Ecclesiastes 7:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

New Living Translation
Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies--so the living should take this to heart.

English Standard Version
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.

New American Standard Bible
It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart.

King James Bible
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, since that is the end of all mankind, and the living should take it to heart.

International Standard Version
It's better to attend a funeral than to attend a banquet, for everyone dies eventually, and the living will take this to heart.

NET Bible
It is better to go to a funeral than a feast. For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It is better to go to a funeral than to a banquet because that is where everyone will end up. Everyone who is alive should take this to heart!

Jubilee Bible 2000
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

King James 2000 Bible
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

American King James Version
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

American Standard Version
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Douay-Rheims Bible
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting: for in that we are put in mind of the end of all, and the living thinketh what is to come.

Darby Bible Translation
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: in that that is the end of all men, and the living taketh it to heart.

English Revised Version
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Webster's Bible Translation
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

World English Bible
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men, and the living should take this to heart.

Young's Literal Translation
Better to go unto a house of mourning, Than to go unto a house of banqueting, For that is the end of all men, And the living layeth it unto his heart.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:1-6 Reputation for piety and honesty is more desirable than all the wealth and pleasure in this world. It will do more good to go to a funeral than to a feast. We may lawfully go to both, as there is occasion; our Saviour both feasted at the wedding of his friend in Cana, and wept at the grave of his friend in Bethany. But, considering how apt we are to be vain and indulge the flesh, it is best to go to the house of mourning, to learn the end of man as to this world. Seriousness is better than mirth and jollity. That is best for us which is best for our souls, though it be unpleasing to sense. It is better to have our corruptions mortified by the rebuke of the wise, than to have them gratified by the song of fools. The laughter of a fool is soon gone, the end of his mirth is heaviness.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting. The thought in the last verse leads to the recollection of the circumstances which accompany the two events therein mentioned - birth and death, feasting and joy, in the first case; sorrow and mourning in the second. In recommending the sober, earnest life, Koheleth teaches that wiser, more enduring lessons are to be learned where grief reigns than in the empty and momentary excitement of mirth and joyousness. The house in question is mourning for a death; and what a long and harrowing business this was is well known (see Deuteronomy 24:8; Ecclus. 22:10; Jeremiah 22:18; Matthew 9:23, etc.). Visits of condolence and periodical pilgrimages to groves of departed relatives were considered duties (John 11:19, 31), and conduced to the growth in the mind of sympathy, seriousness, and the need of preparation for death. The opposite side, the house of carousal, where all that is serious is put away, leading to such scenes as Isaiah denounces (Isaiah 5:11), offers no wise teaching, and produces only selfishness, heartlessness, thoughtlessness. What is said here is no contradiction to what was said in Ecclesiastes 2:24, that there was nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and enjoy himself. For Koheleth was not speaking of unrestrained sensualism - the surrender of the mind to the pleasures of the body - but of the moderate enjoyment of the good things of life conditioned by the fear of God and love of one's neighbor. This statement is quite compatible with the view that sees a higher purpose and training in the sympathy with sorrow than in participation in reckless frivolity. For that is the end of all men viz. that they will some day be mourned, that their house will be turned into a house of mourning. Vulgate, In illa (dome) enim finis cunctorum admonetur hominum, which is not the sense of the Hebrew. The living will lay it to his heart. He who has witnessed this scene will consider it seriously (Ecclesiastes 9:1), and draw from it profitable conclusions concerning the brevity of life and the proper use to make thereof. We recall the words of Christ, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted;" and "Woe unto you that laugh now for ye shall mourn and weep" (Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:25). Schultens gives an Arab proverb which says, "Hearest thou lamentation for the dead, hasten to the spot; art thou called to a banquet, cross not the threshold." The Septuagint thus translates the last clause, Καὶ ὁ ζῶν δώσει ἀγαθὸν εἰς καρδίαν αὐτοῦ "The living will put good into his heart;" the Vulgate paraphrases fairly, Et vivens cogitat quid futurum sit," The living thinks what is to come." "So teach us to number our days," prays the psalmist, "that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

It is better to go to the house of mourning,.... For deceased relations or friends, who either lie unburied, or have been lately inferred; for the Jews kept their mourning for their dead several days afterwards, when their friends visited them in order to comfort them, as the Jews did Martha and Mary, John 11:31. So the Targum here,

"it is better to go to a mourning man to comfort him;''

for at such times and places the conversation was serious and interesting, and turned upon the subjects of mortality and a future state, and preparation for it; from whence useful and instructive lessons are learned; and so it was much better to be there

than to go to the house of feasting: the Targum is,

"than to the house of a feast of wine of scorners;''

where there is nothing but noise and clamour, luxury and intemperance, carnal mirth and gaiety, vain and frothy conversation, idle talk and impure songs, and a jest made of true religion and godliness, death and another world;

for that is the end of all men; not the house of feasting, but the house of mourning; or mourning itself, as Jarchi; every man must expect to lose his relation and friend, and so come to the house of mourning; and must die himself, and be the occasion of mourning: death itself seems rather intended, which is the end of all men, the way of all flesh; for it is appointed for men to die; and so the Targum,

"seeing upon them all is decreed the decree of death;''

and the living will lay it to his heart; by going to the house of mourning, he will be put in mind of death, and will think of it seriously, and consider his latter end, how near it is; and that this must be his case shortly, as is the deceased's he comes to mourn for. So the Targum interprets it of words concerning death, or discourses of mortality he there hears, which he takes notice of and lays to his heart, and lays up in it. Jarchi's note is,

"their thought is of the way of death.''

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. Proving that it is not a sensual enjoyment of earthly goods which is meant in Ec 3:13; 5:18. A thankful use of these is right, but frequent feasting Solomon had found dangerous to piety in his own case. So Job's fear (Ec 1:4, 5). The house of feasting often shuts out thoughts of God and eternity. The sight of the dead in the "house of mourning" causes "the living" to think of their own "end."

Ecclesiastes 7:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Value of Wisdom
1A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth. 2It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart. 3Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.…
Cross References
Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 2:14
The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.

Ecclesiastes 2:16
For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!

Ecclesiastes 3:19
Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 3:20
All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.

Ecclesiastes 6:6
even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?

Ecclesiastes 9:2
All share a common destiny--the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them.

Ecclesiastes 9:3
This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.

Jeremiah 16:8
"And do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink.
Treasury of Scripture

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

better

Genesis 48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, …

Genesis 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, you sons of Jacob; and listen …

Genesis 50:15-17 And when Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, …

Job 1:4,5 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day…

Isaiah 5:11,12 Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow …

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

Amos 6:3-6 You that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence …

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 14:6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced …

1 Peter 4:3,4 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will …

that

Numbers 23:10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part …

Deuteronomy 32:29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would …

Romans 6:21,22 What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? …

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory …

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:

living

Deuteronomy 32:46 And he said to them, Set your hearts to all the words which I testify …

Isaiah 47:7 And you said, I shall be a lady for ever: so that you did not lay …

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

Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give …

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