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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes 9:8

Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Colors;   Contentment;   Thompson Chain Reference - Anointing;   Clothing;   Dress;   Women;   The Topic Concordance - Deeds;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anointing;   Garments;   Hair, the;   Head;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Feasts;   Garments;   Hair;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Joy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Banquet;   Colour;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Anoint;   Banquets;   Ecclesiastes, the Book of;   Fuller;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Cosmetics;   Ecclesiastes, Book of;   Oil;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Colours;   Dress;   Ecclesiastes;   Meals;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ointment;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Hair;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Arment;   White;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Habits;   Hair;   Head;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Anointing;   Color;   Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher;   Hair;   Wisdom;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Anointing;   Banquets;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Anointing;   Artisans;   Burial;   Color;   Costume;   Essenes;   Johanan B. Zakkai;   New Testament;   Oil;   Repentance;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for August 25;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Ecclesiastes 9:8. Let thy garments be always white — The Jews wore white garments on festal occasions, as emblems of joy and innocence. Be always pure, and always happy. The inhabitants of India are all dressed in clean white cotton, and to this is the allusion in the text.

The Targum says: "At all times let thy garments be washed and pure from the stain of sin. Acquire a good name, which is likened to the oil of anointing, that blessings may be called down up thy head, and goodness not forsake thee."

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ecclesiastes-9.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


Life’s opportunities (9:1-12)

A person may believe that life is under the control of God, but still not know whether the experiences one meets in life are a sign of God’s pleasure or a sign of his anger. The same fate, death, comes to all (9:1-3). Good people have no advantage over the bad. The only advantage is that of the living over the dead. The living can still do things, but the dead are useless and forgotten (4-6).
Therefore, people should enjoy life to the full while they have the opportunity, as there will be no further opportunity when they are dead. Festive occasions, marital relations and daily work are all part of the order that God has instituted for human society, and he wants people to enjoy them (7-10). Much in life seems to depend on chance. Those who deserve success may miss out because of some misfortune; those who do not deserve defeat may be overtaken by calamity (11-12).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:8". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/ecclesiastes-9.html. 2005.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Read these six verses connectedly, in order to arrive at the meaning of the writer; and compare Ecclesiastes 2:1-12.

After the description Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 of the portionless condition of the dead, the next thought which occurs is that the man who is prosperous and active should simply enjoy his portion all through this life Ecclesiastes 9:7-10; and then Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 follows the correcting thought (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 note), introduced as usual Ecclesiastes 2:12; Ecclesiastes 4:1, Ecclesiastes 4:7 by “I returned,” namely, that the course of events is disposed and regulated by another will than that of man.

The person addressed is one whose life of labor is already pleasing to God, and who bears visible tokens of God’s favor.

Ecclesiastes 9:7

Now accepteth - Rather: “already has pleasure in.” Joy (the marginal reference note) is regarded as a sign of the approbation and favor of God.

Ecclesiastes 9:8

White garments and perfume are simply an expressive sign of joy.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

The works which we carry on here with the combined energies of body and soul come to an end in the hour of death, when the soul enters a new sphere of existence, and body and soul cease to act together. Compare John 9:4.

Device - See Ecclesiastes 7:25 note.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Chance - Or, “incident,” that which comes to us from without, one of the external events described in Ecclesiastes 3:0. Compare Ecclesiastes 2:14 note.

Ecclesiastes 9:12

Time - See Ecclesiastes 3:1 ff.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ecclesiastes-9.html. 1870.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 9

For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knows either love or hatred by all that is before them. All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that fears an oath. This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead ( Ecclesiastes 9:1-3 ).

So one thing happens to everybody--they die whether you're good or bad, sacrifice or don't sacrifice. It doesn't matter. You're all going to die. And as far as Solomon was concerned, that was horrible. If all of your wisdom can't cause you to escape death, all of your wealth can't cause you to escape death, how dies the rich man? As the poor. How dies the wise? As the fool. They all die.

You can't escape death was the conclusion of his human wisdom, but Jesus taught us how to escape death. Jesus said, "He who lives and believes in Me shall never die" ( John 11:26 ). You can escape death by living and believing in Jesus Christ. But the human mind, human wisdom won't bring you to that. It takes the revelation of God. And if you're only coming at life from the human level and trying to find God from the human level, you'll never make it. God must reveal Himself to you by His Spirit. And God has revealed Himself through His Word. And God has revealed, "And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life and this life is in the Son, and he who has the Son has life" ( 1 John 5:11-12 ). "He that lives and believes in Me," Jesus said, "will never die."

