Ecclesiastes 6:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded.

New Living Translation
His birth would have been meaningless, and he would have ended in darkness. He wouldn't even have had a name,

English Standard Version
For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered.

New American Standard Bible
for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity.

King James Bible
For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For he comes in futility and he goes in darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness.

International Standard Version
because stillborn children arrive in pointlessness, leave in darkness, and their names are covered in darkness.

NET Bible
Though the stillborn child came into the world for no reason and departed into darkness, though its name is shrouded in darkness,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A stillborn baby arrives in a pointless birth and goes out into the darkness. The darkness then hides its name.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For he came in vain and departs unto darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

King James 2000 Bible
For he comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

American King James Version
For he comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

American Standard Version
for it cometh in vanity, and departeth in darkness, and the name thereof is covered with darkness;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For he came in vain, and goeth to darkness, and his name shall be wholly forgotten.

Darby Bible Translation
For it cometh in vanity, and departeth in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness;

English Revised Version
for it cometh in vanity, and departeth in darkness, and the name thereof is covered with darkness;

Webster's Bible Translation
For he cometh with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

World English Bible
for it comes in vanity, and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.

Young's Literal Translation
For in vanity he came in, and in darkness he goeth, and in darkness his name is covered,
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

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.

Ecclesiastes 6:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Futility of Life
3If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, "Better the miscarriage than he, 4for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. 5"It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 6:3
A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

Ecclesiastes 6:5
Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man--
Treasury of Scripture

For he comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.

his name

Psalm 109:13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let …

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