the righteous and the wicked,
the good and the bad, 2
the ceremonially clean and unclean,
those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
What happens to the good person, also happens to the sinner; 3
what happens to those who make vows, also happens to those who are afraid to make vows.
the same fate awaits 6 everyone.
In addition to this, the hearts of all people 7 are full of evil,
and there is folly in their hearts during their lives – then they die. 8
a live dog is better than a dead lion.
9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything;
they have no further reward – and even the memory of them disappears. 11
and they no longer have a part in anything that happens on earth. 15
and drink your wine with a happy heart,
because God has already approved your works.
9:8 Let your clothes always be white,
and do not spare precious ointment on your head.
do it with all your might,
because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, 26
the place where you will eventually go. 27
1 tn Heb “all things just as to everyone, one fate.”
2 tc The MT reads simply “the good,” but the Greek versions read “the good and the bad.” In contrast to the other four pairs in v. 2 (“the righteous and the wicked,” “those who sacrifice, and those who do not sacrifice,” “the good man…the sinner,” and “those who make vows…those who are afraid to make vows”), the MT has a triad in the second line: לַטּוֹב וְלַטָּהוֹר וְלַטָּמֵא (lattov vÿlattahor vÿlattame’, “the good, and the clean, and the unclean”). This reading in the Leningrad Codex (ca.
3 tn Heb “As is the good (man), so is the sinner.”
4 tn Heb “evil.”
5 tn Heb “under the sun.”
6 tn The term “awaits” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for smoothness and stylistic reasons.
7 tn Heb “also the heart of the sons of man.” Here “heart” is a collective singular.
8 tn Heb “and after that [they go] to [the place of] the dead.”
9 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.
10 tn Heb “all the living.”
11 tn Heb “for their memory is forgotten.” The pronominal suffix is an objective genitive, “memory of them.”
12 tn Heb “their love.”
13 tn Heb “their hatred.”
14 tn Heb “their envy.”
15 tn Heb “under the sun.”
16 tn Heb “your bread.”
17 tn Heb “see.”
18 tn Heb “the wife whom you love.”
19 tn As discussed in the note on the word “futile” in 1:2, the term הֶבֶל (hevel) has a wide range of meanings, and should not be translated the same in every place (see HALOT 236–37 s.v. I הֶבֶל; BDB 210–11 s.v. I הבֶל). The term is used in two basic ways in OT, literally and figuratively. The literal, concrete sense is used in reference to the wind, man’s transitory breath, evanescent vapor (Isa 57:13; Pss 62:10; 144:4; Prov 21:6; Job 7:16). In this sense, it is often a synonym for “breath; wind” (Eccl 1:14; Isa 57:13; Jer 10:14). The literal sense lent itself to the metaphorical sense. Because breath/vapor/wind is transitory and fleeting, the figurative connotation “fleeting; transitory” arose (e.g., Prov 31:30; Eccl 6:12; 7:15; 9:9; 11:10; Job 7:16). In this sense, it is parallel to “few days” and “[days] which he passes like a shadow” (Eccl 6:12). It is used in reference to youth and vigor (11:10) or life (6:12; 7:15; 9:9) which are “transitory” or “fleeting.” In this context, the most appropriate meaning is “fleeting.”
20 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
21 tn Heb “under the sun”
22 tc The phrase כָּל יְמֵי הֶבְלֶךָ (kol yÿme hevlekha, “all your fleeting days”) is present in the MT, but absent in the Greek versions, other medieval Hebrew
23 tn Heb “in your toil in which you toil.”
24 tn Heb “under the sun.”
25 tn Heb “Whatever your hand finds to do.”
26 tn Heb “Sheol.”
27 tn Or “where you are about to go.”