For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion ( Ecclesiastes 9:4 ).

I guess so.

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead don't know any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten ( Ecclesiastes 9:5 ).

Now those who teach the annihilation of the soul immediately turn to this as their scriptural proof. The book of Ecclesiastes, a book that deals with human reason, human intellect apart from God. And they pick out this scripture to prove soul annihilation. "For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing, neither have they any more reward. For the memory of them is forgotten." And then in verse Ecclesiastes 9:9 , their second proof text. No, I beg your pardon. The second text is right in here somewhere close.

But anyway, Jesus tells us that there was a certain rich man who fared sumptuously every day. Moreover, there was a poor man who was daily brought at his gate, full of sores, begging bread and eating bread that fell from the rich man's table. And the poor man died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died, and in hell, lifted up his eyes being in torment and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus unto me that he may take his finger and dip it in water and touch my tongue, for I am tormented in this heat." And Abraham said unto him, "Son, remember that in thy lifetime you had good things." Now that's what Jesus said. The consciousness that exists after death.

Solomon with human reason and understanding said, "But the dead don't know anything." This guy knew that his tongue was tormented, he knew Lazarus, and he knew that he had brothers back on earth who were still living sinful lives. And he could remember his past sinful life. Now you have to either accept the word of Jesus or the word of Solomon in a backslidden state as he is trying to find the reason and purpose of life apart from God, life under the sun. It is wrong to take the book of Ecclesiastes for biblical doctrine. Better to turn to the words of Christ. He surely knew much better than did Solomon in his backslidden state.

Also their love [that is, of the dead], and their hatred, and their envy, [is forgotten] and it's perished [annihilated]; neither have they any more a portion for ever of any thing that is done under the sun ( Ecclesiastes 9:6 ).

They're through. It's over. It's all... it's the end.

Go thy way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works. Let your garments be always white; and let your head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest [all the days of your life] all the days of your empty life, which he hath given you under the sun, all the days of your emptiness: for that is your portion in this life, and in thy labor which you take under the sun ( Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 ).

That's all you're going to get, man, so you might as well go for it. That's life.

Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave ( Ecclesiastes 9:10 ),

That's their other proof text. "No work, device, knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going." It's not what Jesus said.

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all ( Ecclesiastes 9:11 ).

There is no purpose in life. There is no guiding hand in life. It's all a matter of time and chance. That's his conclusion. That is not a Scriptural doctrine. Only Solomon's conclusion of looking at things. Life is just time and chance. It doesn't matter how swift or slow, weak or strong, wise or foolish. Life is just time and chance.

For a man also knows not his time: as the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great to me ( Ecclesiastes 9:12-13 ):

Now this is what I observed. It seemed like a great thing.

There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and he built great bulwarks against it: Now there was in this little city found a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then I said, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that rules among fools. Wisdom is better than the weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good ( Ecclesiastes 9:14-18 ).

So his conclusions of observing a city spared by a wise man. "





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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:8". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/ecclesiastes-9.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

1. The future of the righteous on earth 9:1-10

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/ecclesiastes-9.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Again Solomon recommended the present enjoyment of the good things God allows us to experience in life (cf. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 5:18-19). This was his conclusion, since our future on the earth is uncertain, and since after we die, we cannot enjoy these things. In particular, we should enjoy food and drink (Ecclesiastes 9:7), clean clothing and perfume (Ecclesiastes 9:8), and marital companionship (Ecclesiastes 9:9), among other of life’s legitimate pleasures. This list includes some luxuries as well as the necessities of life (cf. Ecclesiastes 5:19).

