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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Ecclesiastes 8



1True wisdom is modest.
2Kings are to be respected.
6Divine providence is to be observed.
12It is better with the godly in adversity, than with the wicked in prosperity.
16The work of God is unsearchable.

Verse 1
Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.
2:13,14; 1 Corinthians 2:13-16
who knoweth
Genesis 40:8; 41:15,16,38,39; Job 33:23; Proverbs 1:6; Daniel 2:28-30,47; 4:18,19; 2 Peter 1:20
a man's
Exodus 34:29,30; Proverbs 4:8,9; 17:24; 24:5; Matthew 17:2; Acts 6:15
and the
Deuteronomy 28:50; Acts 4:13,29; Ephesians 6:19
Heb. strength.
2 Timothy 4:17

Verse 2
I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.
I counsel
Proverbs 24:21; Romans 13:1-4; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17
in regard
1 Kings 2:43; 1 Chronicles 29:24; Ezekiel 17:13-20; Romans 13:5

Verse 3
Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.
not hasty
10:4; Proverbs 14:29
1 Kings 1:50-52; 2:21-24; Isaiah 48:4; Jeremiah 44:16,17; Acts 5:8,9
Proverbs 16:14,15; 30:31; Daniel 4:35; 5:19

Verse 4
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
the word
1 Kings 2:25,29-34,46; Proverbs 19:12; 20:2; 30:31; Daniel 3:15; Luke 12:4,5; Romans 13:1-4
Job 33:12,13; 34:18,19; Romans 9:20

Verse 5
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.
2; Exodus 1:17,20,21; Psalms 119:6; Hosea 5:11; Luke 20:25; Acts 4:19; 5:29; Romans 13:5-7; 1 Peter 3:13,14
Heb. know. a wise.
2:14; 10:2; 1 Chronicles 12:32; Proverbs 17:24; Luke 12:56,57; 1 Corinthians 2:14,15; Philippians 1:9,10; Colossians 1:9; Hebrews 5:14

Verse 6
Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.
to every
3:1,11,17; 7:13,14
11:9,10; 12:1; Isaiah 3:11-14; 22:12-14; Luke 13:25; 17:26-30; 19:42-44; Hebrews 3:7-11

Verse 7
For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?
he knoweth
6:12; 9:12; 10:14; Proverbs 24:22; 29:1; Matthew 24:44,50; 25:6-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
or, how.

Verse 8
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
is no
3:21; 2 Samuel 14:14; Job 14:5; 34:14; Psalms 49:6-9; 89:48; Hebrews 9:27
1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 13:4
or, casting off weapons.
Deuteronomy 20:1-8; 2 Kings 7:15
Psalms 9:17; 52:5-7; 73:18-28; Proverbs 14:32; Isaiah 28:15,18

Verse 9
All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.
1:14; 3:10; 4:7,8; 7:25
there is
5:8,13; Exodus 14:5-9,28; Deuteronomy 2:30; 2 Kings 14:10-12; 25:7

Verse 10
And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.
2 Kings 9:34,35; Job 21:18,32,33; Luke 16:22
the place
Psalms 122:1-5; Acts 6:13
they were
2:16; 9:5; Psalms 31:12; Proverbs 10:7; Jeremiah 17:13; Hebrews 10:38

Verse 11
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Exodus 8:15,32; Job 21:11-15; Psalms 10:6; 50:21,22; Isaiah 5:18,19; 26:10; Isaiah 57:11; Jeremiah 48:11; Matthew 24:49,50; Romans 2:4,5; 2 Peter 3:3-10
Jeremiah 42:15

Verse 12
Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
a sinner
5:16; 7:15; 1 Kings 2:5-9; 21:25; 22:34,35; Proverbs 13:21; Isaiah 65:20; Romans 2:5; Romans 9:22; 2 Peter 2:9
7:18; Psalms 37:11,18,19; 112:1; 115:13; Proverbs 1:32,33; Isaiah 3:10,11; Isaiah 65:13,14,20-24; Matthew 25:34,41-46; Luke 1:50
fear before
3:14; 1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalms 96:9

Verse 13
But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.
it shall
Job 18:5; 20:5; 21:30; Psalms 11:5; Isaiah 57:21; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 13:49,50; John 5:29
Psalms 55:23; Isaiah 30:13; 2 Peter 2:3
as a
6:12; Job 7:6,7; 14:2; Psalms 39:5; 144:4; James 4:14

Verse 14
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.
a vanity
4:4,8; 9:3; 10:5
there be just
2:14; 7:15; 9:1-3; Job 9:22-24; 21:17-34; 24:21-25; Psalms 73:13,14; Malachi 3:15

Verse 15
Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
Then I
Some consider this as the cavil of an infidel objector, equivalent to the Epicurean maxim, Ede, bibe, lude; post mortem nulla voluptas, "Eat, drink, and play; there is no pleasure after death." But it may be regarded as a recommendation of a moderate use of worldly things, with a cheerful and contented mind; which may justly be considered as the greatest advantage which can be made of all below the sun: and amidst all changes, such a frame of mind, if the result of right principles, may and ought to be preserved; and it will be the recompence and solace of all our labours and toils.
2:24; 3:12,13,22; 5:18; 9:7-9; 1 Timothy 4:3,4; 6:17

Verse 16
When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)
When I
Solomon here records the result of his perplexing inquiries into the affairs of men, and the purposes, providence, and works of God. And when he examined with great attention and diligence into the works of God, he found he could neither comprehend nor explain them; and was persuaded, that no application or capacity would enable a man to fathom the depth of the Divine dispensations in this lower world. How vain, then, are all cavils against Divine providence; when we can neither understand, nor comprehend it!
9; 7; 7:25
there is that
2:23; 4:8; 5:12; Genesis 31:40; Psalms 127:2

Verse 17
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
that a man
3:11; 7:23,24; 11:5; Job 5:9; 11:7-9; Psalms 40:5; 73:16; 104:24; Proverbs 30:3,4; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 11:33


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 8:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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