|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-6 A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he makes no good or comfortable use of what he has. By one means or other his possessions come to strangers; this is vanity, and an evil disease. A numerous family was a matter of fond desire and of high honour among the Hebrews; and long life is the desire of mankind in general. Even with these additions a man may not be able to enjoy his riches, family, and life. Such a man, in his passage through life, seems to have been born for no end or use. And he who has entered on life only for one moment, to quit it the next, has a preferable lot to him who has lived long, but only to suffer.
Verses 1-6. - Section 9. Koheleth proceeds to illustrate the fact which he stated at the end of the last chapter, viz. that the possession and enjoyment of wealth are alike the free gift of God. We may see men possessed of all the gifts of fortune, yet denied the faculty of enjoying them. Hence we again conclude that wealth cannot secure happiness. Verse 1. - There is an evil which I have seen under the sun. The writer presents his personal experience, that which has fallen under his own observation (comp. Ecclesiastes 5:13; Ecclesiastes 10:5). And it is common among men. Rab, Translated "common," like πολὺς ιν Greek, is used of number and of degree; hence there is some doubt about its meaning here. The Septuagint has πολλή, the Vulgate frequens. Taking into account the fact that the circumstance stated is not one of general experience, we must receive the adjective in its tropical signification, and render, And it is great [lies heavily] upon men. Comp. Ecclesiastes 8:6, where the same word is used, and the preposition עַל is rather "upon" than "among" (Isaiah 24:20).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun,.... The Vulgate Latin version reads it, another evil; but wrongly, for the same is considered as before, the evil of covetousness; which is one of the evil things that come out of the heart of man; is abominable to the Lord, contrary to his nature and will, and a breach of his law, which forbids it, and is the root of all evil; this is an evil under the sun, for there is nothing of this kind above it; and it fell under the observation of Solomon in various instances;
and it is common among men; or, "great over men" (u); or "over the man", the covetous man: it spreads itself over them; few were free from it, even so long ago, in those early times, and in such times in which silver was made no account of, and was like stones in Jerusalem, as common as they; and yet the sin of covetousness, of hoarding up money and making no use of it, for a man's own good, and the good of others, was very rife among men, 1 Kings 10:27.
(u) "et multum ipsum super hominem", Montanus; "et magaum est illud super hominem istum", Rambachius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1. common—or else more literally,—"great upon man," falls heavily upon man.
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