Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:10

Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is.
New American Standard Version

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Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Death;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for September 6;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That which hath been is named already - The Hebrew of this verse might be translated, "Who is he who is? His name has been already called. And it is known that he is Adam; and that he cannot contend in judgment with him who is stronger than he."

"What is more excellent than man; yet can he not, in the lawe, get the victory of him that is mightier than he." - Coverdale.

Adam is his name; and it at once points out,

  1. His dignity; he was made in the image of God.
  • His fall; he sinned against his Maker and was cast out of Paradise. And
  • 3. His recovery by Christ; the second man (Adam) was the Lord from heaven, and a quickening Spirit.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    Or, “That which has been named - i. e., events past or current, either Ecclesiastes 1:9 as they present themselves to man, or Ecclesiastes 3:15 as they are ordered by God - was long ago (i. e., was decreed, its nature and place were defined by the Almighty), and was known that it is man;” i. e., the course of events shapes the conduct and character of man, so that what he does and suffers is said to be or constitute the man. God from the beginning definitely ordained the course of events external to man, and constituted man in such a way that events materially affect his conduct and his destiny. Hence, God, by withholding from certain people the gift of contentment, and thus subjecting them to vanity, is acting according to the predetermined course of His Providence which man cannot alter (compare Romans 8:20). Others translate, “What there is, its name is named long ago and known, that it is man;” i. e., “What hath been and is, not only came into existence long ago Ecclesiastes 1:9; Ecclesiastes 3:15, but also has been known and named, and is acknowledged that it, besides other things, is specially man; that man always remains the same, and cannot go beyond his appointed bounds.”

    Him that is mightier - i. e., God; compare Ecclesiastes 9:1; 1 Corinthians 10:22, and marginal references.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1870.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    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.[5]

    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."[6] 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."[7] 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."[8] 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."[9]

    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."[10] 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.

    Copyright Statement
    Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
    Bibliographical Information
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/ecclesiastes-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man,.... Which may be understood of the first man Adam, who has been, has existed, was produced by the immediate power of God, creating and forming him out of the dust of the earth; was made after the image, and in the likeness of God, a wise and knowing creature, a rich and powerful one, the figure of him that was to come, being the head and representative of all his posterity; and he has been named already, he had his name from the Lord himself, suitable to his nature and formation; he called his name Adam, from "Adamah", the earth, from whence he was taken; and though he was so wise and great, and even affected deity, which was the snare laid for him by his enemy, it is well known he was but a man, of the earth, earthly, and returned to it again. Some have applied this to the second man, the Lord from heaven, as the ordinary gloss, and Jerom; and render it, "that which shall be", so the Vulgate Latin version; as yet he was not man, though he had agreed to be and was prophesied of that he should; however be was named already the seed of the woman, Shiloh, Ithiel, the Messiah, or Anointed; hence by Solomon, in allusion to this name, his "name is said to be as ointment poured forth", Song of Solomon 1:3; and as it was known that he should be man, so it is now known that he is really and truly man; though not merely so, but God as well as man; yet as to his human nature his Father is greater and mightier than he; but this sense some interpreters despise and laugh at: and indeed though the whole of it is truth, it does not seem to be the truth of the text, nor suitable to the context: rather the words are to be understood of mankind in general, of all men, not only that have been, but that are or shall be; these were all appointed to come into being by the Lord; they have been in his eternal purposes and decrees, and their names are written or not written in the Lamb's book of life; and they have all one common name, that of "man", weak, frail, mortal, wretched man; they are, as is said of the Egyptians, men and not God, Isaiah 31:3; particularly this is true of persons the most famous that have been in the world; such who have been in ages past, and their names have been called, or they have obtained a name among men, men of renown, that are on the list of fame; such who have been the most famous for wisdom, for riches, for strength, or for power and authority, and have even had deity ascribed to them, and divine worship given them; yet it has been notorious that they were but men, and not God, so Jarchi; and died as such; see Psalm 9:20. Moreover, this may be understood of all things relating to men; that all that has been, is, or shall be, has been already named of God, determined and appointed by him; so the Targum renders it,

