Ecclesiastes 5:9

9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.

Read Ecclesiastes 5:9 Using Other Translations

Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.
But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields.
Even the king milks the land for his own profit!

What does Ecclesiastes 5:9 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ecclesiastes 5:9

Moreover, the profit of the earth is for all
Or, "the excellency of the earth in" or "above all things [is] this" F25; that God most high rules over all the earth, and is higher than the kings of it, and all oppressors in it; or in all respects there is a preference, a superior excellency in the country as opposed to the city, especially in this, that there are not so many tumults, riots, and oppressions there; though this is mostly understood of the preference and superior excellency of agriculture, or tillage of the earth. So the Targum,

``the excellency of the praise of tilling the earth is above all things:''
and to the same purpose Jarchi and Aben Ezra; and the profit arising from it is enjoyed by all; it is for all, even the beasts of the field have grass from hence, as well as man has bread corn, and all other necessaries; the king [himself] is served by the field;
his table is served with bread corn, and flesh, and wine, and fruits of various sorts, the produce of the earth, which spring from it, or are nourished by it; were it not for husbandry the king himself and his family could not subsist; and therefore it becomes kings to encourage it, and not oppress those who are employed in it: or "the king [is a] servant to the field" F26; some kings have addicted themselves to husbandry, and been great lovers of it, as Uzziah was, ( 2 Chronicles 26:10 ) ; and some of the Chinese emperors, as their histories F1 show; and the kings of Persia {b}: Vulcan, in the shield of Achilles, represented the reapers, gatherers, and binders of sheaves at work in the field, and a king standing among the sheaves with a sceptre in his hand, looking on with great pleasure, while a dinner is prepared by his orders for the workmen F3; many of the Roman generals, and high officers, were called from the plough, particularly Cincinnatus F4; and these encouraged husbandry in their subjects, as well as took care of their own farms. There is another sense of the words given, besides many more;
``and the most excellent Lord of the earth (that is, the most high God) is the King of every field that is tilled; (that is, the King of the whole habitable world;) or the King Messiah, Lord of his field, the church, and who is the most eminent in all the earth F5.''
The Midrash interprets it of the holy blessed God.

F25 (ayh lkb Ura Nwrtyw) "et praestantia terrae in omnibus ipsa", Montanus; "porro excellentia terrae prae omnibus est", Vatablus; "et praecellentia terrae in omnibus est", Gejerus.
F26 (dben hdvl Klm) "rex agro sit servus", Montanus, Piscator, Gejerus; "rex agro servit", Mercerus, so some in Drusius.
F1 Vid. Martin. Sinic. Histor. l. 2. p. 36. & l. 4. p. 92. & l. 3. p. 287.
F2 Xenophon. Oeconom. p. 482.
F3 Homer. Iliad. 18. v. 550-558.
F4 Flor. Hist. Roman. l. 1. c. 11.
F5 So Schmidt Rambachius.
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