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Bible Commentaries
Ecclesiastes 6

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-2

Ecc 6:1-2

Ecclesiastes 6:1-2

The terrible pessimism of Ecclesiastes continues in this chapter with the mention of certain misfortunes that befall human beings. The things mentioned here are indeed tragic; but all of them and countless others are the result of our fallen human family’s status as servants of Satan rather than servants of God. Solomon himself was part of the problem and no part of the solution. The value of his words lies in the fact that they do indeed carry a valid description of the life on earth by a race of men in rebellion against their Creator. Every man should ponder what is written here, and turn his heart to God who alone has the power to save mankind.

THE RICH MAN WHO CANNOT ENJOY HIS RICHES

Ecclesiastes 6:1-2

"There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy upon men: a man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacketh nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not the power to eat thereof, but an alien eateth it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease."

"So that he lacketh nothing for his soul" (Ecclesiastes 6:1). There is in this clause a terrible blindness on the part of the author, Solomon. That was his false notion that riches were capable of providing for the soul of a man, "all that he desireth." That was exactly the blindness of the rich man mentioned by Jesus who said, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry" (Luke 12:19). This is always the blindness of men who are, "not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). They think that the true `soul food’ is money and riches!

"God giveth him not the power to eat thereof" (Ecclesiastes 6:1). This might have been the result of all kinds of developments. An untimely death from disease, accident, murder, or a hundred other things could have robbed him of his power to enjoy what he had accumulated; but only one of them was mentioned here.

"An alien eateth it" (Ecclesiastes 6:2). How could that have happened? "The alien here could have been an invading army, a thief, or a dishonest business man who defrauded him.”

This entire chapter continues the theme of the futility of riches. The poor would discover some comfort in the fact that since he is poor he is not sharing in the evil which lies heavy on so many others. However, the message is directed toward the one who is able to gather and collect and yet fail to enjoy. The Preacher now turns to another side of the deceitfulness of riches and would have his reader note carefully that it is not possible to find satisfaction through possessions, where God does not permit, even when those possessions include everything the heart could desire!

Ecclesiastes 6:1 Wealth is relative. To the poor, a rich man is one who possesses more than he does. Thus, it is possible that a lesson is held in these verses for every man. Solomon does say that the incident which he has in mind is common or prevalent among men. In other words, one can see it everywhere. He also identifies it as an evil and influenced by vanity as it takes place once again under the sun. It is not to be thought of, therefore, as an incidental ill or burden but one that is “heavy” upon many men. When one looks to possessions for comfort and security and thus places his confidence in that which he owns, he is a prime candidate for the message the Preacher now proclaims.

Ecclesiastes 6:2 God is involved in this example in two ways: first, He permits the man to acquire all that his heart desires; secondly, He does not permit the man to enjoy what he has acquired. The first part of this verse is more easily understood. One can readily see that it is because of God’s providential activities working through His laws of nature that we have material success upon this earth. Jesus spoke to this point when he said that God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). It is evident that although men do not acknowledge that their success in gathering and collecting materialistic things comes as a direct result of God’s blessing, it nevertheless does. The mercy of God is demonstrated in the apparent success of the wicked. Such success should be a means of bringing the wicked to the acknowledgment that his wealth is a result of God’s goodness and thus come to repentance and humility before Him. However, men often gather and collect and fail to acknowledge God in their endeavors. It is this kind of man who also fails to enjoy what he possesses. The Preacher states that “God does not empower him to eat from them.” The phrase “to eat from them” is a metaphor for “to enjoy them.” Just what does “enjoy” mean in this instance? Or more to the point, how can one fail to enjoy such possessions when he has everything his heart desires? This part is not so easily explained.

What the one who accumulated the riches failed to do, the stranger who inherits them does. It is said of the stranger or foreigner, and this should be understood as one who is not of the same family or rightful live to inherit the wealth, that he does “enjoy” them. That is, he eats from them with great satisfaction. To say that God does not empower the rich man to enjoy what he has accumulated is stating that the rich man cannot divorce himself from the power of his wealth. He is still greedy of gain; he is hoarding his riches to his own hurt; he is not content and perhaps he fails in health as a result of his avaricious spirit and thus cannot use what he has gathered together. Whatever the cause of such failure to enjoy, it is spoken of that God does not permit it simply because God’s laws will not permit such to find joy. God has ordained that personal fulfillment and joy are to be found only within the confines which he has established. One who chooses to live outside such an area may be able, because of God’s mercy, to gather and collect great amounts of wealth, but he will not genuinely enjoy it!

