Ecclesiastes 4:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

New Living Translation
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

English Standard Version
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.

New American Standard Bible
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.

King James Bible
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts.

International Standard Version
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.

NET Bible
Two people are better than one, because they can reap more benefit from their labor.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Two people are better than one because [together] they have a good reward for their hard work.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Two are better than one because they have a better reward for their labour.

King James 2000 Bible
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.

American King James Version
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.

American Standard Version
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.

Douay-Rheims Bible
It is better therefore that two should be together, than one: for they have the advantage of their society:

Darby Bible Translation
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

English Revised Version
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

Webster's Bible Translation
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.

World English Bible
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.

Young's Literal Translation
The two are better than the one, in that they have a good reward by their labour.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:9-12 Surely he has more satisfaction in life, who labours hard to maintain those he loves, than the miser has in his toil. In all things union tends to success and safety, but above all, the union of Christians. They assist each other by encouragement, or friendly reproof. They warm each other's hearts while they converse together of the love of Christ, or join in singing his praises. Then let us improve our opportunities of Christian fellowship. In these things all is not vanity, though there will be some alloy as long as we are under the sun. Where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by his Spirit come to them; then there is a threefold cord.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - Koheleth dwells upon the evils of isolation, and contrasts with them the comfort of companionship. Two are better than one. Literally, the clause refers to the two and the one mentioned in the preceding verse (Ἀγαθοὶ οἱ δύο ὑπὲρ τόν ἔνα, Septuagint); but the gnome is true in general. "Two heads are better than one," says our proverb. Because (asher here conjunctive, not relative) they have a good reward for their labor. The joint labors of two produce much more effect than the efforts of a solitary worker. Companionship is helpful and profitable. Ginsburg quotes the rabbinical sayings,, Either friendship or death;" and "A man without friends is like a left hand without the right." Thus the Greek gnome -

"Man helps his fellow, city saves."

Ξεὶρ χεῖρα νίπτει δάκτυλός τε δάκτυλον.

"Hand cleanseth hand, and finger cleanseth finger." (Comp. Proverbs 17:17; Proverbs 27:17; Ecclus. 6:14.) So Christ sent out his apostles two and two (Mark 6:7).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Two are better than one,.... The wise man takes occasion, from the solitariness Of the covetous man before described, to show in this and some following verses the preferableness and advantages of social life; which, as it holds true in things natural and civil, so in things spiritual and religious; man is a sociable creature, was made to be so; and it was the judgment of God, which is according to truth, and who can never err, that it was not good for man to be alone, Genesis 2:18. It is best to take a wife, or at least to have a friend or companion, more or less to converse with. Society is preferable to solitariness; conversation with a friend is better than to be always alone; the Targum is,

"two righteous men in a generation are better than one;''

such may be helpful to each other in their counsels and comforts, and mutual aids and assistances in things temporal and spiritual. The Midrash interprets this of the study in the law together, and of two that trade together, which is better than studying or trading separately;

because they have a good reward for their labour; the pleasure and profit they have in each other's company and conversation; in religious societies, though there is a labour in attendance on public worship, in praying and conferring together, in serving one another in love, and bearing one another's burdens, yet they have a good reward in it all; they have the presence of Christ with them, for, where two or three are met together in his name, he is with them; and whatsoever two of them agree to ask in his name they have it; and if two of them converse together about spiritual things, it is much if he does not make a third with them; besides they have a great deal of pleasure in each other's company, and much profit in their mutual instructions, advices, and reproofs; they sharpen each other's countenances, quicken and comfort each other's souls, establish one another in divine truth, and strengthen each other's hands and hearts.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. Two—opposed to "one" (Ec 4:8). Ties of union, marriage, friendship, religious communion, are better than the selfish solitariness of the miser (Ge 2:18).

reward—Advantage accrues from their efforts being conjoined. The Talmud says, "A man without a companion is like a left hand without the right.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Evils of Oppression
8There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, "And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?" This too is vanity and it is a grievous task. 9Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 4:8
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless-- a miserable business!

Ecclesiastes 4:10
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Treasury of Scripture

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.

are

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; …

Exodus 4:14-16 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, …

Numbers 11:14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Haggai 1:14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, …

Mark 6:7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them forth by …

Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said…

Acts 15:39,40 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed …

1 Corinthians 12:18-21 But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as …

a good

Ruth 2:12 The LORD recompense your work, and a full reward be given you of …

John 4:36 And he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to life eternal: …

2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have worked, …

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