Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

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Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 4

In this chapter the wise man reassumes the consideration of the case of the abuse of power, to show that there is no happiness in this world, in grandeur and authority enjoyed; since, as he had observed before, on the one hand, the oppressor shall be judged and condemned at the great day of account; so, on the other hand, the oppressed have their lives made so uncomfortable, that the dead are preferred unto them, and unborn persons to them both, Ec 4:1-3; Another vanity he observes, that whereas men expect to be happy by their diligence and industry, this brings upon them the envy of others, Ec 4:4; hence some, on the other hand, place their happiness in sloth and ease, which is another vanity, Ec 4:5,6; and others again in covetousness; who are described by their unsocial life, toilsome labour, unsatisfied desires, and withholding good things from themselves, Ec 4:7,8; upon which some things are said, to show the benefits of a social life, Ec 4:9-12. And the chapter is concluded with exposing the vanity of the highest instance of worldly power and grandeur, royal dignity, through the folly of a king; the effects of which are mentioned, Ec 4:13,14; and through the fickleness of the people, who are soon weary of a prince on the throne, and court his successor, Ec 4:15,16.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 In-Context

7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun:
8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, "For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?
12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.