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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 . 2Sa 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; 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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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/ecclesiastes-9.html. 1909-1922.