(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.
(2) He that sweareth.—Zechariah 5:3.
(3) We have again the sentiments expressed in Ecclesiastes 2:14-16; Ecclesiastes 3:19; Ecclesiastes 5:15; Ecclesiastes 6:12.
(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.
(6, 7) Now.—Rather, long ago.
(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.
(8) 2 Samuel 12:20; 2 Samuel 14:2; Psalms 45:8; Psalms 104:14; Revelation 7:9.
(10) Thy hand findeth.—Leviticus 12:8; Judges 9:33; and margin, reff.
The grave.—Sheol (John 9:4).
(11) Romans 9:16.
Chance.—Elsewhere only in 1 Kings 5:4.
(12) Proverbs 7:23; Ezekiel 12:13; Hosea 7:12.
(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) 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.
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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/
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