Ecclesiastes 9:11
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

King James Bible
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

American Standard Version
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I turned me to another thing, and I saw that under the sun, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the learned, nor favour to the skilful: but time and chance in all.

English Revised Version
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but fame and chance happeneth to them all.

Webster's Bible Translation
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

He sarcastically verifies his comparison in favour of a living dog. "For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything, and have no more a reward; for their memory is forgotten. Their love, as well as their hatred and their envy, has long ago perished, and they have part no more for ever in all that is done under the sun." The description of the condition of death begins sarcastically and then becomes elegiac. "They have no reward further," viz., in this upper world, since there it is only too soon forgotten that they once existed, and that they did anything worthy of being remembered; Koheleth might here indeed, with his view shrouded in dark clouds, even suppose that God also forgot them, Job 14:13. The suff. of אהב, etc., present themselves was subjective, and there is no reason, with Knobel and Ginsburg, to render them objectively: not merely the objects of their love, and hatred, and envy, are lost to them, but these their affections and strivings themselves have ceased (Rosenm., Hitzig, Zckl., and others), they lie (Kevar 'avadah) far behind them as absolutely gone; for the dead have no part more in the history which is unfolding itself amid the light of the upper world, and they can have no more any part therein, for the dead as not living are not only without knowledge, but also without feeling and desire. The representation of the state after death is here more comfortless than anywhere else. For elsewhere we read that those who have been living here spend in Sheol, i.e., in the deep (R. של, to be loose, to hang down, to go downwards) realm of the dead, as rephaim (Isaiah 14:9, etc.), lying beneath the upper world, far from the love and the praise of God (Psalm 6:3; Psalm 30:10), a prospectless (Job 7:7., Job 14:6-12; Job 18:11-13), dark, shadowy existence; the soul in Hades, though neither annihilated nor sleeping, finds itself in a state of death no less than does the body in the grave. But here the state of death is not even set forth over against the idea of the dissolution of life, the complete annihilation of individuality, much less that a retribution in eternity, i.e., a retribution executed, if not here, yet at some time, postulated elsewhere by the author, throws a ray of light into the night of death. The apocryphal book of the Wisdom of Solomon, which distinguishes between a state of blessedness and a state of misery measured out to men in the future following death, has in this surpassed the canonical Book of Koheleth. In vain do the Targ., Midrash, and the older Christian interpreters refer that which is said to the wicked dead; others regard Koheleth as introducing here the discourse of atheists (e.g., Oetinger), and interpret, under the influence of monstrous self-deception, Ecclesiastes 9:7 as the voice of the spirit (Hengst.) opposing the voice of the flesh. But that which Koheleth expresses here only in a particularly rugged way is the view of Hades predominating in the O.T. It is the consequence of viewing death from the side of its anger. Revelation intentionally permits this manner of viewing it to remain; but from premises which the revelation sets forth, the religious consciousness in the course of time draws always more decidedly the conclusion, that the man who is united to God will fully reach through death that which since the entrance of sin into the world cannot be reached without the loss of this present life, i.e., without death, viz., a more perfect life in fellowship with God. Yet the confusion of the O.T. representation of Hades remains; in the Book of Sirach it also still throws its deep shadows (17:22f.) into the contemplation of the future; for the first time the N.T. solution actually removes the confusion, and turns the scale in favour of the view of death on its side of light. In this history of the ideas of eternity moving forward amid many fluctuations to the N.T. goal, a significant place belongs to the Book of Koheleth; certainly the Christian interpreter ought not to have an interest in explaining away and concealing the imperfections of knowledge which made it impossible for the author spiritually to rise above his pessimism. He does not rise, in contrast to his pessimism, above an eudaemonism which is earthly, which, without knowing of a future life (not like the modern pessimism, without wishing to know of a future life), recommends a pleasant enjoyment of the present life, so far as that is morally allowable:

Ecclesiastes 9:11 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

returned

Ecclesiastes 2:12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that comes after the king?...

Ecclesiastes 4:1,4 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed...

Malachi 3:18 Then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves him not.

that the race

1 Samuel 17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him...

2 Samuel 2:18-23 And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe...

2 Samuel 17:14,23 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel...

Psalm 33:16,17 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength...

Psalm 73:6,7 Therefore pride compasses them about as a chain; violence covers them as a garment...

Psalm 147:10,11 He delights not in the strength of the horse: he takes not pleasure in the legs of a man...

Jeremiah 9:23 Thus said the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might...

Jeremiah 46:6 Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates.

Amos 2:14-16 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force...

but

Ecclesiastes 2:14,15 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happens to them all...

Ecclesiastes 3:14-17 I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God does it...

Ecclesiastes 7:13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?

1 Samuel 2:3-10 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge...

Job 5:11-14 To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety...

Job 34:29 When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hides his face, who then can behold him?...

Proverbs 21:30,31 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD...

Lamentations 3:37,38 Who is he that said, and it comes to pass, when the Lord commands it not...

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he does according to his will in the army of heaven...

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance...

Cross References
Deuteronomy 8:17
Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'

Deuteronomy 8:18
You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

1 Samuel 6:9
and watch. If it goes up on the way to its own land, to Beth-shemesh, then it is he who has done us this great harm, but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by coincidence."

2 Chronicles 20:15
And he said, "Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, 'Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's.

Psalm 76:5
The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.

Proverbs 1:5
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

Ecclesiastes 9:2
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.

Jump to Previous
Battle Bread Chance Favor Favour Happeneth Race Riches Skill Strong Sun Swift Time Understanding Wise
Jump to Next
Battle Bread Chance Favor Favour Happeneth Race Riches Skill Strong Sun Swift Time Understanding Wise
Links
Ecclesiastes 9:11 NIV
Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT
Ecclesiastes 9:11 ESV
Ecclesiastes 9:11 NASB
Ecclesiastes 9:11 KJV

Ecclesiastes 9:11 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 9:11 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 9:11 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 9:11 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 9:11 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Ecclesiastes 9:10
Top of Page
Top of Page