Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Ecclesiastes 4

Verse 1

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

side. Hebrew "hand": put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the violence proceeding from it.

they: i.e. the oppressed. The phrase repeated for emphasis. Figure of speech Epistrophe. App-6.

Verse 2

praised = commended, or pronounced happy. Hebrew. sliabach, used only by David and Solomon.

Verse 3

better. See note on Ecclesiastes 2:24.

Verse 4

travail = toil, as connected with trouble, sorrow. Not the same word as in Ecclesiastes 1:13; Ecclesiastes 2:23, Ecclesiastes 2:26; Ecclesiastes 3:10; Ecclesiastes 4:8; Ecclesiastes 5:14.

every right work = all the dexterity in work.

man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

vexation, &c. = feeding on wind. See note on Ecclesiastes 1:14.

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

Verse 5

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

Verse 8

child = son.

labour = toil.

my soul = myself.

travail = fatigue from toil. See note on Ecclesiastes 2:23, Ecclesiastes 2:26.

Verse 12

prevail against = overpower. Hebrew. takaph, supposed to belong to later Hebrew, but it is found in Job 14:20 with Job 15:24 (the only three occurrences). See App-76.

a threefold cord. Compare Numbers 6:24-26. Micah 6:8. Titus 2:12, Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:3 with 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

Verse 13

poor = straitened in means, not able to profit others. Hebrew. misken. Not the same as in Ecclesiastes 4:14. Supposed to be a later Hebrew word, but a derivative of it is found in Deuteronomy 8:9. See App-76.

Verse 14

out of prison, &c. Compare Joseph (Genesis 41:40); Daniel (Daniel 5:29; Daniel 6:1-3).

born, &c. Compare Rehoboam, robbed by Shishak (1 Kings 14:25-28).

poor = needy, in want. Hebrew. rush. See note on "poverty", Proverbs 6:11. Proverbs 6:16

vexation. The same word as in Ecclesiastes 1:17; Ecclesiastes 2:22.

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