    "all is the decree of the Word of the Lord;'

    all things relating to the temporal affairs of men, as to their birth and place of abode, their callings and stations of life; so to their circumstances of poverty or riches, which with all their craving desires and carking cares it is impossible for them to alter, or make them otherwise than they are; which is observed, to check the wandering and insatiable desires of men after worldly things;

    neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he; the Lord of the world, as the Targum; not the angel of death, as Jarchi; the devil, which had the power of death, and is stronger than men; nor death itself, as others, against which there is no standing, Ecclesiastes 8:8, Isaiah 28:15; but God himself, who is mightier than men, and with whom a creature should not strive or contend; either about his being and the make of it, or concerning his circumstances in the world, that they are not, greater and better than they be; or about God's decrees concerning these or other things; but quietly submit to his will, and be content in whatsoever circumstances they are, considering that he is the Creator, and a sovereign Being, they are creatures, and dependent on him; and let their circumstances be what they will, wise or unwise, rich or poor, they are but men, and can never rise higher; see Job 9:3. It is observed by the Masorites that this is just the middle of the book.

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    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it [is] man: neither may he contend with him that is h mightier than he.

    (h) Meaning, God who will make him feel that he is mortal.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    Part II begins here. Since man‘s toils are vain, what is the chief good? (Ecclesiastes 6:12). The answer is contained in the rest of the book.

    That which hath been — man‘s various circumstances

    is named already — not only has existed, Ecclesiastes 1:9; Ecclesiastes 3:15, but has received its just name, “vanity,” long ago,

    and it is known that it — vanity

    is manHebrew, “Adam,” equivalent to man “of red dust,” as his Creator appropriately named him from his frailty.

    neither may he contend, etc. — (Romans 9:20).

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    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1871-8.

    Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

    “That which hath been, its name hath long ago been named; and it is determined what a man shall be: and he cannot dispute with Him who is stronger than he.” According to the usage of the tense, it would be more correct to translate: That which (at any time) has made its appearance, the name of which was long ago named, i.e., of which the What? and the How? were long ago determined, and, so to speak, formulated. This שׁ ... כּבר does not stand parallel to היה כבר, Ecclesiastes 1:10; for the expression here does not refer to the sphere of that which is done, but of the predetermination. Accordingly, אדם ... ונו is also to be understood. Against the accents, inconsistently periodizing and losing sight of the comprehensiveness of אדם ... אשׁר, Hitzig renders: “and it is known that, if one is a man, he cannot contend,” etc., which is impossible for this reason, that אדם הוא cannot be a conditional clause enclosed within the sentence יוכל ... אשׁר . Obviously ונודע, which in the sense of constat would be a useless waste of words, stands parallel to שׁמו נקרא, and signifies known, viz., previously known, as passive of ידע, in the sense of Zechariah 14:7; cf. Psalms 139:1. Bullock rightly compares Acts 15:18. After ידע, asher, like ki, which is more common, may signify “that,” Ecclesiastes 8:12; Ezekiel 20:26; but neither “that he is a man” (Knobel, Vaih., Luzz., Hengst., Ginsb.), nor “that he is the man” (Ewald, Elst., Zöckler), affords a consistent meaning. As mah after yada' means quid , so asher after it may mean quod = that which (cf. Daniel 8:19, although it does not at all stand in need of proof); and id quod homo est (we cannot render הוּא without the expression of a definite conception of time) is intended to mean that the whole being of a man, whether of this one or that one, at all times and on all sides, is previously known; cf. to this pregnant substantival sentence, Ecclesiastes 12:13. Against this formation of his nature and of his fate by a higher hand, man cannot utter a word.

    The thought in 10b is the same as that at Isaiah 45:9; Romans 9:20. The Chethı̂b שׁהתּקּיף

    (Note: With He unpointed, because it is omitted in the Kerı̂, as in like manner in כּשׁה, Ecclesiastes 10:3, שׁה, Lamentations 5:18. In the bibl. Rabb., the ה is noted as superfluous.)

    is not inadmissible, for the stronger than man is מנּהּ ... מרי . Also התקיף might in any case be read: with one who overcomes him, has and manifests the ascendency over him. There is indeed no Hiph . הת .hpiH found in the language of the Bible (Herzf. and Fürst compare הג, Psalms 12:5); but in the Targ., אתקף is common; and in the school-language of the Talm., הת is used of the raising of weighty objections, e.g., Kamma 71 a . The verb, however, especially in the perf., is in the passage before us less appropriate. In לא־יוּכל lie together the ideas of physical (cf. Genesis 43:32; Deuteronomy 12:17; Deuteronomy 16:5, etc.) and moral inability.

