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2018 November 6
Ecclesiastes 4

The Massacre at Chios (1824)
Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863)
Romanticism Style
Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Image Source: Wikimedia

     [ Illustration: Today's painting shows oppression (one of the themes of today's chapter) taken to its ultimate extent -- massacre. ]


[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no chapters will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]

     Explanation: In Ecclesiastes 4, Solomon speaks of oppression, envy, solitariness, helpers, and advancement.
     Solomon considered all the oppressions which are done under the sun, and the tears of the oppressed who had no comforter. He realized that the dead were better off than the living. And better than both of them were those who had never been born, who never saw the evil work that is done under the sun (1-3).
     He considered the envy which one neighbor has for another who works hard and skillfully. It is vanity and a striving after the wind. But the fool folds his hand (in laziness) and eats his own flesh. Therefore, a handful with quietness is better than two hands full of toil and striving after the wind (4-6).
      It is vain when one person has no one else, either son or brother, yet has endless toil. His eyes are never satisfied with riches; and he never asks for whom he is toiling and depriving himself of pleasure. It is vanity and sore travail (7-8).
     Two are better than one, because they are rewarded for their labor. If one falls the other lifts him up: but woe to him who is alone when he falls; because he has no one to help him up. Also, if two lie together, they have heat; but how can one be warm alone? And again, if one prevails against him, two can withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken (9-12).
     Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no longer be admonished. One may come from prison to the throne; and a king may become poor within his kingdom. Solomon considered all the living which walk under the sun, together with the youth who stood in the king's place. There is no end of the people, or of all who came before them; and those who come after them shall not rejoice in the youth who became king. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit (13-16).

     [ Sermons: William Still. Phil Newton. Various. ]

Bible Chronologies -- Genesis to Revelation

[Traditional Patriarchal Chronology. Judges Period Chronology 1. Judges Period Chronology 2. Kings of Judah and Israel #1. Kings of Judah and Israel #2].

[Post Exile Chronology 1. Post Exile Chronology 2. Post Exile Chronology 3.]

[Prophets Chronology 1. Prophets Chronology 2. Prophets Chronology 3. Prophets Chronology 4.]

[Intertestamental Period Chronology 1. Intertestamental Period Chronology 2. Intertestamental Period Chronology 3.
Intertestamental Period Chronology 4. Intertestamental Period Chronology 5.]

[New Testament Chronology 1. New Testament Chronology 2. New Testament Chronology 3. New Testament Chronology 4. New Testament Chronology 5.]


PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.

          [ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: Ecclesiastes 4: Ecclesiastes 3. ]
[1] Ecclesiastes 3:16; Ecclesiastes 5:8; Proverbs 28:3, 15-16.
[2] Ecclesiastes 2:17; Ecclesiastes 9:4-6.
[3] Job 3; Job 10:18-22; Ecclesiastes 6:3-5; Jeremiah 20:17-18.
[4] Proverbs 27:4; Matthew 27:18.
[5] Proverbs 6:10-11.
[6] Psalm 37:16; Proverbs 15:16-17; Proverbs 16:8; Proverbs 17:1.
[7] Psalm 78:33.
[8] Genesis 2:18.
[9] Proverbs 27:17.
[10] Galatians 6:1.
[11] 1 Kings 1:1-2.
[12] Ephesians 4:3.
[13] Ecclesiastes 9:15-16.
[14-16] Genesis 41:14, 33-44; Job 5:11; Psalm 113:7-8; Lamentations 4:20.
     -- From Treasury of Scripture Knowledge & Others ]

          [ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

          [ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

          [ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). PROVERBS: Book of Proverbs. ECCLESIASTES: Book of Ecclesiastes Dramatized - #1 (English). Book of Ecclesiastes Dramatized - #2 (Spanish). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]


John Calvin - CCEL | Analytical Chart - BLB


Gospel Harmony - Summary | The Harmony of the Gospels - Augustine | Gospel Harmony Chart - Online Bible

Greek Harmony of the Gospels - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF) | Gospel Harmony in English - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF)


Hebrew and Greek Interlinear Download - Scripture 4 All

Bible Hub Interlinear Hebrew and Greek Bible

Bible Hub Hebrew Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Hebrew Interlinear

Mounce Interlinear | Bible Hub Greek Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Greek Interlinear Bible

Ecclesiastes Outline

Note: Around 946 B.C., Solomon seems to have been at a peak spiritually, hence Ecclesiastes may have been composed by him around that time, assuming he is the author.

Ecclesiastes 4

Map 1: Bible Nations | Map 2: Empire of David and Solomon Map 3: Kingdoms of Judah and Israel | Post Exile Chronology.

Teacher's Words: Coping with Vanity (2:12 - 11:9)

Oppression (4:1-3)

1 So I returned, and considered [this] all the oppressions that are done under the sun:
and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter;
and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
2 Wherefore I praised [this] the dead which are already dead
more than the living which [withal] are yet alive.
3 Yea, better is he than both they [namely], who hath not yet been,
who hath not seen [this]

the evil work that is done under the sun.

Envy (4:4-6)

4 Again, I considered [this] all travail, and every right work,
that for this a man is envied of his neighbour.

This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

5 The fool foldeth [this] his hands together, and eateth [this] his own flesh.
6 Better is an handful [from a fullness of a palm] with quietness,
than both the hands full [than fullness of hands]

with travail and vexation of spirit.

Solitariness (4:7-8)

7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.
8 There is one alone, and there is not a second;
yea, he hath neither [nothing of] child [son] nor brother:
yet is there no end of all his labour;
neither is his eye satisfied with riches;
neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave [this] my soul of good?

This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

Helpers (4:9-12)

9 Two are better than one;
because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall,
the one will lift up [this] his fellow:
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
for he hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat:
but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand [stand against] him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Advancement (4:13-16)

13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king,
who will no more be admonished.
14 For out of prison [a house of bondage] he cometh to reign;
whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.
15 I considered [this] all the living which walk under the sun,
with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.
16 There is no end of all the people,
even of all that have been before them:
they also that come after shall not rejoice in him.

Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

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