Ecclesiastes 2:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well--the delights of a man's heart.

New Living Translation
I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!

English Standard Version
I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.

New American Standard Bible
Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men-- many concubines.

King James Bible
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I also amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered male and female singers for myself, and many concubines, the delights of men.

International Standard Version
I also accumulated silver, gold, and the wealth of kings and their kingdoms. I gathered around me both male and female singers, along with what delights a man—all sorts of mistresses.

NET Bible
I also amassed silver and gold for myself, as well as valuable treasures taken from kingdoms and provinces. I acquired male singers and female singers for myself, and what gives a man sensual delight--a harem of beautiful concubines!

New Heart English Bible
I also gathered silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got myself male and female singers, and the delights of the sons of men--musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I also gathered silver and gold for myself. I gathered the treasures of kings and provinces. I provided myself with male and female singers and the pleasures men have with one concubine after another.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I gathered me also silver and gold, and treasure such as kings and the provinces have as their own; I got me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, women very many.

New American Standard 1977
Also, I collected for myself silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I gathered unto myself also silver and gold and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces; I obtained men singers and women singers and all the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and those of all sorts.

King James 2000 Bible
I gathered for myself also silver and gold, and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces: I got men singers and women singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all sorts.

American King James Version
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I got me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

American Standard Version
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I gat me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I heaped together for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of kings, and provinces: I made me singing men, and singing women, and the delights of the sons of men, cups and vessels to serve to pour out wine:

Darby Bible Translation
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces; I got me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the children of men, a wife and concubines.

English Revised Version
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, concubines very many.

Webster's Bible Translation
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings, and of the provinces: I procured me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and of all sorts.

World English Bible
I also gathered silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got myself male and female singers, and the delights of the sons of men--musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

Young's Literal Translation
I gathered for me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces. I prepared for me men-singers and women-singers, and the luxuries of the sons of man -- a wife and wives.
Study Bible
The Futility of Pleasures
7I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. 8Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men-- many concubines. 9Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 19:35
"I am now eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?

1 Kings 9:28
They went to Ophir and took four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon.

1 Kings 10:10
She gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great amount of spices and precious stones. Never again did such abundance of spices come in as that which the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.

1 Kings 10:14
Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold,
Treasury of Scripture

I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I got me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

silver

1 Kings 9:14,28 And Hiram sent to the king six score talents of gold…

1 Kings 10:10 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and …

1 Kings 14:21,22,27 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty …

2 Chronicles 9:11,15-21 And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the …

men singers

2 Samuel 19:35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good …

Ezra 2:65 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand …

musical instruments

1 Chronicles 25:1,6 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service …

Job 21:11,12 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance…

Psalm 150:3-5 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery …

Daniel 3:5,7,15 That at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, …

Amos 6:5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments …

(8) Peculiar treasure.--The word is used of the Jewish people (Exodus 19:9; Psalm 135:4; Malachi 3:17; but generally 1Chronicles 29:3). That Solomon had tributary kings is stated (1Kings 4:21; 2Chronicles 9:24; Psalm 72:10; Ezra 4:20). The word used for "provinces" here and in Ecclesiastes 5:8, occurs in reference to the provinces of the Persian Empire repeatedly in the Book of Esther; Ezra 2:1; Nehemiah 7:6; Daniel 8:2. (See also Lamentations 1:1; Ezekiel 19:8.) The word is almost wholly absent from the earlier books, save that it occurs where the "princes of the provinces" are mentioned (1 Kings 20).

Singers.--Music was regarded as a necessary accompaniment of feasts (Isaiah 5:12; Amos 6:5; Ecclesiasticus 32:5; Ecclesiasticus 49:1). For David's employment of professional singers, see 2Samuel 19:35.

Delights.--Song of Solomon 7:6; Proverbs 19:10; Micah 1:16; Micah 2:9.