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    The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
    Bibliographical Information
    Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1854-1889.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

    Is named — This is added as a further instance of the vanity of all things in this life. That which hath been (man, who is the chief of all visible beings) is named already, by God, who, presently after his creation, gave him the following name, to signify what his nature and condition was.

    Man — A mortal and miserable creature, as his very name signifies, which God gave him for this very end, that he might be always sensible of his vain and miserable estate in this world.

    With him — With almighty God, with whom men are apt to contend upon every slight occasion, and against whom they are ready to murmur for this vanity, and mortality, and misery.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
    Bibliographical Information
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1765.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    Ecclesiastes 6:10 That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it [is] man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

    Ver. 10. That which hath been is named already.] Or thus, That which is the name of it, hath been named already, {viz., Ecclesiastes 1:2-3} and it is known that it is Adam, or earthly man. The very notation of his name argues him mortal and miserable; whether he be wise or foolish, rich or poor, that alters not the case: - Homo sum, said one, humanum nihil a me alienum puto: I am a man, and therefore may not think strange of misery, whereunto I am born, as the sparks fly upward; [Job 5:7] he that forgets not that he is a man, will not take it ill that evil befalls him, (a) saith another. When Francis, King of France, being held prisoner by Charles V, Emperor of Germany, saw the Emperor’s motto, Plus ultra, More yet, written on the wall of his chamber, he underwrote these words, Hodie mihi, cras tibi: Today is my turn to suffer, tomorrow thine. The Emperor observed it and wrote underneath that, Fateor me esse hominem: I confess I am a man, and therefore subject to misery. (b) Metellus was by the Romans counted and called Felix, happy; so was Sulla, (c) but he proved true that holy proverb, "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning," for he died miserably of the lousy disease, that dashed all his former happiness. The Delphian oracle pronounced one Aglaus, a poor contented Arcadian, the only happy man alive. Solon preferred Tellus the Athenian, and Cleobis, and Bitus also, before rich Croesus, telling him further that he might be called rich and mighty but not blessed, till he had made a happy end; and so confuting his fond conceit of an imaginary felicity. (d) The Greeks, when they would call a man thrice miserable, they call him thrice a man. (e) The Hebrews, whereas they name a bee from the order of her working, a grasshopper from devouring, an ant from gnawing, an adamant from strokes bearing, a serpent from curious observing, a horse from neighing, &c, they give man his name Adam, from the dust whereof he was made, and Enoch, sorry-man, sick of a deadly disease, and so no way fit to "contend with God, who is much mightier than he," to require a reason of his judgments, which are sometimes secret, always just. God hath shut up all persons and things (as it were close prisoners) under vanity, by an irresistible decree. To strive against this stream, and by heaping riches, honours, pleasures, to seek to break prison and to withstand God’s will, is lost labour. Misery need not go to find such out, they run to meet their bane; which yet will - as we say of foul weather - come time enough before it is sent for.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1865-1868.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    This verse is added either as a proof of what he last said concerning the vanity and wandering of insatiable desires, or as a timber instance of the vanity of all things in this life.

    That which hath been (or, is, for the Hebrew verb) may be rendered either way, to wit, man considered with all his endowments and enjoyments, whether he be wise or foolish, rich or poor; man, who is the chief of all visible and sublunary beings, for whom they all were made) is named already, to wit, by God, who, presently after his creation, gave him the following name, to signify what his nature and condition was or would be. Heb. What is that which hath been, or is, it is, or hath been named already. Others understand it thus, All the several conditions which men have had or shall have in the world, riches or poverty, &c., are already named, i.e. appointed or determined by God’s unchangeable counsel and invincible providence. But though this be true, it seems not to suit so well with the following clause as the other interpretation doth.

    It is known that it is man; this is certain and manifest, that that being which makes all this noise and stir in the world, howsoever magnified by themselves, and sometimes adored by flatterers, and howsoever differenced from or advanced above others, by wisdom, or riches, or the like, is but a man, i.e. a mean earthly mortal and miserable creature, as his very name signifies, which God gave him for this very end, that he might be always sensible of his vain, and base, and miserable estate in this world, and therefore never expect satisfaction or happiness in it.

