Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:6

Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things—do not all go to one place?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Death;   Old Age;  
Dictionaries:
Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ecclesiastes, the Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
The Jewish Encyclopedia - Right and Righteousness;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for September 8;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He live - Rather, he hath lived. “He” refers to the man Ecclesiastes 6:3. His want of satisfaction in life, and the dishonor done to his corpse, are regarded as such great evils that they counterbalance his numerous children, and length of days, and render his lot viewed as a whole no better than the common lot of all.

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

The Biblical Illustrator

Ecclesiastes 6:6

Do not all go to one place?

All men’s place

Do you know what the wise man means when he offers this question to your consideration, “Do not all go to one place?” The thing, no doubt, here spoken of is death; the place here spoken of, no doubt, is the grave. An amazing consideration! part of the first sentence that the great and holy God ever denounced against fallen man, to one and all, “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.” But in another case we may venture to contradict even Solomon: for ii we consider the words of our text in another view, all do not go to one place; it is true, all are buried in the grave either of earth or water, but then after death comes judgment; death gives the decisive, the separating blow. Suppose, then, in our enlarging on the text, we should confine the word “all” to the unregenerate; these, indeed, die when they will, all go to one place. O awful thought I and yet it is n certain truth, all on earth must go to one place; if we live like devils here, we must go to, and be with them, when we die, for ever! A blessed minister of Christ, in Scotland, told me a story he knew for truth, of a dreadful answer a poor creature gave on her deathbed. This person when dying was asked by a minister, “Where do you hope to go when you die?” Says she, “I do not care where I go.” “What,” says he, ‘“do not you care whether you go to heaven or hell? No,” says she; “I do not care whither I go.” “But,” says he, “if you were put to your choice, where would you go?” Says she, “To hell.” To that he replied, “Are you mad--will you go to hell?” “Yes,” says she, “I will.” “Why so?” says he. “Why,” says she, “all my relations are there.” But I have another place to tell you of, and another sort of people to speak of, who shall all, as well as those I have spoken of, go to one place; blessed is it to live in God. When death closes the eyes, an actual separation is made, and instead of hearing “Depart, ye cursed,” they will hear, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” If you ask where that place is? I answer, to heaven; if you ask to whom they shall go? I answer, to the spirits of just men made perfect; and, what will be best of all, to Jesus Christ, the heavenly inheritance. If we were not to go to Him, what would heaven be? If we were not to see Him, what would glory be? (G. Whitefield, M. A.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ecclesiastes 6:6". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told,.... Or two thousand years, which no man ever did, nor even one thousand years; Methuselah, the oldest man, did not live so long as that; this is than twice the age of the oldest man: there is one sort of the Ethiopians, who are saidF1Mela tie Situ Orbis, l. 3. c. 9. to live almost half space of time longer than usual, called from thence Macrobii; which PlinyF2Nat. Hist. 1. 7. c. 2. makes to be one hundred and forty years, which is just double the common term of life. This here is only a supposition. Aben Ezra interprets it, "a thousand thousand", but wrongly; so the Arabic version, "though he lives many thousand years";

yet hath he seen no good, not enjoyed the good of his labour, what he has been labouring for and was possessed of; and therefore has lived so long as he has to very little purpose, and with very little comfort or credit; and especially he has had no experience of spiritual good;

do not all go to one place? that is, the grave; they do, even all men; it is the house appointed for all living, Job 30:23; and hither go both the abortive, and the covetous rich man; so that he has in this no pre-eminence to it. Jarchi interprets it of hell, the one place, whither all sinners go; but the former sense is best.

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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 6:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ecclesiastes-6.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

If the miser‘s length of “life” be thought to raise him above the abortive, Solomon answers that long life, without enjoying real good, is but lengthened misery, and riches cannot exempt him from going whither “all go.” He is fit neither for life, nor death, nor eternity.

