Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 6:3

Context
NET ©

Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years – even if he lives a long, long time, 1  but cannot enjoy his prosperity – even if he were to live forever 2  – I would say, “A stillborn child 3  is better off than he is!” 4 

NIV ©

A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

NASB ©

If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, "Better the miscarriage than he,

NLT ©

A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and in the end does not even get a decent burial, I say he would have been better off born dead.

MSG ©

Say a couple have scores of children and live a long, long life but never enjoy themselves--even though they end up with a big funeral! I'd say that a stillborn baby gets the better deal.

BBE ©

If a man has a hundred children, and his life is long so that the days of his years are great in number, but his soul takes no pleasure in good, and he is not honoured at his death; I say that a birth before its time is better than he.

NRSV ©

A man may beget a hundred children, and live many years; but however many are the days of his years, if he does not enjoy life’s good things, or has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

NKJV ©

If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he––


KJV
If a man
<0376>
beget
<03205> (8686)
an hundred
<03967>
[children], and live
<02421> (8799)
many
<07227>
years
<08141>_,
so that the days
<03117>
of his years
<08141>
be many
<07227>_,
and his soul
<05315>
be not filled
<07646> (8799)
with good
<02896>_,
and also [that] he have no burial
<06900>_;
I say
<0559> (8804)_,
[that] an untimely birth
<05309>
[is] better
<02896>
than he.
NASB ©
If
<0518>
a man
<0376>
fathers
<03205>
a hundred
<03967>
children and lives
<02421>
many
<07227>
years
<08141>
, however many
<07227>
they be, but his soul
<05315>
is not satisfied
<07646>
with good
<02899>
things
<02899>
and he does not even
<01571>
have
<01961>
a proper burial
<06900>
, then I say
<0559>
, "Better
<02896>
the miscarriage
<05309>
than
<04480>
he,
HEBREW
lpnh
<05309>
wnmm
<04480>
bwj
<02896>
ytrma
<0559>
wl
<0>
htyh
<01961>
al
<03808>
hrwbq
<06900>
Mgw
<01571>
hbwjh
<02896>
Nm
<04480>
ebvt
<07646>
al
<03808>
wspnw
<05315>
wyns
<08141>
ymy
<03117>
wyhys
<01961>
brw
<07227>
hyxy
<02421>
twbr
<07227>
Mynsw
<08141>
ham
<03967>
sya
<0376>
dylwy
<03205>
Ma (6:3)
<0518>
LXXM
ean
<1437
CONJ
gennhsh
<1080
V-FMI-2S
anhr
<435
N-NSM
ekaton
<1540
N-NUI
kai
<2532
CONJ
eth
<2094
N-APN
polla
<4183
A-APN
zhsetai
<2198
V-FMI-3S
kai
<2532
CONJ
plhyov
<4128
N-ASN
o
<3739
R-ASN
ti
<5100
I-ASN
esontai
<1510
V-FMI-3P
hmerai
<2250
N-NPF
etwn
<2094
N-GPN
autou
<846
D-GSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
quch
<5590
N-NSF
autou
<846
D-GSM
ouk
<3364
ADV
emplhsyhsetai {V-FPI-3S} apo
<575
PREP
thv
<3588
T-GSF
agaywsunhv
<19
N-GSF
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
tafh
<5027
N-NSF
ouk
<3364
ADV
egeneto
<1096
V-AMI-3S
autw
<846
D-DSM
eipa {V-AAI-1S} agayon
<18
A-NSN
uper
<5228
PREP
auton
<846
D-ASM
to
<3588
T-NSN
ektrwma
<1626
N-NSN
NET © [draft] ITL
Even if
<0518>
a man
<0376>
fathers
<03205>
a hundred
<03967>
children
<03205>
and lives
<02421>
many
<07227>
years
<08141>
– even if he lives
<05315>
a long
<07227>
, long time
<03117>
, but cannot
<03808>
enjoy
<07646>
his prosperity
<02896>
– even if
<01571>
he were
<01961>
to live forever
<03808>
– I would say
<0559>
, “A stillborn child
<05309>
is better off
<02896>
than
<04480>
he is!”
NET ©

Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years – even if he lives a long, long time, 1  but cannot enjoy his prosperity – even if he were to live forever 2  – I would say, “A stillborn child 3  is better off than he is!” 4 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “the days of his years are many.”

tn Heb “he has no burial.” The phrase וְגַם־קְבוּרָה לֹא־הָיְתָה (vÿgam-qÿvurah lo-haytah, “he even has no burial”) is traditionally treated as part of a description of the man’s sorry final state, that is, he is deprived of even a proper burial (KJV, NEB, RSV, NRSV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NJPS, MLB, Moffatt). However, the preceding parallel lines suggest that this a hyperbolic protasis: “If he were to live one hundred years…even if he were never buried [i.e., were to live forever]….” A similar idea occurs elsewhere (e.g., Pss 49:9; 89:48). See D. R. Glenn, “Ecclesiastes,” BKCOT, 990.

tn The noun נֶפֶל (nefel) denotes “miscarriage” and by metonymy of effect, “stillborn child” (e.g., Ps 58:9; Job 3:16; Eccl 6:3); cf. HALOT 711. The noun is related to the verb נָפַל (nafal, “to fall,” but occasionally “to be born”; see Isa 26:18); cf. HALOT 710 s.v. נפל 5.

sn The point of 6:3-6 is that the futility of unenjoyed wealth is worse than the tragedy of being stillborn.



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