|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:6-8 God has, in wisdom, kept away from us the knowledge of future events, that we may be always ready for changes. We must all die, no flight or hiding-place can save us, nor are there any weapons of effectual resistance. Ninety thousand die every day, upwards of sixty every minute, and one every moment. How solemn the thought! Oh that men were wise, that they understood these things, that they would consider their latter end! The believer alone is prepared to meet the solemn summons. Wickedness, by which men often escape human justice, cannot secure from death.
Verse 7. - For he knoweth not that which shall be. The subject may be man in general, or more probably the evil tyrant. The clause contains a third reason for patience. The despot cannot foresee the future, and goes on blindly filling up the measure of his iniquity, being unable to take any precautions against his inevitable fate (Proverbs 24:22). Quem Deus vult perdere prius dementat. For who can tell him when it shall be? rather, how it shall be. The fourth portion of the argument. The infatuated man knows not the time when the blow will fall, nor, as here, the manner in which the retribution will come, the form which it will take. Septuagint," For how it shall be, who will tell him?" The Vulgate paraphrases inaccurately, Quia ignorat prae-terita, et futura nullo scire potest nuntio, "Because he knoweth not the past, and the future he can ascertain by no messenger."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For he knoweth not that which shall be,.... Or that "it shall be" (b); that he ever shall have the opportunity again he has lost, nor what is to come hereafter; what shall be on the morrow, or what shall befall him in the remaining part of his days; what troubles and sorrows he shall meet with, or what will be the case and circumstances of his family after his death;
for who can tell him when it shall be? or "how it shall be" (c)? how it will be with him or his; no one that pretends to judicial astrology, or to the art of divination, or any such devices, can tell him what is to come; future things are only certainly known by God; none but he can tell what will certainly come to pass; see Ecclesiastes 3:22; Jarchi interprets it of a man's not considering for what God will bring him to judgment, and that no man can tell him the vengeance and punishment that will be inflicted.
(b) "quod futurum est", Pagninus, Montanus. (c) "quo modo", Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, Rambachius, so Broughton.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
8:7 For - Men are generally ignorant of future events, and therefore their minds are disquieted.
Ecclesiastes 8:7 Parallel Commentaries
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