Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

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.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 in Other Translations

KJV
18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.
ESV
18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.
NLT
18 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.
MSG
18 After looking at the way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that's about it. That's the human lot.
CSB
18 Here is what I have seen to be good: it is appropriate to eat, drink, and experience good in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him, because that is his reward.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 5

This chapter contains some rules and directions concerning the worship of God; how persons should behave when they go into the house of God; concerning hearing the word, to which there should be a readiness, and which should be preferred to the sacrifices of fools, Ec 5:1. Concerning prayer to God; which should not be uttered rashly and hastily, and should be expressed in few words; which is urged from the consideration of the majesty of God, and vileness of men; and the folly of much speaking is exposed by the simile of a dream, Ec 5:2,3. Concerning vows, which should not be rashly made; when made, should be kept; nor should excuses be afterwards framed for not performing them, since this might bring the anger of God upon men, to the destruction of the works of their hands, Ec 5:4-6; and, as an antidote against those vanities, which appear in the prayers and vows of some, and dreams of others, the fear of God is proposed, Ec 5:7; and, against any surprise at the oppression of the poor, the majesty, power, and providence of God, and his special regard to his people, are observed, Ec 5:8. And then the wise man enters into a discourse concerning riches; and observes, that the fruits of the earth, and the culture of it, are necessary to all men, and even to the king, Ec 5:9; but dissuades from covetousness, or an over love of riches; because they are unsatisfying, are attended with much trouble, often injurious to the owners of them; at length perish, and their possessors; who, at death, are stripped quite naked of all, after they have spent their days in darkness and distress, Ec 5:10-17; and concludes, therefore, that it is best for a man to enjoy, in a free manner, the good things of this life he is possessed of, and consider them as the gifts of God, and be thankful for them; by which means he will pass through the world more comfortably, and escape the troubles that attend others, Ec 5:18-20.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 In-Context

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.
20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Cross References 6

  • 1. S Ecclesiastes 2:3
  • 2. Ecclesiastes 2:10,24
  • 3. S 1 Chronicles 29:12; 2 Chronicles 1:12
  • 4. Ecclesiastes 6:2
  • 5. S Job 31:2
  • 6. S Ecclesiastes 2:24; Ecclesiastes 3:13
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