Ecclesiastes 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

New Living Translation
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

English Standard Version
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

New American Standard Bible
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

King James Bible
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;

International Standard Version
a time to scatter stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

NET Bible
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to hug and a time to stop hugging,

Jubilee Bible 2000
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

King James 2000 Bible
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

American King James Version
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

American Standard Version
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Douay-Rheims Bible
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

Darby Bible Translation
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

English Revised Version
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Webster's Bible Translation
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

World English Bible
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Young's Literal Translation
A time to cast away stones, And a time to heap up stones. A time to embrace, And a time to be far from embracing.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-10 To expect unchanging happiness in a changing world, must end in disappointment. To bring ourselves to our state in life, is our duty and wisdom in this world. God's whole plan for the government of the world will be found altogether wise, just, and good. Then let us seize the favourable opportunity for every good purpose and work. The time to die is fast approaching. Thus labour and sorrow fill the world. This is given us, that we may always have something to do; none were sent into the world to be idle.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together. There is no question about building or demolishing houses, as that has been already mentioned in ver. 3. Most commentators see an allusion to the practice of marring an enemy's fields by casting stones upon them, as the Israelites did when they invaded Moab (2 Kings 3:19, 25). But this must have been a very abnormal proceeding, and could scarcely be cited as a usual occurrence. Nor is the notion more happy that there is an allusion to the custom of flinging stones or earth into the grave at a burial - a Christian, but not an ancient Jewish practice; this, too, leaves the contrasted "gathering" unexplained. Equally inappropriate is the opinion that the punishment of stoning is meant, or some game played with pebbles. It seems most simple to see herein intimated the operation of clearing a vineyard of stones, as mentioned in Isaiah 5:2; and of collecting materials for making fences, wine-press, tower, etc., and repairing roads. A time to embrace. Those who explain the preceding clause of the marring and clearing of fields connect the following one with the other by conceiving that "the loving action of embracing stands beside the hostile, purposely injurious, throwing of stones into a field" (Delitzsch). It is plain that there are times when one may give himself up to the delights of love and friendship, and times when such distractions would be incongruous and unseasonable, as on solemn, penitential occasions (Joel 2:16; Exodus 19:15; 1 Corinthians 7:5); but the congruity of the two clauses of the couplet is not obvious, unless the objectionable position of stones and their advantageous employment are compared with the character of illicit (Proverbs 5:20) and legitimate love.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together,.... To cast stones out of a field or vineyard where they are hurtful, and to gather them together to make walls and fences of, or build houses with; and may be understood both of throwing down buildings, as the temple of Jerusalem, so that not one stone was left upon another; of pouring out the stones of the sanctuary, and of gathering them again and laying them on one another; which was done when the servants of the Lord took pleasure in the stones of Zion, and favoured the dust thereof. Some understand this of precious stones, and of casting them away through luxury, wantonness, or contempt, and gathering them again: and it may be applied, as to the neglect of the Gentiles for a long time, and the gathering of those stones of which children were raised to Abraham; so of the casting away of the Jews for their rejection of the Messiah, and of the gathering of them again by conversion, when they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign on his land, Zechariah 9:16;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing: or "to be far from" (g) it; it may not only design conjugal embraces (h), but parents embracing their children, as Jacob did his; and one brother embracing another, as Esau Jacob, and one friend embracing another; all which is very proper and agreeable at times: but there are some seasons so very calamitous and distressing, in which persons are obliged to drop such fondnesses: it is true, in a spiritual sense, of the embraces of Christ and believers, which sometimes are, and sometimes are not, enjoyed, Proverbs 4:8.

(g) "tempus elongandi se", Pagninus, Montanus; "tempus longe fieri", V. L. (h) "Optatos dedit amplexus", Virgil. Aeneid. 8. v. 405.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. cast away stones—as out of a garden or vineyard (Isa 5:2).

gather—for building; figuratively, the Gentiles, once castaway stones, were in due time made parts of the spiritual building (Eph 2:19, 20), and children of Abraham (Mt 3:9); so the restored Jews hereafter (Ps 102:13, 14; Zec 9:16).

refrain … embracing—(Joe 2:16; 1Co 7:5, 6).

Ecclesiastes 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
To Everything There is a Season
4A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. 5A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 6A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 3:4
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Ecclesiastes 3:6
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
Treasury of Scripture

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

to cast

Joshua 4:3-9 And command you them, saying, Take you hence out of the middle of …

Joshua 10:27 And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that …

2 Samuel 18:17,18 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, …

2 Kings 3:25 And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast …

a time to embrace

Exodus 19:15 And he said to the people, Be ready against the third day: come not …

1 Samuel 21:4,5 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread …

Songs 2:6,7 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand does embrace me…

Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, …

1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, …

refrain from

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