Musical instruments.--The Hebrew word here used occurs nowhere else, and commentators are reduced to look to the etymology for the explanation of it. Their guesses are so numerous that it would be wearisome to recount them. That adopted in our version is by no means one of the most probable. The interpretation "concubines" is most in favour with commentators, though they differ among themselves as to the grounds on which they justify this translation. And it does appear unlikely that this notorious feature of Solomon's court should be omitted in an enumeration of his luxury. It will be seen from the margin that the words "of all sorts" have nothing corresponding to them in the original, but are intended as an equivalent for a Hebrew idiom, in which a plural is intensified by prefixing a noun in the singular.

Verse 8. - I gathered me also silver and gold. Much is said of the wealth of the historical Solomon, who had all his vessels of gold, armed his body-guard with golden shields, sat on an ivory throne overlaid with gold, received tribute and presents of gold from all quarters, sent his navies to distant lands to import precious metals, and made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones (see 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:14-27; 2 Chronicles 1:15; 2 Chronicles 9:20-27). The peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces. The word rendered "the provinces" (hammedinoth), in spite of the article, seems to mean, not the twelve districts into which Solomon divided his kingdom for fiscal and economical purposes (1 Kings 4:7, etc.), but countries generally exterior to Palestine, with which he had commercial or political relations, and which sent to him the productions for which they were each most celebrated. So the districts of the Persian empire were required to furnish the monarch with a certain portion of their chief commodities. His friendship with Hiram of Tyro brought him into connection with the Phoeni-clans, the greatest commercial nation of antiquity, and through them he accumulated riches and stores from distant and various lands beyond the limits of the Mediterranean Sea. The word מְדִינָה (medinah) occurs again in Ecclesiastes 5:7 and in 1 Kings 20:14, etc.; but is found elsewhere only in exilian or post-exilian books (e.g. Lamentations 1:1; Esther 1:1, etc.; Daniel 2:48, etc.). The "kings" may be the tributary monarchs, such as those of Arabia (1 Kings 4:21, 24; 1 Kings 10:15); or the expression in the text may imply simply such treasure as only kings, and not private persons, could possess. Men-singers and women-singers. These, of course, are not the choir of the temple, of which women formed no part, bur. musicians introduced at banquets and social festivals, to enhance the pleasures of the scene. They are mentioned in David's days (2 Samuel 19:35) and later (see Isaiah 5:12; Amos 6:5; Ecclus. 35:5 Ecclus. 49:1). The females who took part in these performances were generally of an abandoned class; hence the, warning of Ben-Sira, "Use not much the company of a woman that is a singer, lest thou be taken with her attempts" (Ecclus. 9:4). Such exhibitions were usually accompanied with dancing, the character of which in Eastern countries is well known. The Jews, as time went on, learned to tolerate many customs and practices, imported often from other lands, which tended to lower morality and self-respect. And the delights of the sons of men; the sensual pleasures that men enjoy. The expression is euphemistic (comp. Song of Solomon 7:6). Musical instruments, and that of all sorts (shiddah veshiddoth). The word (given here first in the singular number and then in the plural emphatically to express multitude) occurs nowhere else, and has, therefore, been subjected to various interpretations. The Septuagint gives, οἰνοχόον καὶ οἰνοχόας, "a male cupbearer and female cupbearers;" and so the Syrian and. Vulgate, Scyphos et urceos in ministerio ad vina fundenda - which introduces rather a bathos into the description. After the clause immediately preceding, one might expect mention of Solomon's numerous harem (1 Kings 11:3; Song of Solomon 6:8), and most modern commentators consider the word to mean "concubine," the whole expression denoting multiplicity, "wife and wives." The Authorized Version is not very probable, though somewhat supported by Kimchi, Luther, etc., and the Greek Venetian, which has, δύδτημα καὶ συστήματα, a musical term signifying "combination of tones," or harmony. Other interpretations are "captives," "litters," "coaches," "baths," "treasures," "chests," "demons." Ewald, followed by Motais and others, suggests that the word implies a strong or high degree of a quality, so that, connecting the two clauses together, we should render, "And in a word, all the delights of the sons of men in abundance." This seems a more appropriate termination to the catalogue than any specification of further sources of pleasure; but there is no very strong etymological reason to recommend it; and we can hardly suppose that, in the enumeration of Solomon's prodigalities, his multitudinous seraglio would be omitted. Rather it comes in here naturally as the climax and completion of his pursuit of earthly delight. I gathered me also silver and gold,.... In great quantities: the weight of gold which came to him in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents; see 1 Kings 9:14;

