Ecclesiastes 6:7

7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, And yet the soul is not satisfied.

Ecclesiastes 6:7 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:7

All the labour of man [is] for his mouth
For the food of his mouth, as the Targum; for the sustenance of his body, for food and clothing, part being put for the whole: all that a man labours for is to get this; and if he does not enjoy it, his labour is in vain; meats are for the belly, which are taken in by the mouth, and for these a man labours; and if he does not eat them, when he has got them, he labours to no purpose; and yet the appetite is not filled;
even the bodily or sensual appetite; no, not even by those who eat the fruit of their labour; for though their hunger is allayed for the present, and the appetite is satisfied for a while, yet it returns again, and requires more food, and so continually: or, "the soul is not filled", or "satisfied" F3; it is the body only that is filled or satisfied with such things, at best; the mind of man grasps after greater things, and can find no contentment or satisfaction in earthly or sensual enjoyments. This seems to be a new argument, proving the vanity of riches, from the narrow use of them; which only reaches to the body, not to the soul.


F3 (almt al vpnh) "anima non implebitur", Pagninus, Montanus; "anima non expletur", Mercerus, Gejerus; "non impletur", Cocceius, so Broughton; "non satiatur", Drusius.

Ecclesiastes 6:7 In-Context

5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man,
6 even if he lives a thousand years twice--but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?
7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, And yet the soul is not satisfied.
8 For what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, Who knows how to walk before the living?
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.