Ecclesiastes 5:17

17 All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.

Ecclesiastes 5:17 in Other Translations

KJV
17 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.
ESV
17 Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.
NLT
17 Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud—frustrated, discouraged, and angry.
MSG
17 All for a miserable life spent in the dark?
CSB
17 What is more, he eats in darkness all his days, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger.

Ecclesiastes 5:17 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 5:17

All his days also he eateth in darkness
To all that has been said is added another evil, that attends such whose hearts are inordinately set on riches; that all their days, throughout the whole of their lives, they live a most uncomfortable life; for eating is here put for their whole manner of living: such not only eat coarse bread, and very mean food of any sort, but wear sordid apparel, and live in a poor cottage, in a very obscure and miserable manner. Aben Ezra understands it literally of the night, to which time such a man defers eating, that he might lose no time in his labour; and that it might not be seen what sort of food he eats, and how sparingly, and that others might not eat with him; and what he does eat is not eaten freely, but grudgingly, and with anguish and distress of mind, without any real pleasure and joy; and much less with the light of God's countenance, the discoveries of his love, and communion with him: the Targum is,

``all his days he dwelleth in darkness, that he may taste his bread alone;''
and [he hath], much sorrow and wrath with his sickness;
either the sickness of his mind, his covetousness; or the sickness of his body, emaciated by withholding from himself the necessaries of life: or when he comes upon a sick bed, he is filled with sorrow and indignation, that he must live no longer, to accumulate more wealth, and accomplish his projects and designs; and that he must leave his wealth, he has been at so much pains to gather together. Or, "and he is much angry" {o}; when things do not answer in trade according to his wishes; when his substance diminishes, or, however, does not increase as he desires; when he is cheated by fraudulent men, or robbed by thieves: "and he hath sickness" F16; either of body or mind, or both, because matters do not succeed as he would have them; and through fretfulness at losses and crosses, and disappointments; and through cares in getting and keeping what he has: "and wrath"; at all about him, whom he is ready to charge with slothfulness or unfaithfulness to him; and even at the providence of God, that does not give him the desired success; so that he has no manner of pleasure and comfort in life.
FOOTNOTES:

F15 (hbrh oekw) "et irascitur multum", Vatablus, Drusius; "et indignatus fuit, vel indignatur multum", Piscator, Rambachius.
F16 (wylxw) "et agritudo ei fuit, vel est", Piscator, Drusius; "vel fuerit", Gejerus.

Ecclesiastes 5:17 In-Context

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.
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.
19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.