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

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

A life extending to more than even a thousand years without enjoyment appears to him worthless: “And if he has lived twice a thousand years long, and not seen good - Do not all go hence to one place?” This long period of life, as well as the shortest, sinks into the night of Sheol, and has advantage over the shortest if it wants the ראות ט, i.e., the enjoyment of that which can make man happy. That would be correct if “good” were understood inwardly, ethically, spiritually; but although, according to Koheleth's view, the fear of God presides over the enjoyment of life, regulating and hallowing it, yet it remains unknown to him that life deepened into fellowship with God is in itself a most real and blessed, and thus the highest good. Regarding אלּוּ (here, as at Esther 7:4, with perf. foll.: etsi vixisset, tamen interrogarem: nonne, etc.); it occurs also in the oldest liturgical Tefilla, as well as in the prayer Nishmath ( vid ., Baer's Siddur, Abodath Jisrael, p. 207). פּ ... אלף, a thousand years twice, and thus an Adam's life once and yet again. Otherwise Aben Ezra: 1000 years multiplied by itself, thus a million, like פּעמים עשׂרים, 20 x 20 = 400; cf. Targ. Isaiah 30:26, which translates שׁבעתים by 343 = 7 x 7 x 7. Perhaps that is right; for why was not the expression שׁנה אלפּים directly used? The “one place” is, as at Ecclesiastes 3:20, the grave and Hades, into which all the living fall. A life extending even to a million of years is worthless, for it terminates at last in nothing. Life has only as much value as it yields of enjoyment.

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

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

Tho' he live — Wherein he seems to have a privilege above an untimely birth.

Seen — He hath enjoyed no comfort in it, and therefore long life is rather a curse, than a blessing to him.

All — Whether their lives be long or short.

Go — To the grave.

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

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice [told], yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

Ver. 6. Yea, though he live a thousand years.] Which yet never any man did; Methuselah wanted thirty-two of a thousand. - The reason thereof is given by Oecolampadius; " Quia numerus iste typum habeat perfectionis, ut qui constet e centenario decies revoluto," because the number of a thousand types out perfection, as consisting of a hundred ten times told. But there is no perfection here, saith he.

Yet hath he seen no good.] For, "all the days of the afflicted are evil," saith Solomon. [Proverbs 15:15] And man’s days are "few and full of trouble," saith Job. [Job 14:1] "Few and evil are the days of my pilgrimage," saith Jacob, [Genesis 47:9] "and I have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers." For Abraham lived one hundred and seventy-five years, and Isaac one hundred and eighty - near upon forty years longer than Jacob, but to his small comfort, for he was blind all that time; yet nothing so blind as the rich wretch in the text, qui privatus interno lumine, tamen in hac vita diu vult perpeti caecitatem suam, as one speaketh, who being blind as a mole, lies rooting and poring incessantly in the bowels of the earth - as if he would that way dig himself a new and a nearer way to hell - and with his own hands addeth to the load of this miserable life. As he hath done no good, so he hath seen or enjoyed none; but goes to his place (do not all go to one place?) - the place that Adam provided for all his posterity, the house appointed for all living, as Job calls it, [Job 30:23] the congregation house, as one renders it. Heaven the apostle calls the congregation house {πανηγαριν, Hebrews 12:23} of the firstborn, whose names also are there said to be written in heaven: but covetous persons, as they are called "the inhabitants of the earth," [Revelation 12:12] in opposition to those coelicolae, citizens of heaven, the saints; so their names are "written in the earth," [Jeremiah 17:13] "because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters," and "hewed them out cisterns that can hold no water." [Jeremiah 2:13] What marvel, then, if they live long, and yet see no good? if they are driven to that doleful complaint that Saul made, "God hath forsaken me, and the Philistines are upon me," [1 Samuel 28:15] - sickness, death, hell is upon me, I am even now about to make my bed in the dark, and all the comfort I can have from God is that dismal sentence, "This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow." [Isaiah 50:11] Lo, this is the cursed condition of the covetous churl; as he hath lived beside his goods, having jaded his body, broken his brains, and burdened his conscience, so he dies hated of God, and loathed of men; the earth groans under him, heaven is shut against him, hell gapes for him. [1 Corinthians 6:8-9 Philippians 3:18] Thus many a miser spins a fair thread to strangle himself, both temporally and eternally. Oh that they would seriously think of this before the cold grave hold their bodies, and hot hell torment their souls! before death come with a writ of Habeas corpus, Let you have the body, and the devil with a writ of Habeas animam, Let you have the soul, as once to that rich fool. [Luke 12:16-21]

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

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Live a thousand years twice told; wherein he seems to have a privilege above an untimely birth. Hath he seen no good; he hath enjoyed little or no comfort in it, and therefore long life is rather a curse and mischief than a blessing or advantage to him.