"God has already approved your works" (Ecclesiastes 9:7) means such enjoyment is God’s will for us. This encouraging word does not contradict the fact that we are the stewards of all God entrusts to us. However, this verse should help us realize that it is not sinful to take pleasure in what God has given us, even some luxuries. We need to balance gratefulness and generosity, keeping some things and giving away others. This balance is not easy, but it is important.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/ecclesiastes-9.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Let thy garments be always white,.... That is, neat and clean, not vile and sordid; what is comely and decent, and suitable to a man's circumstances; this colour is particularly mentioned because much used in the eastern countries, and in Judea; hence we so often read of washing garments, and of fullers that whitened them; and especially on festival days and days of rejoicing, to which Horace a refers; and here it signifies that every day should be like a festival or day of rejoicing to a good man, to whom God has given the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, Isaiah 61:3; and though there may be times for mourning, and so of putting on other apparel, yet, in common and ordinarily, this should be the habit, decent and comely apparel. The ancient Jews in Aben Ezra, and so Jarchi, interpret it of an unblemished conversation; and Kimchi b of repentance and good works; and so the Targum,

"let thy garments be white (or washed) from all filth of sin;''

or be without any spot of sin, as Alshech; the conversation garments of the saints are made white in the blood of Christ, and his righteousness is fine linen, and white; and even eternal glory and happiness is signified by walking with him in white, Revelation 7:14;

and let thy head lack no ointment: which used to be poured plentifully on the heads of guests at feasts c, for the refreshment of them, which gave pleasure, and a sweet odour and fragrancy, and was much in use in those hot countries; see Psalms 23:5; and is opposed to a gloomy and melancholy carriage and deportment, Matthew 6:17; hence we read of the oil of joy and gladness, Psalms 45:7. The Jews before mentioned interpreted this of a good name better than ointment, Ecclesiastes 7:1. So the Targum,

"and a good name, which is like to anointing oil, get; that blessings may come upon thy head, and thy goodness fail not.''

a "Ille repotia natales aliosque dierum, festos albatus celebret". Satyr. l. 2. Sat. 2. v. 60, 61. "Cum ipse epuli Dominus albatus esset", Cicero in Vatin. c. 13. b Comment. in lsa. lxv. 13. c "Coronatus nitentes malabathro Syrio capillos", Horat. Carmin. l. 2. Ode 7. v. 7, 8. "et paulo post: funde capacibus unguenta de conchis", v. 22, 23. "Unguentum (fateor) bonum dedisti convivis", Martial. l. 3. Epigr. 11.

Copyright Statement
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 9:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ecclesiastes-9.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The Consequences of Death; The Proper Enjoyment of Life.

      4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.   5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.   6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.   7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.   8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.   9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.   10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

      Solomon, in a fret, had praised the dead more than the living (Ecclesiastes 4:2; Ecclesiastes 4:2); but here, considering the advantages of life to prepare for death and make sure the hope of a better life, he seems to be of another mind.

      I. He shows the advantages which the living have above those that are dead, Ecclesiastes 9:4-6; Ecclesiastes 9:4-6. 1. While there is life there is hope. Dum spiro, spero--While I breathe, I hope. It is the privilege of the living that they are joined to the living, in relation, commerce, and conversation, and, while they are so, there is hope. If a man's condition be, upon any account, bad, there is hope it will be amended. If the heart be full of evil, and madness be in it, yet while there is life there is hope that by the grace of God there may be a blessed change wrought; but after men go to the dead (Ecclesiastes 9:3; Ecclesiastes 9:3) it is too late then; he that is then filthy will be filthy still, for ever filthy. If men be thrown aside as useless, yet, while they are joined to the living, there is hope that they may yet again take root and bear fruit; he that is alive is, or may be, good for something, but he that is dead, as to this world, is not capable of being any further serviceable. Therefore a living dog is better than a dead lion; the meanest beggar alive has that comfort of this world and does that service to it which the greatest prince, when he is dead, is utterly incapable of. 2. While there is life there is an opportunity of preparing for death: The living know that which the dead have no knowledge of, particularly they know that they shall die, and are, or may be, thereby influenced to prepare for that great change which will come certainly, and may come suddenly. Note, The living cannot but know that they shall die, that they must needs die. They know they are under a sentence of death; they are already taken into custody by its messengers, and feel themselves declining. This is a needful useful knowledge; for what is our business, while we live, but to get ready to die: The living know they shall die; it is a thing yet to come, and therefore provision may be made for it. The dead know they are dead, and it is too late; they are on the other side the great gulf fixed. 3. When life is gone all this world is gone with it, as to us. (1.) There is an end of all our acquaintance with this world and the things of it: The dead know not any thing of that which, while they lived, they were intimately conversant with. It does not appear that they know any thing of what is done by those they leave behind. Abraham is ignorant of us; they are removed into darkness,Job 10:22. (2.) There is an end of all our enjoyments in this world: They have no more a reward for their toils about the world, but all they got must be left to others; they have a reward for their holy actions, but not for their worldly ones. The meats and the belly will be destroyed together, John 6:27; 1 Corinthians 6:13. It is explained Ecclesiastes 9:6; Ecclesiastes 9:6. Neither have they any more a portion for ever, none of that which they imagined would be a portion for ever, of that which is done and got under the sun. The things of this world will not be a portion for the soul because they will not be a portion for ever; those that choose them, and have them for their good things, have only a portion in this life,Psalms 17:14. The world can only be an annuity for life, not a portion for ever. (3.) There is an end of their name. There are but few whose names survive them long; the grave is a land of forgetfulness, for the memory of those that are laid there is soon forgotten; their place knows them no more, nor the lands they called by their own names. (4.) There is an end of their affections, their friendships and enmities: Their love, and their hatred, and their envy have now perished; the good things they loved, the evil things they hated, the prosperity of others, which they envied, are now all at an end with them. Death parts those that loved one another, and puts an end to their friendship, and those that hated one another too, and puts an end to their quarrels. Actio moritur cum personâ--The person and his actions die together. There we shall be never the better for our friends (their love can do us no kindness), nor ever the worse for our enemies--their hatred and envy can do us no damage. There the wicked cease from troubling. Those things which now so affect us and fill us, which we are so concerned about and so jealous of, will there be at an end.

