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Ecclesiastes 6:1

Context
Not Everyone Enjoys Life

6:1 Here is 1  another misfortune 2  that I have seen on earth, 3 

and it weighs 4  heavily on people: 5 

Ecclesiastes 6:11

Context

6:11 The more one argues with words, the less he accomplishes. 6 

How does that benefit him? 7 

Ecclesiastes 7:15

Context
Exceptions to the Law of Retribution

7:15 During the days of my fleeting life 8  I have seen both 9  of these things:

Sometimes 10  a righteous person dies prematurely 11  in spite of 12  his righteousness,

and sometimes 13  a wicked person lives long 14  in spite of his evil deeds.

Ecclesiastes 8:6

Context

8:6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,

for the oppression 15  of the king 16  is severe upon his victim. 17 

Ecclesiastes 8:14

Context

8:14 Here is 18  another 19  enigma 20  that occurs on earth:

Sometimes there are righteous people who get what the wicked deserve, 21 

and sometimes there are wicked people who get what the righteous deserve. 22 

I said, “This also is an enigma.”

Ecclesiastes 9:4

Context
Better to Be Poor but Alive than Rich but Dead

9:4 But whoever is among 23  the living 24  has hope;

a live dog is better than a dead lion.

Ecclesiastes 10:5

Context

10:5 I have seen another 25  misfortune 26  on the earth: 27 

It is an error a ruler makes. 28 

1 tn The term יֵשׁ (yesh, “there is”) is often used in aphorisms to assert the existence of a particular situation that occurs sometimes. It may indicate that the situation is not the rule but that it does occur on occasion, and may be nuanced “sometimes” (Prov 11:24; 13:7, 23; 14:12; 16:25; 18:24; 20:15; Eccl 2:21; 4:8; 5:12; 6:1; 7:15 [2x]; 8:14 [3x]).

2 tn The noun רָעָה (raah, “evil”) probably means “misfortune” (HALOT 1263 s.v. רָעָה 4) or “injustice, wrong” (HALOT 1262 s.v. רָעָה 2.b); see, e.g., Eccl 2:17; 5:12, 15; 6:1; 10:5.

3 tn Heb “under the sun.”

4 tn The word “weighs” does not appear in Hebrew, but is added in the translation for smoothness.

5 tn Heb “it is great upon men.” The phrase וְרַבָּה הִיא עַל־הָאָדָם (vÿrabbah hi’ ’al-haadam) is taken in two basic ways: (1) commonality: “it is common among men” (KJV, MLB), “it is prevalent among men” (NASB), “that is frequent among men” (Douay). (2) oppressiveness: “it lies heavy upon men” (RSV, NRSV), “it weighs heavily upon men” (NEB, NAB, NIV), “it presses heavily on men” (Moffatt), “it is heavy upon men” (ASV), and “a grave one it is for man” (NJPS). The preposition עַל (’al, “upon”) argues against the first in favor of the second; the notion of commonality would be denoted by the preposition בְּ (bet, “among”). The singular noun אָדָם (’adam) is used as a collective, denoting “men.” The article on הָאָדָם (haadam) is used in a generic sense referring to humankind as a whole; the generic article is often used with a collective singular (IBHS 244 §13.5.1f).

6 tn Heb “The more the words, the more the futility.”

7 tn Or “What benefit does man have [in that]?”

8 tn The word “life” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for smoothness and clarity.

9 tn As is the case throughout Ecclesiastes, the term הַכֹּל (hakkol) should be nuanced “both” rather than “all.”

10 tn Heb “There is.” The term יֵשׁ (yesh, “there is”) is often used in aphorisms to assert the existence of a particular situation that occurs sometimes. It may indicate that the situation is not the rule but that it does occur on occasion, and may be nuanced “sometimes” (Prov 11:24; 13:7, 23; 14:12; 16:25; 18:24; 20:15; Eccl 2:21; 4:8; 5:12; 6:1; 7:15 [2x]; 8:14 [3x]).

11 tn Heb “perishes.”

12 tn Or “in his righteousness.” The preposition בְּ (bet) on the terms בְּצִרְקוֹ (bÿtsirqo, “his righteousness”) and בְּרָעָתוֹ (bÿraato, “his evil-doing”) in the following line are traditionally taken in a locative sense: “in his righteousness” and “in his wickedness” (KJV, NASB, NIV). However, it is better to take the בְּ (bet) in the adversative sense “in spite of” (e.g., Lev 26:27; Num 14:11; Deut 1:32; Isa 5:25; 9:11, 16, 20; 10:4; 16:14; 47:9; Pss 27:3; 78:32; Ezra 3:3); cf. HALOT 104 s.v. בְּ 7; BDB 90 s.v. בְּ 3.7. NJPS renders it well: “Sometimes a good man perishes in spite of his goodness, and sometimes a wicked one endures in spite of his wickedness.” In a similar vein, D. R. Glenn (“Ecclesiastes,” BKCOT, 993–94) writes: “The word ‘in’ in the phrases ‘in his righteousness’ and ‘in his wickedness’ can here mean ‘in spite of.’ These phrases…argue against the common view that in 7:16 Solomon was warning against legalistic or Pharisaic self-righteousness. Such would have been a sin and would have been so acknowledged by Solomon who was concerned about true exceptions to the doctrine of retribution, not supposed ones (cf. 8:10–14 where this doctrine is discussed again).”

13 tn Heb “There is.” The term יֵשׁ (yesh,“there is”) is often used in aphorisms to assert the existence of a particular situation that occurs sometimes. It may indicate that the situation is not the rule but that it does occur on occasion, and may be nuanced “sometimes” (Prov 11:24; 13:7, 23; 14:12; 16:25; 18:24; 20:15; Eccl 2:21; 4:8; 5:12; 6:1; 7:15 [2x]; 8:14 [3x]).

14 tn Heb “a wicked man endures.”

15 tn Heb “evil”; or “misery.”

16 tn Heb “the man.”

17 tn Heb “upon him.”

18 tn Heb “there is.” The term יֶשׁ (yesh, “there is”) is often used in aphorisms to assert the existence of a particular situation that occurs sometimes. It may indicate that the situation is not the rule but that it does occur on occasion, and may be nuanced “sometimes” (Prov 11:24; 13:7, 23; 14:12; 16:25; 18:24; 20:15; Eccl 2:21; 4:8; 5:12; 6:1; 7:15 [2x]; 8:14 [3x]).

19 tn The word “another” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.

20 tn Or “vanity” (again at the end of this verse). The Hebrew term הֶבֶל (hevel) here denotes “enigma,” that is, something that is difficult to understand. This sense is derived from the literal referent of breath, vapor or wind that cannot be seen; thus, “obscure; dark; difficult to understand; enigmatic” (see HALOT 236–37 s.v. I הֶבֶל; BDB 210–11 s.v. I הֶבֶל). It is used in this sense in reference to enigmas in life (6:2; 8:10, 14) and the future which is obscure (11:8, 10).

21 tn Heb “to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked”; or “who are punished for the deeds of the wicked.”

22 tn Heb “to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous”; or “who are rewarded for the deeds of the righteous.”

23 tn The consonantal text (Kethib) has “is chosen, selected.” The translation follows the marginal reading (Qere), “is joined.” See BDB 288 s.v. חָבַר Pu.

24 tn Heb “all the living.”

25 tn The term “another” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation to indicate that this is not the first “misfortune” described by the Teacher. See 5:13, 16; 6:1-2.

26 tn Heb “an evil.”

27 tn Heb “under the sun.”

28 tn Heb “like an error that comes forth from the presence of a ruler.”



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