Ecclesiastes 6:2

Ecclesiastes 6:2

A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour
By "riches" may be meant gold and silver, things which a covetous man is never satisfied with; and by "wealth", cattle, with which farms and fields are stocked: the wealth of men, especially in former times, and in the eastern countries, lay very much in these, as did the wealth of Abraham and Job, ( Genesis 13:2 ) ( Job 1:3 ) ; and all these, as they are reckoned glorious and honourable in themselves; so they create honour and glory among men, and raise to high and honourable places; and these, as they go, they are usually put together, and are called by the name of honour and glory itself; see ( Proverbs 3:16 ) ( 2 Chronicles 1:11 2 Chronicles 1:12 ) ( Genesis 31:1 ) . And they are all the gifts of God, which he either as blessings bestows upon men, or suffers men to attain unto, though a curse may go along with them; which is the case here, for no man whatever is possessed of them but by the will of God or his divine permission; see ( 1 Chronicles 29:12 ) ; and which a man may, and sometimes has, such a plentiful portion of; so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth:
he has not only for the supply of his wants, what is necessary for his daily use and service, but even what is for delight and pleasure; yea, as much as he could reasonably wish for; nay, more than heart could wish, ( Psalms 73:7 ) ; yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof;
the Targum adds, "because of his sin"; either he takes it away from him, he making no use of it; or his appetite is taken away, that he has no desire to it; or rather he has no heart to enjoy what he has, and scarce any part of it; not to eat and drink, and wear suitably to his circumstances, but grudges whatever he lays out on his back or belly, or in housekeeping in his family; for though God gives him a large substance, yet not a heart to make use of it, without which he cannot enjoy it; and therefore it would have been as good, or better for him, to have been without it; see ( Ecclesiastes 5:19 ) ; but a stranger eateth it;
the Syriac version adds, "after him"; enjoys it, not only a part of it, but the whole; one that is not akin to him, and perhaps was never known by him; and yet, by one means or another, either in a lawful or unlawful way, comes into the possession of all he has; this has been always reckoned a great unhappiness, ( Lamentations 5:2 ) ( Hosea 7:9 ) . Hence it follows, this [is] vanity, and it [is] an evil disease;
it is a vain thing to be possessed of great substance, and not enjoy anything of it in a comfortable way, through the sin of covetousness; which is a spiritual disease, and a very bad one; very prejudicial to the soul, and the state of it, and is rarely cured. Juvenal F23 calls it frenzy and madness for a man to live poor, that be may die rich; he is like the ass that Crassus Agelastus saw, loaded with figs, and eating thorns.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 "Cum furor dubius" Satyr. 14. v. 136. exposed by Persius, Sat. 6. v. 69 "unge puer caules", &c.
Read Ecclesiastes 6:2