It is safe to say that commentators through the centuries have found this pair the most puzzling of the catalogue of times in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8. And, as George Barton wrote in his ICC commentary of 1908,
[t]he interpretation of the first clause is difficult.
There are obvious regularities and patterns in the pairs of opposites that are ...
Essentially, it means the cord of life. Strong's Heb. 2256, "chebel" or band. Brown-Driver-Brigs - cord, and references Ecc. 12:6 as cord of life.
The NIV does a fair job with verse 6 as:
"Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well,"
Ecclesiastes 7:27 unusually records: "says Qohelet" (אָמְרָה קֹהֶלֶת = ʾāmĕrâ qōhelet), notable for more than one reason. The problem here is the gender of the verb (which is, in the MT, 3rd feminine singular).
The title "Qohelet", usually translated (when it is translated) as "the Preacher" or the like, only occurs in Eccl. 1:1,...
Davïd's answer gives a good statement about the verse, providing a very useful analysis. However, there are a couple of points of analysis for Eccl 3:1-8 that I believe are relevant, yet unexplored (likely both by Davïd and the commentaries he references).
Four More Relevant Observations
"More," because again, Davïd's observations are ...
Some translations do have the literal meaning which is to give birth:
a time for giving birth and a time for dying, a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted (Ecclesiastes 3:2 CEB)
The NET opts for "to be born" and includes a note explaining the choice:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot ...
The Teacher does not distinguish between humans who believe in God or the godless. ALL humans will die and their bodies go into the ground where "the dust returns to the ground it came from."
Likewise, all animals will die and go into the ground.
The difference between what happens to humans and to animals after physical death lies in the fact ...
I have two answers, a simple meaning and an allegorical meaning.
Simple meaning: After a home is built the excess stones are removed from the home (because they are in the way and no longer useful). Before a home is built we gather the stones to build the house. So this is a parallel of verse 3. See Metzudat David (an 18th C Jewish commentary that focuses ...
The following commentary from the Jewish Publication Society provides one suggested response to this very difficult question.
Fox, Michael V. (2004). Ecclesiastes. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 52-53.
1. Question Restatement
Does Eccl. 1:15 suggest that ALL cannot be made straight, including the nature of men? Or is this phrase limited only to "The Works of Man"?
Eccl 1:13, NASB - And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be ...
There are two exegetical questions to consider in the phrase "nothing new under the sun":
What is the scope of "under the sun"?
This has been addressed elsewhere, and is likely to mean something like "in all creation".
What is the contextual meaning of "nothing new"?
Aside from context, at one extreme this could mean something like a 'Groundhog Day' where ...
What the text says, and the author is quite clear to point this out by referring to himself in the third person (the only occasion, apart from 1:1, that he does this) and then saying 'I (have not) found', is that he has yet to meet a woman who he considers to be upright. In his wisdom, he would never assume from this that 'there are no upright women' - he is ...
Well, this is a famous crux, and there have been a number of solutions, some more plausible than others.
Michael Fox thinks that הָעֹלָם is a scribal error for עָמֵל (toil) which occurs two verses earlier. Here it would be not the usual toil but the mental toil (amal b'libam) of understanding one's place in the world.
There's also a fairly common ...
This verse you are noticing is within the overall concept of a peaceful contentment in the moment which is not really a human ability but is a spiritual attitude that can only come from God. This simple contentment, such as the simple relaxed enjoyment of our daily eating and drinking as part of the essentials of living is contrasted with a meaningless ...
The Short Answer
The word "evil" in context is best translated "injustice," although "evil" is a fine translation.
Here are some variations in versions:
ESV,NASB + others - "evil"
NET - "injustice"
ISV - "troublesome"
HCSB - "wrong"
Some features to notice:
The passage describes more than one outcome,
the opinion of the author ...
The Idea in Brief
There are three Jewish sources which relate that this particular passage in Ecclesiastes is not about misery resulting from wisdom: that is, the Babylonian Talmud, the commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki ("Rashi"), who is also found in the Talmud, and finally Targum Qohelet each relate that the context of Ecclesiastes is not about misery ...
The LXX could be construed to support either 'eternity' or 'the world' but not 'ignorance'. The relevant bit:
καί γε σὺν τὸν αἰῶνα ἔδωκεν ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν (LXX, Rahlfs)
indeed, he granted eternity in their heart (NETS)
he has also set the whole world in their heart (Brenton)
Both make sense as renditions of:
גַּ֤ם אֶת־הָעֹלָם֙ נָתַ֣ן בְּלִבָּ֔ם
There are those like me who see Luke 16:19-31 as an historical account, not a parable. Many of those, again like me, also hold to the original textform of Scripture to be by inspiration of God and thus inerrant. It is just such a combination that requires an answer of whether the Luke passage might contradict Eccl 9:5.
It need not be viewed as a ...
The Hebrew word שׁכב in Deuteronomy 31:16 doesn't necessarily mean only to "sleep", but it can also mean simply to "lie down" (e.g. Genesis 28:11 KJV). In fact, the JPS Tanakh chooses to translate this verse, You are soon to lie with your fathers.
Regarding Ecclesiastes 9:10, one might also refer to Psalm 146:4:
His breath goeth forth, he returneth to ...
"Which one is the correct one?"
One of the challenges in interpreting the scriptures is that we cannot always be 100% confident of what the original authors intended when they wrote down the words in front of us. Longman and Shields have both called this verse "one of the most difficult verses to interpret in Ecclesiastes", so be ...
Luke 24:25 He [Jesus] said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
In the general sense, yes, ...
The Hebrew word עוֹלָם (olam) is widely misunderstood, but not by BDB which gives a good explanation. Let us notice very carefully how it is used in the OT. The word does not necessarily mean "for ever and ever" meaning unending time as illustrated by its use with a number of nouns which clearly do not last forever.
For example, it used of a ...
If, for the moment, we assume that the author of Ecclesiastes is Solomon, then the known rulers of Jerusalem before him, of which Solomon was far wiser were:
Melchizedek, king of "Salem", one of the early names of Jerusalem from the the latter is derived. See Gen 14:18-20, Ps 110:4.
Adoni-zedek, Josh 10:1-10
The unknown rulers of the ...
Nathan prophesied to David in
2 Samuel 7:11 “ ‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will ...
Answer: You are right: the dead will be forgotten. The people who still live no longer remember them; it's the people's memory. All translations you quoted have this sense, plus NIV ("even their name is forgotten") and ESV (same as KJV).
Two commentaries I consulted (by Tremper Longman and by Douglas Miller) confirm this. Both highlights two ...
Ecclesiastes 7 contains a set of philosophical paradoxes to get the readers to think deeper than the surface meanings, e.g., verse 2:
It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that is the end of every person,
And the living takes it to heart.
This is paralleled by verse 3:
Sorrow is better than laughter,
For when ...
Ecclesiastes is notoriously difficult to map. Many outlines have been proposed, none gaining consensus. Many commentators abandon the search for coherence altogether and conclude that the book is “a string of unrelated meditations” (Eaton), that "in general no progression of thought from one section to another is discernible" (Whybray).1
The book’s ...
The Masoretic Text appears to imply (Eccl 1:1) that the author is the son of David, the King of Jerusalem. Based in the wider genre of the Ketuvim (or Writings), the reader would then infer the son of David to be Solomon, the author. In this regard, Jewish tradition reflects the same.
For example, the Targum Qohelet makes explicit mention that Solomon was ...