9:1 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 a hatred [by] all [that is] before them.
(a) Meaning, what things he ought to chose or refuse: or man knows not by these outward things that is, by prosperity or adversity, whom God favours or hates, for he sends them as well to the wicked as to the godly. 9:3 This [is] an evil among all [things] that are done under the sun, that [there is] one b event to 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.
(b) In outward things, as riches and poverty, sickness and health, there is no difference between the godly and the wicked but the difference is that the godly are assured by faith of Gods favour and assistance. 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a c living dog is better than a dead lion.
(c) He notes the Epicurean and carnal men, who made their body their god, and had no pleasure in this life, wishing rather to be an abased and vile person in this life, then a man of authority and so to die, which is meant by the dog and lion. 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now d accepteth thy works.
(d) They flatter themselves to be in Gods favour, because they have all things in abundance. 9:8 Let thy garments be always e white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
(e) Rejoice, be merry and spare for no cost, thus speak the wicked belly-gods. 9:11 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 f chance happeneth to them all.
(f) Thus the worldlings say to prove that all things are lawful for them and attribute that to chance and fortune which is done by the providence of God. 9:12 For man also knoweth not his g 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.
(g) That is, he does not foresee what will come.