    With him that is mightier than he, i.e. with Almighty God, with whom men are very apt to contend upon every slight occasion, and against whom they are ready to murmur for this vanity, and mortality, and misery of mankind, although they brought it upon themselves by their own sins. So this is seasonably added to prevent the abuse of the foregoing passage.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1685.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    10.Koheleth reverts to the matter of wealth, as if asking why it affords no satisfaction. Because of the fixed order which the Almighty has established, and against which it is useless for man to struggle.

    That which hath been is named already — Rather, was previously called by name.

    Him that is mightier — That is, the Almighty. “Woe unto him that contendeth with his Maker.”

     

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1874-1909.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Ecclesiastes 6:10. That which hath been — Or, that which is, for the Hebrew מה שׁהיה, may be rendered either way; namely, Man, considered with all his endowments and enjoyments, whether he be wise or foolish, rich or poor; man, who is the chief of all visible and sublunary beings, for whom they all were made, is named already, namely, by God, who immediately after his creation called him Adam, (Genesis 5:2,) to signify what his nature and condition were or would be. This verse seems to be added as a further instance of the vanity of all things in this life. And it is known that it is man — This is certain and manifest, that that being, which makes all this noise in the world, however magnified by himself, and almost adored by flatterers; and however differenced from, or advanced above others, by wisdom or riches, or such like things, is but a mean, earthly, mortal, and miserable creature, as his very name signifies, which God gave him for this very end, that he might be always sensible of his vain and miserable estate in this world, and therefore never expect satisfaction or happiness from it. Neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he — That is, with Almighty God, with whom men are very apt to contend upon every slight occasion; and against whom they are ready to murmur on account of this their vanity, and mortality, and misery, although they brought it upon themselves by their sins. Bishop Patrick’s interpretation of this obscure verse is very nearly to the same purpose, thus: “What if a man have already arrived at great renown, as well as riches, still it is notorious that he is but a man, made out of the dust, and therefore weak and frail, and subject to many disasters; which it is not possible for him, by his most anxious cares, to prevent, or by his power and wealth to throw off when he pleases.” “This sense,” adds he, in a note, “seems to me the most simple, and most agreeable to the whole discourse, and it is that which Melancthon hath expressed in these words, ‘Although a man grow famous, yet it is known that he is but a man; and he cannot contend with that which is stronger than himself;’ that is, he cannot govern events.”

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    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    He, &c. This is plainly spoken of Christ, whose name was given before he was born; (St. Jerome; Worthington) or men resemble each other in all ages, (chap. i. 9.; Calmet) being proud, fragile, &c.

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1859.

    Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

    "Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is, for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is."

    "Whatever exists has already been named"-"Whatever hath been, long ago hath its name been given" (P.P. Comm. p. 140). "Whatever is, was long ago given its name" (NAB).

    "and it is known what man is"-"and the nature of man is known" (NAB).

    Points To Note:

    1 The idea appears to be that it is useless to argue against any of the truths which Solomon has noted. For the nature of man doesn"t change. Greed couldn"t satisfy ancient man, and it can"t satisfy modern man. "Man should know who he is and recognize that his ability to speak long and loud will not change his nature" (Kidwell p. 148). 2. "Whatever brave words we may multiply about man, or against His Maker, verses 10 and 11 remind us that we shall not alter the way in which we and our world were made" (Kidner p. 62). 3. But many people refuse to accept what God says about man and man"s nature. People seem bent on proving God wrong, they seem determined to prove that material things can bring them lasting happiness, that they can find lasting enjoyment in sin, that they can live selfish lives and be content. And beyond this, that they can supposedly change their gender, defy or completely ignore what God gave them, including their gender, their soul, or their emotional and mental nature (Romans ). We live in a society which seems determined to prove God wrong.

    "for he cannot"-i.e. man

    "dispute with him who is stronger than he is"-the "him" in this verse appears to be God. Man often will attempt to dispute with God or outright deny His entire existence. But man can"t win an argument with God, man can"t change the mind of God concerning things which are right and wrong.

