Ecclesiastes 9:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don't.

English Standard Version
It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.

New American Standard Bible
It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the swearer is, so is the one who is afraid to swear.

King James Bible
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Everything is the same for everyone: there is one fate for the righteous and the wicked, for the good and the bad, for the clean and the unclean, for the one who sacrifices and the one who does not sacrifice. As it is for the good, so it is for the sinner; as for the one who takes an oath, so for the one who fears an oath.

International Standard Version
Everyone shares the same experience: a single event affects the righteous, the wicked, the good, the clean, the unclean, whoever sacrifices, and whoever does not sacrifice. As it is with the good person, so also it is with the sinner; as it is with someone who takes an oath, so also it is with someone who fears taking an oath.

NET Bible
Everyone shares the same fate--the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the ceremonially clean and unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. What happens to the good person, also happens to the sinner; what happens to those who make vows, also happens to those who are afraid to make vows.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Everything turns out the same way for everyone. All people will share the same destiny, whether they are righteous, wicked, or good, clean or unclean, whether they offer sacrifices or don't offer sacrifices. Good people are treated like sinners. People who take oaths are treated like those who are afraid to take oaths.

Jubilee Bible 2000
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices and to him that does not sacrifice: as unto the good so unto the sinner; and unto him that swears as unto him that fears the oath.

King James 2000 Bible
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices, and to him that sacrifices not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that swears, as he that fears an oath.

American King James Version
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices, and to him that sacrifices not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that swears, as he that fears an oath.

American Standard Version
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth and to him that sacrificeth not; as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But all things are kept uncertain for the time to come, because all things equally happen to the just and to the wicked, to the good and to the evil, to the clean and to the unclean, to him that offereth victims, and to him that despiseth sacrifices. As the good is, so also is the sinner: as the perjured, so he also that sweareth truth.

Darby Bible Translation
All things [come] alike to all: one event to the righteous and to the wicked, to the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean, to him that sacrificeth and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

English Revised Version
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

Webster's Bible Translation
All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

World English Bible
All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn't sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath.

Young's Literal Translation
The whole is as to the whole; one event is to the righteous and to the wicked, to the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean, and to him who is sacrificing, and to him who is not sacrificing; as is the good, so is the sinner, he who is swearing as he who is fearing an oath.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:1-3 We are not to think our searching into the word or works of God useless, because we cannot explain all difficulties. We may learn many things good for ourselves and useful to others. But man cannot always decide who are objects of God's special love, or under his wrath; and God will certainly put a difference between the precious and the vile, in the other world. The difference as to present happiness, arises from the inward supports and consolations the righteous enjoy, and the benefit they derive from varied trials and mercies. As far as the sons of men are left to themselves, their hearts are full of evil; and prosperity in sin, causes them even to set God at defiance by daring wickedness. Though, on this side death, the righteous and the wicked may often seem to fare alike, on the other side there will be a vast difference between them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - All things come alike to all; literally, all things [are] like that which [happens] to all persons. There is no difference in the treatment of persons; all people of every kind meet with circumstances of every kind. Speaking generally, there is no discrimination, apparently, in the distribution of good and evil. Sun and shade, calm and storm. fruitful and unfruitful seasons, joy and sorrow, are dispensed by inscrutable laws. The Septuagint, reading differently, has, "Vanity is in all;" the Syriac unites two readings, "All before him is vanity, all as to all" (Ginsburg). There is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked. All men have the same lot, whether it be death or any other contingency, without regard to their naomi condition. The classes into which men are divided must be noted. "Righteous" and "wicked" refer to men in their conduct to others. The good. The Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac add, "to the evil," which is said again almost immediately. To the clean, and to the unclean. "The good" and "clean" are those who are not only ceremonially pure, but, as the epithet "good" shows, are morally undefiled. To him that sacrificeth; i.e. the man who attends to the externals of religion, offers the obligatory sacrifices, and brings his free-will offerings. The good... the sinner; in the widest senses. He that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. He who takes an oath lightly, carelessly, or falsely (comp. Zechariah 5:3), is contrasted with him who regards it as a holy thing, or shrinks in awe from invoking God's Name in such a case This last idea is regarded as a late Essenic development (see Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 2:08. 6); though something like it is found in the sermon on the mount, "I say unto you, Swear not at all," etc. (Matthew 5:34-37). Dean Plumptre, however, throws doubt on the above interpretation, owing to the fact that in all the other groups the good side is placed first; and he suggests that "he who sweareth" may be one who does his duty in this particular religiously and well (comp. Deuteronomy 6:13; Isaiah 65:16), and "he who fears the oath" is a man whose conscience makes him shrink from the oath of compurgation (Exodus 22:10, 11; Numbers 5:19-22), or who is too cowardly to give his testimony in due form. The Vulgate has, Ut perjurus, its et ille qui verum dejerat; and it seems unnecessary to present an entirely new view of the passage in slavish expectation of a concinnity which the author cannot be proved to have ever aimed at. The five contrasted pairs are the righteous and the wicked, the clean and the unclean, the sacrificer and the non-sacrificer, the good and the sinner, the profane swearer and the man who reverences an oath. The last clause is rendered by the Septuagint, "So is he who sweareth (ὁ ὀμνύων) even as he who fears the oath," which is as ambiguous as the original. A cautious Greek gnome says -

Ὅρκον δὲ φεῦγε κᾶν δικαίως ὀμνύῃς

"Avoid an oath, though justly you might swear."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

