Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior BookPrior ChapterReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext ChapterNext BookRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on TwitterConnect on FacebookConnect on InstagramConnect on PinterestConnect on Google Plus

Receive our Blue Letter Bible Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Ecclesiastes 1

toggle collapse

Ecclesiastes; or the Preacher

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET

CHAPTER 1

Ecc 1:1-18. INTRODUCTION.

      1. the Preacher--and Convener of assemblies for the purpose. See my JF & B for Preface. Koheleth in Hebrew, a symbolical name for Solomon, and of Heavenly Wisdom speaking through and identified with him. Ecc 1:12 shows that "king of Jerusalem" is in apposition, not with "David," but "Preacher."
      of Jerusalem--rather, "in Jerusalem," for it was merely his metropolis, not his whole kingdom.

      2. The theme proposed of the first part of his discourse.
      Vanity of vanities--Hebraism for the most utter vanity. So "holy of holies" ( Exd 26:33 ); "servant of servants" ( Gen 9:25 ). The repetition increases the force.
      all--Hebrew, "the all"; all without exception, namely, earthly things.
      vanity--not in themselves, for God maketh nothing in vain ( 1Ti 4:4, 5 ), but vain when put in the place of God and made the end, instead of the means ( Psa 39:5, 6 62:9 Mat 6:33 ); vain, also, because of the "vanity" to which they are "subjected" by the fall ( Rom 8:20 ).

      3. What profit. . . labour--that is, "What profit" as to the chief good ( Mat 16:26 ). Labor is profitable in its proper place ( Gen 2:15 3:19 Pro 14:23 ).
      under the sun--that is, in this life, as opposed to the future world. The phrase often recurs, but only in Ecclesiastes.

      4. earth. . . for ever-- ( Psa 104:5 ). While the earth remains the same, the generations of men are ever changing; what lasting profit, then, can there be from the toils of one whose sojourn on earth, as an individual, is so brief? The "for ever" is comparative, not absolute ( Psa 102:26 ).

      5. ( Psa 19:5, 6 ). "Panting" as the Hebrew for "hasteth"; metaphor, from a runner ( Psa 19:5, "a strong man") in a "race." It applies rather to the rising sun, which seems laboriously to mount up to the meridian, than to the setting sun; the accents too favor MAURER, "And (that too, returning) to his place, where panting he riseth."

      6. according to his circuits--that is, it returns afresh to its former circuits, however many be its previous veerings about. The north and south winds are the two prevailing winds in Palestine and Egypt.

      7. By subterraneous cavities, and by evaporation forming rain clouds, the fountains and rivers are supplied from the sea, into which they then flow back. The connection is: Individual men are continually changing, while the succession of the race continues; just as the sun, wind, and rivers are ever shifting about, while the cycle in which they move is invariable; they return to the point whence they set out. Hence is man, as in these objects of nature which are his analogue, with all the seeming changes "there is no new thing" ( Ecc 1:9 ).

      8. MAURER translates, "All words are wearied out," that is, are inadequate, as also, "man cannot express" all the things in the world which undergo this ceaseless, changeless cycle of vicissitudes: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing them," &c. But it is plainly a return to the idea ( Ecc 1:3 ) as to man's "labor," which is only wearisome and profitless; "no new" good can accrue from it ( Ecc 1:9 ); for as the sun, &c., so man's laborious works move in a changeless cycle. The eye and ear are two of the taskmasters for which man toils. But these are never "satisfied" ( Ecc 6:7 Pro 27:20 ). Nor can they be so hereafter, for there will be nothing "new." Not so the chief good, Jesus Christ ( Jhn 4:13, 14 Rev 21:5 ).

      9. Rather, "no new thing at all"; as in Num 11:6. This is not meant in a general sense; but there is no new source of happiness (the subject in question) which can be devised; the same round of petty pleasures, cares, business, study, wars, &c., being repeated over and over again [HOLDEN].

      10. old time--Hebrew, "ages."
      which was--The Hebrew plural cannot be joined to the verb singular. Therefore translate: "It hath been in the ages before; certainly it hath been before us" [HOLDEN]. Or, as MAURER: "That which has been (done) before us (in our presence, 1Ch 16:33 ), has been (done) already in the old times."