    Points To Note:

    2 Solomon is making the point that it is pointless to argue with the truths being presented. Your arguments can"t change reality, you cannot be something other than "man". A person may try to argue that they can be completely happy without God (), or that God has given them nothing or they owe Him nothing (6:2). But such arguments are pointless and false. 2. Be impressed with the patience and mercy of God! Realize the amount of foolish talk that God puts up with on a daily basis! 3. "The idea of disputing with the Almighty (10b,11) fascinated Job, who abandoned it only after much heart-searching (and divine rebuke) (Job 42:1-6)….Yet we still find it easier to enlarge on the way things ought to have been than to face the truth of what they are" (Kidner p. 62).

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    Bibliographical Information
    Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1999-2014.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    That which hath been is named already, &c.:
    "What is he who hath been? "(Compare Ecclesiastes 1:9).
    Long ago his name was given;
    And it is understood what [that name was,]--
    It was Adam":
    which means vegetable mould, made in the likeness of Elohim,
    Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 5:1, Genesis 5:2. Made of "earth" he returns to earth (1 Corinthians 15:47): i.e. "vanity". This book is a comment on Psalms 144:4. Compare Psalms 39 ; 49 ; 62.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

    Part II. here begins. Since man's toils are vain, what is the chief good? (Ecclesiastes 6:12.) The answer is contained in the rest of the book.

    That which hath been (man's various plans for happiness in earthly things apart from God). Is named already - not only has existed, (Ecclesiastes 1:9; Ecclesiastes 3:15), but has received its just name, "vanity," long ago.

    Man - Hebrew, 'aadaam (Hebrew #120), 'man of red dust,' as his Creator appropriately named him from his frailty (Genesis 5:2; Genesis 3:19). Man is of earth, and returns to earth (1 Corinthians 15:47).

    Neither may he contend. Romans 9:20; 1 Corinthians 10:22 alludes to this passage: "Are we stronger than he?" Instead of restlessly contending with our lot here, which is His appointment, and insatiably seeking riches, let us thankfully enjoy His mercies, and learn the lesson of discipline and purification designed in our present trials (Ecclesiastes 3:18).

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    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (10) Of this difficult verse I prefer the translation, “What he is his name has been called long ago, and it is known that it is man; neither may he strive,” &c—i.e., the name given long ago to man (Genesis 2:7) indicates his weakness; neither can he contend with the Almighty. There may be a reference to Genesis 6:3, where a kindred word is used.

    Mightier.—The word here used is found only in the Chaldee books of the Bible and in later Hebrew.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.
    which
    1:9-11; 3:15
    and it
    Genesis 3:9,17-19; Job 14:1-4; Psalms 39:6; 82:6,7; 103:15
    neither
    Job 9:3,4,32; 33:13; 40:2; Isaiah 45:9,10; Jeremiah 49:19; Romans 9:19,20
    Reciprocal: Exodus 8:28 - entreat;  2 Samuel 2:22 - wherefore;  Job 16:21 - plead

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    Bibliographical Information
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ecclesiastes-6.html.

    Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

    Ecclesiastes 6:10. What he is—he, namely, to whom reference is here made—: Long ago was his name, named: that we are told by the name long ago given to him. There is a reference here to Genesis 5:2,—"and he called their name man, on the day on which they were created." In this name is expressed the impotence of man. He describes men as earthly, because they are taken from the earth, (Genesis 2:7) and because they must return to it, (Ecclesiastes 3:19). The article in התקיף which occasioned difficulty to the Masorite is quite regular. Hitzig remarks, "the meaning is not that a man cannot tight with a stronger (e.g. man), but that, man cannot struggle with the particular person who surpasses men, namely, God." Paul appears to allude to this passage in 1 Corinthians 10:22, μὴ ἰσχυρότεροι αὐτοῦ ἐσμεν: the practical conclusion therefrom is the uncertainty of riches, the ἀδηλότης πλούτου; and our duty, evidently is, not to set our hopes upon them but upon the living God, (1 Timothy 6:17) not to strive after riches, but to endeavour to stand well with our Creator. Inasmuch as man is absolutely dependent on God, he ought not to engage in many distracting occupations, he should not vex himself with cunning and violent modes of obtaining riches, because he cannot protect what he has gained, and knows not but that at any moment he may hear the call, "thou fool, this night will thy soul be required of thee." How foolish, then, to envy the heathen that wealth which may, like the flower of the "field, so soon fade away, (James 1:10-11).

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    These files are public domain.
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    Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:10". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/ecclesiastes-6.html.