All things come alike to all,.... That is, all outward things in this life, good and bad men share in alike; which proves that neither love nor hatred can be known by them: so the emperor Mark Antonine, in speaking of life and death, of honour and dishonour, of pain and pleasure, riches and poverty, says (s), all these things happen alike to good men and bad men;

there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; the same prosperous ones happen to one as to another, as riches, honour, health, wisdom and learning, fame and reputation: if Abraham was rich in cattle, gold, and silver, so was Nabal, and the rich fool in the Gospel; if Joseph was advanced to great dignity in Pharaoh's court, so was Haman in the court of Ahasuerus; if Caleb was as hearty and strong at fourscore and five as ever, it is true of many wicked men, that there are no bands in their death, and their strength is firm to the last; if Moses, Solomon, and Daniel, were wise men, and of great learning, so were the idolatrous Egyptians, and so are many God is not pleased to call by his grace; if Demetrius had a good report of all men, so had the false prophets of old: and the same adverse things happen to one as to another as the instances of Job, Lazarus, and the good figs, the Jews carried into captivity, show; of whom the Midrash, and Jarchi from that, interpret this and the following clauses: "to the righteous and to the wicked": to Noah the righteous, and to Pharaoh, not Necho, as Jarchi, but he whose daughter Solomon married, who, the Jews say, were both lame;

to the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean; who are "good", not naturally, and in and of themselves, but by the grace of God; and who are "clean", not by nature, nor by their own power, but through the clean water of divine grace being sprinkled on them, and through the blood and righteousness of Christ applied to them; and who are "unclean", through the corruption of nature, and the pollution of actual sins, they live in. Some understand this of a ceremonial cleanness and uncleanness. The above Jews apply these characters to Moses, who was good; to Aaron, who was clean; and to the spies, who were unclean; and the same thing happened to them all, exclusion from the land of Canaan;

to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: that serves and worships the Lord, and who does not, one branch of service and worship being put for all; and whether they offer themselves, their contrite hearts and spiritual sacrifices, or not. The Jews exemplify this Josiah, who sacrificed to the Lord; and in Ahab, who made sacrifice to cease; and both were slain with arrows;

as is the good, so is the sinner; alike in their outward condition and circumstances, whether as to prosperity or adversity;

and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath; the common swearer, or he that is perjured, and has no reverence of God, nor regard to truth, nor any concern to make good his oath; and he that is cautious about taking one does it with awe and reverence of the divine Being, and is careful of keeping, it, even to his own hurt. The Jews stance in Zedekiah and Samson; the former broke his oath with the king of Babylon, and the latter was a religious observer of an oath; and yet both had their eyes put out; but it does not appear that Samson ever took an oath: the opposition in the text seems to be between one that is ready to take an oath on every occasion, without considering the solemnity of one, and without due care of what he swore to; and one that is cautious about taking an oath, and chooses to be excused from taking one, on any account, could he be excused; preferring such advice as is given, Matthew 5:34, "swear not at all"; the counsel about swearing, which Isocrates (t) gives, seems worthy of notice;

"take an oath required on two accounts; either to purge thyself from a foul crime charged with, or to save friends in danger, and deliver them out of it; but on account of money (or goods) swear not by any deity, no, not even if thou canst take an oath safely; for by some thou wilt be thought to be perjured, and by others to be covetous.''

The word in Hebrew for swearing is always passive, because a man should not swear, unless obliged; and the same form of language is used by Latin writers (u); and the Hebrew word for it comes from a root which signifies "seven", in allusion, as some think, to seven witnesses required to an oath; the Arabians, when they swore, anointed "seven" stones with blood; and, while anointing them, called on their deities (w); see Genesis 21:30. It may be observed, that all men are here divided into good and bad; this has been the distinction from the beginning, and continues, and ever will.

(s) De scipso, l. 2. c. 11. (t) Paraenes Demonic. p. 10. (u) "Juratus sum", Plauti Corculio, Acts 3. v. 88. "Fui juratus", ib. Acts 4. Sc. 4. v. 10. "Non tu juratus mihi es? juratus sum", ib. Rudens, Acts 5. Sc. 3. v. 16, 17. (w) Herodot. Thalia, sive l. 3. c. 8.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. All things … alike—not universally; but as to death. Ec 9:2-10 are made by Holden the objection of a skeptical sensualist. However, they may be explained as Solomon's language. He repeats the sentiment already implied in Ec 2:14; 3:20; 8:14.

one event—not eternally; but death is common to all.

good—morally.

clean—ceremonially.

sacrificeth—alike to Josiah who sacrificed to God, and to Ahab who made sacrifice to Him cease.

sweareth—rashly and falsely.

Ecclesiastes 9:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Death Comes to Good and Bad
1For I have taken all this to my heart and explain it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God. Man does not know whether it will be love or hatred; anything awaits him. 2It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the swearer is, so is the one who is afraid to swear. 3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.…
Cross References
Job 9:22
It is all the same; that is why I say, 'He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.'

Job 21:26
Side by side they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both.

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 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 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 7:2
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.

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.

Ecclesiastes 9:11
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

Jeremiah 43:6
They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan--the men, the women, the children and the king's daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah along with them.
Treasury of Scripture

All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices, and to him that sacrifices not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that swears, as he that fears an oath.

alike

Ecclesiastes 2:14-16 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: …

Job 21:7 Why do the wicked live, become old, yes, are mighty in power?

Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yes, they that work wickedness are …

as is

Ecclesiastes 2:26 For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, …

Ecclesiastes 7:18 It is good that you should take hold of this; yes, also from this …

Ecclesiastes 8:12-14 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, …

feareth

Genesis 24:3,8,9 And I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the …

Joshua 2:17-20 And the men said to her, We will be blameless of this your oath which …

1 Samuel 14:26 And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; …

Ezekiel 17:18,19 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, see, …

Zechariah 5:3,4 Then said he to me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face …

Malachi 3:15,18 And now we call the proud happy; yes, they that work wickedness are …

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