|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.
Verse 4. - For he cometh in with vanity; rather, for it came into nothingness. The reference is to the fetus, or still-born child, not to the rich man, as is implied by the Authorized Version. This, when it appeared, had no independent life or being, was a mere nothing. And departeth in darkness; and goeth into the darkness. It is taken away and put out of sight. And his (its) name shall be covered with darkness. It is a nameless thing, unrecorded, unremembered.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For he cometh in with vanity,.... The Targum adds, "into this world." Some understand this of the abortive, and render it, "though he cometh in with vanity" (x), yet is to be preferred to the covetous man: others interpret it of the covetous man himself; and scrape of both: or, however, they may be compared together in these instances; the abortive comes into the world in vain, for nothing, and answers no purpose, as can well be observed; and the same may be said of a covetous rich man; he walks in a vain show, and is altogether vanity, in his coming in, in his life, and going out;
and departeth in darkness; or, "into darkness" (y); goes out of the world without any notice taken of him; and goes down to the dark grave, where he lies in obscurity;
and his name shall be covered with darkness; the abortive has no name, and is never spoken of; and so the name and memory of such a man as is here described rot and perish: and in this respect the abortive has the preference to him; for though he is covered with darkness, yet no ill is ever spoken of him; whereas the name of the wicked covetous man is cursed.
(x) "quamvis venit", Drusius. (y) "in tenebrositatem", Montanus; "in tenebras", Tigurine version, Mercerus, so Broughton.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. he—rather "it," "the untimely birth." So "its," not "his name."
with vanity—to no purpose; a type of the driftless existence of him who makes riches the chief good.
darkness—of the abortive; a type of the unhonored death and dark future beyond the grave of the avaricious.
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