Ecclesiastes 1:5

5 The sun rises and the sun sets; panting, [it returns] to its place[a] where it rises.

Ecclesiastes 1:5 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 1:5

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to
his place where he arose.
] The sun rises in the morning and sets at evening in our hemisphere, according to the appearance of things; and then it makes haste to go round the other hemisphere in the night: it "pants", as the word F20 signifies; the same figure is used by other writers F21; like a man out of breath with running; so this glorious body, which rejoiceth as a strong man to run his race, and whose circuit is from one end of the heavens to the other, ( Psalms 19:5 Psalms 19:6 ) ; is in haste to get to the place where he rose in the morning, and there he makes no stop, but pursues his course in the same track again. By this instance is exemplified the succession of the generations of men one after another, as the rising and setting of the sun continually follows each other; and also sets forth the restless state of things in the world, which, like the sun, are never at a stand, but always moving, and swiftly taking their course; and likewise the changeable state of man, who, like the rising sun, and when at noon day, is in flourishing circumstances, and in the height of prosperity, but as this declines and sets, so he has his declining times and days of adversity. Moreover, like the rising sun, he comes into this world and appears for a while, and then, like the setting sun, he dies; only with this difference, in which the sun has the preference to him, as the earth before had; the sun hastens and comes to its place from whence it arose, but man lies down and rises not again till the heavens be no more, and never returns to his place in this world, that knows him no more, ( Job 7:10 ) ( 14:12 ) . The Jews F23 say, before the sun of one righteous, man sets, the sun of another righteous man rises.


F20 (pawv) "anhelus", Montanus, Tigurine version; "anhelat", Drusius, Piscator, Cocceius, Amama; "anhelaus est", Rambachius; "doth he breathe", Broughton.
F21 "Placebits anhelat", Claudian. Epigrarm. "Equis oriens afflavit anhelis", Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. v. 250. Aeneid, l. 5.
F23 Apud R. Joseph. Titatzak in loc. Midrash Kohelet in loc.

Ecclesiastes 1:5 In-Context

3 What does a man gain for all his efforts he labors at under the sun?
4 A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets; panting, [it returns] to its place where it rises.
6 Gusting to the south, turning to the north, turning, turning, goes the wind, and the wind returns in its cycles.
7 All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full. The streams are flowing to the place, and they flow there again.

Footnotes 1

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