Do not all, whether born out of and before their time, or in due time, whether their lives be long or short,

go to one place; to the grave. And so after a little time all are alike as to this life, of which he here speaks; and as to the other life, his condition is infinitely worse than that of an untimely birth.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:6". 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

6.Seen no good — The antithesis of this verse is really after the word “good,” and the question balances all that precedes. Does not his long, joyless life go out in gloom at last, as much as that of the abortion?

 

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

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things----do not all go to one place?"

Even if such a rich man could live 2000 years, twice the lifetime of the oldest man mentioned in the Scriptures (Genesis ). 1. Time doesn"t necessary cause us to mature. Maturity and spirituality just don"t happen naturally or without any effort (Heb. 5:12-14). 2. Some people think that given enough time greedy people would finally out-grow their greed and finally wake up to the important things in life. But God says, that a person could live 2000 years and still fail to realize what this life is all about! 3. So much for the idea that people end up lost because God didn"t give them enough time (Romans 2:1-5). 4. If God had allowed mankind to live for the beginning of Creation to the end of this Creation, the percentage of those who obey God probably wouldn"t change much. 5. Prior to the flood men lived for hundreds of years and yet such people-far from being godly or mature were extremely wicked (Genesis 6:1-6). 6. This verse also tells us that a person must make a firm decision to change-or they will never change. Too many people are hoping that they will just kind of naturally become a better person, or that their sinful habits will just kind of naturally go away, and that over time temptation will just kind of naturally lose its appeal. Not so! 7. This is why if you are going to change your life, repent or become a Christian, then you need to act today (2 Corinthians 6:1ff).

"and does not enjoy good things"-even after 2000 years of life and experience-and he still doesn"t get it! So much for the idea that this life could provide me with lasting happiness if I just had enough, or if I just had enough time. There doesn"t exist any fountain of material happiness on this earth!

"do not all go to one place?"-that is, the grave. Yet, compared to a man that lives 2000 years, has descendants without number, and all the material possessions he could ever want-and yet is not happy-better to have the earthly fate of the miscarriage than that type of life. Yes, the miscarriage had a brief earthly existence, but the rich man in this chapter simply had a long existence that will filled with frustration, depression, misery, discontentment, heartache, loneliness, lack of satisfaction, stress, toil, estrangement, bitterness, etc….Better to have never see the light of day-then live that type of life! And as Jesus will note, better to have never lived, than to end up lost in hell! (Mark "It would have been good for that man if he had not been born").

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

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

do not all. ? Figure of speech Erotesis (in Affirmation), App-6. Compare Ecclesiastes 3:19-21.

one place: i.e. Sheol. App-35.

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

Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

Yea, though he live a thousand years twice (i:e., not only almost a thousand years, like Methuselah, but twice a thousand),

Yet hath he seen no good. If the miser's length of "life" be thought to raise him above the abortive, Solomon answers, Long life, without enjoying real good, is but lengthened misery.

Do not all go to one place? Riches cannot exempt him from going where "all go." He must go there, where all arrive alike stripped of earthly goods (1 Timothy 6:7). He has no good either in life, or death, or eternity.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:6". "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

(6) Though.—The conjunction here used is only found again in Esther 7:4.

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
though
Genesis 5:5,23,24; Isaiah 65:22
yet
3; Job 7:7; Psalms 4:6,7; 34:12; Isaiah 65:20; Jeremiah 17:6
do
3:20; 12:7; Job 1:21; 30:23; Hebrews 9:27
Reciprocal: Ecclesiastes 11:8 - General

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

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

Ecclesiastes 6:6. And if one a thousand years (which measure the lives of the first fathers of the human race nearly reached) should live twice over. (Jerome, "et non ut Adam prope mille sed duobus millibus vixerit annis") is he then to be counted happy? Do not all go to one place? Can he perhaps fetch up in Sheol, where all arrive in a like state of poverty, ( οὐδὲν γὰρ εἰσηνέγκαμεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον, ὅτι οὐδὲ ἐξενεγκεῖν τι δυνάμεθα, 1 Timothy 6:7) that which he has lost on earth?

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