 3

an evil. The Preposition (= B) in bebol, gives the force of the superlative: i.e. the greatest or worst calamity of all, &c.

evil = calamity. Hebrew. ra"a" App-44.

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

madness. Plural as elsewhere. See note on Ecclesiastes 1:17.

they go. Omit these words and note the Figure of speech Aposiopesis (App-6), "and after that to the dead! "See the following note.

Verse 4

For to him that is joined. Connect this with the end of preceding verse and render "For who is excepted? To all the living", &c.

hope = confidence. Hebrew. bittahon (from batah). App-69. Occurs only here, 2 Kings 18:19, and Isaiah 36:4.

a living dog, &c. Figure of speech Paroemia, App-6. Same proverb in Arabic.

living dog. Regarded by the Jews as the most unclean and despicable creature (1 Samuel 17:43; 1 Samuel 24:14. 2 Samuel 9:8; 2 Samuel 16:9. 2 Kings 8:13. Matthew 7:6; Matthew 15:26. Revelation 22:15). Hence Gentiles so called.

is = he [is]: i.e. even he.

better. See note on Ecclesiastes 2:24.

lion. Regarded as the noblest of animals (Genesis 49:10. Job 10:16. Isaiah 38:13. Lamentations 3:10. Hosea 13:7. Revelation 5:5).

Verse 5

the dead know not any thing. See and Compare Ecclesiastes 9:10. Psalms 6:5; Psalms 30:9; Psalms 31:17; Psalms 88:11. Isaiah 38:18, Isaiah 38:19.

a reward = any advantage [to them].

memory = the faculty of remembering. See note on "them", below.

them. The Hebrew suffix "them" must be taken as the subject in all the four nouns alike. As in Ecclesiastes 9:6, the possessive pronoun "their" is, and must be, taken alike in each case.

is forgotten = ceases to exist, as in Psalms 77:9, where it is parallel with "clean gone for ever "and "evermore", and in the next verse here(Ecclesiastes 9:6), where it stands parallel with "perished" and "for ever".

Verse 6

perished. Like the knowledge and memory of Ecclesiastes 9:5.

Verse 7

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27.

Verse 8

ointment = perfume.

Verse 9

labour . . . takest = toil. . . toilest.

Verse 10

thy hand findeth to do. Hand put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the strength put forth by it (Leviticus 12:8; Leviticus 25:28).

do it with thy might = do it while thou art able, and have time to do it.

nor knowledge, &c. See note on Ecclesiastes 9:5, above.

wisdom. Hebrew. chakmah. See note on Ecclesiastes 1:2. t

he grave. Hebrew Sheol. App-35.

Verse 11

men. Hebrew. gibbor. App-14.

chance = occurrence. Hebrew. phega" : i.e. "time[of misfortune]". Occurs only here and 1 Kings 5:4, where it is associated with "evil" (or calamity).

happeneth = meeteth, or befalleth.

Verse 12

For man, &c. Connect this sentence with Ecclesiastes 9:11.

man . . . men. Hebrew. "adam (with Art.) App-14.

Verse 14

a little city. For the application of verses: Ecclesiastes 9:14-16, note the following illustrations: poor (2 Corinthians 8:9. Philippians 1:2, Philippians 1:6-8); wise (1 Corinthians 1:24); delivered (1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 1:25); none remembered (Isaiah 53:3); despised (1 Corinthians 1:28); words heard in quiet (Job 6:24. Ezekiel 1:24, Ezekiel 1:25. Luke 10:39).

men. Hebrew, plural of "enosh. App-14.

Verse 15

there was found = [some one] was found.

poor = unfortunate. Hebrew. misken. See note on Proverbs 6:11.

poor wise. Some codices, with three early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "poor but wise".

man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

Verse 17

fools = fat, inert. Hebrew. kesil. See note on Proverbs 1:7.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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