Ecclesiastes 7:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.

King James Bible
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

American Standard Version
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Douay-Rheims Bible
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting: for in that we are put in mind of the end of all, and the living thinketh what is to come.

English Revised Version
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Webster's Bible Translation
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"For what hath the wise more than the fool; what the poor who knoweth to walk before the living?" The old translators present nothing for the interpretation, but defend the traditional text; for Jerome, like the Syr., which translates freely, follows the Midrash (fixed in the Targ.), which understands החיים, contrary to the spirit of the book, of the blessed future. The question would be easier if we could, with Bernst. and Ginsburg, introduce a comparat. min before יודע; we would then require to understand by him who knows to walk before the living, some one who acts a part in public life; but how strange a designation of distinguished persons would that be! Thus, as the text stands, יודע ,sdnat is attrib. to לעני, what preference hath the poor, such an one, viz., as understands (vid., regarding יודע instead of היודע, under Psalm 143:10); not: who is intelligent (Aben Ezra); יודע is not, as at Ecclesiastes 9:11, an idea contained in itself, but by the foll. הח ... לה (cf. Ecclesiastes 4:13, Ecclesiastes 4:14; and the inf. form, Exodus 3:19; Numbers 22:13; Job 34:23) obtains the supplement and colouring required: the sequence of the accents (Zakeph, Tifcha, Silluk, as e.g., at Genesis 7:4) is not against this. How the lxx understood its πορευθῆναι κατέναντι τῆς ζωῆς, and the Venet. it's ἀπιέναι ἀντικρὺ τῆς ζωῆς, is not clear; scarcely as Grtz, with Mendelss.: who, to go against (נגד, as at Ecclesiastes 4:12) life, to fight against it, has to exercise himself in self-denial and patience; for "to fight with life" is an expression of modern coinage. הח signifies here, without doubt, not life, but the living. But we explain now, not as Ewald, who separates יודע from the foll. inf. להלך: What profit has then the wise man, the intelligent, patient man, above the fool, that he walks before the living? - by which is meant (but how does this interrog. form agree thereto?), that the wise, patient man has thereby an advantage which makes life endurable by him, in this, that he does not suffer destroying eagerness of desire so to rule over him, but is satisfied to live in quietness.Also this meaning of a quiet life does not lie in the words הח ... הלך. "To know to walk before the living" is, as is now generally acknowledged equals to understand the right rule of life (Elst.), to possess the savoir vivre (Heiligst.), to be experienced in the right art of living. the question accordingly is: What advantage has the wise above the fool; and what the poor, who, although poor, yet knows how to maintain his social position? The matter treated of is the insatiable nature of sensual desire. The wise seeks to control his desire; and he who is more closely designated poor, knows how to conceal it; for he lays upon himself restraints, that he may be able to appear and make something of himself. But desire is present in both; and they have in this nothing above the fool, who follows the bent of his desire and lives for the day. He is a fool because he acts as one not free, and without consideration; but, in itself, it is and remains true, that enjoyment and satisfaction stand higher than striving and longing for a thing.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

better

Genesis 48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, your father is sick: and he took with him his two sons...

Genesis 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, you sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father.

Genesis 50:15-17 And when Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us...

Job 1:4,5 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day...

Isaiah 5:11,12 Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!...

Isaiah 22:12-14 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth...

Amos 6:3-6 You that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near...

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 14:6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.

1 Peter 4:3,4 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts...

that

Numbers 23:10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous...

Deuteronomy 32:29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!

Romans 6:21,22 What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death...

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:

living

Deuteronomy 32:46 And he said to them, Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day...

Isaiah 47:7 And you said, I shall be a lady for ever: so that you did not lay these things to your heart...

Haggai 1:5 Now therefore thus said the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, said the LORD of hosts...

Cross References
Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 2:14
The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.

Ecclesiastes 2:16
For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!

Ecclesiastes 3:19
For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 3:20
All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

Ecclesiastes 6:6
Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good--do not all go to the one place?

Ecclesiastes 9:2
It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.

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