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Ecclesiastes 7:14

14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

Read Ecclesiastes 7:14 Using Other Translations

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

What does Ecclesiastes 7:14 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:14

In the day of prosperity be joyful
Or, "in a good day" {q}. When things go well in the commonwealth, in a man's family, and with himself, health, peace, and plenty, are enjoyed, a man's circumstances are thriving and flourishing; it becomes him to be thankful to God, freely and cheerfully to enjoy what is bestowed on him, and do good with it: or, "be in good" F18; in good heart, in good spirits, cheerful and lively; or, "enjoy good", as the Vulgate Latin version; for what God gives to men is given them richly to enjoy, to make use of themselves, and be beneficial unto others; so the Targum,

``in the day the Lord does well to thee be thou also in goodness, and do good to all the world;''
see ( Galatians 6:10 ) ; Jarchi's paraphrase is,
``when it is in thine hand to do good, be among those that do good;''
but in the day of adversity consider;
or, "in the day of evil" F19; consider from whence affliction comes; not out of the dust, nor by chance, but from God, and by his wise appointment; and for what it comes, that sin is the cause of it, and what that is; and also for what ends it is sent, to bring to a sense of sin, and confession of it, and humiliation for it; to take it away, and make good men more partakers of holiness: or, "look for the day of adversity" F20; even in the day of prosperity it should be expected; for there is no firmness and stability in any state; there are continual vicissitudes and changes. The Targum is,
``that the evil day may not come upon thee, see and behold;''
be careful and circumspect, and behave in a wise manner, that so it may be prevented. Jarchi's note is,
``when evil comes upon the wicked, be among those that see, and not among those that are seen;''
and compares it with ( Isaiah 66:24 ) ; It may be observed, that there is a set time for each of these, prosperity and adversity; and that the time is short, and therefore called a day; and the one is good, and the other is evil; which characters they have according to the outward appearance, and according to the judgment and esteem of men; otherwise, prosperity is oftentimes hurtful, and destroys fools, and adversity is useful to the souls of good men; God also hath set the one over against the other;
they are both by his appointment, and are set in their proper place, and come in their proper time; succeed each other, and answer to one another, as day and night, summer and winter, and work, together for the good of men; to the end that man should find nothing after him;
should not be able to know what will be hereafter; what his case and circumstances will be, whether prosperous or adverse; since things are so uncertain, and so subject to change, and nothing permanent; and therefore can find nothing to trust in and depend upon, nothing that he can be sure of: and things are so wisely managed and disposed, that a man can find no fault with them, nor just reason to complain of them; so the Vulgate Latin version, "not find just complaints against him"; and to the same purpose the Syriac version, "that he may complain of him"; the Targum is,
``not find any evil in this world.''


F17 (hbwj Mwyb) "in die bono", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus.
F18 (bwjb hyh) "esto in bono", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Rambachius.
F19 (her Mwyb) "in die mala", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus.
F20 (har) "praecave", V. L. "praevide, aut provide ac prospice", Drusius; so Gussetius, p. 766.
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