and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces; whatsoever was valuable and precious, such as is laid up in the cabinets of kings, as jewels and precious stones; and everything rare and curious, to be found in all provinces of the earth, or which were brought from thence as presents to him; the Targum is,

"and the treasures of kings and provinces, given to me for tribute:''

wherefore, if any pleasure arises from these things, as do to the virtuosi, Solomon enjoyed it. Moreover, among the treasures of kings were precious garments of various sorts, as were in the treasury of Ahasuerus (l); and when Alexander took Shushan, he found in the king's treasures, of Hermionic purple, to the value of five thousand talents, which had been laid up there almost two hundred years (m); and to such treasure Christ alludes, Matthew 6:19;

I got me men singers and women singers; the harmony and music of whose voices greatly delight; see 2 Samuel 19:35; the Targum interprets it both of instruments of music for the Levites to use in the temple, and of singing men and women at a feast: and such persons were employed among other nations (n), on such occasions, to entertain their guests; and are called the ornaments of feasts (o); as were also "choraules", or pipers (p);

and the delights of the sons of men; as musical instruments, and that of all sorts; such as David his father invented; and to which he might add more, and indeed got all that were to be obtained; see Amos 6:5. The two last words, rendered "musical instruments, of all sorts", are differently interpreted; the Targum interprets them of hot waters and baths, having pipes to let out hot water and cold; Aben Ezra, of women taken captive; Jarchi, of chariots and covered wagons; the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, of cup bearers, men, and women, that pour out wine and serve it; and the Vulgate Latin version, of cups and pots, to pour out wine. It seems best to understand it of musical instruments, or of musical compositions (q); sung either with a single voice, or in concert; which, according to Bochart (r), were called "sidoth", from Sido, a Phoenician woman of great note, the inventor of them or rather from giving unequal sounds, which, by their grateful mixture and temperament, broke and destroyed (s) one another.

(l) Targum Sheni in Esther vi. 10. (m) Plutarch. in Alexandro, p. 686. Vid. Homer. Iliad. 24. v. 224-234. (n) Vid. A. Geli. Noct. Attic. l. 19. c. 9. Homer. Odyss. 8. v. 62, 73, 74. & 9. v. 5-7. (o) Homer. Odyss. 21. v. 430. (p) Vid. Gutberleth. Conjectanea, &c. p. 162, &c. (q) Vid. Gusset. Comment. Heb. p. 832. (r) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 6. c. 13. col. 847. (s) Buxtorf. in voce See Weemse's Christian Synagog. p. 144. 8. (1Ki 10:27; 2Ch 1:15; 9:20).

peculiar treasure of kings and … provinces—contributed by them, as tributary to him (1Ki 4:21, 24); a poor substitute for the wisdom whose "gain is better than fine gold" (Pr 3:14, 15).

singers—so David (2Sa 19:35).

musical instruments … of all sorts—introduced at banquets (Isa 5:12; Am 6:5, 6); rather, "a princess and princesses," from an Arabic root. One regular wife, or queen (Es 1:9); Pharaoh's daughter (1Ki 3:1); other secondary wives, "princesses," distinct from the "concubines" (1Ki 11:3; Ps 45:10; So 6:8) [Weiss, Gesenius]. Had these been omitted, the enumeration would be incomplete.2:1-11 Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.
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