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Ecclesiastes 7:28

28 while I was still searching but not finding— I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all.

Read Ecclesiastes 7:28 Using Other Translations

Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.
which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found.
Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!

What does Ecclesiastes 7:28 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ecclesiastes 7:28

Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not
He was very earnest and diligent in his inquiry; he took a great deal of pains, and was exceedingly solicitous; he sought with great intenseness of mind, and with an eager desire, to find out a chaste and virtuous woman among them all, but could not; one man among a thousand have I found;
it is a great rarity to find a good man F14, truly wise and gracious; there are many that walk in the broad way, and but few that find the strait gate and narrow way, and are saved; they are but as one to a thousand; see ( Jeremiah 5:1 ) ( Matthew 7:13 Matthew 7:14 ) . Or rather, by this one of a thousand, is meant the, Messiah, the Wisdom of God, he sought for, ( Ecclesiastes 7:25 ) ; and now says he found; to whom he looked for peace, pardon, and atonement, under a sense of his sins; who is the messenger, an interpreter, one among a thousand; yea, who is the chiefest among ten thousands, ( Job 33:23 ) ( Song of Solomon 5:10 ) ; who is superior to angels and men, in the dignity of his person; in the perfection, purity, and holiness of his nature; in the excellency of his names; in his offices and relations; and in his concern in the affairs of grace and salvation; and who is to be found by every truly wise and gracious soul that seeks him early and earnestly, in the word and ordinances, under the illumination and direction of the blessed Spirit. If it is to be understood of a mere man, I should think the sense was this; of all the men that have been ensnared and taken by an adulterous woman, but one of a thousand have I observed, and perhaps Solomon has respect to himself, that was ever recovered out of her hands; but a woman among all those have I not found;
that is, among all the harlots and adulterous women I ever knew or heard of, I never knew nor heard of one that was ever reclaimed from her evil ways, and reformed or became a chaste and virtuous woman: he may have respect to the thousand women that were either his wives and concubines, and, among all these, he found not one that deserved the above character; for this is not to be understood of women in general, for Solomon must have known that there have been good women in all ages, and perhaps more than men; and that there were many in his days, though those with whom his more intimate acquaintance was were not such, which was his unhappiness; and his criminal conversation with them is what he lamented and repented of. It may be interpreted thus, One man, the Messiah, among all the sons of men, have I found, free from original sin; but one woman, among all the daughters of Eve, I have not found clear of it. The Targum is,

``there is another thing which yet my soul seeketh, and I have not found; a man perfect and innocent, without corruption, from the days of Adam, till Abraham the righteous was born; who was found faithful and just among the thousand kings who were gathered together to build the tower of Babel; and a woman among all the wives of those kings, as Sarah, I found not.''


F14 "Vir bonus et sapiens, qualem vix reperit unum, millibus e multio hominum, consultus Apollo." Auson. Idyll. 16. v. 1, 2.
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