Ecclesiastes 9:6
Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(6, 7) Now.—Rather, long ago.

9:4-10 The most despicable living man's state, is preferable to that of the most noble who have died impenitent. Solomon exhorts the wise and pious to cheerful confidence in God, whatever their condition in life. The meanest morsel, coming from their Father's love, in answer to prayer, will have a peculiar relish. Not that we may set our hearts upon the delights of sense, but what God has given us we may use with wisdom. The joy here described, is the gladness of heart that springs from a sense of the Divine favour. This is the world of service, that to come is the world of recompence. All in their stations, may find some work to do. And above all, sinners have the salvation of their souls to seek after, believers have to prove their faith, adorn the gospel, glorify God, and serve their generation.Now - Rather: "long ago." 6. love, and … hatred, &c.—(referring to Ec 9:1; see on [666]Ec 9:1). Not that these cease in a future world absolutely (Eze 32:27; Re 22:11); but as the end of this verse shows, relatively to persons and things in this world. Man's love and hatred can no longer be exercised for good or evil in the same way as here; but the fruits of them remain. What he is at death he remains for ever. "Envy," too, marks the wicked as referred to, since it was therewith that they assailed the righteous (see on [667]Ec 9:1).

portion—Their "portion" was "in this life" (Ps 17:14), that they now "cannot have any more."

They neither love, nor hate, nor envy any person or thing in this world, but are now altogether unconcerned in all things done under the sun.

In any thing that is done under the sun; in any worldly thing; by which limitation he sufficiently insinuates his belief of their portion in the other world.

Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished,.... Not that the separate spirits of the dead are without their affections, or these unexercised; the spirits of just men made perfect will love God and Christ, and angels, and good men, and all that is good, more intensely; love will continue after this life, and be in its height, and therefore said to be the greatest grace, 1 Corinthians 13:13; they will hate sin, Satan, and all the enemies of Christ, and be filled with zeal for his glory; so the word (z) for envy may be rendered; see Revelation 6:9; and the spirits of the wicked dead will still continue to love sin, and hate the Lord, and envy the happiness of the saints; and will rise again with the same spite and malice against them; see Ezekiel 32:27; but this respects persons and things in this world; they no more love persons and things here, nor are loved by any; death parts the best friends, and the most endearing and loving relations, and puts an end to all their mutual friendship and affection; they hate their enemies no more, nor are hated by them; they no more envy the prosperity of others, nor are envied by others; all such kind of love and hatred, enmity and envy, active or passive, cease at death; out of the world, as the Targum adds;

neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is under the sun: the worldly man's portion is only in this life, and when he dies, he carries nothing of it with him; whose ever his possessions will be at death, they are no more his, nor will he ever return to enjoy them any more; his houses, his lands, his estates, his gold and silver, and whatever of worth and value he had, he has no more lot and part in them: but the good man has a portion above the sun; God is his portion, heaven is his inheritance for ever and ever. The Targum understands it of the wicked;

"and they have no good part with the righteous in the world to come; and they have no profit of all that is done in this world under the sun.''

(z) "aemulatio ipsorum", Cocceius, Gejerus; "aelus eorum", Drusius, Amana, Rambachius.

Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
6. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished] The three passions are named as strongest and most vehement in their action. Even these are all hushed in the calm of the grave. There are no passions there, and the deadliest foes, rival statesmen and bitter controversialists, rest side by side together. The thought of the state of the dead stands on nearly the same level as that of the elegy of Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:9-20).

Verse 6. - Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now (long ago) perished. All the feelings which are exhibited and developed in the life of the upper world are annihilated (comp. ver. 10). Three are selected as the most potent passions, such as by their strength and activity might ideally be supposed to survive even the stroke of death. But all are now at an end. Neither have they any more a portion forever in any thing that is done under the sun. Between the dead and the living an impassable gulf exists. The view of death here given, intensely gloomy and hopeless as it appears to be, is in conformity with other passages of the Old Testament (see Job 14:10-14; Psalm 6:5; Psalm 30:9; Isaiah 38:10-19; Ecclus. 17:27, 28; Bar. 3:16-19), and that imperfect dispensation. Koheleth and his contemporaries were of those "who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:15); it was Christ who brightened the dark valley, showing the blessedness of those who die in the Lord, bringing life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). Some expositors have felt the pessimistic utterances of this passage so deeply that they have endeavored to account for them by introducing an atheistic objector, or an intended opposition between flesh and spirit. But there is not a trace of any two such voices, and the suggestion is quite unnecessary. The writer, while believing in the continued existence of the soul, knows little and has little that is cheering to say about it's condition; and what he does say is not inconsistent with a judgment to come, though he has not yet arrived at the enunciation of this great solution. The Vulgate renders the last clause, Nec habent partem in hoc saeculo et in opere quod sub sole geritur. But "forever" is the correct rendering of לְעולָם, and Ginsburg concludes that Jerome's translation can be traced to the Hagadistic interpretation of the verse which restricts its scope to the wicked The author of the Book of Wisdom, writing later, takes a much more hopeful view of death and the departed (see Ecclesiastes 1:15; Ecclesiastes 2:22-24; Ecclesiastes 3:1; 6:18; 8:17; 15:3, etc.). Ecclesiastes 9:6He 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 9:6 Interlinear
Ecclesiastes 9:6 Parallel Texts

Ecclesiastes 9:6 NIV
Ecclesiastes 9:6 NLT
Ecclesiastes 9:6 ESV
Ecclesiastes 9:6 NASB
Ecclesiastes 9:6 KJV

Ecclesiastes 9:6 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 9:6 Parallel
Ecclesiastes 9:6 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 9:6 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 9:6 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 9:6 German Bible

Bible Hub

Ecclesiastes 9:5
Top of Page
Top of Page