Ecclesiastes 6:5
Moreover he has not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this has more rest than the other.
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6:1-6 A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he makes no good or comfortable use of what he has. By one means or other his possessions come to strangers; this is vanity, and an evil disease. A numerous family was a matter of fond desire and of high honour among the Hebrews; and long life is the desire of mankind in general. Even with these additions a man may not be able to enjoy his riches, family, and life. Such a man, in his passage through life, seems to have been born for no end or use. And he who has entered on life only for one moment, to quit it the next, has a preferable lot to him who has lived long, but only to suffer.Rather, it hath not seen nor known the sun: this (the untimely birth) hath rest rather than the other. 5. this—yet "it has more rest than" the toiling, gloomy miser. He hath not seen the sun; he never beheld the light, and therefore it is not grievous to him to want it; whereas the covetous man saw that light was very pleasant, and therefore the loss of it was irksome to him.

Nor known any thing; hath had no knowledge, sense, or experience of any thing, whether good or evil.

Hath more rest, because he is perfectly free from all those encumbrances and vexatious to which the covetous man is long exposed. Moreover, he hath not seen the sun,.... This must be spoken of the abortive, and seems to confirm the sense of the former text, as belonging to it; and whereas it has never seen the light of the sun, nor enjoyed the pleasure and comfort of it, it is no ways distressing to it to be without it. The Targum is,

"the light of the law he seeth not; and knoweth not between good and evil, to judge between this world and that to come:''

so the Vulgate Latin version, "neither knows the difference of good and evil";

nor known anything; not the sun, nor anything else: or "experienced" (z) and "felt" the heat of the sun, and its comfortable influences; which a man may, who is blind, and has never seen it, but an abortive has not; and indeed has known no man, nor any creature nor thing in this world, and therefore it is no concern to it to be without them; and besides, has never had any knowledge or experience of the troubles of lifts, which every living man is liable to. Wherefore this is certain,

this hath more rest than the other; that is, the abortive than the covetous man; having never been distressed with the troubles of life, and now not affected with the sense of loss.

(z) "ueque expertus est", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Rambachius, so Broughton.

Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.
Verse 5. - It has seen nothing of the world, known nothing of life, its joys and its sufferings, and is speedily forgotten. To" see the sun" is a metaphor for to "live," as Ecclesiastes 7:11; Ecclesiastes 11:7; Job 3:16, and implies activity and work, the contrary of rest. This hath more rest than the other; literally, there is rest to this more than to that. The rest that belongs to the abortion is better than that which belongs to the rich man. Others take the clause to say simply, "It is better with this than the other." So the Revised Version margin and Delitzsch, the idea of "rest" being thus generalized, and taken to sights a preferable choice. Septuagint, Καὶ οὐκ ἔγνω ἀναπαύσεις τούτῳ ὑπὲρ τοῦτον, "And hath not known rest for this more than that " - which reproduces the difficulty of the Hebrew; Vulgate, Neque cognovit distantiam boni et malt, which is a paraphrase unsupported by the present accentuation of the text. Rest, in the conception of an Oriental, is the most desirable or' all things; compared with the busy, careworn life of the rich man, whose very moments of leisure and sleep are troubled and disturbed, the dreamless nothingness of the still-born child is happiness. This may be a rhetorical exaggeration, but we have its parallel in Job's lamentable cry in Ecclesiastes 3. when he "cursed his day." This verse, expressing the same, is constructed anakolouthistically, altogether like Ecclesiastes 3:13 : "Also for every man to whom God hath given riches and treasures, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; just this is a gift of God." The anakolouthon can be rendered into English here as little as it can at Ecclesiastes 3:13; for if we allow the phrase, "also every man," the "also" remains fixed to the nearest conception, while in the Heb it governs the whole long sentence, and, at the nearest, belongs to זה. Cheerful enjoyment is in this life that which is most advisable; but also it is not made possible in itself by the possession of earthly treasures, - it is yet a special gift of God added thereto. Nechasim, besides here, occurs also in Joshua 22:8; 2 Chronicles 1:11.; and in the Chald. of the Book of Ezra; Ezra 6:8; Ezra 7:26. Also hishlit, to empower, to make possible, is Aram., Daniel 2:38, Daniel 2:48, as well as Heb., Psalm 119:133; the prevalence of the verbal stem שלט is characteristic of the Book of Koheleth. Helqo, "his portion," is just the cheerful enjoyment as that which man has here below of life, if he has any of it at all.
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