Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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.
6 There is a time to look for something and a time to stop looking for it. There is a time to keep things and a time to throw things away.
7 There is a time to tear apart and a time to sew together. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 There is a time to love and a time to hate. There is a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 3

The general design of this chapter is to confirm what is before observed, the vanity and inconstancy of all things; the frailty of man, and changes respecting him; his fruitless toil and labour in all his works; that it is best to be content with present things, and cheerful in them, and thankful for them; that all comes from the hand of God; that such good men, who have not at present that joy that others have, may have it, since there is a time for it; and that sinners should not please themselves with riches gathered by them, since they may be soon taken from them, for there is a time for everything, Ec 3:1; of which there is an induction of particulars, Ec 3:2-8; so that though every thing is certain with God, nothing is certain with men, nor to be depended on, nor can happiness be placed therein; there is no striving against the providence of God, nor altering the course of things; the labour of man is unprofitable, and his travail affliction and vexation, Ec 3:9,10; and though all God's works are beautiful in their season, they are unsearchable to man, Ec 3:11; wherefore it is best cheerfully to enjoy the present good things of life, Ec 3:12,13; and be content; for the will and ways and works of God are unalterable, permanent, and perfect, Ec 3:14,15; and though wicked men may abuse the power reposed in them, and pervert public justice, they will be called to an account for it in the general judgment, for which there is a time set, Ec 3:16,17; and yet, such is the stupidity of the generality of men, that they have no more sense of death and judgment than the brutes, and live and die like them, Ec 3:18-21; wherefore it is best of all to make a right use of power and riches, or what God has given to men, for their own good and that of others, since they know not what shall be after them, Ec 3:22.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 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.
6 There is a time to look for something and a time to stop looking for it. There is a time to keep things and a time to throw things away.
7 There is a time to tear apart and a time to sew together. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 There is a time to love and a time to hate. There is a time for war and a time for peace.
9 Do people really gain anything from their work?
10 I saw the hard work God has given people to do.
11 God has given them a desire to know the future. He does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing.
12 So I realize that the best thing for them is to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live.

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Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.