Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

7 Again I saw something on earth that didn't mean anything.
8 A man lived all by himself. He didn't have any sons or brothers. His hard work never ended. But he wasn't happy with what he had. "Who am I working so hard for?" he asked. "Why don't I get the things I enjoy?" That doesn't have any meaning either. In fact, it's a very bad deal!
9 Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do.
10 Suppose someone falls down. Then his friend can help him up. But suppose the man who falls down doesn't have anyone to help him up. Then feel sorry for him!
11 Or suppose two people lie down together. Then they'll keep warm. But how can one person keep warm alone?
12 One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn't easily broken.

Images for Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 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 4:7-12 In-Context

5 A foolish person folds his hands and doesn't work. And that destroys him.
6 One handful with peace and quiet is better than two handfuls with hard work. Working too hard is like chasing the wind.
7 Again I saw something on earth that didn't mean anything.
8 A man lived all by himself. He didn't have any sons or brothers. His hard work never ended. But he wasn't happy with what he had. "Who am I working so hard for?" he asked. "Why don't I get the things I enjoy?" That doesn't have any meaning either. In fact, it's a very bad deal!
9 Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do.
10 Suppose someone falls down. Then his friend can help him up. But suppose the man who falls down doesn't have anyone to help him up. Then feel sorry for him!
11 Or suppose two people lie down together. Then they'll keep warm. But how can one person keep warm alone?
12 One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn't easily broken.
13 A poor but wise young man is better off than an old but foolish king. That king doesn't pay attention to a warning anymore.
14 The young man might have come from prison to become king. Or he might have been born poor within the kingdom but still became king.
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