When riches capture the heart and control the will of an individual, it is indeed an evil. Such evil is common among men. In addition, Solomon speaks of it as vanity and a sore affliction. That which one believed would fulfill his life and bring lasting satisfaction has created an emptiness instead and is making a hollow mockery of life itself. Not only is this true of possessions, it is also true of prominent positions (Cf. Ecclesiastes 4:13). “Honor” suggests that the man has a place of respect in his community. The idea that he “lacks nothing” speaks entirely to the elements of this world which are marked with futility. In contrast James speaks of one who is “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). There is a marked difference. The man in Ecclesiastes has every possible physical need met and all that his heart desires; yet he is not enjoying life. The man in James may not have any physical blessings and yet lacks nothing. The difference? The Christian man of whom James speaks is content because he possesses wisdom from above and potentially all the blessings in Christ are his (Colossians 2:3). Contentment in Christ is not a result of riches, prestige, health or long life. Rather, it is a result of spiritual maturity. Therefore, the poor man is to glory in his high position (in Christ) and the rich man rejoice in that he has been brought to see that his riches will not bring him enjoyment and he has been humbled and divorced from the control his possessions held over his life. Study James 1:1-11.

Verses 3-6

Ecc 6:3-6

Ecclesiastes 6:3-6

THE TRAGEDY OF THE GREAT MAN DENIED A BURIAL

"If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not filled with good, and moreover he have no burial; I say that an untimely birth is better than he: for it cometh in vanity, and departeth in darkness, and the name thereof is covered in darkness; moreover it hath not seen the sun nor known it; this hath rest rather than the other: yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, and yet enjoy no good, do not all go to one place?"

"If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years" (Ecclesiastes 6:3). For a man with 700 wives and 300 concubines, this was by no means an impossibility. As a matter of fact, Gideon fathered 70 sons (Judges 8:30).

"His soul be not filled with good ... and ... he have no burial" (Ecclesiastes 6:4). It is a tragic fact of life that, "In spite of family, longevity and fame, life may so miscarry as to incur life-long dissatisfaction and an unmourned death."

In the light of ancient concern regarding one’s proper burial, it would appear here that a man’s not being properly buried was considered as the ultimate disaster that could befall a human being. Christians, of course, reject this viewpoint out of hand. Some of the early Christians were fed to the lions in the Coliseum; but God’s people remembered the words of Jesus: "Fear not them that kill the body, but after that have no more that they can do" (Luke 12:4).

The pyramids of Egypt and the elaborate historical sepulchres of the wealthy and the great stand as mute and terrible monuments to the materialistic blindness of mankind that regarded the body as actually all that there was to a human being. In the ultimate resurrection of the dead, the inspired apostle tells us quite forcefully in his vision of the Resurrection that, "The sea gave up the dead that were in it" (Revelation 20:13). The bodies of such as were drowned in the sea would have been totally consumed.

The last verses of this paragraph affirm that a still-born fetus is better than a man who was denied an honorable burial.

"This hath rest rather than the other" (Ecclesiastes 6:5). Let men contemplate what is stated here. If a man should live 2,000 years, he still would find that the earth is no place to rest.

Ecclesiastes 6:3 Our attention has been drawn to riches, possessions and prominence in the community. Perhaps, one may reason, a large family and long life will surely bring personal joy. But, no, the Preacher reasons that though one fathers a hundred children and lives for two thousand years (Ecclesiastes 6:6) this will not change the picture. It would certainly add to his list of blessings which God permits him to have, but the additional blessings are not of such a nature that they in themselves will produce the joy.

The failure to have a proper burial was a disgrace (Isaiah 14:19-20). The tragedy of the rich man is compounded as he has everything his heart desires except the means of enjoyment, and now at the end of his useless and hollow life he has no burial. To leave a body upon the ground to be devoured by animals or fowls of the air was reserved for the enemies of Israel or the despicable members of their society. (Cf. 1 Samuel 17:46; Jeremiah 22:18-19) It is not noted as to the reason why the rich man does not have a burial, but circumstances of life led to this unfortunate conclusion. To face such a reality is indeed a heavy burden especially in light of the unlimited wealth the rich man possessed, to say nothing of the fact that he was honored in his community.

