Ecclesiastes 3:4

4 a time to 1weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to 2dance;

Ecclesiastes 3:4 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to weep, and a time to laugh
There is a time for these things, as it goes ill or well with persons, as to their health, estate, or friends; and as it goes ill or well with kingdoms and states. The Jews wept when they were in Babylon, and their mouths were filled with laughter when their captivity was returned, ( Psalms 137:1 ) ( Psalms 126:1 Psalms 126:2 ) ; and as it goes ill or well with the church of Christ, when there are corruptions in doctrine and worship, a neglect of ordinances, declensions in faith and practice, few instances of conversion, and there are divisions and contentions, it is a time for the mourners in Zion to weep but when God creates Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy, or makes her an eternal excellency, and the praise of the whole earth, then it is a time to rejoice and be glad, ( Isaiah 61:3 ) ( 65:18 ) ; and as it is, with believers, when Christ is withdrawn from them, it is a time to lament, but, when the bridegroom is with them, it is a time of joy; when it is a night of darkness and desertion, weeping endures, but when the morning comes, the day breaks, and the sun of righteousness arises, joy comes with it, ( Matthew 9:15 ) ( John 16:19 John 16:20 ) ( Psalms 30:5 ) . Now in the present state is the saints' weeping time; in the time to come they will laugh, or be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory, ( Luke 6:21 ) ; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
to mourn at funerals, and to dance at festivals; in a spiritual sense, God sometimes turns the mourning of his people into dancing, or joy, which that is expressive of; see ( Psalms 30:11 ) .

Ecclesiastes 3:4 In-Context

2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Romans 12:15]
  • 2. [2 Samuel 6:14]; See Exodus 15:20
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.