Ecclesiastes 6:6
Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(6) Though.—The conjunction here used is only found again in Esther 7:4.

6:1-6 A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he makes no good or comfortable use of what he has. By one means or other his possessions come to strangers; this is vanity, and an evil disease. A numerous family was a matter of fond desire and of high honour among the Hebrews; and long life is the desire of mankind in general. Even with these additions a man may not be able to enjoy his riches, family, and life. Such a man, in his passage through life, seems to have been born for no end or use. And he who has entered on life only for one moment, to quit it the next, has a preferable lot to him who has lived long, but only to suffer.He live - Rather, he hath lived. "He" refers to the man Ecclesiastes 6:3. His want of satisfaction in life, and the dishonor done to his corpse, are regarded as such great evils that they counterbalance his numerous children, and length of days, and render his lot viewed as a whole no better than the common lot of all. 6. If the miser's length of "life" be thought to raise him above the abortive, Solomon answers that long life, without enjoying real good, is but lengthened misery, and riches cannot exempt him from going whither "all go." He is fit neither for life, nor death, nor eternity. Live a thousand years twice told; wherein he seems to have a privilege above an untimely birth. Hath he seen no good; he hath enjoyed little or no comfort in it, and therefore long life is rather a curse and mischief than a blessing or advantage to him.

Do not all, whether born out of and before their time, or in due time, whether their lives be long or short,

go to one place; to the grave. And so after a little time all are alike as to this life, of which he here speaks; and as to the other life, his condition is infinitely worse than that of an untimely birth.

Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told,.... Or two thousand years, which no man ever did, nor even one thousand years; Methuselah, the oldest man, did not live so long as that; this is than twice the age of the oldest man: there is one sort of the Ethiopians, who are said (a) to live almost half space of time longer than usual, called from thence Macrobii; which Pliny (b) makes to be one hundred and forty years, which is just double the common term of life. This here is only a supposition. Aben Ezra interprets it, "a thousand thousand", but wrongly; so the Arabic version, "though he lives many thousand years";

yet hath he seen no good, not enjoyed the good of his labour, what he has been labouring for and was possessed of; and therefore has lived so long as he has to very little purpose, and with very little comfort or credit; and especially he has had no experience of spiritual good;

do not all go to one place? that is, the grave; they do, even all men; it is the house appointed for all living, Job 30:23; and hither go both the abortive, and the covetous rich man; so that he has in this no pre-eminence to it. Jarchi interprets it of hell, the one place, whither all sinners go; but the former sense is best.

(a) Mela tie Situ Orbis, l. 3. c. 9. (b) Nat. Hist. 1. 7. c. 2.

Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
6. Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told] The weariness of life carries the thinker yet further. Carry it to the furthest point conceivable, and still the result is the same. The longer it is, the fuller of misery and woe. The thought finds, as before, a parallel in the speech of Solon to Crœsus (Herod. i. 32). The man goes to the same place,—to the dark, dreary world of Sheol, perhaps even to a more entire annihilation than was implied in the Hebrew thought of that unseen world,—as the abortive birth, with nothing but an accumulated experience of wretchedness. Depression could go no further. See the poem of Omar Khayyam in the Appendix.

Verse 6. - Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good. What has been said would still be true even if the man lived two thousand years. The second clause is not the apodosis (as the Authorized Version makes it), but the continuation of the protasis: if he lived the longest life, "and saw not good;" the conclusion is given in the form of a question. The "good" is the enjoyment of life spoken of in ver. 3 (see on Ecclesiastes 2:1). The specified time seems to refer to the age of the patriarchs, none of whom, from Adam to Noah, reached half the limit assigned. Do not all go to one place? viz. to Sheol, the grave (Ecclesiastes 3:20). If a long life were spent in calm enjoyment, it might be preferable to a short one; but when it is passed amid care and annoyance and discontent, it is no better than that which begins and ends in nothingness. The grave receives both, and there is nothing to choose between them, at least in this point of view. Of life as in itself a blessing, a discipline, a school, Koheleth says nothing here; he puts himself in the place of the discontented rich man, and appraises life with his eyes. On the common destiny that awaits peer and peasant, rich and poor, happy and sorrow-laden, we can all remember utterances old and new. Thus Horace, 'Carm.,' 2:3. 20 -

"Divesne prisco natus ab Inacho,
Nil interest, an pauper et infima
De gente sub dive moreris,
Victima nil miserantis Orci.
"Omnes eodem cogimur."
Ovid, 'Met.,' 10:33 -

"Omnia debentur vobis, paullumque morati
Serius aut citius sedem properamus ad unam.
Tendimus huc omnes, haec est domus ultima."

"Fate is the lord of all things; soon or late
To one abode we speed, thither we all
Pursue our way, this is our final home."
Ecclesiastes 6:6A life extending to more than even a thousand years without enjoyment appears to him worthless: "And if he has lived twice a thousand years long, and not seen good - Do not all go hence to one place?" This long period of life, as well as the shortest, sinks into the night of Sheol, and has advantage over the shortest if it wants the ראות ט, i.e., the enjoyment of that which can make man happy. That would be correct if "good" were understood inwardly, ethically, spiritually; but although, according to Koheleth's view, the fear of God presides over the enjoyment of life, regulating and hallowing it, yet it remains unknown to him that life deepened into fellowship with God is in itself a most real and blessed, and thus the highest good. Regarding אלּוּ (here, as at Esther 7:4, with perf. foll.: etsi vixisset, tamen interrogarem: nonne, etc.); it occurs also in the oldest liturgical Tefilla, as well as in the prayer Nishmath (vid., Baer's Siddur, Abodath Jisrael, p. 207). פּ ... אלף, a thousand years twice, and thus an Adam's life once and yet again. Otherwise Aben Ezra: 1000 years multiplied by itself, thus a million, like פּעמים עשׂרים, 20 x 20 equals 400; cf. Targ. Isaiah 30:26, which translates שׁבעתים by 343 equals 7 x 7 x 7. Perhaps that is right; for why was not the expression שׁנה אלפּים directly used? The "one place" is, as at Ecclesiastes 3:20, the grave and Hades, into which all the living fall. A life extending even to a million of years is worthless, for it terminates at last in nothing. Life has only as much value as it yields of enjoyment.
Ecclesiastes 6:6 Interlinear
Ecclesiastes 6:6 Parallel Texts

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

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

Bible Hub

Ecclesiastes 6:5
Top of Page
Top of Page