Ecclesiastes 7:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

King James Bible
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

American Standard Version
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Better is the end of a speech than the beginning. Better is the patient man than the presumptuous.

English Revised Version
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Webster's Bible Translation
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Still more in the spirit of the N.T. (cf. e.g., Luke 6:25) are these words of this singular book which stands on the border of both Testaments: "It is better to go into a house of mourning than to go into a house of carousal (drinking): for that is the end of every man; and the living layeth it to heart." A house is meant in which there is sorrow on account of a death; the lamentation continued for seven days (Sirach 22:10), and extended sometimes, as in the case of the death of Aaron and Moses, to thirty days; the later practice distinguished the lamentations (אנינוּת) for the dead till the time of burial, and the mournings for the dead (אבלוּת), which were divided into seven and twenty-three days of greater and lesser mourning; on the return from carrying away the corpse, there was a Trostmahl (a comforting repast), to which, according as it appears to an ancient custom, those who were to be partakers of it contributed (Jeremiah 16:7; Hosea 9:4; Job 4:17, funde vinum tuum et panem tuum super sepulchra justorum).

(Note: Cf. Hamb. Real Encyc. fr Bibel u. Talmud (1870), article "Trauer.")

This feast of sorrow the above proverb leaves out of view, although also in reference to it the contrast between the "house of carousal" and "house of mourning" remains, that in the latter the drinking must be in moderation, and not to drunkenness.

(Note: Maimuni's Hilchoth Ebel, iv. 7, xiii. 8.)

The going into the house of mourning is certainly thought of as a visit for the purpose of showing sympathy and of imparting consolation during the first seven days of mourning (John 11:31).

(Note: Ibid. xiii. 2.)

Thus to go into the house of sorrow, and to show one's sympathy with the mourners there, is better than to go into a house of drinking, where all is festivity and merriment; viz., because the former (that he is mourned over as dead) is the end of every man, and the survivor takes it to heart, viz., this, that he too must die. הוּא follows attractionally the gender of סוף (cf. Job 31:11, Kerı̂). What is said at Ecclesiastes 3:13 regarding כּל־ה is appropriate to the passage before us. החי is rightly vocalised; regarding the form החי, vid., Baer in the critical remarks of our ed. of Isaiah under Isaiah 3:22. The phrase נתן אל־לב here and at Ecclesiastes 9:1 is synon. with שׂים אל־לב, שׂים על־לב (e.g., Isaiah 57:1) and שׂים בּלב. How this saying agrees with Koheleth's ultimatum: There is nothing better than to eat and drink, etc. (Ecclesiastes 2:24, etc.), the Talmudists have been utterly perplexed to discover; Manasse ben-Israel in his Conciliador (1632) loses himself in much useless discussion.

(Note: Vid., the English translation by Lindo (London 1842), vol. ii. pp. 306-309.)

The solution of the difficulty is easy. The ultimatum does not relate to an unconditional enjoyment of life, but to an enjoyment conditioned by the fear of God. When man looks death in the face, the two things occur to him, that he should make use of his brief life, but make use of it in view of the end, thus in a manner for which he is responsible before God.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

better

Psalm 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Isaiah 10:24,25,28-34 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite you with a rod...

Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things...

James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord...

1 Peter 1:13 Why gird up the loins of your mind, be sober...

the patient

Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride comes contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly.

Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.

Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.

Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife: but he that puts his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess you your souls.

Romans 2:7,8 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life...

Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.

James 5:8 Be you also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near.

1 Peter 2:20,21 For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well...

1 Peter 5:5,6 Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility...

Cross References
Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Ephesians 4:2
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

Proverbs 14:29
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Proverbs 16:32
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Ecclesiastes 7:1
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.

Jump to Previous
Beginning Better End Gentle Haughtiness Haughty Latter Matter Patience Patient Pride Proud Spirit Start Thereof
Jump to Next
Beginning Better End Gentle Haughtiness Haughty Latter Matter Patience Patient Pride Proud Spirit Start Thereof
Links
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT
Ecclesiastes 7:8 ESV
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NASB
Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 7:8 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 7:8 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:8 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Ecclesiastes 7:7
Top of Page
Top of Page