Ecclesiastes 7:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

New Living Translation
Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

English Standard Version
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

New American Standard Bible
In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider-- God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

King James Bible
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man cannot discover anything that will come after him.

International Standard Version
When times are good, be joyful; when times are bad, consider this: God made the one as well as the other, so people won't seek anything outside of his best.

NET Bible
In times of prosperity be joyful, but in times of adversity consider this: God has made one as well as the other, so that no one can discover what the future holds.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When times are good, be happy. But when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one time as well as the other so that mortals cannot predict their future.

Jubilee Bible 2000
In the day of good enjoy that which is good, but in the day of adversity open your eyes and learn: God also has made the one (the day of adversity) before the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

King James 2000 Bible
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also has set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing that will come after him.

American King James Version
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also has set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

American Standard Version
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yea, God hath made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything that shall be after him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In the good day enjoy good things, and beware beforehand of the evil day: for God hath made both the one and the other, that man may not find against him any just complaint.

Darby Bible Translation
In the day of prosperity enjoy good, and in the day of adversity consider: God hath also set the one beside the other, to the end that man should find out nothing [of what shall be] after him.

English Revised Version
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God hath even made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out any thing that shall be after him.

Webster's Bible Translation
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

World English Bible
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yes, God has made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything after him.

Young's Literal Translation
In a day of prosperity be in gladness, And in a day of evil consider. Also this over-against that hath God made, To the intent that man doth not find anything after him.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:11-22 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, yea better. It shelters from the storms and scorching heat of trouble. Wealth will not lengthen out the natural life; but true wisdom will give spiritual life, and strengthen men for services under their sufferings. Let us look upon the disposal of our condition as the work of God, and at last all will appear to have been for the best. In acts of righteousness, be not carried into heats or passions, no, not by a zeal for God. Be not conceited of thine own abilities; nor find fault with every thing, nor busy thyself in other men's matters. Many who will not be wrought upon by the fear of God, and the dread of hell, will avoid sins which ruin their health and estate, and expose to public justice. But those that truly fear God, have but one end to serve, therefore act steadily. If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves. Every true believer is ready to say, God be merciful to me a sinner. Forget not at the same time, that personal righteousness, walking in newness of life, is the only real evidence of an interest by faith in the righteousness of the Redeemer. Wisdom teaches us not to be quick in resenting affronts. Be not desirous to know what people say; if they speak well of thee, it will feed thy pride, if ill, it will stir up thy passion. See that thou approve thyself to God and thine own conscience, and then heed not what men say of thee; it is easier to pass by twenty affronts than to avenge one. When any harm is done to us, examine whether we have not done as bad to others.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - In the day of prosperity be joyful; literally, in the day of good be in good i.e. when things go well with you, be cheerful (Ecclesiastes 9:7; Esther 8:17); accept the situation and enjoy it. The advice is the same as that which runs through the book, viz. to make the best of the present. So Ben-Sire says, "Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not a share in a good desire pass thee by" (Ecclus. 14:14). Septuagint Ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἀγαθωσύνης ζῆθι ἐν αγαθῷ, "In a day of good live in (an atmosphere of) good;" Vulgate, in die bona fruere bonis, "In a good day enjoy your good things." But in the day of adversity consider; in the evil day look well. The writer could not conclude this clause so as to make it parallel with the other, or he would have had to say, "In the ill day take it ill," which would be far from his meaning; so he introduces a thought which may help to make one resigned to adversity. The reflection follows. Septuagint, Καὶ ἴδε ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κακίας ἴδε κ.τ.λ..; Vulgate, Et malam diem praecave, "Beware of the evil day." But, doubtless, the object of the verb is the following clause. God also hath set the one over against the other; or, God hath made the one corresponding to the other; i.e. he hath made the day of evil as well as the day of good. The light and shade in man's life are equally under God's ordering and permission. "What?" cries Job (Job 2:10), "shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" Corn. Lapide quotes a saying of Plutarch to this effect: the harp gives forth sounds acute and grave, and both combine to form the melody; so in man's life the mingling of prosperity and adversity yields a well-adjusted harmony. God strikes all the strings of our life's harp, and we ought, not only patiently, but cheerfully, to listen to the chords produced by this Divine Performer. To the end that man should find nothing after him. This clause gives Koheleth's view of God's object in the admixture of good and evil; but the reason has been variously interpreted, the explanation depending on the sense assigned to the term "after him" (אַתַרָיו). The Septuagint gives ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ, which is vague; the Vulgate, contra eum, meaning that man may have no occasion to complain against God. Cheyne ('Job and Solomon') considers that Koheleth here implies that death closes the scene, and that there is then nothing more to fear, rendering the clause, "On the ground that man is to experience nothing at all hereafter." They who believe that the writer held the doctrine of a future life cannot acquiesce in this view. The interpretation of Delitzsch is this - God lets man pass through the whole discipline of good and evil, that when lie dies there may be nothing which he has not experienced. Hitzig and Nowack explain the text to mean that, as God designs that man after his death shall have done with all things, he sends upon him evil as well as good, that he may not have to punish him hereafter - a doctrine opposed to the teaching of a future judgment. Wright deems the idea to be that man may be kept in ignorance of what shall happen to him beyond the grave, that the present life may afford no clue to the future. One does not see why this should be a comfort, nor how it is compatible with God's known counsel of making the condition of the future life dependent upon the conduct of this. Other explanations being more or less unsatisfactory, many modern commentators see in the passage an assertion that God intermingle8 good and evil in men's lives according to laws with which they are unacquainted, in order that they may not disquiet themselves by forecasting the future, whether in this life or after their death, but may be wholly dependent upon God, casting all their care upon him, knowing that he careth for them (1 Peter 5:7). We may safely adopt this explanation (comp. Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 6:12). The paragraph then con-rains the same teaching as Horace's oft-quoted ode-

