Ecclesiastes 6:10

10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger.

Ecclesiastes 6:10 in Other Translations

10 That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.
10 Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he.
10 Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.
10 Whatever happens, happens. Its destiny is fixed. You can't argue with fate.
10 Whatever exists was given its name long ago, and who man is, is known. But he is not able to contend with the One stronger than he.

Ecclesiastes 6:10 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:10

That which hath been is named already, and it is known that
it [is] man
Which may be understood of the first man Adam, who has been, has existed, was produced by the immediate power of God, creating and forming him out of the dust of the earth; was made after the image, and in the likeness of God, a wise and knowing creature, a rich and powerful one, the figure of him that was to come, being the head and representative of all his posterity; and he has been named already, he had his name from the Lord himself, suitable to his nature and formation; he called his name Adam, from "Adamah", the earth, from whence he was taken; and though he was so wise and great, and even affected deity, which was the snare laid for him by his enemy, it is well known he was but a man, of the earth, earthly, and returned to it again. Some have applied this to the second man, the Lord from heaven, as the ordinary gloss, and Jerom; and render it, "that which shall be", so the Vulgate Latin version; as yet he was not man, though he had agreed to be and was prophesied of that he should; however be was named already the seed of the woman, Shiloh, Ithiel, the Messiah, or Anointed; hence by Solomon, in allusion to this name, his "name is [said to be] as ointment poured forth", ( Song of Solomon 1:3 ) ; and as it was known that he should be man, so it is now known that he is really and truly man; though not merely so, but God as well as man; yet as to his human nature his Father is greater and mightier than he; but this sense some interpreters despise and laugh at: and indeed though the whole of it is truth, it does not seem to be the truth of the text, nor suitable to the context: rather the words are to be understood of mankind in general, of all men, not only that have been, but that are or shall be; these were all appointed to come into being by the Lord; they have been in his eternal purposes and decrees, and their names are written or not written in the Lamb's book of life; and they have all one common name, that of "man", weak, frail, mortal, wretched man; they are, as is said of the Egyptians, men and not God, ( Isaiah 31:3 ) ; particularly this is true of persons the most famous that have been in the world; such who have been in ages past, and their names have been called, or they have obtained a name among men, men of renown, that are on the list of fame; such who have been the most famous for wisdom, for riches, for strength, or for power and authority, and have even had deity ascribed to them, and divine worship given them; yet it has been notorious that they were but men, and not God, so Jarchi; and died as such; see ( Psalms 9:20 ) ( Psalms 82:1 Psalms 82:6 Psalms 82:7 ) ( Ezekiel 28:2 Ezekiel 28:8 Ezekiel 28:9 ) ( Acts 12:22 Acts 12:23 ) . Moreover, this may be understood of all things relating to men; that all that has been, is, or shall be, has been already named of God, determined and appointed by him; so the Targum renders it,

``all is the decree of the Word of the Lord;''
all things relating to the temporal affairs of men, as to their birth and place of abode, their callings and stations of life; so to their circumstances of poverty or riches, which with all their craving desires and carking cares it is impossible for them to alter, or make them otherwise than they are; which is observed, to check the wandering and insatiable desires of men after worldly things; neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he;
the Lord of the world, as the Targum; not the angel of death, as Jarchi; the devil, which had the power of death, and is stronger than men; nor death itself, as others, against which there is no standing, ( Ecclesiastes 8:8 ) ( Isaiah 28:15 Isaiah 28:18 ) ; but God himself, who is mightier than men, and with whom a creature should not strive or contend; either about his being and the make of it, or concerning his circumstances in the world, that they are not, greater and better than they be; or about God's decrees concerning these or other things; but quietly submit to his will, and be content in whatsoever circumstances they are, considering that he is the Creator, and a sovereign Being, they are creatures, and dependent on him; and let their circumstances be what they will, wise or unwise, rich or poor, they are but men, and can never rise higher; see ( Job 9:3 Job 9:4 ) ( Job 33:12 Job 33:13 ) ( Isaiah 49:9 Isaiah 49:10 ) ( Romans 9:19 Romans 9:20 ) . It is observed by the Masorites that this is just the middle of the book.

Ecclesiastes 6:10 In-Context

8 What advantage have the wise over fools? What do the poor gain by knowing how to conduct themselves before others?
9 Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger.
11 The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?
12 For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?

Cross References 1

  • 1. Ecclesiastes 3:15
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