Ecclesiastes 2:5
I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
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(5) Orchards.—Rather, parks. The word, which occurs also in Song of Solomon 4:3, Nehemiah 2:8, is originally Persian, and passed into the Greek and into modern languages in the form of “paradise” (Luke 23:43; 2Corinthians 12:4; and in LXX., Genesis 2:10; Genesis 13:10; Numbers 24:6; Isaiah 1:30; Ecclesiasticus 24:30; Susan. 5:4). Parks and trees giving, not only fruit, but shade from the hot Eastern sun, were an almost necessary part of kingly luxury. The king’s garden is spoken of in 1Kings 21:2; 2Kings 21:18; 2Kings 25:4; Nehemiah 3:15.

2:1-11 Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.Orchards - literally, "paradises," i. e., parks or pleasure-grounds (compare Nehemiah 2:8 note). Indications of at least three of these have been pointed out; one at Jerusalem near the pool of Siloam, called "the king's garden" Nehemiah 3:15; Jeremiah 52:7; a second near Bethlehem (compare Ecclesiastes 2:6); and a third in the remote north, on the heights of Hermon Sol 4:8; Sol 8:11. 5. gardens—Hebrew, "paradises," a foreign word; Sanskrit, "a place enclosed with a wall"; Armenian and Arabic, "a pleasure ground with flowers and shrubs near the king's house, or castle." An earthly paradise can never make up for the want of the heavenly (Re 2:7). I made me gardens, Heb. paradises, or gardens of pleasure.

I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits, mixing pleasure and profit together. I made me gardens and orchards,.... Of the king's garden, we read Jeremiah 39:4. Adrichomius (b) makes mention of a royal garden in the suburbs of Jerusalem, fenced with walls; and was a paradise of fruit trees, herbs, spices, and flowers; abounded with all kind of fruit, exceeding pleasant and delightful to the senses: and, as Solomon was so great a botanist, and knew the nature and use of all kinds of trees and herbs, 1 Kings 4:33; no doubt but he has a herbal garden, well stocked with everything of that kind, curious and useful; see 1 Kings 21:2. Gardens are made for pleasure as well as profit; Adam, as soon as created, was put into a garden, to add to his natural pleasure and felicity, as well as for his employment, Genesis 2:8; and the pleasure of walking in a garden, and partaking of the fruits of it, are alluded to by Solomon, Sol 4:12;

and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits; which, as before observed, he had thorough knowledge of, and many of which were brought him from foreign parts; and all served to make his gardens, orchards, parks, forests, and enclosures, very pleasant and delectable. The Targum adds,

"some for food, others for drink, and others for medicine.''

(b) Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 170.

I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
5. I made me gardens and orchards] The latter word, originally Persian, and found only in the O. T. in this book, in Song Song of Solomon 4:13, and Nehemiah 2:8, is the “paradise” of Xenophon, of later Rabbinic writings and of the New Testament (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4). It indicates what we call a park, with flowing streams and shady groves and fruit trees, and deer feeding on the fresh green grass, and doves flitting through the trees, such as seemed to the Eastern imagination the fittest type of the highest blessedness. The whole scenery of the Song of Solomon is such a garden, planted with pomegranates and pleasant fruits, spikenards and camphire, calamus and cinnamon, and trees of frankincense, and lilies (Song Song of Solomon 4:13-15; Song of Solomon 6:2). The pools of Solomon at Etam, on the south-west of Bethlehem, described by Josephus (Ant. viii. 7. 3) still preserve the memory of such a “paradise.” Other traces of these surroundings of the palaces of Jewish kings are found in the history of Naboth’s vineyard, where the “garden of herbs” can hardly be thought of as merely a “kitchen garden” (1 Kings 21:2) and in the garden of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 52:7).

all kind of fruits] The horticulture of Palestine included the apple, the fig, the pomegranate, the date, the caper-tree, nuts, almonds, raisins and mandrakes. The account is in strict keeping with the character of the king who spake of trees “from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop on the wall” (1 Kings 4:33).Verse 5. - I made me gardens and orchards. Solomon's love of gardens appears throughout the Canticles (Song of Solomon 6:2, etc.). He had a king's garden on the slope of the hills south of the city (2 Kings 25:4); and Beth-hacchemm, "the House of the Vine," at Ain Karim, about six miles east of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 6:1); and at Baal-hamon another extensive vineyard (Song of Solomon 8:11). The word rendered "orchard" (parder) occurs also in Song of Solomon 4:13 and Nehemiah 2:8. It is a Persian word, and passed into the Greek form παράδειος (Xenophon, 'Anab.,' 1:2.7), meaning "a park" planted with forest and fruit trees, and containing herds of animals. It is probably derived from the Zend oairidaeza," an enclosure." (For the trees in such parks, see Song of Solomon 4:13, 14; and for an estimate of Solomon's works, Josephus, 'Ant.,' 8:07. 3.) By the consecutive modus ואתּנה (aor. with ah, like Genesis 32:6; Genesis 41:11, and particularly in more modern writings; vid., p. 198, regarding the rare occurrence of the aorist form in the Book of Koheleth) he bears evidence to himself as to the end which, thus equipped with wisdom and knowledge, he gave his heart to attain unto (cf. 13a), i.e., toward which he directed the concentration of his intellectual strength. He wished to be clear regarding the real worth of wisdom and knowledge in their contrasts; he wished to become conscious of this, and to have joy in knowing what he had in wisdom and knowledge as distinguished from madness and folly. After the statement of the object lādǎǎth, stands vedaath, briefly for ולדעת. Ginsburg wishes to get rid of the words holēloth vesikluth, or at least would read in their stead תּבוּנית ושׂכלוּת (rendering them "intelligence and prudence"); Grtz, after the lxx παραβολὰς καὶ ἐπιστήμην, reads משׁלות ושׂכלות. But the text can remain as it is: the object of Koheleth is, on the one hand, to become acquainted with wisdom and knowledge; and, on the other, with their contraries, and to hold these opposite to each other in their operations and consequences. The lxx, Targ., Venet., and Luther err when they render sikluth here by ἐπιστήμη, etc. As sikluth, insight, intelligence, is in the Aram. written with the letter samek (instead of sin), so here, according to the Masora סכלות, madness is for once written with ס, being everywhere else in the book written with שׂ; the word is an ἐναντιόφωνον,

(Note: Vid., Th. M. Redslob's Die Arab. Wrter, u.s.w. (1873).)

and has, whether written in the one way or in the other, a verb, sakal (שׂכל, סכל), which signifies "to twist together," as its root, and is referred partly to a complication and partly to a confusion of ideas. הללות, from הלל, in the sense of "to cry out," "to rage," always in this book terminates in th, and only at Ecclesiastes 10:13 in th; the termination th is that of the abstr. sing.; but th, as we think we have shown at Proverbs 1:20, is that of a fem. plur., meant intensively, like bogdoth, Zephaniah 2:4; binoth, chokmoth, cf. bogdim, Proverbs 23:28; hhovlim, Zechariah 11:7, Zechariah 11:14; toqim, Proverbs 11:15 (Bttch. 700g E). Twice vesikluth presents what, speaking to his own heart, he bears testimony to before himself. By yādǎ'ti, which is connected with dibbarti (Ecclesiastes 1:16) in the same rank, he shows the facit. זה refers to the striving to become conscious of the superiority of secular wisdom and science to the love of pleasure and to ignorance. He perceived that this striving also was a grasping after the wind; with רעוּת, 14b, is here interchanged רעיון. He proves to himself that nothing showed itself to be real, i.e., firm and enduring, unimpeachable and imperishable. And why not?

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