"Prudens futuri temporis exitum," etc.
(Carm.,' 3:29. 29.) Theognis', 1075 -

Πρήγματος ἀπρήκτου χαλεπώτατόν ἐστι τελεντὴν
Γνῶναι ὅπως μέλλει τοῦτο Θεὸς τελέσαι
Ορφνη γὰρ τέταται πρὸ δὲ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἔσεσθαι
Οὐ ξυνετὰ θνητοῖς πείρατ ἀμηχανίης,

"The issue of an action incomplete,
Tis hard to forecast how God may dispose it;
For it is veiled in darkest night, and man
In present hour can never comprehend
His helpless efforts."
Plumptre quotes the lines in Cleanthes's hymn to Zeus, vers. 18-21 ('Poet. Gnom.,' p. 24) -

Ἀλλὰ σὺ καὶ τὰ περισσά κ.τ.λ.

"Thou alone knowest how to change the odd
To even, and to make the crooked straight;
And things discordant find accent in thee.
Thus in one whole thou blendest ill with good,
So that one law works on for evermore."
Ben-Sira has evidently borrowed the idea in Ecclus. 33: (36.) 13-15 from our passage; after speaking of man being like clay under the potter's hand, he proceeds, "Good is set over against evil, and life over against death; so is the godly against the sinner, and the sinner against the godly. So look upon all the works of the Mast High: there are two and two, one against the ether."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

In the day of prosperity be joyful,.... Or, "in a good day" (q). When things go well in the commonwealth, in a man's family, and with himself, health, peace, and plenty, are enjoyed, a man's circumstances are thriving and flourishing; it becomes him to be thankful to God, freely and cheerfully to enjoy what is bestowed on him, and do good with it: or, "be in good" (r); in good heart, in good spirits, cheerful and lively; or, "enjoy good", as the Vulgate Latin version; for what God gives to men is given them richly to enjoy, to make use of themselves, and be beneficial unto others; so the Targum,

