Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest
Or "see", or "enjoy life" F4: this is one of the ways of enjoying life comfortably, and one of the principal ones; that if a man has a wife whom he ought to love as himself as his own flesh, to take delight in her company, be pleasant with her, and rejoice in her, ( Proverbs 5:18 Proverbs 5:19 ) ; and this here may be put for all that pleasure and satisfaction which may be lawfully had in the enjoyment of all other relations and friends; which adds no small part to the comfort of a man's life; all the days of the life of thy vanity;
a wife is for life, and not after a while to be divorced; and to be lived joyfully with, not for a short time only, but all the days of life; which he hath given thee under the sun;
that is, either which wife God has given thee; for a wife is the gift of God, ( Genesis 3:12 ) ; and which is a gift under the sun; for above it, or in heaven, and in a future state, there is no marrying nor giving in marriage, ( Luke 20:35 ) ; or which days he hath given thee, so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions. It is added, all the days of thy vanity;
which is repeated, that it might be observed that the life of man is but a vain life, a vapour that soon vanishes away, and man in it, at his best estate, is vanity; and that notwithstanding all the enjoyments of life in the most comfortable manner here directed to, yet still the doctrine he set out with must be remembered, that all is vanity, ( Ecclesiastes 1:2 ) ; for that [is] thy portion in [this] life, and in thy labour which thou
takest under the sun;
this is all the outward happiness of a man in this life, and all the use, profit, and advantage of his labours, to eat and drink cheerfully, to clothe decently, to debar himself of nothing of lawful pleasure, particularly to live joyfully with his wife, and enjoy his friends; this is the utmost of outward felicity he can partake of, and this he should not deny himself. Ben Melech restrains this portion to a wife, and joyful living with her; but it is best to include all that goes before.