Ecclesiastes 10:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.

New Living Translation
A party gives laughter, wine gives happiness, and money gives everything!

English Standard Version
Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.

New American Standard Bible
Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything.

King James Bible
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A feast is prepared for laughter, and wine makes life happy, and money is the answer for everything.

International Standard Version
Festivals are for laughter, wine makes life pleasant, and money speaks to everything.

NET Bible
Feasts are made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A meal is made for laughter, and wine makes life pleasant, but money is the answer for everything.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The banquet is made for pleasure, and wine makes merry; but money answers all things.

King James 2000 Bible
A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry: but money answers all things.

American King James Version
A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry: but money answers all things.

American Standard Version
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh glad the life; and money answereth all things.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For laughter they make bread, and wine that the living may feast: and all things obey money.

Darby Bible Translation
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh life merry; but money answereth everything.

English Revised Version
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh glad the life: and money answereth all things.

Webster's Bible Translation
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

World English Bible
A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes the life glad; and money is the answer for all things.

Young's Literal Translation
For mirth they are making a feast, And wine maketh life joyful, And the silver answereth with all.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:16-20 The happiness of a land depends on the character of its rulers. The people cannot be happy when their princes are childish, and lovers of pleasure. Slothfulness is of ill consequence both to private and public affairs. Money, of itself, will neither feed nor clothe, though it answers the occasions of this present life, as what is to be had, may generally be had for money. But the soul, as it is not redeemed, so it is not maintained with corruptible things, as silver and gold. God sees what men do, and hears what they say in secret; and, when he pleases, brings it to light by strange and unsuspected ways. If there be hazard in secret thoughts and whispers against earthly rulers, what must be the peril from every deed, word, or thought of rebellion against the King of kings, and Lord of lords! He seeth in secret. His ear is ever open. Sinner! curse not THIS KING in thy inmost thought. Your curses cannot affect Him; but his curse, coming down upon you, will sink you to the lowest hell.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 19. - A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry. Here is a cause of the decay spoken of above. The rulers spend in revelry and debauchery the time and energy which they ought to give to affairs of state. More literally, for merriment they make bread, and wine [that] cheereth life; i.e. they use God's good gifts of bread and wine as means of intemperance and thoughtless pleasure. So a psalmist speaks of wine as making glad the heart of man (Psalm 104:15); and Ben-Sira says, "Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is there to a man that is without wine? for it was created to make men glad. Wine measurably drunk and in season bringeth gladness of the heart, and cheer fullness of the mind" (Ecclus. 31. [34.] 27, 28). But money answereth all things; i.e. grants all that such persons want. It requires money to provide rich food and costly wines; this they possess, and they are thus able to indulge their appetites to the utmost. It concerns them not how such resources are obtained - won by extortion from a starving people, exacted in exorbitant taxation, pillaged by unscrupulous instruments; they want gold to expend on their lusts, and they get it same-how, and with it all that in their view makes life worth living. Commentators alto Horace, ' Ep.,' 1:6.36, "Scilicet uxorem," etc.

"For why - a portioned wife, fair fame, and friends,
Beauty and birth on sovereign Wealth attends.
Blest is her votary throned his bags among?
Persuasion's self sits perched upon his tongue;
Love beams in every feature of his face,
And every gesture beams celestial grace."

(Howes.) Corn. a Lapide appositely quotes -

"...quidquid nummis praesentibus opta,
Et veniet; clausum possidet arca Jovem."

"If thou hast gold, then wish for anything,
And it will surely come; the money-box
Hath in it a most potent deity."
Pineda, followed by Metals, suggests that this verse may be taken in a good sense. He would make ver. 18 correspond to ver. 16, characterizing the government of debauchees, and ver. 19 correspond to ver. 17, representing the rule of temperate princes where all is peace and prosperity. But there is nothing grammatical to indicate this arrangement; and the explanation given above is doubtless correct. The Septuagint Version is not faithful in our present text, though it is followed virtually by the Syriac: Αἰς γέλωτα ποιοῦσιν ἄρτον καὶ οϊνον καὶ ἔλαιον τοῦ εὐφρανθῆναι ζῶντας καὶ τοῦ ἀργυρίου ταπεινώσει ἐπακούσεται τὰ πάντα "For gladness they make bread and wine and oil, that the living may rejoice, and to money all things will humble themselves, will obey" (doubly translating the word).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A feast is made for laughter,.... Or, "who make bread for laughter" (i). Not bakers, who make bread for common use, and for all sorts of persons, sorrowful ones as others; but luxurious men, particularly such princes as are before described; they "make bread", that is, a feast, as the phrase is used, Daniel 5:1; not for mere refreshment, but to promote mirth and gaiety to an excessive degree; being attended with rioting and drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, with revellings and dancing;