Once again the qualifying mark of such a man is the fact that “his soul was not satisfied with good things.” He has placed his values on things of this earth rather than being content with each day’s activities. The sorrow and bitterness of such a wasted life is intensified in the following analogy. He compares such a wasted life with a stillborn baby and concludes that miscarriage is better!

Ecclesiastes 6:4-5 The baby born prematurely or born dead is said to be better off than the rich man. This is a strange conclusion because the child has no name, is not honored in the community, knows nothing, and never experiences one day of life. It is nameless, unrecorded, unburied and unremembered! Yet, such an untimely birth is more to be desired than the long life of the rich man under consideration. The key appears in the marginal reading of verse five in the NASV. Here it reads, “more rest has this one than that.” The idea of rest is the reason why the one is desired above the other. It has previously been noted that when a rich man places his ultimate values on riches that he is restless at night and is unduly concerned for his riches during his waking hours. In other words, he has been robbed of rest. The stillborn does not experience the perpetual restlessness of the rich. Certainly one must agree that the description of the stillborn is depressing and undesirable. Yet, whatever the plight of the untimely birth, it is better than the misery of a covetous man! “Rest” may suggest “freedom from suffering.” The entire picture leads one to the conclusion that such rich men in any society are to be objects of pity rather than envy.

Ecclesiastes 6:6 There are three significant points in this verse: (1) Regardless of how long one may live, even if it is twice as long as the longest life recorded, it would not change the circumstances nor would one come to different conclusions, (2) the reason being that the man who is under consideration did not “enjoy good things.” This is the equivalent of verses two and three which teach that God did not permit him to enjoy life. (3) Both the stillborn and the rich man will return to dust and, in the grave as it were, there will be no remembrance of previous things. It is on the basis of these arguments that the conclusion is drawn that an untimely birth is better than living in the midst of plenty and yet failing to divorce oneself from an avaricious spirit.

Verses 7-9

Ecc 6:7-9

Ecclesiastes 6:7-9

SOLOMON FINDS MORE VANITY AND STRIVING AFTER WIND

"All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. For what advantage hath the wise man more than the fool? or what hath the poor man that knoweth how to walk before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity, and a striving after wind."

When life on earth, as considered apart from the knowledge of God, as the author of Ecclesiastes was speaking of it in these lines, "Then life itself is a rat-race that makes no sense at all. This awful truth is just as real to the modern man on his industrial treadmill as it was to the primitive peasant scraping a bare living from the ground (which God has cursed for Adam’s sake). He works to eat, for the strength to go on working, to go on eating; and, even if he enjoys his work and his food, the compulsion is still there." His mouth, not his mind, is in control.

Even with all of man’s vaunted discoveries, achievements, inventions, etc., there is an epic tragedy of human life on earth continually lived out in the lives of uncounted millions of people. Millions of children annually die without proper food from malnutrition and starvation. Disease and death are rampant in all lands. Oh yes, the average life-span has been increased a little; but it remains only a small fraction of what God intended, as evidenced in the lives of Adam and many of the patriarchs. What is wrong? Just one thing. Man’s wickedness.

Apart from God, "homo sapiens" (the wise one, as he calls himself) would be more appropriately named if he had called himself `homo ignoramus.’! Apart from God, mankind has no more future than the ichthyosaurus or the dinosaur. More and more our wretched human family is claiming for itself the scriptural designation that must be applied to unbelievers, namely, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1).

"Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire" (Ecclesiastes 6:9). Cook interpreted this to mean that, "A thing pleasant before the eyes is preferable to a future which exists only in the desire." If this is correct, then we have here the equivalent of the current saying that, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," the very same thought of every sinner who consents to take what his lustful eyes may see instead of those things eternal which are invisible (2 Corinthians 4:18).

In searching for one idea in these three verses which would give clear insight to the unlocking of the mystery of how one with such great wealth could go through life unfulfilled, one discovers the thought that “the appetite is not satisfied.” This explains the first seven verses in this chapter as well as giving direction to the remaining verses. The man under consideration has an insatiable appetite. He will never have enough regardless of how much he accumulates. Such a man is given over to the “cares of this world” and has lost control of his own spirit. In these three verses, therefore, we are discussing the same individual who has been under consideration from the beginning of this chapter. It is not to be concluded that the Preacher has one particular person in mind, but rather this evil which is common to men is simply being illustrated through a hypothetical situation. This activity is so designated as “futile” and “striving after wind.”

