Ecclesiastes 3:3

3 There is a time to kill and a time to heal. There is a time to destroy and a time to build.

Ecclesiastes 3:3 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 3:3

A time to kill, and a time to heal
A time to kill may be meant of a violent death, as a time to die is of a natural one; so the Targum,

``a time to kill in war;''
or else, by the hand of the civil magistrate, such who deserve death. Aben Ezra interprets it "to wound", because of the opposite "to heal"; and so there is a time when wounds and diseases are incurable, and baffle all the skill of the physician, being designed unto death; and there is a time when, by the blessing of God on means, they are healed; the wound or sickness not being unto death: so the Targum paraphrases the last clause,
``to heal one that lies sick.''
This may be applied in a civil sense to calamities in kingdoms, and a restoration of peace and plenty to them; which is the property of God alone, who in this sense kills and makes alive in his own time, ( Deuteronomy 32:39 ) ( 1 Samuel 2:9 ) ( Hosea 6:1 ) ; And in a spiritual sense to the ministers of the word, who are instruments of slaying souls by the law, which is the killing letter, and of healing them by the Gospel, which pours in the oil and wine of peace and pardon through the blood of Christ, and so binds up and heals the broken hearted; and there is a time for both; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
to break down a building, and build a waste, as the Targum; to break down cities and the walls of them, as the of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar; and to build them up: as in the times of Nehemiah and Zerubbabel: and so in a spiritual sense to break down the church of God, the tabernacle of David, and to raise up and repair the breaches of it; to build up Zion, and the walls of Jerusalem, or to restore the Gospel church state to its glory, for which there is a set time; see ( Amos 9:11 ) ( Psalms 102:13 Psalms 102:16 ) .

Ecclesiastes 3:3 In-Context

1 There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.
2 There is a time to be born and a time to die. There is a time to plant and a time to pull up plants.
3 There is a time to kill and a time to heal. There is a time to destroy and a time to build.
4 There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance.
5 There is a time to throw away stones and a time to gather them. There is a time to hug and a time not to hug.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.