Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:4

for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Thompson Chain Reference - Memory-Oblivion;   Oblivion;   Wicked, the;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Darkness;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Birth;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for September 8;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He … his - Rather, it … its. The untimely birth is spoken of.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For he cometh in with vanity,.... The Targum adds, "into this world." Some understand this of the abortive, and render it, "though he cometh in with vanity"F24כי בא "quamvis venit", Drusius. , yet is to be preferred to the covetous man: others interpret it of the covetous man himself; and scrape of both: or, however, they may be compared together in these instances; the abortive comes into the world in vain, for nothing, and answers no purpose, as can well be observed; and the same may be said of a covetous rich man; he walks in a vain show, and is altogether vanity, in his coming in, in his life, and going out;

and departeth in darkness; or, "into darkness"F25בחשך "in tenebrositatem", Montanus; "in tenebras", Tigurine version, Mercerus, so Broughton. ; goes out of the world without any notice taken of him; and goes down to the dark grave, where he lies in obscurity;

and his name shall be covered with darkness; the abortive has no name, and is never spoken of; and so the name and memory of such a man as is here described rot and perish: and in this respect the abortive has the preference to him; for though he is covered with darkness, yet no ill is ever spoken of him; whereas the name of the wicked covetous man is cursed.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For d he cometh with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

(d) Meaning, the untimely fruit whose life neither profited nor hurt any.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he — rather “it,” “the untimely birth.” So “its,” not “his name.”

with vanity — to no purpose; a type of the driftless existence of him who makes riches the chief good.

darkness — of the abortive; a type of the unhonored death and dark future beyond the grave of the avaricious.

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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 6:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

He — The abortive; of whom alone, that passage is true, hath not seen the sun, verse5.

Cometh — Into the world.

In vain — To no purpose; without any comfort or benefit by it.

Departeth — Without any observation or regard of men.

His name — Shall be speedily and utterly forgotten.

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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 6:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:4 For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

Ver. 4. For he cometh in with vanity, &c.] As nothing, being senseless of good or evil. "And departeth in darkness," and is buried in hugger mugger. And his "name shall be covered," &c., that is, there is no more talk of this abortive.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ecclesiastes 6:4. For he cometh in with vanity, &c.— For it is in vain he came, and he shall depart in darkness.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For; or rather, although, as this particle is frequently rendered. For this verse seems to contain not so much a reason of what he last said, that an untimely birth is better than he, as an answer to an exception which might be made against it. Although all that is here said be true of the abortive, yet it is better than he. He; either,

1. The covetous man. Or rather,

2. The abortive; of whom alone, and not of the former, that passage is true, he hath not seen the sun, Ecclesiastes 6:5. Cometh in; into the world, this word being oft put for a man’s being born, as Job 1:21 Ecclesiastes 5:15. With vanity; or, in vain, to no purpose; without any comfort or benefit by it, which also is in a great measure the case of the covetous wretch.

Departeth in darkness; dieth obscurely, without any observation or regard of men.

Shall be covered with darkness; shall be speedily and utterly forgotten; whereas the name of such wicked men shall rot, and be remembered to their shame.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". 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

4.He cometh in with vanity — The abortion is further described. The “vanity” in which he comes is the disappointment of parental hope. The darkness in which he goes, is the quietness with which the little remains are put away. The darkness upon his name is the blank upon the family record, and the concealment of his existence in the utmost privacy of grief and mortification.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

He. The infant, though some explain it of the miser. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity".

The stillborn or miscarriage comes in futility, i.e. comes for no purpose. The miscarriage or stillborn is (still to this day) often buried without a ceremony, often the child isn"t even named, or if he or she is named, the name is quickly forgotten because the child never had a chance to make a name for himself. The immediate family might remember the name, but the rest of society is completely ignorant of this child"s short life. While we know the names of our neighbor"s or friend"s children, we are often completely ignorant concerning the fact that they may have had one or more miscarriages.

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Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he cometh: i.e. in the untimely birth of Ecclesiastes 6:3.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "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

For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

For he - rather, it, the "untimely birth."

Cometh in with vanity - to no purpose; a type of the driftless existence of him who maketh riches the chief good.

And his name shall be covered with darkness - the name of the untimely embryo. Translate, 'its name;' of the abortive: a type of the unhonoured death and dark future beyond the grave, of the avaricious.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "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

(4) He.—Rather, it—viz., the untimely birth.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.
his name
Psalms 109:13
Reciprocal: Exodus 10:21 - darkness

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ecclesiastes-6.html.