Ecclesiastes 4:2
New International Version
And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.

New Living Translation
So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.

English Standard Version
And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.

Berean Study Bible
So I admired the dead, who had already died, above the living, who are still alive.

New American Standard Bible
So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living.

King James Bible
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

Christian Standard Bible
So I commended the dead, who have already died, more than the living, who are still alive.

Contemporary English Version
I said to myself, "The dead are better off than the living.

Good News Translation
I envy those who are dead and gone; they are better off than those who are still alive.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So I admired the dead, who have already died, more than the living, who are still alive.

International Standard Version
So I commended the dead who had already died as being happier than the living who are still alive.

NET Bible
So I considered those who are dead and gone more fortunate than those who are still alive.

New Heart English Bible
Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I congratulate the dead, who have already died, rather than the living, who still have to carry on.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Wherefore I praised the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet alive;

New American Standard 1977
So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

American King James Version
Why I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

American Standard Version
Wherefore I praised the dead that have been long dead more than the living that are yet alive;

Brenton Septuagint Translation
and I praised all the dead that had already died more than the living, as many as are alive until now.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I praised the dead rather than the living:

Darby Bible Translation
Then I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive;

English Revised Version
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive;

Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

World English Bible
Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive.

Young's Literal Translation
And I am praising the dead who have already died above the living who are yet alive.
Study Bible
The Evil of Oppression
1Again, I observed all the oppression taking place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; the power lay in the hands of their oppressors, and there was no comforter. 2So I admired the dead, who had already died, above the living, who are still alive. 3But better than both is he who has not yet existed, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.…
Cross References
Job 3:11
Why did I not perish at birth; why did I not die as I came from the womb?

Ecclesiastes 2:17
So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

Ecclesiastes 7:1
A good name is better than fine perfume, and one's day of death is better than his day of birth.

Jeremiah 22:10
Do not weep for the dead king; do not mourn his loss. Weep bitterly for the one who is exiled, for he will never return to see his native land.

Treasury of Scripture

Why I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

Ecclesiastes 2:17
Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 9:4-6
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion…

Job 3:17-21
There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest…







Lexicon
So I
אֲנִ֛י (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 589: I

admired
וְשַׁבֵּ֧חַ (wə·šab·bê·aḥ)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Infinitive absolute
Strong's Hebrew 7623: To address in a, loud tone, loud, to pacify

the dead,
הַמֵּתִ֖ים (ham·mê·ṯîm)
Article | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4191: To die, to kill

who had already
שֶׁכְּבָ֣ר (šek·kə·ḇār)
Pronoun - relative | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3528: Extent of time, a great while, long ago, formerly, hitherto

died,
מֵ֑תוּ (mê·ṯū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 4191: To die, to kill

above
מִן־ (min-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 4480: A part of, from, out of

the living,
הַ֣חַיִּ֔ים (ha·ḥay·yîm)
Article | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life

who
אֲשֶׁ֛ר (’ă·šer)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

are still
עֲדֶֽנָה׃ (‘ă·ḏe·nāh)
Adverb | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5728: Hitherto, still

alive.
חַיִּ֖ים (ḥay·yîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life
(2) I praised the dead.--Job 3:11; Exodus 32:32; 1Kings 19:4; Jeremiah 20:14; Jonah 4:3. The word which is translated "yet" in this verse belongs to later Hebrew, and does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament,

Verse 2. - In view of these patent wrongs Koheleth loses all enjoyment of life. Wherefore (and) I praised the dead which are already dead; or, who died long ago, and thus have escaped the miseries which they would have had to endure. It must, indeed, have been a bitter experience which elicited such an avowal. To die and be forgotten an Oriental would look upon as the most calamitous of destinies. More than the living which are yet alive. For these have before them the prospect of a long endurance of oppression and suffering (comp. Ecclesiastes 7:1; Job 3:13, etc.). The Greek gnome says -

Κρεῖσσον τὸ μὴ ζῇν ἐστὶν η} ζῇν ἀθλίως

"Better to die than lead a wretched life." The Septuagint version is scarcely a rendering of our present text: "Above the living, as many as are living until now." 4:1-3 It grieved Solomon to see might prevail against right. Wherever we turn, we see melancholy proofs of the wickedness and misery of mankind, who try to create trouble to themselves and to each other. Being thus hardly used, men are tempted to hate and despise life. But a good man, though badly off while in this world, cannot have cause to wish he had never been born, since he is glorifying the Lord, even in the fires, and will be happy at last, for ever happy. Ungodly men have most cause to wish the continuance of life with all its vexations, as a far more miserable condition awaits them if they die in their sins. If human and worldly things were our chief good, not to exist would be preferable to life, considering the various oppressions here below.
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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 4:2 Therefore I praised the dead who have (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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