      II. Hence he infers that it is our wisdom to make the best use of life that we can while it does last, and manage wisely what remains of it.

      1. Let us relish the comforts of life while we live, and cheerfully take our share of the enjoyments of it. Solomon, having been himself ensnared by the abuse of sensitive delights, warns others of the danger, not by a total prohibition of them, but by directing to the sober and moderate use of them; we may use the world, but must not abuse it, take what is to be had out of it, and expect no more. Here we have,

      (1.) The particular instances of this cheerfulness prescribed: "Thou art drooping and melancholy, go thy way, like a fool as thou art, and get into a better temper of mind." [1.] "Let thy spirit be easy and pleasant; then let there be joy and a merry heart within," a good heart (so the word is), which distinguishes this from carnal mirth and sensual pleasure, which are the evil of the heart, both a symptom and a cause of much evil there. We must enjoy ourselves, enjoy our friends, enjoy our God, and be careful to keep a good conscience, that nothing may disturb us in these enjoyments. We must serve God with gladness, in the use of what he gives us, and be liberal in communicating it to others, and not suffer ourselves to be oppressed with inordinate care and grief about the world. We must eat our bread as Israelites, not in our mourning (Deuteronomy 26:14), as Christians, with gladness and liberality of heart,Acts 2:46. See Deuteronomy 28:47. [2.] "Make use of the comforts and enjoyments which God has given thee: Eat thy bread, drink thy wine, thine, not another's, not the bread of deceit, nor the wine of violence, but that which is honestly got, else thou canst not eat it with any comfort nor expect a blessing upon it--thy bread and thy wine, such as are agreeable to thy place and station, not extravagantly above it nor sordidly below it; lay out what God has given thee for the ends for which thou art entrusted with it, as being but a steward." [3.] "Evidence thy cheerfulness (Ecclesiastes 9:8; Ecclesiastes 9:8): Let thy garments be always white. Observe a proportion in thy expenses; reduce not thy food in order to gratify thy pride, nor thy clothing in order to gratify thy voluptuousness. Be neat, wear clean linen, and be not slovenly." Or, "Let thy garments be white in token of joy and cheerfulness," which were expressed by white raiment (Revelation 3:4); "and as a further token of joy, let thy head lack no ointment that is fit for it." Our Saviour admitted this piece of pleasure at a feast (Matthew 26:7), and David observes it among the gifts of God's bounty to him. Psalms 23:5, Thou anointest my head with oil. Not that we must place our happiness in any of the delights of sense, or set our hearts upon them, but what God has given us we must make as comfortable a use of as we can afford, under the limitations of sobriety and wisdom, and not forgetting the poor. [4.] "Make thyself agreeable to thy relations: Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest. Do not engross thy delights, making much of thyself only, and not caring what becomes of those about thee, but let them share with thee and make them easy too. Have a wife; for even in paradise it was not good for man to be alone. Keep to thy wife, to one, and do not multiply wives" (Solomon had found the mischief of that); "keep to her only, and have nothing to do with any other." How can a man live joyfully with one with whom he does not live honestly? "Love thy wife; and the wife whom thou lovest thou wilt be likely to live joyfully with." When we do the duty of relations we may expect the comfort of them. See Proverbs 5:19. "Live with thy wife, and delight in her society. Live joyfully with her, and be most cheerful when thou art with her. Take pleasure in thy family, thy vine and thy olive plants."

