Ecclesiastes 4:11
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) They have heat.—The nights in Palestine were often very cold, and it would seem (Exodus 22:26) that it was common to sleep without any cover but the ordinary day garment; though see Isaiah 28:20.

4:9-12 Surely he has more satisfaction in life, who labours hard to maintain those he loves, than the miser has in his toil. In all things union tends to success and safety, but above all, the union of Christians. They assist each other by encouragement, or friendly reproof. They warm each other's hearts while they converse together of the love of Christ, or join in singing his praises. Then let us improve our opportunities of Christian fellowship. In these things all is not vanity, though there will be some alloy as long as we are under the sun. Where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by his Spirit come to them; then there is a threefold cord.Compare a saying from the Talmud: "A man without companions is like the left hand without the right." 11. (See on [659]1Ki 1:1). The image is taken from man and wife, but applies universally to the warm sympathy derived from social ties. So Christian ties (Lu 24:32; Ac 28:15). They have heat; they will be sooner warm in a cold bed and cold season.

How can one be warm alone? not so soon nor so thoroughly. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat,.... The Targum adds, in the winter; when it is a cold season, they warm one another by lying together. The Targum interprets it of a man and his wife; it is true of others; see 1 Kings 1:1;

but how can one be warm alone? not soon, nor easily, in time of cold weather. This is true in a spiritual sense of persons in a Christian communion and religious society; when they are grown cold in their love, lukewarm in their affections, and backward and indifferent to spiritual exercises, yet by Christian conversation may be stirred up to love and good works: so two cold flints struck against each other, fire comes out of them; and even two cold Christians, when they come to talk with each other about spiritual things, and feel one another's spirits, they presently glow in their affections to each other, and to divine things; and especially if Christ joins them with his presence, as he did the two disciples going to Emmaus, then their hearts burn within them.

Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. if two lie together] Here again the experience of travel comes before us. Sleeping on a cold and stormy night, under the same coverlet, or in Eastern houses, with their unglazed windows and many draughts, two friends kept each other warm, while one resting by himself would have shivered in discomfort. Commonly as in Exodus 22:6, the mantle of the day served also as the blanket of the night. So, of course, it would be with those who travelled according to the rule of Matthew 10:10.Verse 11. - The first example of the advantage of companionship spoke of the aid and support that are thus given; the present verse tells of the comfort thus brought. If two lie together, then they have heat. The winter nights in Palestine are comparatively cold, and when, as in the case of the poorer inhabitants, the outer garment worn by day was used as the only blanket during sleep (Exodus 22:26, 27), it was a comfort to have the additional warmth of a friend lying under the same coverlet. Solomon could have had no such experience. There ought certainly to be activity according to our calling; indolence is self-destruction: "The fool foldeth his hands, and eateth his own flesh." He layeth his hands together (Proverbs 6:10-24:33), - placeth them in his bosom, instead of using them in working, - and thereby he eateth himself up, i.e., bringeth ruin upon himself (Psalm 27:2; Micah 3:3; Isaiah 49:26); for instead of nourishing himself by the labour of his hands, he feeds on his own flesh, and thus wasteth away. The emphasis does not lie on the subject (the fool, and only the fool), but on the pred.
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