and wine maketh merry; or, "and they prepare wine" (k); which is provided in plenty at feasts; and which is sometimes put for a feast itself, and called a banquet of wine, Esther 7:2; which wine makes merry, and men drink of it till they become drunk with it, at such profuse feasts: or, "which maketh life cheerful" (l); as it does, when moderately used: "cheers the living"; so Aben Ezra;

but money answereth all things; is in the room of all things, and by it men obtain everything they want and wish for; it answers the requests of all, and supplies them with what they stand in need of, or can desire: particularly such expensive feasts, and sumptuous entertainments, are made by means of money; and, in this luxurious way, the coffers of princes are drained, and they are obliged to raise new levies, and impose new taxes upon their subjects, to the oppression of them. Or else the sense may be, that princes should consider, and not be so profuse in their manner of living, but be more frugal and careful of the public money, and lay it up against a time of need; since it is that that answers all things, is the sinew of war when that arises, and will procure men and arms, to secure and protect them from their enemies, and obtain peace and safety for them and their subjects, which otherwise they cannot expect.

(i) "ad risum facientes panem", Montanus; "faciunt panem", Paganinus, Mercerus, Piscator. (k) "et vinum, repete, parant", Piscator. (l) "et vitam exhilaret", Tigurine version; "exhilarare solet vitam", Mercerus; "quod exhilarare debebat vitam", so some in Rambachius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. Referring to Ec 10:18. Instead of repairing the breaches in the commonwealth (equivalent to "building"), the princes "make a feast for laughter (Ec 10:16), and wine maketh their life glad (Ps 104:15), and (but) money supplieth (answereth their wishes by supplying) all things," that is, they take bribes to support their extravagance; and hence arise the wrongs that are perpetrated (Ec 10:5, 6; 3:16; Isa 1:23; 5:23). Maurer takes "all things" of the wrongs to which princes are instigated by "money"; for example, the heavy taxes, which were the occasion of Rehoboam losing ten tribes (1Ki 12:4, &c.).

Ecclesiastes 10:19 Additional Commentaries
Wisdom and Folly
18Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks. 19Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything. 20Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound and the winged creature will make the matter known.
Cross References
Judges 9:13
"But the vine answered, 'Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?'

Psalm 104:15
wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.

Ecclesiastes 2:3
I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

Ecclesiastes 7:12
Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
Treasury of Scripture

A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry: but money answers all things.


Ecclesiastes 2:1,2 I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore …

Ecclesiastes 7:2-6 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house …

Genesis 43:34 And he took and sent messes to them from before him: but Benjamin's …

Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, …

1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will …

and wine

Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a …

Psalm 104:15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face …

Isaiah 24:11 There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the …

1 Samuel 25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, …

2 Samuel 13:28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark you now when …

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for …

Ephesians 5:18,19 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…

maketh merry or money which would have answered every good purpose, and served for every emergency, is too often spent in feastings and revellings

Ecclesiastes 7:11,12 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to …

1 Chronicles 21:24 And king David said to Ornan, No; but I will truly buy it for the …

1 Chronicles 29:2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the …

2 Chronicles 24:11-14 Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought to the …

Ezra 1:6 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels …

Ezra 7:15-18 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors …

Nehemiah 5:8 And I said to them, We after our ability have redeemed our brothers …

Psalm 112:9 He has dispersed, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures …

Isaiah 23:18 And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it …

Philippians 4:15-19 Now you Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, …

1 Timothy 6:17-19 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, …

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