Ecclesiastes 6:7 Some render this verse as “All of man’s toil is for his mouth and yet his soul is not appeased.” In doing so, it is argued that mouth represents the lower areas of desire and soul represents the higher, spiritual areas. This, however, is not the intention of the verse. It is not a comparison; it is an additional argument to demonstrate that certain men labor endlessly for the products of food and pleasure, and yet their desire is never satisfied. Certainly it is the soul that desires such things and it is the soul that is in difficulty. What Solomon is saying is simply that some men are so attached to earthly things that like fire, the barren womb, and the grave itself they never cry, “Enough!” (Cf. Proverbs 30:15-16) Once again the lesson which teaches the power riches have over the minds of men is vividly demonstrated. Indeed the man’s soul is in trouble. He has perverted his true purpose of living to God’s glory and has become slave to things futile and transitory.

Ecclesiastes 6:8 One would think that the wise man would have great advantage over the fool. The wise man in this situation is the one who is skillful and has the ability to increase his possessions and receive healthy profits from his investments. In addition he has merited the esteem of his peers and managed his physical affairs in such a way that his life has been extended. He is also surrounded with his children. Yet, he does not hold an edge on the fool. The fool, of course, is the one who lacks the wisdom to make such a mark in his community as that which distinguishes the wise man. When a wise man fails to enjoy what he possesses, he is no better off than a fool. There is a sense in which he is indeed a fool (Luke 12:20).

The second part of this verse is difficult to understand. The tenor of this section would lead one to see here the simple statement that the poor man does not have an advantage over the wise man simply because, like the stillborn, all finally go to the grave and there are no distinctions there. The Paraphrase attempted to speak to this truth. However, there is much disagreement as to how the verse should actually be translated. Leupold translates it: “or what advantage has the poor man that knows how to walk over against the living?” He would argue that the poor Israelite, under Persian rule, is the only one who knows how to walk (because of his inheritance of Wisdom) over against the living (his oppressors). Two items militate against this translation or interpretation. One, the historical setting would necessitate a date at least 500 years later than Solomon, and secondly, such an interpretation does not speak to the line of reasoning pursued in this entire section. The Septuagint suggests that “the living” is to be translated “life,” and implies that he knows how to walk in this world to prepare for the life to come. Thus the Septuagint reads, “For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? since the poor man knows how to walk before life?” This idea appears to be foreign to not only the immediate context, but the thought of the entire book. The Anchor Bible eliminates the problem by actually changing the direction of thought and making the idea of “knowing how to conduct himself during his life” refer to the wise man and thus pointing out that this is the only advantage the wise man has over the fool. This translation seems to be more from convenience than meeting the issue. Perhaps what Solomon is saying is that the poor has his troubles, too. He never has his desires fulfilled, and thus his appetite does not receive the numerous benefits of the wise man, rich in the things of this world, but like the rich man his desires are insatiable. No man has an advantage over another if each is controlled by greed and earthly goods. If this is indeed the correct interpretation then what Solomon is saying is that such an evil is truly common to all men. Both the rich and the poor have demonstrated a failure to enjoy life, and both have the same misery as the result of a lack of fulfillment. Their inability to “eat from” what they possess places them on equal status in that respect at least.

Ecclesiastes 6:9 “What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires,” is not that which is spoken of in the same verse as “futility and striving after wind.” Rather, it is good advice and is in harmony once again with previous conclusions found in Ecclesiastes 2:24; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 5:18 and later in Ecclesiastes 6:12. The adage, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” speaks of this truth. It is better to take what one has and enjoy it rather than entertain a craving for what is possibly in the future and uncertain. To control one’s appetites and make the most of what one has is the mark of a truly wise man. God will evidently permit such a one to find joy in living and “eat from” what he possesses.

The contrary attitude which manifests the dissatisfaction with life regardless of what one possesses is that which Solomon speaks of as futile. The oft-occurring “striving after wind” marks this type of activity as totally useless.

Verses 10-12

Ecc 6:10-12

Ecclesiastes 6:10-12

SOLOMON’S CHARGE THAT LIFE ITSELF IS VAIN

"Whatsoever hath been, the name thereof was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him that is mightier than he. Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? For who knoweth what is good for man in his life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?"