      (2.) The qualifications necessary to this cheerfulness: "Rejoice and have a merry heart, if God now accepts thy works. If thou art reconciled to God, and recommended to him, then thou has reason to be cheerful, otherwise not." Rejoice not, O Israel! for joy, as other people, for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God,Hosea 9:1. Our first care must be to make our peace with God, and obtain his favour, to do that which he will accept of, and then, Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy. Note, Those whose works God has accepted have reason to be cheerful and ought to be so. 'Now that thou eatest the bread of thy sacrifices with joy, and partakest of the wine of thy drink-offerings with a merry heart, now God accepts thy works. Thy religious services, when performed with holy joy, are pleasing to God; he loves to have his servants sing at their work, it proclaims him a good Master.

      (3.) The reasons for it. "Live joyfully, for," [1.] "It is all little enough to make thy passage through this world easy and comfortable: The days of thy life are the days of thy vanity; there is nothing here but trouble, and disappointment. Thou wilt have time enough for sorrow and grief when thou canst not help it, and therefore live joyfully while thou canst, and perplex not thyself with thoughts and cares about to-morrow; sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. Let a gracious serenity of mind be a powerful antidote against the vanity of the world." [2.] "It is all thou canst get from this world: That is thy portion in the things of this life. In God, and another life, thou shalt have a better portion, and a better recompence for thy labours in religion; but for thy pains which thou takest about the things under the sun this is all thou canst expect, and therefore do not deny this to thyself."

      2. Let us apply ourselves to the business of life while life lasts, and so use the enjoyments of it as by them to be fitted for the employments: "Therefore eat with joy and a merry heart, not that thy soul may take its ease (as Luke 12:19), but that thy soul may take the more pains and the joy of the Lord may be its strength and oil to its wheels," Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ecclesiastes 9:10. Whatsoever thy hand finds to do do it with thy might. Observe here, (1.) There is not only something to be had, but something to be done, in this life, and the chief good we are to enquire after is the good we should do,Ecclesiastes 2:3. This is the world of service; that to come is the world of recompence. This is the world of probation and preparation for eternity; we are here upon business, and upon our good behaviour. (2.) Opportunity is to direct and quicken duty. That is to be done which our hand finds to do, which occasion calls for; and an active hand will always find something to do that will turn to a good account. What must be done, of necessity, our hand will here find a price in it for the doing of, Proverbs 17:16. (3.) What good we have an opportunity of doing we must do while we have the opportunity, and do it with our might, with care, vigour, and resolution, whatever difficulties and discouragements we may meet with in it. Harvest-days are busy days; and we must make hay while the sun shines. Serving God and working out our salvation must be done with all that is within us, and all little enough. (4.) There is good reason why we should work the works of him that sent us while it is day, because the night comes, wherein no man can work,John 9:4. We must up and be doing now with all possible diligence, because our doing-time will be done shortly and we know not how soon. But this we know that, if the work of life be not done when our time is done, we are undone for ever: "There is no work to be done, nor device to do it, no knowledge for speculation, nor wisdom for practice, in the grave whither thou goest." We are all going towards the grave; every day brings us a step nearer to it; when we are in the grave it will be too late to mend the errors of life, too late to repent and make our peace with God, too late to lay up any thing in store for eternal life; it must be done now or never. The grave is a land of darkness and silence, and therefore there is no doing any thing for our souls there; it must be done now or never, John 12:35.

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
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:8". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/ecclesiastes-9.html. 1706.