Ecclesiastes 4:11
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(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?
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. Ecclesiastes 4:11"Moreover, if two lie together, then there is heat to them: but how can it be warm with one who is alone?" The marriage relation is not excluded, but it remains in the background; the author has two friends in his eye, who, lying in a cold night under one covering (Exodus 22:26; Isaiah 28:20), cherish one another, and impart mutual warmth. Also in Aboth de-Rabbi Nathan, c. 8, the sleeping of two together is spoken of as an evidence of friendship. The vav in vehham is that of the consequent; it is wanting 10a, according to rule, in haehhad, because it commonly comes into use with the verb, seldom (e.g., Genesis 22:1) with the preceding subj.
Ecclesiastes 4:11 Interlinear
Ecclesiastes 4:11 Parallel Texts

Ecclesiastes 4:11 NIV
Ecclesiastes 4:11 NLT
Ecclesiastes 4:11 ESV
Ecclesiastes 4:11 NASB
Ecclesiastes 4:11 KJV

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 4:11 Parallel
Ecclesiastes 4:11 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 4:11 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 4:11 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 4:11 German Bible

Bible Hub

Ecclesiastes 4:10
Top of Page
Top of Page