Ecclesiastes 3:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

King James Bible
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

American Standard Version
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Douay-Rheims Bible
A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.

English Revised Version
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Webster's Bible Translation
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Ecclesiastes 3:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"There is nothing better among men, than that one eat and drink, and that he should pamper his soul by his labour: this also have I seen, that it is in the hand of God." The lxx, as well as the other Greek transl., and Jerome, had before them the words באדם שיאכל. The former translates: "Man has not the good which he shall eat and drink," i.e., also this that he eats ... is for him no true good; but the direct contrary of this is what Koheleth says. Jerome seeks to bring the thought which the text presents into the right track, by using the form of a question: nonne melius est comedere ...; against this Ecclesiastes 3:12, Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 8:15, are not to be cited where טוב אין stands in the dependent sentence; the thought is not thus to be improved; its form is not this, for טוב rof ,siht, beginning a sentence, is never interrog., but affirm.; thus טוב אין is not equals הלא טוב, but is a negative statement. It is above all doubt, that instead of שׁיּ בּאדם we must read בּאדם משּׁיּ, after Ecclesiastes 3:12, Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 8:15; for, as at Job 33:17, the initial letter mem after the terminal mem has dropped out. Codd. of the lxx have accordingly corrected ὃ into πλὴν ὃ or εἰ μὴ ὃ (thus the Compl. Ald.), and the Syr. and Targ. render ש here by אלא דּ and אלהן דּ unless that he eat; Jerome also has non est bonum homini nisi quod in his Comm.; only the Venet. seeks to accommodate itself to the traditional text. Besides, only מ is to be inserted, not אם כי; for the phrase לאכל אם כי is used, but not כי אם ס. Instead of ba-a-da-m, the form la-a-da-m would be more agreeable, as at Ecclesiastes 6:12; Ecclesiastes 8:15. Hitzig remarks, without proof, that bāādām is in accordance with later grammatical forms, which admit ב equals "for" before the object. ב, Ecclesiastes 10:17, is neither prep. of the object, nor is ἐν, Sir. 3:7, the exponent of the dative (vid., Grimm). bāādām signifies, as at 2 Samuel 23:3, and as ἐν ἀνθ, Sir. 11:14, inter homines; also Ecclesiastes 3:12 designates by טוב טוב what among them (men) has to be regarded as good.

It is interesting to see how here the ancient and the modern forms of the language run together, without the former wholly passing over into the latter; משׁי, quam ut edat, is followed by norm. perfects, in accordance with that comprehensive peculiarity of the old syntax which Ewald, by an excellent figure, calls the dissolution of that which is coloured into grey. טוב ... הד is equivalent to לו הי, Psalm 49:19, the causative rendering of the phrase טוב ראה, Ecclesiastes 3:13, or ר טובה, Ecclesiastes 5:17; Ecclesiastes 6:6. It is well to attend to בּעמלו by his labour, which forms an essential component part of that which is approved of as good. Not a useless sluggard-life, but a life which connects together enjoyment and labour, is that which Koheleth thinks the best in the world. But this enjoyment, lightening, embellishing, seasoning labour, has also its But: etiam hoc vidi e manu Dei esse (pendere). The order of the words harmonizes with this Lat.; it follows the scheme referred to at Genesis 1:4; cf. on the contrary, Ecclesiastes 3:6. Instead of גּם־זה, neut. by attraction, there is here the immediately neut. גּם־זה; the book uniformly makes use of this fem. form instead of זאת. This or that is "in the hand of God," i.e., it is His gift, Ecclesiastes 3:13, Ecclesiastes 3:18, and it is thus conditioned by Him, since man cannot give it to himself; cf. minni, Isaiah 30:1; mimmenni, Hosea 8:4; mimmennu, 1 Kings 20:33.

This dependence of the enjoyment of life on God is established.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

time to weep

Nehemiah 8:9-12 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said to all the people...

Nehemiah 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloths...

Psalm 30:5 For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 126:1,2,5,6 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream...

Isaiah 22:12,13 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth...

Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bridal chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come...

Matthew 11:17 And saying, We have piped to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you have not lamented.

John 16:20-22 Truly, truly, I say to you, That you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful...

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

a time to laugh

Genesis 21:6 And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

Luke 1:13,14,58 But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son...

Luke 6:21-25 Blessed are you that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh...

to dance

Exodus 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand...

2 Samuel 6:16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window...

Cross References
Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Exodus 15:20
Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.

Psalm 30:11
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,

Psalm 126:2
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."

Ecclesiastes 3:5
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

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