Ecclesiastes 5:15

15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.
ESV
15 As he came from his mother's womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.
NLT
15 We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.
MSG
15 He arrived naked from the womb of his mother; He'll leave in the same condition - with nothing.
CSB
15 As he came from his mother's womb, so he will go again, naked as he came; he will take nothing for his efforts that he can carry in his hands.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 5:15

As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return
to go as he came
This may be understood either of the covetous rich man, or of his son; and that supposing what is before said should not be the case of either of them, but they should possess their substance as long as they live; yet, when they come to die, they will be stripped of them all; of their gold and silver, their plate and jewels, and rich household furniture; of their cattle and possessions, farms and estates, which are no longer theirs; and even of their very clothes, and be as naked as they were when they came into the world; and which is indeed the case of every man, ( Job 1:21 ) ; and is used as an argument, and a very forcible one, against covetousness; and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his
hand;
nothing of his substance, which he has got by his labour, and hoarded up with great care; not the least portion of it can he carry away with him when he dies; not any of his jewels, nor bags of gold and silver; and if any of these should be put into his grave, which has been sometimes done at the interment of great personages, these are of no manner of use and service to him, either to comfort and refresh his body, or to save his soul from hell, and procure it an entrance into the heavenly glory; see ( 1 Timothy 6:7 ) ( Proverbs 11:4 ) . The Targum allegorizes this in a very orthodox way, not very usual, in favour of original sin, and against the doctrine of merit;

``as he goes out of his mother's womb naked, without a covering, and without any good; so he shall return to go to the house of his grave, indigent of merit, as he came into this world; and no good reward shall he receive by his labour, to take with him into the world to which he goes, that it may be for merit in his hand.''

Ecclesiastes 5:15 In-Context

13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.
16 This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Job 1:21
  • 2. Psalms 49:17; 1 Timothy 6:7
  • 3. Ecclesiastes 1:3