"in the day the Lord does well to thee be thou also in goodness, and do good to all the world;''

see Galatians 6:10; Jarchi's paraphrase is,

"when it is in thine hand to do good, be among those that do good;''

but in the day of adversity consider; or, "in the day of evil" (s); consider from whence affliction comes; not out of the dust, nor by chance, but from God, and by his wise appointment; and for what it comes, that sin is the cause of it, and what that is; and also for what ends it is sent, to bring to a sense of sin, and confession of it, and humiliation for it; to take it away, and make good men more partakers of holiness: or, "look for the day of adversity" (t); even in the day of prosperity it should be expected; for there is no firmness and stability in any state; there are continual vicissitudes and changes. The Targum is,

"that the evil day may not come upon thee, see and behold;''

be careful and circumspect, and behave in a wise manner, that so it may be prevented. Jarchi's note is,

"when evil comes upon the wicked, be among those that see, and not among those that are seen;''

and compares it with Isaiah 66:24; It may be observed, that there is a set time for each of these, prosperity and adversity; and that the time is short, and therefore called a day; and the one is good, and the other is evil; which characters they have according to the outward appearance, and according to the judgment and esteem of men; otherwise, prosperity is oftentimes hurtful, and destroys fools, and adversity is useful to the souls of good men;

God also hath set the one over against the other; they are both by his appointment, and are set in their proper place, and come in their proper time; succeed each other, and answer to one another, as day and night, summer and winter, and work, together for the good of men;

to the end that man should find nothing after him; should not be able to know what will be hereafter; what his case and circumstances will be, whether prosperous or adverse; since things are so uncertain, and so subject to change, and nothing permanent; and therefore can find nothing to trust in and depend upon, nothing that he can be sure of: and things are so wisely managed and disposed, that a man can find no fault with them, nor just reason to complain of them; so the Vulgate Latin version, "not find just complaints against him"; and to the same purpose the Syriac version, "that he may complain of him"; the Targum is,

"not find any evil in this world.''

(q) "in die bono", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus. (r) "esto in bono", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Rambachius. (s) "in die mala", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus. (t) "praecave", V. L. "praevide, aut provide ac prospice", Drusius; so Gussetius, p. 766.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. consider—resumed from Ec 7:13. "Consider," that is, regard it as "the work of God"; for "God has made (Hebrew, for 'set') this (adversity) also as well as the other (prosperity)." "Adversity" is one of the things which "God has made crooked," and which man cannot "make straight." He ought therefore to be "patient" (Ec 7:8).

after him—equivalent to "that man may not find anything (to blame) after God" (that is, after "considering God's work," Ec 7:13). Vulgate and Syriac, "against Him" (compare Ec 7:10; Ro 3:4).

Ecclesiastes 7:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Value of Wisdom
13Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? 14In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider-- God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
Cross References
Deuteronomy 8:5
Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Deuteronomy 26:11
Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.

Job 2:10
He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Ecclesiastes 3:22
So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

Ecclesiastes 8:7
Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come?

Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Ecclesiastes 10:14
and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming-- who can tell someone else what will happen after them?

Ecclesiastes 11:9
You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
Treasury of Scripture

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also has set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

the day

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Deuteronomy 28:47 Because you served not the LORD your God with joyfulness, and with …

Psalm 30:11,12 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: you have put off …

Psalm 40:3 And he has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God: many …

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not …

John 16:22,23 And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and …

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

but

Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with …

1 Kings 8:47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land where they were …

1 Kings 17:17,18 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, …

2 Chronicles 33:12,13 And when he was in affliction, he sought the LORD his God, and humbled …

Job 10:1,2 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint on myself; …

Psalm 94:12,13 Blessed is the man whom you chasten, O LORD, and teach him out of your law…

Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn your statutes.

Isaiah 22:12-14 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to …

Isaiah 26:11 LORD, when your hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall …

Isaiah 42:25 Therefore he has poured on him the fury of his anger, and the strength …

Jeremiah 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and …

Micah 6:9 The LORD's voice cries to the city, and the man of wisdom shall see …

Haggai 1:5-7 Now therefore thus said the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways…

Luke 15:17,18 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of …

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue …

set

Ecclesiastes 12:8,13 Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity…

Hosea 2:6,7 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and make …

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