The dark and pessimistic tone of these passages might be merely a presentation of what many evil men of his generation were saying, and that Solomon would renounce all of this pessimism in his glorious conclusion (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14); and, for Solomon’s sake, we may pray that this is the true explanation of this constant parade of the words `vanity and a striving after the wind,’ words which occur dozens of times in this book. However, in the light of Solomon’s Gargantuan wickedness, we also fear that these passages reveal the secrets of his evil life.

The Anchor Bible entitled these last two verses thus:

MAN’S LIFE IS BOTH FATED AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE

As the words stand in our version, this writer finds the full meaning of this chapter somewhat illusive, in spite of the fact that the radical pessimism is clear enough. Barton supposed that, "Ecclesiastes 6:11 is a reference to a dispute between the Pharisees and Sadducees with reference to how far fate influenced the actions of men." The same scholar affirmed that Ecclesiastes 6:12 should be understood as an assertion that, "No one knows what is good for man; because power, possessions, sensual enjoyment and wisdom have been shown to be vanity." Scott interpreted all three verses as a declaration that, "Everything that is, is predetermined and foreknown. Man cannot alter his fate, or comprehend the meaning of his brief and fleeting life." Samuel Cox’s comment on Ecclesiastes 6:12 is that, "It is impossible for you to know what is good for you to have. That on which you set your heart may prove to be an evil rather than a good when at last you get it."

Kidner understood the meaning thus: "These verses remind us that we shall not alter the way in which we and our world were made. Those things are already named and known (Ecclesiastes 6:10); and that is only another way of saying that the Creation owes its being to the command of God; and that command includes the sentence passed upon Adam and his posterity after the Fall in Eden." There is utterly no use for man to spend his time complaining about the way things are in this present evil world. We are getting exactly what our progenitors ordered when they elected the devil to be the authority which they chose to obey.

God promised Adam and Eve that in the day they disobeyed God they would surely die. That "day" was the seventh day of Creation (a day that is still in progress. See Hebrews 4.); and not a mere 24-hour period; and man is totally insane if he thinks he shall escape that sentence. It shall yet be executed upon Adam and Eve in the person of their total posterity when the probation of the human race is ended. And at that time, all mankind shall perish, the sole exceptions being those who have been redeemed through the blood of Christ. Read it, Sir! That is what the Bible teaches.

One may inquire, `why does not God end it all at once’? To this it may be replied that, it has been God’s purpose, from the beginning, to redeem a certain number from the Adamic creation unto eternal life and glory. That will be accomplished in God’s appointed time; and then the end will come, but not before then.

Solomon now returns to speak to a theme introduced in Ecclesiastes 1:9-11. This idea has been carried through his book. (Cf. Ecclesiastes 2:12; Ecclesiastes 3:15) The nature of man does not change. Man should know who he is and recognize that his ability to speak long and loud will not change his nature but only compound his futility. He concludes once more that one should simply make the most of the present and not fret over that which is beyond one’s control.

Ecclesiastes 6:10 What is man? Whatever he is, he is certainly less than God. Perhaps it is a passing observation, but the Preacher admonishes his readers not to dispute with Him that is stronger than man. The idea that God is Creator is consonant with all the teachings of the book. Direct reference to the fact is made when the Preacher begins to drive home his point like well-driven nails (Cf. Ecclesiastes 12:1; Ecclesiastes 12:11). The relationship that exists between “Adam” and the fact that Adam was taken from “the earth” is very close. God’s new creation is called Adam because he is taken from the earth. One has aptly translated the idea into the English with the sentence: “His name is earthling because he was taken from the earth.” Since this is true, man cannot dispute with God, for he is but the created, not the creator. It would also follow that man depends upon his Creator to empower him to eat of that which he possesses. The discussion here would be an additional argument for the Preacher’s main thesis: i.e. The gift of God is for a man to enjoy his labor and stay occupied each day with the gladness of his heart. The superiority of God is demonstrated that man can see the futility of trying to find enjoyment without Him. God is definitely the One who is stronger than man and the One with whom man cannot contend.

