Ecclesiastes 7:1
New International Version
A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

New Living Translation
A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.

English Standard Version
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.

Berean Study Bible
A good name is better than fine perfume, and one’s day of death is better than his day of birth.

New American Standard Bible
A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.

King James Bible
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

Christian Standard Bible
A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.

Contemporary English Version
A good reputation at the time of death is better than loving care at the time of birth.

Good News Translation
A good reputation is better than expensive perfume; and the day you die is better than the day you are born.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one's death than the day of one's birth.

International Standard Version
A good name exceeds the value of fine perfume, and the day of someone's death exceeds the value of the day of his birth.

NET Bible
A good reputation is better than precious perfume; likewise, the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.

New Heart English Bible
A good name is better than fine perfume; and the day of death better than the day of one's birth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A good name is better than expensive perfume, and the day you die is better than the day you're born.

JPS Tanakh 1917
A good name is better than precious oil; And the day of death than the day of one's birth.

New American Standard 1977
A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
A good name is better than precious ointment and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

King James 2000 Bible
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

American King James Version
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

American Standard Version
A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death, than the day of one's birth.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
A good name is better than good oil; and the day of death than the day of birth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A good name is better than precious ointments: and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

Darby Bible Translation
A [good] name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

English Revised Version
A GOOD name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

Webster's Bible Translation
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

World English Bible
A good name is better than fine perfume; and the day of death better than the day of one's birth.

Young's Literal Translation
Better is a name than good perfume, And the day of death than the day of birth.
Study Bible
The Value of Wisdom
1A good name is better than fine perfume, and one’s day of death is better than his day of birth. 2It is better to enter a house of mourning than a house of feasting, since death is the end of every man, and the living should take this to heart.…
Cross References
Proverbs 22:1
A good name is more desirable than great riches; favor is better than silver and gold.

Ecclesiastes 4:2
So I admired the dead, who had already died, above the living, who are still alive.

Ecclesiastes 7:8
The end of a matter is better than the beginning, and a patient spirit is better than a proud one.

Song of Solomon 1:3
The fragrance of your perfume is pleasing; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens adore you.

Jonah 4:3
And now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live."

Treasury of Scripture

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

name

Proverbs 15:30
The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

Proverbs 22:1
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Isaiah 56:5
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

precious

Ecclesiastes 10:1
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

Psalm 133:2
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

Proverbs 27:9
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

the day

Ecclesiastes 4:2
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

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

Isaiah 57:1,2
The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come







Lexicon
A good name
שֵׁ֖ם (šêm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8034: A name

is better
ט֥וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

than fine
ט֑וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

perfume,
מִשֶּׁ֣מֶן (miš·še·men)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8081: Grease, liquid, richness

and one’s day
וְי֣וֹם (wə·yō·wm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

of death
הַמָּ֔וֶת (ham·mā·weṯ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4194: Death, the dead, their place, state, pestilence, ruin

[is better] than his day
מִיּ֖וֹם (mî·yō·wm)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

of birth.
הִוָּלְדֽוֹ׃ (hiw·wā·lə·ḏōw)
Verb - Nifal - Infinitive construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3205: To bear young, to beget, medically, to act as midwife, to show lineage
(1) There is a play on words in the original (found also in Song of Solomon 1:3), which Plumptre represents by "a good name is better than good nard." It was probably an older proverb, which the Preacher completes by the startling addition, "and so is the day of death better than that of birth." For the use of perfumes, see Ruth 3:3; 2Samuel 12:20; Proverbs 7:17; Daniel 10:3.

Verse 1 - Ecclesiastes 12:8. - Division II. DEDUCTIONS FROM THE ABOVE-MENTIONED EXPERIENCES IN THE WAY OF WARNINGS AND RULES OF LIFE. Verses 1-7. - Section 1. Though no man knows for certain what is best, yet there are some practical rules for the conduct of life which wisdom gives. Some of these Koheleth sets forward in the proverbial form, recommending a serious, earnest life in preference to one of gaiety and frivolity. Verse 1. - A good name is better than precious ointment. The paronomasia here is to be remarked, rob ahem mishemen tob. There is a similar assonance in Song of Solomon 1:3, which the German translator reproduces by the sentence, "Besser gut Gerucht als Wohlgeruch," or," gute Geruche," and which may perhaps be rendered in English, "Better is good favor than good flavor." It is a proverbial saying, running literally, Better is a name than good oil. Shem, "name," is sometimes used unqualified to signify a celebrated name, good name, reputation (comp. Genesis 11:4; Proverbs 22:1). Septuagint, Ἀγαθὸν ὄνομα ὑπὲρ ἔλαιον ἀγαθόν. Vulgate, Melius eat nomen bonum quam unguenta pre-tiosa. Odorous unguents were very precious in the mind of an Oriental, and formed one of the luxuries lavished at feasts and costly entertainments, or social visits (see Ecclesiastes 9:8; Ruth 3:3; Psalm 45:8; Amos 6:6; Wisd. 2:7; Luke 7:37, 46). It was a man's most cherished ambition to leave a good reputation, and to hand down an honorable remembrance to distant posterity, and this all the more as the hope of the life beyond the grave was dim and vague (see on Ecclesiastes 2:16, and comp. Ecclesiastes 9:5). The complaint of the sensualists in Wisd. 2:4 is embittered by the thought," Our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance." We employ a metaphor like that in the clause when we speak of a man's reputation having a good or ill odor; and the Hebrews said of ill fame that it stank in the nostrils (Genesis 34:30; Exodus 5:21; see, on the opposite side, Ecclus. 24:15; 2 Corinthians 2:15). And the day of death than the day of one's birth. The thought in this clause is closely connected with the preceding. If a man's life is such that he leaves a good name behind him, then the day of his departure is better than that of his birth, because in the latter he had nothing before him but labor, and trouble, and fear, and uncertainty; and in the former all these anxieties are past, the storms are successfully battled with, the haven is won (see on Ecclesiastes 4:3). According to Solon's well-known maxim, no one can be called happy till he has crowned a prosperous life by a peaceful death (Herod., 1:32; Soph., 'Trachin.,' 1-3; ('Ed. Tyr.,' 1528, sqq.); as the Greek gnome runs -

Μήπω μέγαν εἴπῃς πρὶν τελευτήσαντ ἴδῃς

"Call no man great till thou hast seen him dead." So Ben-Sira, "Judge none blessed (μὴ μακάριζε μηδένα) before his death; for a man shall be known in his children" (Ecclus. 11:28). 7:1-6 Reputation for piety and honesty is more desirable than all the wealth and pleasure in this world. It will do more good to go to a funeral than to a feast. We may lawfully go to both, as there is occasion; our Saviour both feasted at the wedding of his friend in Cana, and wept at the grave of his friend in Bethany. But, considering how apt we are to be vain and indulge the flesh, it is best to go to the house of mourning, to learn the end of man as to this world. Seriousness is better than mirth and jollity. That is best for us which is best for our souls, though it be unpleasing to sense. It is better to have our corruptions mortified by the rebuke of the wise, than to have them gratified by the song of fools. The laughter of a fool is soon gone, the end of his mirth is heaviness.
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