      11. The reason why some things are thought "new," which are not really so, is the imperfect record that exists of preceding ages among their successors.
      those that. . . come after--that is, those that live still later than the "things, rather the persons or generations, Ecc 1:4, with which this verse is connected, the six intermediate verses being merely illustrations of Ecc 1:4 [WEISS], that are to come" ( Ecc 2:16 9:5 ).

      12. Resumption of Ecc 1:1, the intermediate verses being the introductory statement of his thesis. Therefore, "the Preacher" (Koheleth) is repeated.
      was king--instead of "am," because he is about to give the results of his past experience during his long reign.
      in Jerusalem--specified, as opposed to David, who reigned both in Hebron and Jerusalem; whereas Solomon reigned only in Jerusalem. "King of Israel in Jerusalem," implies that he reigned over Israel and Judah combined; whereas David, at Hebron, reigned only over Judah, and not, until he was settled in Jerusalem, over both Israel and Judah.

      13. this sore travail--namely, that of "searching" out all things done under heaven." Not human wisdom in general, which comes afterwards ( Ecc 2:12, &c.), but laborious enquiries into, and speculations about, the works of men; for example, political science. As man is doomed to get his bread, so his knowledge, by the sweat of his brow ( Gen 3:19 ) [GILL].
      exercised--that is, disciplined; literally, "that they may thereby chastise, or humble themselves."

      14. The reason is here given why investigation into man's "works" is only "sore travail" ( Ecc 1:13 ); namely, because all man's ways are vain ( Ecc 1:18 ) and cannot be mended ( Ecc 1:15 ).
      vexation of--"a preying upon"
      the Spirit--MAURER translates; "the pursuit of wind," as in Ecc 5:16 Hsa 12:1, "Ephraim feedeth on wind." But old versions support the English Version.

      15. Investigation ( Ecc 1:13 ) into human ways is vain labor, for they are hopelessly "crooked" and "cannot be made straight" by it ( Ecc 7:13 ). God, the chief good, alone can do this ( Isa 40:4 45:2 ).
      wanting-- ( Dan 5:27 ).
      numbered--so as to make a complete number; so equivalent to "supplied" [MAURER]. Or, rather, man's state is utterly wanting; and that which is wholly defective cannot be numbered or calculated. The investigator thinks he can draw up, in accurate numbers, statistics of man's wants; but these, including the defects in the investigator's labor, are not partial, but total.

      16. communed with. . . heart-- ( Gen 24:45 ).
      come to great estate--Rather, "I have magnified and gotten" (literally, "added," increased), &c.
      all. . . before me in Jerusalem--namely, the priests, judges, and two kings that preceded Solomon. His wisdom exceeded that of all before Jesus Christ, the antitypical Koheleth, or "Gatherer of men," ( Luk 13:34 ), and "Wisdom" incarnate ( Mat 11:19 12:42 ).
      had. . . experience--literally, "had seen" ( Jer 2:31 ). Contrast with this glorying in worldly wisdom ( Jer 9:23, 24 ).

      17. wisdom. . . madness--that is, their effects, the works of human wisdom and folly respectively. "Madness," literally, "vaunting extravagance"; Ecc 2:12 7:25, &c., support English Version rather than DATHE, "splendid matters." "Folly" is read by English Version with some manuscripts, instead of the present Hebrew text, "prudence." If Hebrew be retained, understand "prudence," falsely so called ( 1Ti 6:20 ), "craft" ( Dan 8:25 ).

      18. wisdom. . . knowledge--not in general, for wisdom, &c., are most excellent in their place; but speculative knowledge of man's ways ( Ecc 1:13, 17 ), which, the farther it goes, gives one the more pain to find how "crooked" and "wanting" they are ( Ecc 1:15 12:12 ).

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Search

Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines

Timelines

Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions

Multimedia

Video

Music

Products

Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools

Devotionals

Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Help

Video Tutorials

Support

Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions

Ministries

Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries

About

About the BLB

Statement of Faith

History

Newsletter

Partnerships

Ministry FAQs

Donate

Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites


BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters

Facebook

Twitter


Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username

Password

 [?]

 

Did you forget your password?


Register a new BLB account

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name

PasswordRe-enter

[ Cancel ]

 

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username

 

Return to Login

Close Login