Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help.
11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone?
12 And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Images for Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 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 4:9-12 In-Context

7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun:
8 the case of solitary individuals, without sons or brothers; yet there is no end to all their toil, and their eyes are never satisfied with riches. "For whom am I toiling," they ask, "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 the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help.
11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone?
12 And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 Better is a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king, who will no longer take advice.
14 One can indeed come out of prison to reign, even though born poor in the kingdom.

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New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.