|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 5. - It has seen nothing of the world, known nothing of life, its joys and its sufferings, and is speedily forgotten. To" see the sun" is a metaphor for to "live," as Ecclesiastes 7:11; Ecclesiastes 11:7; Job 3:16, and implies activity and work, the contrary of rest. This hath more rest than the other; literally, there is rest to this more than to that. The rest that belongs to the abortion is better than that which belongs to the rich man. Others take the clause to say simply, "It is better with this than the other." So the Revised Version margin and Delitzsch, the idea of "rest" being thus generalized, and taken to sights a preferable choice. Septuagint, Καὶ οὐκ ἔγνω ἀναπαύσεις τούτῳ ὑπὲρ τοῦτον, "And hath not known rest for this more than that " - which reproduces the difficulty of the Hebrew; Vulgate, Neque cognovit distantiam boni et malt, which is a paraphrase unsupported by the present accentuation of the text. Rest, in the conception of an Oriental, is the most desirable or' all things; compared with the busy, careworn life of the rich man, whose very moments of leisure and sleep are troubled and disturbed, the dreamless nothingness of the still-born child is happiness. This may be a rhetorical exaggeration, but we have its parallel in Job's lamentable cry in Ecclesiastes 3. when he "cursed his day."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moreover, he hath not seen the sun,.... This must be spoken of the abortive, and seems to confirm the sense of the former text, as belonging to it; and whereas it has never seen the light of the sun, nor enjoyed the pleasure and comfort of it, it is no ways distressing to it to be without it. The Targum is,
"the light of the law he seeth not; and knoweth not between good and evil, to judge between this world and that to come:''
so the Vulgate Latin version, "neither knows the difference of good and evil";
nor known anything; not the sun, nor anything else: or "experienced" (z) and "felt" the heat of the sun, and its comfortable influences; which a man may, who is blind, and has never seen it, but an abortive has not; and indeed has known no man, nor any creature nor thing in this world, and therefore it is no concern to it to be without them; and besides, has never had any knowledge or experience of the troubles of lifts, which every living man is liable to. Wherefore this is certain,
this hath more rest than the other; that is, the abortive than the covetous man; having never been distressed with the troubles of life, and now not affected with the sense of loss.
(z) "ueque expertus est", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Rambachius, so Broughton.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. this—yet "it has more rest than" the toiling, gloomy miser.
Ecclesiastes 6:5 Parallel Commentaries
Ecclesiastes 6:5 NIV
Ecclesiastes 6:5 NLT
Ecclesiastes 6:5 ESV
Ecclesiastes 6:5 NASB
Ecclesiastes 6:5 KJV
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