Ecclesiastes 9:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
It seems so tragic that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. That is why people are not more careful to be good. Instead, they choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.

English Standard Version
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

New American Standard Bible
This 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.

King James Bible
This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: there is one fate for everyone. In addition, the hearts of people are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live--after that they go to the dead.

International Standard Version
There is a tragedy that infects everything that happens on earth: a common event happens to everyone. In fact, the hearts of human beings are full of evil. Madness remains in their hearts while they live, and afterwards they join the dead.

NET Bible
This is the unfortunate fact about everything that happens on earth: the same fate awaits everyone. In addition to this, the hearts of all people are full of evil, and there is folly in their hearts during their lives--then they die.

New Heart English Bible
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is the tragedy of everything that happens under the sun: Everyone shares the same destiny. Moreover, the hearts of mortals are full of evil. Madness is in their hearts while they are still alive. After that, they join the dead.

JPS Tanakh 1917
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event unto all; yea also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

New American Standard 1977
This 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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all; and also that the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

King James 2000 Bible
This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

American King James Version
This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

American Standard Version
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Douay-Rheims Bible
This is a very great evil among all things that are done under the sun, that the same things happen to all men: whereby also the hearts of the children of men are filled with evil, and with contempt while they live, and afterwards they shall be brought down to hell.

Darby Bible Translation
This is an evil among all that is done under the sun, that one thing befalleth all: yea, also the heart of the children of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live; and after that, [they have to go] to the dead.

English Revised Version
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Webster's Bible Translation
This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

World English Bible
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Young's Literal Translation
This is an evil among all that hath been done under the sun, that one event is to all, and also the heart of the sons of man is full of evil, and madness is in their heart during their life, and after it -- unto the dead.
Study Bible
Death Comes to Good and Bad
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. 4For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:17
And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:14
The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both.

Ecclesiastes 7:2
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.

Ecclesiastes 8:11
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

Ecclesiastes 9:2
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.

Ecclesiastes 9:4
For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.

Jeremiah 16:12
You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me.

Jeremiah 17:9
"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:10
"I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.
Treasury of Scripture

This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

also

Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore …

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth…

Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet smell; and the LORD said in his heart, …

Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinks iniquity like water?

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: …

Matthew 15:19,20 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, …

Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, …

Romans 1:29-31 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, …

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, …

and madness

Ecclesiastes 1:17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: …

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, …

Luke 6:11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another …

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

Acts 26:11,24 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to …

2 Peter 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb donkey speaking with man's …

after

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit …

Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous has …

Acts 12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave …

(3) We have again the sentiments expressed in Ecclesiastes 2:14-16; Ecclesiastes 3:19; Ecclesiastes 5:15; Ecclesiastes 6:12.

Verse 3. - This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun. The "evil" is explained in the following words, which speak of the common fate. The Vulgate (followed by Ginsburg and others) lakes the first words as equivalent to a superlative: Hoc est pessimum inter omnia, "This is the greatest evil of all that is done under the sun." But the article would have been used in this case; nor would this accurately express Koheleth's sentiments. He looks upon death only as one of the evils appertaining to men's career on earth - one of the phases of that identity of treatment so certain and so inexplicable, which leads to disastrous results (Ecclesiastes 8:11). That there is one event unto all. The "one event," as the end of the verse shows, is death. We have here the old strain repeated which is found in Ecclesiastes 2:14-16; Ecclesiastes 3:19; Ecclesiastes 5:15; Ecclesiastes 6:12; "Omnes eodem cogimur" (Horace, 'Carm.,' 2:3. 25). Yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil. In consequence of this indiscriminating destiny men sin recklessly, are encouraged in their wickedness. Madness is in their heart while they live. The "madness" is conduct opposed to the dictates of wisdom and reason, as Ecclesiastes 1:17; Ecclesiastes 2:2, 12. All their life long men follow their own lusts and passions, and care little for God's will and law, or their own best interests. This is well called "want of reason (περιφέρεια, Septuagint). And after that they go to the dead. The verb is omitted in the Hebrew, being implied by the preposition XXX, "to;" the omission is very forcible. Delitzsch, Wright, and others render, "after him," i.e. after man's life is ended, which seems rather to say, "after they die, they die." The idea, however, appears to be, both good and evil go to the same place, pass away into nothingness, are known no more in this world. Here at present Koheleth leaves the question of the future life, having already intimated his belief in Ecclesiastes 3. and Ecclesiastes 8:11, etc. This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all,.... A very great evil, a very sore one, the worst of evils. Not an evil, as the providence of God is concerned with it, who does no evil; nor is there any unrighteousness in him; he is righteous in all his ways: but this is an evil, and distressing thing, to the minds of good men; see Psalm 73:2; and is what bad men make an ill use of, to harden themselves in sin, and to despise religion as an unprofitable thing, Job 21:14;

yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil: they are naturally full of evil, of all unrighteousness and wickedness, what comes out of them show it; and because the same things happen to good and bad men, and the wicked pass with impunity, and are outwardly happy as others, or more so, their hearts are fully set in them to do evil, Ecclesiastes 8:11;

and madness is in their heart while they live; or "madnesses" (x): every sin is madness; for who but a madman would stretch out his hand against God, and strengthen himself against the Almighty, and run upon him? who but a madman would rush into sin in the manner he does, and expose himself to dangers and death, even eternal death? Wicked men are mad upon their lusts, and mad against the saints, and all that is good; this insanity is in their hearts, and shows itself in their lives, and continues with them as long as they live, unless called by grace;

and after that they go to the dead; after all the madness of their lives, they die and go into the state of the dead, and are among which refers not so much to the interment of bodies in the grave, as the company with which their separate spirits are; they go not to the righteous dead, but to the wicked; see Proverbs 2:18; so Alshech; they go to the dead; not to the righteous, who, in their death, or when dead are called living, but, as Jarchi observes, at their end they go down to hell. The Targum is,

"after the end of a man, it is reserved for him that he be corrected with the dead, according to the judgment (or desert) of sins.''

(x) "insaniae", Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius, Amama, Gejerus, Rambachius; "omnis insania", Junius & Tremellius. 3. Translate, "There is an evil above all (evils) that are done," etc., namely, that not only "there is one event to all," but "also the heart of the sons of men" makes this fact a reason for "madly" persisting in "evil while they live, and after that," etc., sin is "madness."

the dead—(Pr 2:18; 9:18).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.
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