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Ecclesiastes 9:4-6

Better to Be Poor but Alive than Rich but Dead

9:4 But whoever is among 1  the living 2  has hope;

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. 3 

9:6 What they loved, 4  as well as what they hated 5  and envied, 6  perished long ago,

and they no longer have a part in anything that happens on earth. 7 

1 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.

2 tn Heb “all the living.”

3 tn Heb “for their memory is forgotten.” The pronominal suffix is an objective genitive, “memory of them.”

4 tn Heb “their love.”

5 tn Heb “their hatred.”

6 tn Heb “their envy.”

7 tn Heb “under the sun.”

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