Ecclesiastes 3:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

New Living Translation
A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

English Standard Version
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

New American Standard Bible
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.

King James Bible
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak;

International Standard Version
a time to tear, and a time to mend; a time to be silent, and a time to speak;

NET Bible
A time to rip, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
a time to tear apart and a time to sew together, a time to keep quiet and a time to speak out,

Jubilee Bible 2000
a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

King James 2000 Bible
A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

American King James Version
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

American Standard Version
a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Douay-Rheims Bible
A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

Darby Bible Translation
A time to rend, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

English Revised Version
a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Webster's Bible Translation
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

World English Bible
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Young's Literal Translation
A time to rend, And a time to sew. A time to be silent, And a time to speak.
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 7. - A time to rend, and a time to sew (καιρὸς τοῦ ῤῆξαι καὶ καιρὸς τοῦ ῤάψαι). This is usually understood of the rending of garments in token of grief (Genesis 37:29, 34, etc.), and the repairing of the rent then made when the season of mourning was ended. The Talmudists laid down careful rules concerning the extent of the ritual tear, and how long it was to remain unmended, both being regulated by the nearness of the relationship of the deceased person. In this interpretation there are these two difficulties: first, it makes the clause a virtual repetition of ver. 4; and secondly, it is not known for certain that the closing of the rent was a ceremonial custom in the times of Koheleth. Hence Plumptre inclines to take the expression metaphorically of the division of a kingdom by schism, and the restoration of unity, comparing the Prophet Ahijah's communication to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:30, 31). But surely this would be a most unlikely allusion to put into Solomon's mouth; nor can we properly look for such a symbolical representation amid the other realistic examples given in the series. What Koheleth says is this - There are times when it is natural to tear clothes to pieces, whether from grief, or anger, or any other cause, e.g., as being old and worthless, or infected; and there are times when it is equally natural to mend them, and to make them serviceable by timely repairs. Connected with the notion of mourning contributed by this clause, though by no means confined to that notion, it is added, A time to keep silence, and a time to speak. The silence of deep sorrow may be intimated, as when Job's friends sat by him in sympathizing silence (Job 2:13), and the psalmist cried, "I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred" (Psalm 39:2); and Elisha could not bear to hear his master's departure mentioned (2 Kings 2:3, 5). There are also occasions when the sorrow of the heart should find utterance, as in David's lament over Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:17, etc.) and over Abner (2 Samuel 3:33, etc.). But the gnome is of more general application. The young should hold their peace in the presence of their elders (Job 32:4, etc.); silence is often golden: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: when he shutteth his lips, he is esteemed as prudent" (Proverbs 17:28). On the other hand, wise counsel is of infinite value, and must not be withheld at the right moment, and "a word in due season, how good is it!" (Proverbs 15:23; Proverbs 25:11). "If thou hast understanding, answer thy neighbor; if not, lay thy hand upon thy mouth" (Ecclus. 5:12; see more, Ecclus. 20:5, etc.).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A time to rend, and a time to sew,.... To rend garments, in case of blasphemy, and in times of mourning and fasting, and then to sew them up when they are over; see Isaiah 37:1; This the Jews apply to the rending of the ten tribes from Rehoboam, signified by the rending of Jeroboam's garment, 1 Kings 11:30; the sewing up or uniting of which is foretold, Ezekiel 37:22. Some interpret it of the rending of the Jewish church state, signified by the rending of the vail, at the death of Christ; and of the constituting the Gospel church state among the Gentiles;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak (k); when it is an evil time, a time of calamity in a nation, it is not a time to be loquacious and talkative, especially in a vain and ludicrous way, Amos 5:13; or when a particular friend or relation is in distress, as in the case of Job and his friends, Job 2:13; or when in the presence of wicked men, who make a jest of everything serious and religious, Psalm 39:1; and so when under afflictive dispensations of Providence, it is a time to be still and dumb, and not open the mouth in a murmuring and complaining way, Leviticus 10:3. And, on the other hand, there is a time to speak, either publicly, of the truths of the Gospel, in the ministry of it, and in vindication of them; or privately, of Christian experience: there is a time when an open profession should be made of Christ, his word and ordinances, and when believers should speak to God in prayer and praise; which, should they not, the stones in the wall would cry out.

(k) , , Homer. Odyss. 11. v. 378.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

7. rend—garments, in mourning (Joe 2:13); figuratively, nations, as Israel from Judah, already foretold, in Solomon's time (1Ki 11:30, 31), to be "sewed" together hereafter (Eze 37:15, 22).

silence—(Am 5:13), in a national calamity, or that of a friend (Job 2:13); also not to murmur under God's visitation (Le 10:3; Ps 39:1, 2, 9).

Ecclesiastes 3:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
To Everything There is a Season
6A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. 7A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. 8A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 3:6
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

Amos 5:13
Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil.
Treasury of Scripture

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

time to rend

Genesis 37:29,34 And Reuben returned to the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the …

2 Samuel 1:11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise …

2 Samuel 3:31 And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, …

1 Kings 21:27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his …

2 Kings 5:7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, …

2 Kings 6:30 And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, …

Jeremiah 36:24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, …

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD …

Acts 9:39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought …

time to keep

Job 2:13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, …

Psalm 39:2 I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my …

Isaiah 36:21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's …

Jeremiah 8:14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the …

Lamentations 3:28 He sits alone and keeps silence, because he has borne it on him.

Amos 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

Amos 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, said the …

Micah 7:5 Trust you not in a friend, put you not confidence in a guide: keep …

and a time to speak

Genesis 44:18,34 Then Judah came near to him, and said, Oh my lord, let your servant, …

1 Samuel 19:4,5 And Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father, and said to …

1 Samuel 25:24 And fell at his feet, and said, On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity …

Esther 4:13,14 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with yourself …

Esther 7:4 For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and …

Job 32:4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.

Proverbs 24:11,12 If you forbear to deliver them that are drawn to death, and those …

Proverbs 31:8,9 Open your mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed …

Luke 19:37-40 And when he was come near, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives…

Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

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