Or "besides" F26 what has been said; or "as to what remains" F1; or "but what is better", or "more excellent" F2, is to "hear the conclusion of the whole matter", the sum and substance of the whole book in a few words, ( Ecclesiastes 12:13 ) ; to which ( Ecclesiastes 12:9-12 ) ; are a preface; and in which the wise man recommends the reading of this book, and other writings of his, and of other wise men inspired of God; and his own he particularly recommends, from his character as wise and industrious, in this verse; and from the subject matter of them, their nature, use, and excellency, and their efficacy and authority, in the two next; because the preacher was wise;
he was a "preacher", a royal one, an extraordinary preacher, and to be regarded; he urges not his title as a king, but his character as a preacher, to recommend what he had written: every good preacher should be regarded; not such who are ignorant preachers of the law, but faithful ministers of the Gospel, who are sent of God, and have felt and experienced what they deliver to others; and especially who are wise as well as faithful, as Solomon was; he had much wisdom given him at first, ( 1 Kings 3:12 ) ( 4:29-31 ) ; and in which he improved; and though he turned to folly in his old age, he recovered from that, and gained more wisdom through his fall, and to which he here seems to have reference; for "Koheleth", which some render the "gatherer", because he gathered much wisdom, and much people to hear it; others render "gathered", that is, into the flock and fold again, the church of God, from which he had strayed; (See Gill on Ecclesiastes 1:1); and having seen through the follies and vanities of life, and being recovered and restored, was a fitter person to teach and instruct others; see ( Psalms 51:12 Psalms 51:13 ) ( Luke 22:32 ) ; he still taught the people knowledge;
or "again", as the Targum; after his fall and recovery he was communicative of his knowledge; he did not hide his talent in the earth, nor in a napkin; but having freely received he freely gave, and kept back nothing from his people, the people of the house of Israel, as the Targum, that might be profitable to them; he taught them the knowledge of themselves, as fallen men, impure, impotent, and unrighteous; the knowledge of the creatures, and the vanity of them, of riches, honours, and pleasures; and of works of righteousness to save men; the knowledge of Christ the Wisdom of God, the antiquity of his person, his glories, excellencies, and beauties, as in the books of Proverbs and Canticles; the knowledge of God, his fear and worship, mind and will; and the knowledge of a future state, and of the general judgment, as in this book; and in proportion to his own knowledge so he taught: for thus the words with the preceding may be rendered, that "the more that the preacher was wise, the more he taught the people knowledge" F3; he taught according to the abilities he had received, as preachers should; the more he grew in grace and knowledge, the more largely be shared with others; and this he did "daily", as Aben Ezra renders the words, constantly, continually, incessantly, in season and out of season, as faithful Gospel ministers do; yea, he gave good heed;
to what he heard and to what be read, to which the apostle's advice agrees, ( 1 Timothy 4:13 ) ; or he caused others to hear, and give good heed to what is said, as Aben Ezra; he engaged their attention by his enlivening discourses; or, as Kimchi, he weighed things in his own mind, and in the balance of the sanctuary; and thoroughly considered and digested them before he delivered them to others; and sought out;
was very diligent in investigating truth, he searched into the mines of knowledge for it, the sacred writings, as one would for gold and silver, and as he himself directs, ( Proverbs 2:4 Proverbs 2:5 ) ; [and] set in order many proverbs;
three thousand of them, ( 1 Kings 4:32 ) ; particularly those which are in the book of that name, penned by him; he selected the most choice, pithy, and sententious sayings, of his own and others; and these he huddled not up, or threw them together in a disorderly and confused manner; but put them together in proper order and method, under proper heads, as well as in a correct style, that they might be more received, and more easily retained. The Targum is,
``he attended to the voice of the wise men, and searched the books of wisdom; and by a spirit of prophecy from the Lord composed books of wisdom, and very many proverbs of understanding.''
F26 (rtyw) "praeterea", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Schmidt.
F1 "Quod reliquum est", Piscator, Gejerus, Amama.
F2 "Quamobrem potius", Junius & Tremeillius; "and this is a matter of excellency", Broughton,
F3 Mercerus and Cocceius.