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Ecclesiastes 6

Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 .

7. man--rather, "the man," namely, the miser ( Ecclesiastes 6:3-6 ). For not all men labor for the mouth, that is, for selfish gratification.
appetite--Hebrew, "the soul." The insatiability of the desire prevents that which is the only end proposed in toils, namely, self-gratification; "the man" thus gets no "good" out of his wealth ( Ecclesiastes 6:3 ).

8. For--"However" [MAURER]. The "for" means (in contrast to the insatiability of the miser), For what else is the advantage which the wise man hath above the fool?"
What--advantage, that is, superiority, above him who knows not how to walk uprightly
hath the poor who knoweth to walk before the living?--that is, to use and enjoy life aright ( Ecclesiastes 5:18 Ecclesiastes 5:19 ), a cheerful, thankful, godly "walk" ( Psalms 116:9 ).

9. Answer to the question in Ecclesiastes 6:8 . This is the advantage:
Better is the sight of the eyes--the wise man's godly enjoyment of present seen blessings
than the (fool's) wandering--literally, walking ( Psalms 73:9 ), of the desire, that is, vague, insatiable desires for what he has not ( Ecclesiastes 6:7 , Hebrews 13:5 ).
this--restless wandering of desire, and not enjoying contentedly the present ( 1 Timothy 6:6 1 Timothy 6:8 ).

10. Part II begins here. Since man's toils are vain, what is the chief good? ( Ecclesiastes 6:12 ). The answer is contained in the rest of the book.
That which hath been--man's various circumstances
is named already--not only has existed, Ecclesiastes 1:9 , 3:15 , but has received its just name, "vanity," long ago,
and it is known that it--vanity
is man--Hebrew, "Adam," equivalent to man "of red dust," as his Creator appropriately named him from his frailty.
neither may he contend, &c.--( Romans 9:20 ).

11. "Seeing" that man cannot escape from the "vanity," which by God's "mighty" will is inherent in earthly things, and cannot call in question God's wisdom in these dispensations (equivalent to "contend," &c.),
what is man the better--of these vain things as regards the chief good? None whatever.

12. For who knoweth, &c.--The ungodly know not what is really "good" during life, nor "what shall be after them," that is, what will be the event of their undertakings ( Ecclesiastes 3:22 , 8:7 ). The godly might be tempted to "contend with God" ( Ecclesiastes 6:10 ) as to His dispensations; but they cannot fully know the wise purposes served by them now and hereafter. Their sufferings from the oppressors are more really good for them than cloudless prosperity; sinners are being allowed to fill up their measure of guilt. Retribution in part vindicates God's ways even now. The judgment shall make all clear. In Ecclesiastes 7:1-29 , he states what is good, in answer to this verse.

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