Ecclesiastes 3:13
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13, 14) Ecclesiasticus 11:17; Ecclesiasticus 18:6.

3:11-15 Every thing is as God made it; not as it appears to us. We have the world so much in our hearts, are so taken up with thoughts and cares of worldly things, that we have neither time nor spirit to see God's hand in them. The world has not only gained possession of the heart, but has formed thoughts against the beauty of God's works. We mistake if we think we were born for ourselves; no, it is our business to do good in this life, which is short and uncertain; we have but little time to be doing good, therefore we should redeem time. Satisfaction with Divine Providence, is having faith that all things work together for good to them that love him. God doeth all, that men should fear before him. The world, as it has been, is, and will be. There has no change befallen us, nor has any temptation by it taken us, but such as is common to men.In them - i. e., in the sons of men.

To do good - In a moral sense. Physical enjoyment is referred to in Ecclesiastes 3:13.

13. Literally, "And also as to every man who eats … this is the gift of God" (Ec 3:22; 5:18). When received as God's gifts, and to God's glory, the good things of life are enjoyed in their due time and order (Ac 2:46; 1Co 10:31; 1Ti 4:3, 4). That every man should eat and drink, i.e. hath power or a heart to use what God hath given him, as it is expressed, Ecclesiastes 6:2.

It is the gift of God; of which See Poole "Ecclesiastes 2:24". And also that every man should eat and drink,.... Not to excess, but in moderation; and yet freely, plentifully, and cheerfully; and not alone, but giving the poor a portion with him; and in all having in view the glory of God, 1 Corinthians 10:31;

and enjoy the good of all his labour; take the comfort of what he has been labouring for, and not lay it up for, and leave it to, he knows not who: the Targum is,

"and see good in his days, and cause his children, at the time of his death, to inherit all his labour;''

it is the gift of God; not only to have, but to enjoy, and make a proper use of the mercies of life. This is the same doctrine which is delivered Ecclesiastes 2:24.

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the {d} gift of God.

(d) Read Ec 2:24 and these places declare that we should do all things with sobriety and in the fear of God, as he gives not his gifts to the intent that they should be abused.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. And also that every man] The addition of this clause confirms the interpretation just given of the “doing good” of the preceding verse. Had that meant simply enjoyment, this clause would have been an idle repetition. As it is, “doing good” takes its place, as it did with the nobler Epicureans, among the elements of happiness. So Epicurus himself taught that “it is not possible to live happily without also living wisely, and nobly, and justly” (Diog. Laert. x. 1, § 140).Verse 13. - And also that every man should eat and drink... it is the gift of God. This enforces and intensifies the statement in the preceding verse; not only the power to "do good," but even to enjoy what comes in his way (see on Ecclesiastes 2:24), man must receive from God. When we pray for our daily bread, we also ask for ability to take, assimilate, and profit by the supports and comforts afforded to us. "It" is better omitted, as "is the gift of God" forms the predicate of the sentence. Ecclesiastes 11:17, "The gift of the Lord remaineth with the godly, and his favor bringeth prosperity for ever." 7a. "To rend has its time, and to sew has its time." When evil tidings come, when the tidings of death come, then is the time for rending the garments (2 Samuel 13:31), whether as a spontaneous outbreak of sorrow, or merely as a traditionary custom. - The tempest of the affections, however, passes by, and that which was torn is again sewed together.

Perhaps it is the recollection of great calamities which leads to the following contrasts: -

7b. "To keep silence has its time, and to speak has its time." Severe strokes of adversity turn the mind in quietness back upon itself; and the demeanour most befitting such adversity is silent resignation (cf. 2 Kings 2:3, 2 Kings 2:5). This mediation of the thought is so much the more probable, as in all these contrasts it is not so much the spontaneity of man that comes into view, as the pre-determination and providence of God.

The following contrasts proceed on the view that God has placed us in relations in which it is permitted to us to love, or in which our hatred is stirred up: -

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