Ecclesiastes 4:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.

New Living Translation
So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.

English Standard Version
And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.

New American Standard Bible
So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living.

King James Bible
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So I admired the dead, who have already died, more than the living, who are still alive.

International Standard Version
So I commended the dead who had already died as being happier than the living who are still alive.

NET Bible
So I considered those who are dead and gone more fortunate than those who are still alive.

New Heart English Bible
Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I congratulate the dead, who have already died, rather than the living, who still have to carry on.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Wherefore I praised the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet alive;

New American Standard 1977
So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

American King James Version
Why I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

American Standard Version
Wherefore I praised the dead that have been long dead more than the living that are yet alive;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I praised the dead rather than the living:

Darby Bible Translation
Then I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive;

English Revised Version
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive;

Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

World English Bible
Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive.

Young's Literal Translation
And I am praising the dead who have already died above the living who are yet alive.
Study Bible
The Evils of Oppression
1Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. 2So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. 3But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.…
Cross References
Job 3:11
"Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire?

Ecclesiastes 2:17
So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 7:1
A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.

Jeremiah 22:10
Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him, But weep continually for the one who goes away; For he will never return Or see his native land.
Treasury of Scripture

Why I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

Ecclesiastes 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is worked under the …

Ecclesiastes 9:4-6 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a …

Job 3:17-21 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest…

(2) I praised the dead.--Job 3:11; Exodus 32:32; 1Kings 19:4; Jeremiah 20:14; Jonah 4:3. The word which is translated "yet" in this verse belongs to later Hebrew, and does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament,

Verse 2. - In view of these patent wrongs Koheleth loses all enjoyment of life. Wherefore (and) I praised the dead which are already dead; or, who died long ago, and thus have escaped the miseries which they would have had to endure. It must, indeed, have been a bitter experience which elicited such an avowal. To die and be forgotten an Oriental would look upon as the most calamitous of destinies. More than the living which are yet alive. For these have before them the prospect of a long endurance of oppression and suffering (comp. Ecclesiastes 7:1; Job 3:13, etc.). The Greek gnome says -

Κρεῖσσον τὸ μὴ ζῇν ἐστὶν η} ζῇν ἀθλίως

"Better to die than lead a wretched life." The Septuagint version is scarcely a rendering of our present text: "Above the living, as many as are living until now." Wherefore I praised the dead, which are already dead,.... Truly and properly so; not in a figurative sense, as dead sinners, men dead in trespasses and sins; nor carnal professors, that have a name to live, and are dead; nor in a civil sense, such as are in calamity and distress, as the Jews in captivity, or in any affliction, which is sometimes called death: but such who are dead in a literal and natural sense, really and thoroughly dead; not who may and will certainly die, but who are dead already and in their graves, and not all these; not the wicked dead, who are in hell, in everlasting torments; but the righteous dead, who are taken away from the evil to come, and are free from all the oppressions of their enemies, sin, Satan, and the world. The Targum is,

"I praised those that lie down or are asleep, who, behold, are now dead;''

a figure by which death is often expressed, both in the Old and New Testament; sleep being, as the poet (a) says, the image of death; and a great likeness there is between them; Homer (b) calls sleep and death twins. The same paraphrase adds,

"and see not the vengeance which comes upon the world after their death;''

see Isaiah 57:1. The wise man did not make panegyrics or encomiums on those persons, but he pronounced them happy; he judged them in his own mind to be so; and to be much

more happy

than the living which are yet alive: that live under the oppression of others; that live in this world in trouble until now, as the Targum; of whom it is as much as it can be said that they are alive; they are just alive, and that is all; they are as it were between life and death. This is generally understood as spoken according to human sense, and the judgment of the flesh, without any regard to the glory and happiness of the future state; that the dead must be preferred to the living, when the quiet of the one, and the misery of the other, are observed; and which sense receives confirmation from Ecclesiastes 4:3, otherwise it is a great truth, that the righteous dead, who die in Christ and are with him, are much more happy than living saints; since they are freed from sin; are out of the reach of Satan's temptations; are no more liable to darkness and desertions; are freed from all doubts and fears; cease from all their labours, toil, and trouble; and are delivered from all afflictions, persecutions, and oppressions; which is not the case of living saints: and besides, the joys which they possess, the company they are always in, and the work they are employed about, give them infinitely the preference to all on earth; see Revelation 14:13.

(a) "Stulte, quid est semnus gelidae nisi mortis imago?" Ovid. Plato in Ciceron. Tuscul. Quaest. l. 1. c. 58. (b) Iliad. 16. v. 672, 682. Vid. Pausan. Laconica, sive l. 3. p. 195. 2. A profane sentiment if severed from its connection; but just in its bearing on Solomon's scope. If religion were not taken into account (Ec 3:17, 19), to die as soon as possible would be desirable, so as not to suffer or witness "oppressions"; and still more so, not to be born at all (Ec 7:1). Job (Job 3:12; 21:7), David (Ps 73:3, etc.), Jeremiah (Jer 12:1), Habakkuk (Hab 1:13), all passed through the same perplexity, until they went into the sanctuary, and looked beyond the present to the "judgment" (Ps 73:17; Hab 2:20; 3:17, 18). Then they saw the need of delay, before completely punishing the wicked, to give space for repentance, or else for accumulation of wrath (Ro 2:15); and before completely rewarding the godly, to give room for faith and perseverance in tribulation (Ps 92:7-12). Earnests, however, are often even now given, by partial judgments of the future, to assure us, in spite of difficulties, that God governs the earth.4:1-3 It grieved Solomon to see might prevail against right. Wherever we turn, we see melancholy proofs of the wickedness and misery of mankind, who try to create trouble to themselves and to each other. Being thus hardly used, men are tempted to hate and despise life. But a good man, though badly off while in this world, cannot have cause to wish he had never been born, since he is glorifying the Lord, even in the fires, and will be happy at last, for ever happy. Ungodly men have most cause to wish the continuance of life with all its vexations, as a far more miserable condition awaits them if they die in their sins. If human and worldly things were our chief good, not to exist would be preferable to life, considering the various oppressions here below.
Jump to Previous
Alive Already Congratulated Dead Death Declared Died Fortunate Happier Life Praise Praised Praising Thought Wherefore
Jump to Next
Alive Already Congratulated Dead Death Declared Died Fortunate Happier Life Praise Praised Praising Thought Wherefore
Links
Ecclesiastes 4:2 NIV
Ecclesiastes 4:2 NLT
Ecclesiastes 4:2 ESV
Ecclesiastes 4:2 NASB
Ecclesiastes 4:2 KJV

Ecclesiastes 4:2 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 4:2 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 4:2 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 4:2 German Bible

Alphabetical: alive already And are congratulated dead declared died had happier I living more So still than that the who

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 4:2 Therefore I praised the dead who have (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Ecclesiastes 4:1
Top of Page
Top of Page