Ecclesiastes 9

The dead know nothing 5
Be a good worker, no knowledge in the grave  10
Wisdom of the poor man who saved a city  15

Text
Explanation
 1 ¶ For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.
.2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
 3  This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
   1 - All This That is, in the great love and wisdom of God, the righteous and wicked are rewarded accordingly, strange things (vanity) happen to both.
   1 - Righteous ... and works in God's hand God controls all. We cannot interpret love or hatred from what we see.
   2 - One event comes to all We see by reading on, what Solomon has in mind.
   3 - An evil It doesn't seem right to Solomon.
   3 - After that The words "go to" are not in the Hebrew text but we may infer that the wicked go to the place of the dead. This was not hell as it is commonly understood job3023.
.4 ¶ For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
.5  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
   4 - Hope Continues with life pr1107, la0339.
   5 - Dead know nothing This is a key principle. Death is like an unconscious sleep while awaiting the resurrection. See the story of Lazarus. Jn1111.
   5 - No more reward They are not enjoying a reward now. Jesus is coming to reward everyone depending on their behavior. This is not at death. It is when he returns re2212, 1th415.
.6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.    Love, hatred, envy, gone Further evidence that the text refers to the unconscious state.
   No more portion Spiritualistic appearances are more and more common. This verse helps protect us from this kind of deception. So how do loved ones or so-called saints appear? Satan appeared to Christ as an angel. Paul referred to the principle, too 2co1114. The unseen beings who were cast out with Satan help bring about many miracles even good ones re1313. They appear as spirits or real people. Having known people who have died, they can easily imitate them.
   Forever Will the dead live again? Yes, Jn0528, Forever, in the Bible, does not mean what it does in modern English, re2010b-co.
 7  Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
.8  Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
 9  Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
.10  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
   10 - Whatever your hand finds The first part of this verse is good advice. Often we think that some kinds of work are beneath our dignity. Jesus worked as a carpenter until he began His ministry.
   The last part of the verse tells why we should do what we can. If we went to heaven at death and were without wisdom or even knowledge, it wouldn't be heaven.
 11 ¶ I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
 12  For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
   11 - Race is not to the swift The point is that at death the skills of winning make no difference. On the spirit returning to God, see ch.12.
 13 ¶ This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
 14  There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:
.15  Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
   15 - Wisdom of the poor man The lesson for us is that we must avoid being led astray with someone the world considers great but who is a fool in the sight of God. We must measure all by the word of God. This applies to famous preachers and even people, like me, who write commentaries.
 16  Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
 17  The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
 18  Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.
  18 - One sinner  (Jos 7:1,11,12). Though wisdom excels folly (Ec 9:16; 7:19), yet a "little folly (equivalent to sin) can destroy much good," both in himself (Ec 10:1; Jas 2:10) and in others.  "Wisdom" must, from the antithesis to "sinner," mean religion. Thus typically, the "little city" may be applied to the Church (Lu 12:32; Heb 12:22); the great king to Satan (Joh 12:31); the despised poor wise man, Jesus Christ (Isa 53:2,3; Mr 6:3; 2Co 8:9; Eph 1:7,8; Col 2:3). (JFB Commentary).

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