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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Ecclesiastes 1

 

 

Introduction
1The preacher shews that all human courses are vain;
4because the creatures are restless in their courses,
9they bring forth nothing new, and all old things are forgotten;
12and because he has found it so in the studies of wisdom.

Verse 1
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
the Preacher
12; 7:27; 12:8-10; Nehemiah 6:7; Psalms 40:9; Isaiah 61:1; Jonah 3:2; 2 Peter 2:5
king
12; 1 Kings 11:42,43; 2 Chronicles 9:30; 10:17-19

Verse 2
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
2:11,15,17,19,21,23,26; 3:19; 4:4,8,16; 5:10; 6:11; 11:8,10; 12:8; Psalms 39:5,6; 62:9,10; 144:4; Romans 8:20

Verse 3
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
profit
2:22; 3:9; 5:16; Proverbs 23:4,5; Isaiah 55:2; Habakkuk 2:13,18; Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36,37; John 6:27
under
2:11,19; 4:3,7; 5:18; 6:12; 7:11; 8:15-17; 9:3,6,13

Verse 4
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
One generation
6:12; Genesis 5:3-31; 11:20-32; 36:9-19; 47:9; Exodus 1:6,7; 6:16-27; Psalms 89:47,48; 90:9,10; Zechariah 1:5
but
Psalms 102:24-28; 104:5; 119:90,91; Matthew 24:35; 2 Peter 3:10-13

Verse 5
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
sun
Genesis 8:22; Psalms 19:4-6; 89:36,37; 104:19-23; Jeremiah 33:20
hasteth
Heb. panteth.
Joshua 10:13,14; Psalms 42:1; Habakkuk 3:11

Verse 6
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
The wind
This verse should be connected with the preceding, and rendered, "The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose; going toward the south, and turning about unto the north. The wind whirleth about continually," etc. Alluding, in the former part, to the apparent daily motion of the sun from east to west, and to his annual course through the signs of the zodiac.
Job 37:9,17; Psalms 107:25,29; Jonah 1:4; Matthew 7:24,27; John 3:8; Acts 27:13-15

Verse 7
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
the rivers run
Job 38:10,11; Psalms 104:6-9
return again
Heb. return to go.

Verse 8
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
full
2:11,26; Matthew 11:28; Romans 8:22,23
man
4:1-4; 7:24-26
the eye
4:8; 5:10,11; Psalms 63:5; Proverbs 27:20; 30:15,16; Matthew 5:6; Revelation 7:16,17

Verse 9
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
that hath
3:15; 7:10; 2 Peter 2:1
and there
Isaiah 43:19; Jeremiah 31:22; Revelation 21:1,5

Verse 10
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
it hath
Matthew 5:12; 23:30-32; Luke 17:26-30; Acts 7:51; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16; 2 Timothy 3:8

Verse 11
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
There is
2:16; Psalms 9:6; Isaiah 41:22-26; 42:9

Verse 12
I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
1; 1 Kings 4:1-19

Verse 13
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
I gave
17; 7:25; 8:9,16,17; Psalms 111:2; Proverbs 2:2-4; 4:7; 18:1,15; 23:26; 1 Timothy 4:15
this sore
3:10; 4:4; 12:12; Genesis 3:19
to be exercised
or, to afflict them.

Verse 14
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
17,18; 2:11,17,26; 1 Kings 4:30-32; Psalms 39:5,6

Verse 15
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
crooked
3:14; 7:12,13; Job 11:6; 34:29; Isaiah 40:4; Lamentations 3:37; Daniel 4:35; Matthew 6:27
wanting
Heb. defect.

Verse 16
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
communed
2 Kings 5:20; Psalms 4:4; 77:6; Isaiah 10:7-14; Jeremiah 22:14; Ezekiel 38:10,11; Daniel 4:30
Lo
2:9; 1 Kings 3:12,13; 4:30; 10:7,23,24; 2 Chronicles 1:10-12; 2:12; 9:22,23
great experience of
Heb. seen much.
Hebrews 5:14

Verse 17
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
I gave
13; 2:3,12; 7:23-25; 1 Thessalonians 5:21
I perceived
2:10,11

Verse 18
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
For in
2:15; 7:16; 12:12,13; Job 28:28; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20; James 3:13-17

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ecclesiastes-1.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, May 26th, 2019
the <>Sixth Sunday after Easter
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