Ecclesiastes 6:11 Although the NASV translates this idea as “many words” which increase futility, other translators have offered varying suggestions. One popular translation supplies “things” for “words,” and thus suggests that wealth, pleasure, knowledge, all human pursuits along with every endeavor gives credence to the fact that man is subjected to futility. However, these are aspects that have previously been considered. The idea of “words” offers a different view of man. Now, one can see that the Preacher is saying that even though man is very glib and capable of varying and lengthy speeches, such exercises will only manifest his vanity. Perhaps this tendency on the part of man to demonstrate his futility through his speech was the thought in the Preacher’s mind when he admonished, “Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

We are now confronted with the question: What profit has a man? This may refer to the general approach of the entire book, or it may speak specifically to the immediate context. However, it is obvious that the Preacher is concerned about man’s role on this earth and if there is any way in which he can come to the end of the day and honestly say, “See, this is my profit for today!” It is evident from his previous reasoning that the rich have nothing more than the poor. We are to accept his inquiry then as a sad but true commentary of life’s endeavors. Regardless of what is accumulated, there is no profit to man who lives simply for pleasure itself.

Ecclesiastes 6:12 The first question of this verse has been taken by some to mean that he is not only questioning the meaning of life on the earth, but also the value of life to come. This is out of character with the book, and it is forcing the immediate context into an unwarranted position. He is speaking only to life as it is lived on this earth. Such ideas or terms as “futile,” “under the sun,” “few years,” “shadow” and “his life time,” verify this contention.

In answer to his question, the implication of verse ten is that God knows what is good for man. This is the basis for his reasoning in Ecclesiastes 5:18-20. Man is not in a position to determine what is good because he, like that which he desires, is subjected to vanity. His own conclusions, apart from God’s help, will inevitably lead to the frustrating burden of feasting on the wind.

To spend his life like a shadow suggests that it is fleeting. This figure reinforces the idea of a “few years.” Too much should not be made of the idea that when the sun goes down, the shadow vanishes. However, the concept of living one’s life under the sun is interesting in view of the analogy with the shadow. There is a sense in which when the sun sets life is over for all. (Cf. Ecclesiastes 8:13; 1 Chronicles 29:15) Sufficient comment has already been made concerning the shortness of life and the concurrent emptiness that accompanies it.

The final question of this section is: “For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?” It does not refer to eternity but rather to the activities which shall occur upon the earth tomorrow, the day after that or in the following years. No man knows. Since God is in control of His world and is the One who permits man to enjoy living, then it would follow that man should cease fretting about what might happen and live each day with simple trust and enjoyment. The wise, rich, but yet unhappy man has concerned himself with many problems that pertain to tomorrow: Who will come after him? To whom will he really leave all that he has collected and gathered? What if he has no son to carry on? Will he receive proper burial? What will people think of him when he has died? These and many other questions continually trouble his mind. He is rather required to submit to the power of God and enjoy with moderation the goods of life which God has permitted to accumulate and now potentially at least offer him the ability to enjoy.

Solomon’s Counsel - Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

Open It

1. What is something that gives you a real sense of satisfaction in life?

2. Why do you think most people are satisfied or dissatisfied with their life?

Explore It

3. What evil did Solomon notice? (Ecclesiastes 6:1-2)

4. What is the main topic of these verses? (Ecclesiastes 6:1-12)

5. From this chapter how would you describe Solomon’s outlook on life? (Ecclesiastes 6:1-12)

6. What shocking statement did Solomon make about children? (Ecclesiastes 6:3)

7. In what context did Solomon consider a stillborn child better off than a living person? (Ecclesiastes 6:5-6)

8. What is true about the fate of all people, including the stillborn? (Ecclesiastes 6:6)

9. What is never satisfied? (Ecclesiastes 6:7)

10. What question did Solomon ponder concerning the wise person and the fool? (Ecclesiastes 6:8)

11. What did Solomon consider to be better than the roving of the appetite? (Ecclesiastes 6:9)

12. What conclusions did Solomon reach about people? (Ecclesiastes 6:10)

13. What did Solomon conclude about words? (Ecclesiastes 6:11)

14. With what question does this chapter conclude? (Ecclesiastes 6:12)

Get It

15. Why is it meaningless to have wealth but be unable to enjoy it?

16. Why might the person who earned the wealth be unable to enjoy it, while someone who did not earn is able to enjoy it?

17. How should a person enjoy his or her possessions?

18. When might someone feel as if death was preferable to life?

19. Why is it impossible to satisfy human appetites?

20. How might the abundance of words result in less meaning?

21. What impact does the brevity of life have on you?

Apply It

22. What is something you want to change about your life-style in light of the brevity of life?

23. How can you better enjoy the things that God has given you?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/ecclesiastes-6.html.
 
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